Serena Williams Overcomes Ankle Scare At Hopman Cup, But Loses Tie - UBITENNIS
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Serena Williams Overcomes Ankle Scare At Hopman Cup, But Loses Tie

It was a roller-coaster day at the office for the world No.16.

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Serena Williams overcame both rust and ankle soreness to defeat Maria Sakkari 7-6(3), 6-2, at the Hopman Cup.

 

The 23-time grand slam champion struggled to find her range during the opening set, but managed to fight back from a break down to force the proceedings into a tiebreaker. Where she broke Sakkari twice to clinch the 7-6 lead. Then in the second set, the American claimed four games in a row to win the match after 104 minutes of play. In total Williams hit 13 aces and 29 winners.

“It was my first match back.I was making a lot of errors,” Williams said. “It was great to be back out on match day.”

Following the conclusion of the first set, Williams had a medical time out to have the strapping on her ankle tightened. Despite the break, it seemed to have little impact on her movement on the court as she bids to win the Hopman Cup for the third time in her career. This year is her fifth appearance in the tournament overall.

“It’s great to be back out in match day, and it’s great to be back out here,” The 37-year-old said after the match.
“I love playing in Australia. Some of my best memories are here.
“It was my first match back (today), she played unbelievable. Maria is super young and such a good player.
“I was making a lot of errors. I was like, ‘It’s ok, it’s your first match and you’ll get better’. I just kept trying to think that.”

This week is the first time Williams has played in Australia since the birth of her child in September 2017. She is hoping for a strong run in Perth ahead of the Australian Open.

Greece comes out on top

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Despite Williams’ win, it was not enough to seal victory for her country. Leaving the American team with it all to do in their upcoming clash with Switzerland’s Roger Federer and Belinda Bencic on New Year’s Day.

In the men’s singles, Stefanos Tsitsipas overcame Frances Tiafoe in a hard fought 6-3, 6-7(7), 6-3, victory. The world No.15 had a 6-3, 3-1 lead, but failed to maintain his stronghold. Allowing Tiafoe to bounce back during what was a humid day in Perth.

“He didn’t want to lose, he’s a big fighter and had some great results last year,” Tsitsipas said of Tiafoe.
“I had to fight even harder, one of us had to fight a bit more.
“At the end it paid off. Using the right tactics, using the right patterns on the court.
“I was a bit more patient, did things a bit better and in the end deserved victory.”

Speaking about the conditions, Tsitsipas said that he was able to deal with them better than he did in his first match. He lost to British world No.91 Cameron Norrie in straight sets over the weekend.

“I felt a bit uncomfortable in the first match I played. I couldn’t last long. I felt like I was out of breath,” he said.
“But today I felt really comfortable playing the rallies. My shots felt better. In general I felt much more confident, and more me.
“Frances told me he felt the exact same thing I felt in my first match. I told him it was probably because of jet lag and the heat combined.”

Greece later secured the 2-1 win in the mixed doubles. Winning their the match 4-1, 1-4, 4-2.

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Ash Barty Reveals ‘Excitement’ After Mixed Doubles Medal In Tokyo

Ash Barty has revealed her excitement after her and John Peers won Australia’s first Olympic tennis medal for 17 years.

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Ash Barty and John Peers (@ITFTennis - Twitter)

Ash Barty revealed her excitement at winning Bronze in the mixed doubles in Tokyo with John Peers.

 

The world number one along with doubles specialist John Peers claimed Australia’s first tennis medal at the Olympics since 2004.

Despite benefiting from a bronze medal match withdrawal from Novak Djokovic and Nina Stojanovic, that hasn’t taken away the happiness of claiming an Olympic medal.

Speaking to the Channel 7 programmes Sunrise Barty proudly spoke about the achievement, “It’s been an amazing week for both John and I,” Barty was quoted as saying by Tennis Australia.

“We’ve played some great tennis, probably the best we’ve ever played together. To walk away with a medal and contribute to the team total here in Australia has been incredible.

“Johnny and I, we put ourselves in a position all week to play good tennis and I feel like we really deserve this one. We were so close to being in that gold medal play-off and I think for both of us, it’s been awesome. We’ve played great. I felt like we really deserved this one for Australia.

“No, I think for us it’s excitement. I just hope as athletes, as a whole Australian team that’s here – all 480 odd of us – we can bring a smile to people’s faces at home when they’re sitting on the couch enjoying watching us trying (to) go out there and do Australia proud.”

As for John Peers it was an achievement of a lifetime, inspired by the traditional Olympic spirit, “Any chance you get to represent your country and to do it alongside Ash, to be able to say we’re the first mixed doubles medallists at an Olympics for Australia is something really special,” the 33 year-old commented.

“There was so much uncertainty leading into the Games and to be able to see the way the Australian team’s come together and sort of really bonded has really shown the Australian spirit, the way that all the athletes get behind each other.

“To be able to show the Olympics is going on in uncertain times is just something really special and unique and hopefully it can be the turning point for the world, and Australia, to come out the other side.”

