Aryna Sabalenka Apologises For Ball Boy Controversy At China Open - UBITENNIS
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Aryna Sabalenka Apologises For Ball Boy Controversy At China Open

The Belarusian has spoken out about the bottle incident at the China Open for the first time.

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Aryna Sabalenka has issued a public apology over her actions during the China Open which prompted a backlash on Social media.

The 20-year-old came under fire for her behaviour towards the ball kids. During a changeover of one of her matches, the Belarusian was trying to grab their attention by waving an empty water bottle towards them. Then when nobody came over, she proceeded to throw the bottle on the ground in front of her. Leaving it for one of the kids to pick up.

https://twitter.com/popalorena/status/1047865165977456642

Speaking about the incident for the first time at the Elite Trophy, Sabalenka has vowed to ‘never do it again.’ Saying that she didn’t remember her actions until seeing the controversy it caused on social media.

“Well, I’m so sorry,” said Sabalenka . “It was emotional and I was losing my mind and after that I saw it on Twitter and I was just like ‘Oh my god, what did you mean?’.
“I didn’t even remember this, and I was just like ‘Wow, I’m sorry for this guy’.”

Sabalenka is not the first player to have done such actions. During the 2011 ATP World Tour Finals, Roger Federer was caught throwing his bottle behind him. The Swiss world No.3 was taking on Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the round-robin stage, which he won in three sets.

“They’re just small kids, and you can’t do anything to them. Yea, I’m so sorry for that guy and hopefully he’s not pissed with me.” Sabalenka further commented.

Earlier this year, Spanish veteran Fernando Verdasco was blasted for his behaviour during the Shenzhen Open. Verdasco berated a ball boy for not bringing his towel to him quick enough during one of his matches. Prompting criticism from Just Murray, who tweeted afterwards “What about a rule that makes players get their own towels?”

Sabalenka is seeded third at the Elite Trophy, which is the final tournament in the 2018 WTA Calendar. She kicked-off her campaign on Tuesday with a 6-4, 6-4, win over Ashleigh Barty. The world No.12 is hoping to end her breakthrough season with another title after previously winning Premier titles in Connecticut and Wuhan. She was recently named WTA Newcomer of the Year.

“I’m happy with that. Everybody would be happy with that.” She commented on her WTA award. “I didn’t expect to do this well. Now I’m just enjoying it and trying to do more and more.”

In her next match, Sabalenka will play Caroline Garcia.

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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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