Serena Williams Plays Down Hype Over ‘Catsuit’ Ban After Talks With French Tennis Chief - UBITENNIS
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Serena Williams Plays Down Hype Over ‘Catsuit’ Ban After Talks With French Tennis Chief

The former world No.1 has responded to comments made about her outfit for the first time.



Serena Williams has insisted that everything is ‘fine’ between her and the French Tennis Association after being criticised over the outfit she wore at the French Open.


The 23-time grand slam champion played at Roland Garros in a black catsuit in what was a break away from the traditional clothing players wear on the tour. Williams said the outfit helped her cope with the issue of blood clots and made her feel like a ‘superhero.’ Although there will be no chance of the American wearing the same type of outfit next year in Paris after the chief of French Tennis recently announced a ban.

“It will no longer be accepted,” Bernard Giudicelli told Tennis magazine.
“I believe we have sometimes gone too far. You have to respect the game and the place.”

Giudicelli‘s criticism has attracted backlash from numerous figures in the world of sport. WTA founder Billie Jean King wrote on Twitter ‘criticizing what she wears to work is where the true disrespect lies.’ Meanwhile, Nike, who made the catsuit, also hit back at the criticism.

Williams spoke about the topic for the first time on media day at the US Open on Saturday. Despite the high-profile debate the comments have generated, she has dismissed its significance. Saying that the French Open ‘has the right’ to change their policy when they like.

“I think that obviously the Grand Slams have a right to do what they want to,” Williams told reporters.
“I feel like if they know that some things are for health reasons, then there’s no way that they wouldn’t be OK with it.”

The 36-year-old has also confirmed that she has recently held talks with Giudicelli following his comments. Describing the relationship between them both as ‘wonderful.’

“He’s been so easy to talk to,” she said. “My whole team is basically French so, yeah, we have a wonderful relationship. I’m sure we would come to an understanding and everything will be OK. It wouldn’t be a big deal … everything’s fine, guys.”

Heading into the final major of 2018, Williams will not be wearing a catsuit. Instead, she will be wearing a Nike outfit specially designed by Virgil Abloh. Abloh is the current artistic director of Louis Vuitton’s men’s wear collection.

Another tournament, but more fire

Williams spoke to reporters two days before the start of the US Open. Seeded 17th in the draw, she will be bidding to equal Margaret Court’s all-time record of 24 major titles. Williams last triumphed in a grand slam at the 2016 Wimbledon Championships. Since then she has given birth to a baby girl.

“If anything, I have more fire in my belly,” The six-time US Open champion said.
“It’s very hard to describe. I thought after having a child I would be more relaxed, but I’m not.
“I work just as hard, if not harder actually. I feel like I take it just as serious, if not more. That’s been really surprising for me.”

Whilst the confidence is there, Williams’ results heading into New York has been far from perfect. In San Jose she could only win one game against Johanna Konta before pulling out of the Rogers Cup due to personal reasons. Then at the Cincinnati Open, Williams breezed past Daria Gavrilova before falling to Petra Kvitova. The slump in results followed her run to the Wimbledon final earlier this year.

“It hasn’t quite happened,” she reflected. “It’s been just really a few months into me playing after having a baby. I feel like I have to be nice to myself.
“I feel like I have to just be happy, continue to work hard. I’ve been working incredibly hard. I feel like it will for sure pay off eventually.”

Williams will play Poland’s Magda Linette in the first round at the US Open. In her section, she could play sister Venus in the third round followed by world No.1 Simona Halep. Williams has never lost before the third round at the tournament.

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Asian Games Champion Qinwen Zheng Reveals Shock Departure Of Coach Fissette



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China’s Qinwen Zheng says she feels ‘hurt’ by the decision of her former coach to end their collaboration in order to work with another player. 


The US Open quarter-finalist had been working with Belgium’s Wim Fissette in recent weeks following the departure of Pere Riba who is now the coach of Coco Gauff. Fissette has a wealth of experience in women’s tennis after working with the likes of Kim Clijsters and Naomi Osaka. However, Zheng says she is now looking for a new mentor.

“I understand his decision, but my family and I feel hurt. Right now I don’t want to talk about this person (Fissette),’ journalist Bendou Zhang quoted her as saying. 