Both will be hoping that this week will be the start of something special for Australian tennis as they will look to capitalise on this success in three years time in Paris.

Next for John Peers will be Washington next week where he and Filip Polasek are the top seeds.

While Ash Barty will be starting her preparations for the US Open in Cincinnati which starts on the 16th of August.

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Czech Republican Trailblazers Inspire Krejcikova and Siniakova To Olympic Gold In Tokyo

Barbora Krejcikova and Katarina Siniakova reflect on Czech Republic’s Olympic past after Olympic gold.

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Barbora Krejcikova and Katarina Siniakova (@WeAreTennis - Twitter)

Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova admit that former Czech Republican trailblazers inspired them to win doubles gold in Tokyo.

 

The top seeds claimed gold with a 7-5 6-1 win over Switzerland’s Belinda Bencic and Viktorija Golubic.

After edging a tight opening set, the Czech Republican duo eased to victory to claim gold in Tokyo.

It was a historic gold as the pair went one better than trailblazers Jana Novotna and Helena Sukova who won silver in Seoul 1988 and Atlanta 1992.

After the victory today Krejcikova paid tribute to those before them and said that they were inspired by those who came before them, “The motivation we got from the previous medallists is really big,” the Roland Garros champion told the ITF website.

“I think we got really inspired by them. I think we really need to thank them because without them we just wouldn’t have the motivation and the inspiration.

“It’s really big. We’re really happy and really grateful that we could be here. We did such a great job during these 10 days and we have this beautiful gold medal. It’s pretty much a dream come true.”

While Katerina Siniakova also outlined how special it is to win the gold medal as the top seeds remain the team to beat in the Women’s doubles game, “It’s really special this one,” Siniakova admitted.

“I really enjoyed my whole time here. It was really tough and I’m so glad we kept fighting and in the end we have this one, this gold medal. It’s really amazing. I feel so honoured I got to represent my country.”

The Czech Republican will be favourites to win their fourth grand slam at the US Open in late August.

As for Bencic and Golubic, it has been a successful tournament especially for Bencic who won Olympic gold yesterday.

After the match Bencic admitted it’s not just about Olympic medals and that its about the memories created, “It’s not just about the medals or the titles, it’s about the memories you create that will last forever,” Bencic claimed.

“To share this with Viki is unbelievable. The whole week I never felt like I was in a normal tournament or playing alone. She was alongside me the entire way. I always tell her we won this gold medal together as well.

“When we will be 80 years old and have a coffee, we will talk about these moments and I cannot wait for that.”

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Alexander Zverev Ends Germany’s 33-year Wait For Olympic Singles Gold

The new champion reacts to his historic win in Tokyo.

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Alexander Zverev produced a dominant performance against Karen Khachanov to clinch the gold medal at the Tokyo Olympic Games.

 

The world No.5 dropped just five games during his 6-3, 6-1, win over his Russian rival. Impressively Zverev won 84% of his first service points and hit 27 winners against 15 unforced errors in the 79-minute match. It is the third time the German has won a title this season after the Mexican Open and Madrid Masters.

“It’s incredible; this is the biggest tournament you can win in any sport doesn’t matter what anybody else says doesn’t matter what some of the tennis players say,” Tennis Now quoted Zverev as telling the Olympic Channel.
“I can’t believe it. I’m an Olympic gold medalist. This is not even something you can dream about. It’s like so far away. It’s the first time in my life I don’t know what to say in an interview—this is how much it means.”

https://twitter.com/ITFTennis/status/1421787234790002691

Zverev’s milestone win came just 24 hours after he stunned world No.1 Novak Djokovic in three sets to end his bid for a Golden Slam in 2021. Earlier in the tournament, he also scored wins over Kei Nishikori, Jeremy Chardy, Nikoloz Basilashvili, Daniel Elahi Galán and Lu Yen-Hsun.

The 24-year-old has become the first player from his country to win a gold medal in singles since Steffi Graf did so back in 1988. The year tennis returned to the Olympic Games. Since then the only other German success in the Games occurred in the doubles with Boris Becker and Michael Stich claiming silver in 1992.

“Because this tournament is not about yourself; I didn’t walk on court for one second for me,” Zverev said. “I walked on court for everybody back at home, everybody here at the village, the whole country of Germany. I never gave up and never lost the spirit.”

https://twitter.com/ITFTennis/status/1421782263914799104

Meanwhile, Khachanov can take comfort in being the first Russian man to win a singles medal at the games since Yevgeny Kafelnikov won the title back in 2000. Tokyo was also the first time he has reached a singles final of any sort since winning the 2018 Paris Masters.

“You can analyse as much as you want, but we played an outstanding match from my point of view,” Khachanov told the Olympic News Service. “That’s how I felt, I tried to do basically the same things, had the same game plan. But, you know, he was just better, really. All credit to him.”

On Saturday Pablo Carreno Busta claimed the bronze medal after beating Djokovic in three sets.

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