Maria Sharapova Targets Consistency Following US Open Exit - UBITENNIS
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Maria Sharapova Targets Consistency Following US Open Exit

The former world No.1 looks at the wider picture as she bids to return back to her best form.

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Maria Sharapova’s flawless night-time record at the Arthur Ashe stadium has been ruined following her loss to Spain’s Carla Suarez Navarro at the US Open.

 

The former world No.1 entered the clash winning 23 consecutive matches played at night at the premier stadium at Flushing Meadows. Despite being only ranked marginally higher than Suarez Navarro (22 to 24), Sharapova was the bookmakers favourites to win. However, a lacklustre service performance that featured six breaks and 38 unforced errors was too costly against a player of Suarez Navarro’s calibre. Who prevailed 6-4, 6-3.

“I think not being able to consistently put up the level from one match to another, stringing obviously in a span of hopefully a total of seven matches during a Grand Slam. It’s just a little too up and down.” Sharapova commented about the current state of her game.

Earlier in the tournament, Sharapova looked on course for a deep run. In the third round she dropped only five games against 10th seed Jelena Ostapenko. A performance that granted the Russian her third win over a top 10 player this season. Nevertheless, consistency appears to be an Achilles heel for the world No.22, who is yet to find a solution to the problem.

“I think if I did (find a solution) immediately, I’d be able to change that around immediately.” She said.
“I think it’s always a work in progress, reevaluation, and always looking ahead.”

Returning to the tour in April 2017 following a 15-month doping ban, Sharapova is yet to regain the dominance on the tour that she once had. Since her comeback, her only taste of success occurred at the Tianjin Open in China last October. In the grand slams, her best run was to the last eight of this year’s French Open.

Despite her up and down form, the 31-year-old remains confident that she can return back to her very best. A high expectation for a player who won five grand slam titles between 2004-2014.

“I didn’t have the belief to keep doing this and to keep having the motivation and the grind of doing this every day in order to get myself in these positions, I don’t think I would be here.” Stated Sharapova. “I think I’ve done plenty in my career, established a lot for myself personally, professionally.”
“The belief is not something that I’m eager to show everybody else. The belief matters most when its internal and when you have a passion for something. If you don’t, it’s your choice to not continue that, not for anyone else to tell you so.”

Despite her loss to Suarez Navarro, Sharapova has opted to focus on the wider picture. Asked during her Monday night press conference if the defeat represented the toughest period of her career, she swiftly dismissed the motion.

“What’s challenging is when you’re a teenager and you have a few hundred dollars and you’ve got no sense of the future, you don’t know where you’re going to end up.” She replied.
“You just have a dream. I think that’s a lot tougher than being 31 years old and having the opportunity to do whatever I want in my life.”

As Sharapova leaves New York, Suarez Navarro will take on Madison Keys in what will be her first US Open quarter-final since 2013.

Grand Slam

(VIDEO) Australian Open Day 1: Rain Causes Havoc, But Djokovic And Federer Still Shine

Ubitennis.net looks back on all the highs and lows that took place at Melbourne Park on Monday.

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Ubitennis founder Ubaldo Scanagatta looks back on all the action that took place on the first day of the 2020 Australian Open. Including two very different wins for Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic. Federer raced into the second round with a straightforward win over Steve Johnson. Meanwhile, Djokovic dropped a set against Jan-Lennard Struff on route to the next stage. Due to the poor weather only 32 out of the scheduled 64 matches could be played on the opening day of the grand slam tournament.

 

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ATP

Grigor Dimitrov Causes A Stir At Australian Open With Crazy Outfit

The world No.20 has split opinion about what he is wearing at Melbourne Park.

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Grigor Dimitrov’s first round match at the Australian Open didn’t centre round how or who he was playing. It was about what he was wearing on the court.

 

The former Wimbledon semi-finalist triggered a mass reaction on social media when walking into the Melbourne Arena wearing a navy blue Nike spotted tracksuit. A decision by the Bulgarian that has split opinion among tennis fans. Although Dimitrov has no regrets about the outfit, which he helped design along with Nike.

“It is! I just don’t wanna be a vanilla. I love being different,” the 28-year-old told reporters when asked if it was a fashion statement.

https://twitter.com/FOXSportsAUS/status/1219140520036851712

Besides the tracksuit, the 18th seed also caught the attention of fans with what he was wearing underneath. His abstract T-shirt featured a combination of white, black, pink and red. Drawing more questions about the decision behind what he is wearing on the courts in Melbourne. His shorts are more orthodox with just a plain navy blue colour.

In his first round match, Dimitrov battled back from a set down to edge out Argentina’s Juan Ignacio Londero 4-6, 6-2, 6-0, 6-4. During the at times roller coaster encounter, the world No.20 hit 17 aces and blasted 47 winners past his opponent. Recording his third win of the season following his two singles victories during the ATP Cup.

“I was just trying to get my rhythm. It was a very tough first set. I was unable to find my striking zone and did a lot of unforced errors.” A critically speaking Dimitrov commented during his on-court interview.

Dimitrov will play either Tommy Paul or Leonardo Mayer in the second round.

 

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Frustrated Denis Shapovalov Exits Australian Open After Heated Clash With Umpire

The Next Gen star lost his cool on the opening day of the grand slam tournament.

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Canadian No.1 Denis Shapovalov has blasted the umpire for issuing him with a ‘terrible call’ during his shock loss to Marton Fucosovics at the Australian Open on Monday.

 

The 20-year-old slumped to a 6-3, 6-7(7), 6-1, 7-6(3), defeat to his Hungarian rival in what is his first ever first round loss in three appearances at the tournament. Shapovalov, who is the 13th seed in this year’s draw, struggled to find his range throughout the match. He has now lost in the first round of three out of the last four grand slam tournaments.

“I definitely had a lot of chances. Up a break in the fourth set and getting tight. Then, having a break point and shanking a forehand.” Shapovalov reflected during his press conference.
“I’m not trying to take anything away from him. I think he played an excellent match, played really well in the fifth set tie break. But obviously not all of me was there today.”

The lacklustre performance saw the rising star hit 62 unforced errors and win just 39% of his second service points. Shapovalov also found difficulty in dismantling his opponent’s serve, who saved six out of the seven break points he faced.

During the clash, Shapovalov engaged in a confrontation with umpire Renaud Lichtenstein. It started during the early stages of the third set when he received a code violation for hitting his racket onto the ground out of frustration. Something the world No.13 argued against by saying ‘it’s my racket, I can do whatever I want with it’ and pointing out that it didn’t break.

“The rule that I know is that if I break the racket you can code me, but you can’t code me for slamming it,” he told reporters.
“I’m not doing anything, it didn’t impact anyone and yeah, the racket was still intact.
“He gave me the warning because I did it two or three times and I think it’s not the way it works. He said I kept doing it so he was going to code me, which is a terrible decision.”

In the official rule book it doesn’t state that a piece of playing equipment has to be broken before a player is issued with a code violation, which may also subsequently lead to a fine. Leaving a frustrated Shapovalov with little ground for his argument.

“Players shall not violently or with anger hit, kick or throw a racket or other equipment within the precincts of the tournament site.” The rule states.

The Next Gen star had an opportunity to take the match into a decider after leading the fourth set by 4-2. However, he was unable to hold onto the lead with Fucsovics fighting back once more before prevailing in the tiebreaker. Gifting the Hungarian only his second win over a top 20 player in his career.

Shapovalov is the first top 20 seed to exit the men’s draw this year. In the second round Fucsovics will play either Jannik Sinner or Max Purcell.

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