Fissette is yet to comment on his departure. He had previously coached former world No.1 Osaka between 2019-2022 and during this period she won two of her four Grand Slam titles. The American-based Japanese player is on maternity leave from the sport and gave birth to her first child in July.

20-year-old Zheng is currently ranked 23rd in the world and won her maiden WTA title in Palermo earlier this year. She is the youngest player from her country to have reached the quarter-finals of a Grand Slam in the Open Era following her run at Flushing Medows. This year she has beaten top 10 players Ons Jabeur and Daria Kasatkina. 

Zheng’s latest career milestone is winning gold at the Asian Games on Friday. in the final, she defeated Zhu Lin 6-2, 6-4, in the blistering Hangzhou heat.

“The feeling was incredible,” Zheng said. “I’m really happy about that. That was not an easy match today and also yesterday (in semifinal against Alex Eala). All of them are good fighters.”

It is not clear who Zheng will be working with during the Asian swing. 

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Daria Kasatkina Criticises Decision To Not Use Roof At Sweltering Pan Pacific Open



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Daria Kasatkina has taken a swipe at organizers at the Toray Pan Pacific Open for not using the roof to cover their premier court on Thursday due to the heat. 


The Russian played her second round match against Despina Papamichail in temperatures around 30 degrees with the humidity making it feel even warmer. Kasatkina battled to a 6-4, 6-4, win after spending more than two hours on the court. She dropped serve four times in the match but managed to break Papamichail seven times en route to victory. 

Speaking on the court following his latest tour win, the world No.13 admitted that she struggled in the conditions and implied that she believed the roof should have been closed to shield the players from the sun. Tokyo, which is where the tournament is staged, has experienced a record-breaking number of ‘extremely hot’ days this year with their autumn season being warmer than usual. Something that some warn could be a more regular occurrence due to climate change.

“We cannot do much about it. We are using the ice towels and some supplements to keep you hydrated. By at the end, you cannot fight with something you cannot control,” Kasatkina commented on the conditions during her on-court interview.
“I think in these kinds of conditions, if you have a roof, better maybe to close it. If you have these opportunities, better to use it than to make players almost die on the field.” She added. 

Kasatkina is through to her seventh Tour quarter-final of the season. Awaiting her in the next round will be second seed Jessica Pegula who beat Spain’s Cristina Bucșa 6-1, 6-2, in her second round match on Wednesday. It will be only the second Tour meeting between the two players and their first on a hard court. 

Elsewhere in Tokyo, another player to reach the last eight in France’s Caroline Garcia who beat Anhelina Kahlinina 6-4, 6-3. Meanwhile, Anastasia Pavlychenkova defeated Czech Republic’s Linda Noskova 6-3, 4-6, 6-0. 

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Barbora Krejcikova Does The Double In San Jose



After what has been a challenging past few weeks on the Tour, Barbora Krejcikova has returned to the winner’s circle by claiming both the singles and doubles titles at the San Diego Open. 


The world No.13 battled to a marathon 6-4, 2-6, 6-4, win over Sofia Kenin in what was a clash of the former Grand Slam champions. Krejcikova was pushed to her limits throughout the two-and-a-half-hour clash with there being no break in the decider until the final game. It is the second singles title the Czech has won on the WTA Tour this season after Dubai and her seventh overall. 

“Normally I wouldn’t be here,” said Krejcikova, who received a wild card to play in the tournament “I really want to thank them (the tournament organisers). It was very special. I really enjoyed my stay here.”

Krejcikova’s run to the trophy has also seen her score wins over Beatriz Haddad Maia and Danielle Collins earlier in the week. She is the first player from her country to win the tournament. 

Following on from that triumph, the 27-year-old then clinched the doubles title alongside compatriot Katerina Siniakova. The duo beat Collins and Coco Vandeweghe 6-1, 6-4.

Krejcikova came into San Jose on a four-match losing streak which started at Wimbledon where she was forced to withdraw from her secound round clash due to a left leg injury. 

“I came here with not really good statistics after my injury, I didn’t actually win any matches,” she said. “So I just came here and I pretty much was hoping and believing that I could get the first win and go from there. It’s pretty special to be sitting here having won [the title].”

It is only the second time in Krejcikova’s career that she has won both the singles and doubles titles at the same event. The first time she did so was at the 2021 French Open where her partner in the doubles was also Siniakova.

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