Barbora Strycova Receives Death Threats Over Criticism Of Serena Williams - UBITENNIS
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Barbora Strycova Receives Death Threats Over Criticism Of Serena Williams

The Czech player believes Williams ‘was not punished enough’ for her outburst at the US Open.

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World No.33 Barbora Strycova has revealed that she has received threatening messages after criticising Serena Williams’ behaviour during the US Open.

 

The 32-year-old told sport.cz in September that Williams’ claim that she was a victim of sexism during the US Open final was ‘bulls**t.’ Later adding that the 37-year-old only made those comments because ‘she was losing.’ Williams took on Naomi Osaka in the final of the US Open, but the match was overshadowed by her confrontation with umpire Carlos Ramos. The American called the official a ‘thief’ and a ‘liar’ after slamming her with a warning for coaching, which she denied. Williams eventually ended up with having a game penalty after receiving two further warnings for racket abuse and verbal abuse.

“A lot of threatening news has come. Definitely from the fans of Serena,” Strycova told the Reflex.cz earlier this week.
“Although the translations were bad, a lot of threatening messages came in. Some were cruel … they would kill me, and so on,” she continued.

Despite the death threats, Strycova stands by her criticism of the former world No.1. Saying that her rival wasn’t punished enough for how she acted. Williams was hit with a $17,000 fine for her three warnings.

“Since I get enough fines for my behaviour, I know the fine for Serena is totally ridiculous. I know what I can afford. Serena was not punished enough,” She said.

Williams hasn’t played a competitive match since the US Open. She has kept a relatively low profile since then and has only conducted a handful of interviews. One of those was with with Network Ten’s The Sunday Project. Speaking to Lisa Wilkinson about the incident in September, she said that she was ‘trying to get over it and move on.’

It is not the first time Strycova has received threatening messages. The Czech is also a victim of threats from people linked to the world of betting. Tennis is one of the most bet on sports in the world. Making the sport, especially when it comes to lower level tournaments, more vulnerable to match-fixing. A report by the International sports betting integrity association (ESSA) flagged up a total of 44 suspicious betting alerts during the second quarter of 2018. This equates to 71% of total alerts they were notified of.

“After winning and lost matches, the messages come mainly from the bettors. They write to us that we owe them money.” Said Strycova. “The family becomes involved. They are the poor (people) who sit down to the computer and write something that hurts a person.”

Strycova ends the year with three WTA titles in doubles and is currently ranked fifth in the world. In the singles, her best run was to the semi-finals of the Birmingham International. She will return to action this weekend to play in the Fed Cup final between the Czech Republic and America.

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Roberto Bautista Agut overcomes Dominik Koepfer in three sets in Hamburg

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Nine-time ATP Tour champion Roberto Bautista Agut came back from a break down in the third set to beat last week’s Rome quarter finalist Dominik Koepfer 6-3 3-6 6-3 in 2 hours and 4 minutes at the European Open in Hamburg. The nine-time ATP Tour winner converted on 7 of his 17 break points.  

 

Koepfer, who was the only player to win a set against Novak Djokovic last week in Rome, got an early break to take a 2-0 lead. Bautista Agut won five consecutive games with two consecutive breaks to take the first set 6-3. 

Koepfer earned an early break to open up a 3-1 lead in the second set. Five consecutive breaks followed, before Koepfer sealed the second set with an unreturned serve after saving two break points in the 10th game. 

Koepfer came back from 0-2 down in the third set by winning three consecutive games to take a break lead at 3-2. Bautista Agut won four consective games with a double break in the sixth and eighth games to win the third set at 6-3. 

Bautista Agut set up a quarter final against last year’s finalist Andrey Rublev, who overcame Tommy Paul 6-1 3-6 6-2 in 1 hour and 37 minutes. The Spaniard leads 2-1 in his three head-to-head matches against his younger Russian rival.

