Serena Williams A Couple Steps Slower Than Normal But Can Still Win Wimbledon, Says Evert - UBITENNIS
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Serena Williams A Couple Steps Slower Than Normal But Can Still Win Wimbledon, Says Evert

The former world No.1 has been tipped to win the grand slam title as long as she is at least ‘80% fit.’

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Serena Williams (photo by chryslène caillaud, copyright @Sport Vision)

Chris Evert believes Serena Williams remains a contender ‘to win anything’ on the women’s tour ahead of the Wimbledon Championships.

 

The 37-year-old will be bidding to win her 23rd grand slam title at the All England Club and her first since becoming a mother. Williams hasn’t played a match since losing in the third round of the French Open. So far this season, the American has played in five tournaments. Winning nine out of 12 matches contested.

Williams enters the grand slam with a question mark over her current form. She had previously indicated that she might play a warm-up event on the grass prior to Wimbledon, but didn’t do so. Something Evert believes could go against her in the coming weeks.

“I think it would have helped, for sure, just so she can gauge where she is on the grass and what she needs to work on.” Evert told reporters at an ESPN press event.
“Even if she would have lost in the second round or quarters, Serena is the type of player that learns a lot from her losses. She can make those adjustments.”

Since starting her comeback last year, Williams is yet to win a title. Although she did reach back-to-back major finals in 2018 at both Wimbledon and the US Open. Losing to Angelique Kerber and Naomi Osaka. However, she is yet to reach the quarter-final stage at any event outside of the grand slams during that period.

“The one difference that I see in Serena is since she’s come back, she’s been one or two steps slower than normal. I think that’s a little bit of fitness.” Evert explained.
“I think it’s a little bit of match play. I think it’s a little bit of confidence.”

Whilst the previous dominance by the American player has gone, the threat she poses to her rivals is still there. She is already a seven-time Wimbledon champion and only Martina Navratilova have won more singles titles than her at the tournament in the Open Era. Overall, she has won 92 out of 103 main draw matches played at Wimbledon since 1998.

“On the grass, we also can’t forget that’s her best surface. That’s a surface that her game, with the power, with the free points on the serves, she’s the most effective on the grass. I have a feeling she’s been practicing hard, and I never think you can count her out.” The 64-year-old said of Williams.
“As long as she’s playing, she’s going to be a threat to win anything. But it’s just now there’s more things that can go wrong, I suppose, like more days where she might not have it and other days where players won’t give in as easily. So that just makes it more difficult.” She added.

As to how fit Williams needs to be to win the title, Evert believes she ‘doesn’t need to be 100%.’ Putting the figure down to an estimated 80%.

The draw for Wimbledon will take place on Friday with the tournament getting underway on Monday.

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Dominic Thiem, Diego Schwarzman, Guido Pella and Matteo Berrettini lead the field in Buenos Aires

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Three of the four semifinalists from last year’edition Diego Schwartzman, Dominic Thiem and Guido Pella will return to the Buenos Aires Lawn Tennis Club for the 2020 edition of the ATP 250 Tournament in Buenos Aires. The line-up also features this year’s US Open semifinalist Matteo Berrettini, who recently qualified for the London Nitto ATP Finals.

 

Thiem won two editions of the Buenos Aires in 2016 and 2018 and reached the semifinal last year. Schwartzman lost last year’s final against Marco Cecchinato after beating Thiem in the semifinal after 2 hours and a half.

Guido Pella will play in the main draw in Buenos Aires for the eighth consecutive year. The Argentine player won his first ATP title in Sao Paulo on indoor clay and reached the final in Cordoba, the semifinal in Buenos Aires, the quarter finals in Monte-Carlo, Barcelona, Munich, Wimbledon and Antwerp.

The list of past winners in Buenos Aires features Gustavo Kuerten, Carlos Moya, Guillermo Coria, Gaston Gaudio, David Nalbandian, Tommy Robredo, Juan Carlos Ferrero, David Ferrer, Rafael Nadal and Dominic Thiem.

 

 

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Fabio Fognini: “Italian tennis is growing”

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Fabio Fognini enjoyed the best season of his career in 2019 winning his first Masters 1000 title in Monte-Carlo against Dusan Lajovic after beating Alexander Zverev in the quarter final and Rafael Nadal in the semifinal. He became the first Italian player to win an ATP Masters 1000 title and the first Italian to reach the top 10 since Corrado Barazzutti in 1979. The Italian player also reached the quarter finals in Hamburg, Los Cabos, Montreal, Beijing and Shanghai.

 

Fognini revealed during an interview with Italian sport channel Sky Sport that he has started his training for the 2020 season in Rome under the guidance of Corrado Barazzutti.

“I have started practising again only a few days ago. I am pretty tired also because I took some time off after the Davis Cup. I was with my family and now I am back on the tennis court. Corrado Barazzutti is coaching me. I am happy because we trust a lot each other. The main thing is to train well. I will spend Christmas with my family since my second child will come and then I will try to start in a proper way in Australia ”.

The World number 12 star looked back at a great season for Italian tennis, which was highlighted by the US Open semifinal reached by Matteo Berrettini, the triumph of Jannik Sinner at the Next Gen ATP Final in Milan and Lorenzo Musetti’s win in the Australian Open Junior tournament.

“We had a magical year in Italy. Everything started with Marco Cecchinato’s French Open semifinals in 2018. Then I won in Monte-Carlo, Matteo Berrettini reached the US Open semifinals and he cracked the top ten. We have very promising younger guys like Jannik Sinner and Lorenzo Musetti. The men’s Italian tennis is growing. I am sorry for how it went in the Davis Cup as we failed to reach the quarter finals. Now it’s time to recharge batteries and be ready for the Australian Open”.

 

Fognini is likely to miss the ATP Cup in Australia, because his wife Flavia Pennetta will be due to give birth to their child, and will start his season in Auckland one week before the Australian Open.

 

 

 

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Anna-Lena Groenefeld announces the end of her career

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Anna-Lena Groenefeld has ended her career to start a family. The 34-year-old German player started her professional career in 2003 after becoming the first German player since 1957 to win the Junior French Open and the junior world number 1 in both singles and doubles disciplines.

 

Groenefeld won a WTA singles title in Acapulco in 2006 beating Flavia Pennetta in Acapulco and advanced the quarter finals at the French Open in the same year. She achieved the best results of her career in doubles reaching her career-high of number 7, qualified seven Grand Slam semifinals at the Australian Open, Wimbledon and the US Open and won two mixed doubles titles at Wimbledon 2009 and at the US Open 2014. Groenefeld reached three Premier 5 doubles finals in Rome, Toronto and Cincinnati and the semifinals in her farewell tournament at the WTA Finals in Shenzhen with her partner Demi Schuurs.

Groenefeld announced on social media:

“This little girl had dreams. For the last 18 years, she was able to live one of them. Now it’s time to hopefully fulfil another dream of having a family. I want to say thank you to everyone, who was by my side through all those years in the ups and downs. My family, friends and all of you who followed and supported me all those years. Thank you”.

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