Serena Williams ‘Trying To Recover’ From US Open Controversy, Defends Coach - UBITENNIS
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Serena Williams ‘Trying To Recover’ From US Open Controversy, Defends Coach

The 23-time grand slam champion has spoken out for the first time since the final at Flushing Meadows.

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Serena Williams believes sexism continues to be a factor in the world of tennis amid the fallout from her US Open final clash with Naomi Osaka.

Williams was fined a total of $17,000 for committing three code violations during what was an extremely tense match. They were for coaching, which the 36-year-old denied, racket abuse and verbal abuse towards umpire Carlos Ramos. During the confrontation, Williams said that she was have not been given the same punishment if she had been a man. Triggering a widespread debate in the sport.

“There are men out here that do a lot worse, but because I’m a woman you’re gonna take this away from me?” Williams told the US Open referee after being handed a game penalty in the final.

Concerning that specific match, the opinion is split as to if sexism played a factor in the final. Both the USTA and WTA have publicly backed the American over the incident. Although the head of the USTA, Katrina Adams, was later heard apologising to Ramos during the Davis Cup tie between the USA and Croatia. Meanwhile, the ITF has stated that Ramos correctly followed the procedures.

Speaking about the topic on Network Ten’s The Sunday Project, Williams paid tribute to Billie Jean King. One of the founding members of the WTA who has been an instrumental figure in women’s rights for decades. King accused Ramos of ‘aggravating’ the situation.

“I am always supportive of women no matter what and that’s how I’ve always been. I feel like Billie Jean has done the same thing with starting the tour and creating an opportunity for women like me to play.” Williams told interviewer Lisa Wilkinson.
“If you’re a female, you should be able to do even what half a guy could do and I feel right now that we are not, as it is proven, in that position. But that’s neither here nor there.
“I’m trying to recover from that (the US Open final) and move on.” She added.

Wilkinson’s interview was conducted under the watchful eye of Williams’ publicist. At one stage, proceedings were halted when she asked if Williams regretted smashing her racket on the court. A voice away from the camera was heard saying ‘Sorry, that’s four questions about the US Open, so …’ Williams never gave a reply, but she did answer another question related to the US Open afterwards.

The coach got ’confused’

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The trigger for the infamous outburst in New York was due to a coaching violation. Williams, who never receives on-court coaching on the WTA Tour, insisted that this was a mistake. Although her mentor, Patrick Mouratoglou, admitted that he was doing such actions during the match.

“I’m honest, I was coaching. I don’t think she looked at me so that’s why she didn’t even think I was,” he told ESPN.

Despite the admission, Mouratoglou’s comments have since been dismissed by Williams herself. Who says that there are ‘no signals’ used between them during matches. Instead she believes that there was a misunderstanding due to a ‘confusing situation’ for her coach.

“I just don’t understand what he was talking about because I asked him, you weren’t coaching, we don’t have signals, we’ve never had signals and he said he made a motion,” Williams told the program.

As things currently stands, Williams and Mouratoglou will continue working together. Their collaboration started in September 2012.

 

The Network Ten interview with Williams can be watched below

 

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Elise Mertens and Aryna Sabalenka dig deep to set up re-match against Barbora Krejikova and Katerina Siniakova in Indian Wells doubles final

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Unseeded team Elise Mertens and Aryna Sabalenka had to dig deep to beat Gabriela Dabrowski and Xu Yifan 6-2 7-6 (7-5).

Mertens and Sabalenka built up a 6-2 5-2 lead, but Dabrowski and Yifan won three consecutive games thanks to a break-back in the ninth game to draw level to 5-5. Mertens and Sabalenka took the 7-5 edge in the tie-break.

“Two days ago I lost my singles match and then I went to play doubles and we won that match. For me that’s the best recovery. It’s always nice to play doubles and stay in a tournament especially in this tennis paradise. It’s cool to be here. It does not matter singles or doubles”,said Sabalenka.

