Venus Williams Ends 11-Year Partnership With Coach David Witt - UBITENNIS
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Venus Williams Ends 11-Year Partnership With Coach David Witt

The seven-time grand slam champion will embark upon the new season without a familiar face in her team.

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World No.38 Venus Williams has split with coach David Witt, according to sources familiar with the current situation.

 

Witt has been a regular feature in Williams’ team since 2007. Working as a hitting partner and coach for the American. Witt is a former player on the ATP Tour who reached a ranking high on 128th in singles back in 1993 and won two Challenger titles. He first worked with the Williams sisters in 2002 after being asked to be their hitting partner ahead of a WTA tournament in Amelia Island.

The news of the separation has been confirmed by journalist Ravi Ubha. Ubha, who is a contributor for CNN, quoted Witt as saying that his work with Williams ‘was a great run.’ Adding the he plans to continue working on the tour. Ben Rothenberg from The New York Times have also confirmed the departure.

Williams’ shake-up of her team comes after what has been a mixed season for her. The 38-year-old has achieved a win-loss record of 17-11 this year, but only managed to reach one semi-final on the tour at Indian Wells. The lacklustre results have led to the American ending the year ranked 38th in the world. The first time she has been outside of the season-ending top 20 since 2013. 12 months ago, she finished fifth after reaching two grand slam finals during 2017.

There is yet to be any statement from Williams concerning the departure of her former coach and who will replace him. Later this month she will take on sister Serena in an exhibition match at the Mubadala Tennis Championships ahead of the new season. Williams’ first tournament of the new year is set to be the ASB Classic in Auckland, New Zealand.

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John McEnroe: “Jannik Sinner is one of the most talented players I have seen in the last years”

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Seven-time Grand Slam champion John McEnroe praised 2019 Next Gen ATP champion Jannik Sinner and predicts that the young Italian star will break into the top 10 in a couple of years.

 

“Jannik is one of the most talented players I have seen in the last ten years. He is going to be hunted a little bit and people are going to dig in a little bit more and not want to lose to an 18-year-old. He will have to deal with it in the coming months. I suspect that in a few years you are going to see him in the top 10, give him two or three seasons. Jannik looks to be physically very gifted. Along with many other tennis fans and tennis players, I have been watching him from a distance and understanding that this guy is a rare talent”, said McEnroe.

Sinner started the 2019 season ranked world number 553 and reached his career high as world number 78. The Italian 18-year-old player won three ATP Challenger titles in Bergamo, Lexington and Ortisei, the Next Gen ATP Final in Milan as Italian wildcard and advanced to Antwerp semifinal as a 18-year-old wildcard. He became the youngest ATP Tour semifinalist since Borna Coric in Basel 2013. At the Rome Internazionali d’Italia Sinner saved one match point against Steve Johnson in ATP Masters 1000 debut as wildcard before losing to Stefanos Tsitsipas in the second round. Sinner lost to Stan Wawrinka in the first round in his debut Grand Slam tournament at the US Open.

Sinner became the youngest player to win three Challenger titles in a season since Richard Gasquet and one of the five under 19 players in the year-end top 80 since 2000 joining an exclusive club that includes Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray and Denis Shapovalov.

Sinner started the 2020 season with two first round defeats in Bendigo and Auckland. He will face a qualifier in the first round at the Australian Open before a possible second round clash against Denis Shapovalov.

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‘Bone Bruising’ Delays Andy Murray’s Comeback

More bad news for fans of the British tennis star.

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It is unclear as to when former world No.1 Andy Murray will start his 2020 season after he pulled out of two key events on Friday.

 

The three-time grand slam champion hasn’t played a competitive match since the Davis Cup in November due to a pelvic problem. Forcing him to miss the upcoming Australian Open for the second time in the past three years. It was at the tournament in 2019 where he said he may have to retire from the sport due to a hip injury before undergoing resurfacing surgery a few weeks later that saved his career.

Providing a new fitness update on Friday, Murray has confirmed that he is also pulling out of events in Marseille and Rotterdam. Both of which will take place during February. The reason is because the ‘bone bruising’ in his pelvic region is taking longer than normal to heal.

