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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French Open: Jack Draper Serves Up Trouble and is Upset by Dutch Qualifier De Jong

Brit Draper loses his longest ever tennis match in only his second five-setter of his career.

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Jack Draper crashed out at the first hurdle at the French Open after a 7-5, 6-4, 6-7 (3-7), 3-6, 6-3 loss to world number 176 Jesper de Jong – a qualifier who had come through three rounds to reach the main draw – who next faces third seed Carlos Alcaraz. 

In a titanic tussle lasting over four hours, the British number two could not find any rhythm on his serve, getting just 50% of his first deliveries in while winning only 51% of his second serves – resulting in him being broken an alarming nine times over the five sets.

“My serve has been a problem this year,” said Draper after the match. “I’m trying to change it to make it better, and obviously I’ve made those changes in the last few weeks. So, it’s not comfortable, especially in a grand slam playing in a fifth set on a second serve. You know, the confidence isn’t there at the moment on my serve, and it’s a problem I’m going to have to work on with coaches and see where I can make it more consistent because, yeah, it’s really letting me down.”

Dutchman De Jong took the opening two sets and was heading for a surprising routine victory before Draper showed some admirable fight to win the third on a tie-breaker before taking control of the fourth to push the match into a decider after a one-hour rain delay.

Draper, still only 22 with huge potential, still has time to understand how to navigate the fluctuations of long five setters and will be disappointed with the outcome of the fifth when he threw in yet another double-fault at 30-40 down in the seventh game to hand his opponent the initiative.  “I battled my way back, started playing a decent level. There was a lot of ebbs and flows in the match. That’s five-set tennis. I’m kind of learning that the more I play,” he added. 

Elsewhere in other results, sixth seed Andrey Rublev dropped a set in a tough battle against Japan’s Taro Daniel and next faces Spain’s Pedro Martinez, while eighth seed Hubert Hurkacz survived going two sets to one down before coming through easily in five against Shintaro Mochizuki from Japan. 

Bulgaria’s 10th seed Grigor Dimitrov recorded a routine win against American Aleksandar Kovacevic and French veteran, and wildcard Richard Gasquet was arguably more impressive in his straight sets win over Borna Coric of Croatia and potentially plays second seed Jannik Sinner next. 

However, in perhaps the biggest upset of the day, French number one and 17th seed Ugo Humbert lost 6-4, 2-6, 6-4, 6-3 to Italy’s Lorenzo Sonego in a match close to three hours and in front of home fans on Suzanne-Lenglen stadium court. 

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Giovanni Mpetchi Perricard claims his first ATP title in Lyon

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Giovanni Mpetchi Perricard battled past sixth seed Tomas Martin Etcheverry 6-4 1-6 7-6 (9-7) in a thrilling final at the Open Parc tournament in Lyon. 

Mpetchi Perricard saved four break points in the first game of the opening set to hold serve at deuce. Etcheverry converted his third break point in the fifth game and held serve at love to take a 4-2 lead. Mpetchi Perricard won four consecutive games to clinch the first set 6-4. 

Etcheverry broke three times to win the second set 6-1. 

The third set went on serve until the 11th game when Mpetchi Perricard converted his third break point to take a 6-5 lead. Etcheverry broke straight back to draw level to 6-6. Mpetchi Perricard was a point away from defeat at 6-7 in the tie-break of the third set, but he reeled off the final three points to win the tie-break 9-7 on his second championship point. 

Mpetchi Perricard won three Challenger Tour titles this year in Nottingham, Cuernavaca and Acapulco. He beat Lorenzo Sonego, Yoshihito Nishioka, Hugo Gaston and Alexander Bublik en route to his first ATP Tour title in Lyon.

Mpetchi Perricard is the son of footballer player Ghislain Mpetchi, who is of Congolese origin. He sister Daphnée Perricard is also a tennis player. 

“It was crazy. It was a very good final. I was down in the second set, but I managed to do better. I am very happy to win this tournament and now I have a lot of confidence for Roland Garros”, said Mpetchi Perricard.

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Casper Ruud claims the third title of his career in Geneva

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Casper Ruud claimed the third title of his career at the Gonet Geneva Open after his previous triumphs at this tournament in 2021 and 2022. 

Ruud did double duty after rain postponed his semifinal match to Saturday. Ruud saved a match point to beat Flavio Cobolli 1-6 6-1 7-6 (7-4) in the semifinal. He returned less than three hours to defeat Tomas Machac 7-5 6-3 in the final. Ruud clinched the ATP Tour title of his career. 

Machac went up a break in the third game of the first set to take a 3-1 lead. Ruud won three consecutive games from 4-5 down with two breaks in the first set after Machac committed a double fault while he was holding a set point on serve at 5-4. 

Ruud broke serve in the second game of the second set. The Norwegian player held on his next service games and served out the win on his first match point in 1 hour and 47 minutes. 

Ruud improved to 2-0 in his two head-to-head matches against Machac. “It was a challenging week. All the matches are tough, no matter who will play. It was tough to find a groove. The weather has been a bit challenging all week, but today was fantastic. I feel very happy to win again to win again here in Geneva. It’s been a very good season so far”, said Ruud. 

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