The Belgian and Belarusian team set up a doubles final against reigning Roland Garros and Wimbledon doubles champions Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova, who battled past Chan Hao Ching and Latisha Chan 5-7 7-6 (7-5) 10-6 after saving match points in a hard-fought second set.

Mertens and Sabalenka will be looking to take a re-match against Siniakova and Krejcikova, who came back from one set down to win 2-6 6-2 6-3 of the Australian Open third round match.

 

 

 

 

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Nikola Mektic and Horacio Zeballos advance to the Indian Wells doubles final in their second tournament as a team

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Nikola Mektic and Horacio Zeballos have advanced to the Indian Wells final in just their second tournament as a team after beating Oliver Marach and Mate Pavic 7-6 (7-3) 7-6 (7-3) on Thursday.

Mektic and Zeballos earned the first break in the second game and held on their service game to open up a 3-0 lead. Marach and Pavic won three consecutive games with a break-back in the fifth game to draw level to 3-3. The first set went on serve with no breaks of serve en route to the tie-break. Mektic and Zeballos sealed the tie-break 7-3 on the first of their three break points.

The second set went on serve with no breaks until the tie-break. Mektic and Zeballos converted the first of their third set points to wrap up the tie-break 7-3. The Argentine and Croatian player won 75 % of their service games.

“It’s crazy because most of the teams know each other for a long time. We are enjoying it, we are having a really nice time together on the court and I think we are both good players, so that’s why I think it’s working. It would be great. This is amazing. This is my first ATP Masters 1000 final, so I am happy ”, said Zeballos.

Zeballos has clinched 11 ATP Tour doubles titles and reached eight finals, but he will play his first Masters 1000 title match.

Novak Djokovic and Fabio Fognini will take on Poland’s Lukasz Kubot and Brazil’s Marcelo Melo in the other semifinal.

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Gael Monfils In Doubt For Miami Masters

The top 20 player has once again been hit by injury woes following a successful start to 2019.

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Gael Monfils (photo by chryslène caillaud, copyright @Sport Vision)

France’s top ranked male player is unsure if he will be able to play in next week’s Miami Masters after being forced to withdraw from the BNP Paribas Open on Thursday.

Gael Monfils pulled out of his quarter-final clash with Dominic Thiem due to a problem with his Achilles. During a press conference, the world No.19 confirmed that he has inflammation in his left Achilles after undergoing a scan. An issue that has been bothering Monfils over the past couple of days.

“I felt my left Achilles a little bit. Day after day I have been treating it with my team. And last night (Wednesday) after my match, it was actually not so good.” Monfils told reporters in Indian Wells yesterday.
“I tried a little jog in the morning, and I couldn’t really actually push on it.”
“I had an ultrasound with the doctor here (in Indian Wells), and we could see, like, a big inflammation.” He added.

Whilst not a severe injury, it is in unclear as to how long the recovery process will be. Raising the chances of Monfils skipping the Miami tournament, which relocates to the Hard Rock Stadium this year. He has already missed the past two editions of the Masters 1000 event. In 2017 he was sidelined by an ankle injury, followed by a back issue in 2018.

“It depends how fast I will heal. Definitely try the other treatment tonight.” He said.
“I will take it really easy with everything and then see how I feel, if I feel that I can play Miami or not.
“So far it’s tough to say how long, but I will stay positive and hope in a couple days I’ll be fine.”

The setback comes after what has been a solid start to the season for the Frenchman. His win-loss record for 2019 currently stands at 14-4. At the Rotterdam Open Monfils won the eighth title in his career and only the second at an ATP 500 event. He also reached the semi-finals of tournaments in Rotterdam and Dubai.

“Sometime, some people are more fragile. And I guess I’m kind of fragile with some parts of my body.” The 32-year-old admits. “That’s why I always try new routines.”
“I guess I need to stay tough mentally, because it’s never easy. But I have been through that. I have no fear, I know, for this one (injury.”

As a result of his withdrawal, Thiem will play Milos Raonic in the semi-finals at Indian Wells on Friday.

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