“I don’t want to rush anything or put a timeline on my recovery,” Murray said in a statement.
“I’m going to listen to my body and step back on the court to compete when the time is right.”
“The bone bruising is taking longer to heal that first thought, so I won’t be playing in Montpellier or Rotterdam in February.” He added.

It is the latest setback for the injury-hit Brit, who missed almost 12 months of the tour between 2017-2018 and a further five months in 2019 due to his hip. Despite his misfortunes, Murray continues to be working hard in the gym with his recovery. Dismissing speculation that this latest setback might be the final straw in his decision to walk away from the sport.

https://twitter.com/andy_murray/status/1217845895590445057

Towards the end of last season Murray made a breakthrough in his return prior to the pelvic injury. In October he defeated Stan Wawrinka to win the European Open in Antwerp. Claiming his first singles title since 2017. Overall, the two-time Olympic champion has won 46 trophies on the ATP Tour.

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Mixed Fortunes For Grand Slam Champions Ash Barty And Simona Halep In Adelaide

The Barty Army was given a reason to celebrate on Thursday, but Romanian fans were left disappointed.

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Ash Barty (image via twitter.com/AdelaideTennis)

Top seed Ash Barty continued her quest for a maiden WTA title on home soil with a comprehensive win in the quarter-finasls of the Adelaide International.

 

The world No.1 dropped only six games during her 6-3, 6-3, win over Czech Republic’s Markéta Vondroušová. Who was playing in her first tournament since June due to a wrist injury. Barty managed to find a way to dismantle her opponent’s serve as the match progressed. Breaking once in the opening set and a further three times in the second. Extending her perfect head-to-head record against Vondroušová to 4-0.

“It was really nice to see Marketa back out here. She’s had an injury right after the French Open. She’s a really nice girl.” Barty said in tribute to her rival.
“I know our matches are always played in the right way. They are always tough.” She added.

The encounter was a rematch of last year’s French Open final. Where the 23-year-old Australian also prevailed in straight sets to clinch her maiden grand slam title. In their latest clash, Barty produced 20 winners alongside 19 unforced errors.

Despite the victory, the home favourite believes there is still room for improvement. Last week she lost her opening match at the Brisbane International, but has managed to turn her fortunes around in Adelaide. Prior to Vondrousova, she also drowned Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in three sets.

“I think it’s (my form) getting better and better.” She said. “There were times in the match where I wanted to be a bit tighter and clinical, but all in all it’s good to be back here generating opportunities for myself (on the court).”

Awaiting Barty in the last four will be Danielle Collins, who stunned the tour 12 months ago with a run to the Australian Open semifinals on her debut. The American was in ruthless form as she crushed fourth seed Belinda Bencic 6-3, 6-1. Recording her second win over a top 10 player this season after Elina Svitolina last week.

“Danielle is an exceptional ball striker. She has the ability to take the match out of your hands very quickly.” Barty previewed.
“She’s very aggressive off the first return and first strike so I have to put my running shoes on and might sure I bring some variety (to the match) tomorrow.”

There was disappointment for Simona Halep in her quarter-final match. The reigning Wimbledon champion failed to tame Belarussian star Aryan Sabalenka as she tumbled out of the draw 6-4, 6-2. Throughout the match Halep struggled with her own serve. Winning only 55% of points compared to Sabalenka’s tally of 59%.

“I knew she’ll fight until the end — it doesn’t matter what the score. When the score was 5-Love, I kind of expected that she’ll try to do everything she can to come back in the match,” wtatennis.com quoted Sabalenka as saying.
“I wasn’t really disappointed after that two games. That helped me to stay in the match and to not lose my mind. I’m happy with this win, especially against big fighters like Simona and the great players. [It] feels good.”

Halep now heads into the Australian Open playing just two competitive singles matches this month.

Meanwhile, conqueror Sabalenka has booked a showdown with Dayana Yastremska on Friday. Yastremska defeated Donna Vekic 6-4, 6-3.

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