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Aryna Sabalenka comes back from one set down to beat Anna Blinkova in Strasbourg

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World number 12 and this year’s Doha champion Aryna Sabalenka came back from a set down to edge past Anna Blinkova 1-6 6-4 6-2 reaching the quarter final at the Internationaux de Strasbourg. 

 

Sabalenka qualified for the quarter final in Adelaide and Dubai in 2020, but she scored just three wins across the US tournaments in Lexington, the Western and Southern Open and at the US Open. 

Blinkova came through the qualifying round in Rome, where she beat Jil Teichmann and Aliona Bolsova before losing to eventual finalist Karolina Pliskova in the Round of 16. 

Blinkova went up a double break to take a 4-0 lead. Sabalenka held serve at love in the fifth game to win her first game. Blinkova served out the first set 6-1 with her third break. 

Sabalenka got her first break at the start of the second set to take a 1-0 lead. Blinkova broke straight back in the second game to draw level to 1-1. Both players went on serve until the seventh game, when Sabalenka got a crucial break to take a 4-3 lead after a marathon game that went to three deuces. Sabalenka held her next two service games to take the second set 6-4. 

Sabalenka earned an early break in the third game to open up a 3-1 lead. She broke again in the seventh game for 5-2 at deuce and served out the win on her second match point. Sabalenka hit 27 winners to 32 unforced errors. 

Sabalenka set up a quarter final match against Katerina Siniakova, who beat Ekaterina Alexandrova 6-2 6-4. Siniakova broke twice to take a 5-1 lead. Alexandrova pulled the break back at love in the seventh game, but Alexandrova came back from 15-30 to break serve in the 10th game closing out the first set 6-4. The second set went on serve until the 10th game when Siniakova converted her third break point at deuce to close out the match. 

Former Roland Garros champion Jelena Ostapenko advanced to the quarter final after Kiki Bertens was forced to retire due to an Achilles tendon injury from the match at 2-6 6-4 4-2. Ostapenko will face Japan’s Nao Hibino, who beat Zarina Diyas 7-5 6-3. 

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Stefanos Tsitsipas beats Daniel Evans to reach the second round in Hamburg

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Last year’s ATP Finals champion Stefanos Tsitsipas cruised past Daniel Evans 6-3 6-1 in 59 minutes to set up a second round match against Uruguay’s Pablo Cuevas. 

 

Tsitsipas forced a forehand error from Evans to get a break for 3-1 and sealed the first set at love with a forehand volley winner. 

The Greek player broke serve in the third game of the second set with a forehand return and a a foehand approach. Tsitsipas broke three times in a row to win the second set 6-1. 

Tsitsipas hit 17 of his 24 winners off the forehand wing and won 14 of his points at the net. 

“It’s very satisfying to be playing that level of tennis, as I have missed playing on clay. It helps for my confidence. I have watched this tournament on TV since I was very young and I am delighted to have gotten off to a strong start”, said Tsitsipas. 

Chile’s Christian Garin beat German wild card Yannick Hanfmann 6-2 7-6 (7-3) to become the first player to reach the quarter final in Hamburg. Garin broke twice in a row in the sixth and eighth to win the first set 6-2. 

The South American player went up a break at deuce to take a 3-1 lead in the second set. Yanfmann converted his third break-back point in the ninth game to draw level to 5-5. The German player earned another break in the 11th game to take a 6-5 lead earning a chance to serve for the set. Garin broke straight back sending the second set to the tie-break. Hanfmann took a 3-1 lead, but Garin reeled off six consecutive points to win the tie-break 7-3. 

Benoit Paire withdrew from his first round match against Casper Ruud as he was a set and a break down at 4-6 0-2. The Frenchman revealed after the match that he has tested positive for the coronavirus twice since arriving at the tournament. Paire claimed that he had been told the rule in Germany is different to that in Paris, where positive players have been withdrawn from the French Open qualifying round due to covid-19. 

“The only negative test was yesterday but I was positive in two consecutive tests. The ATP has to explain to me what the rule is. In Paris some are negative, but because the coach is positive they can’t play. Here in Germany you are positive and can play”, said Paire.  

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