WIMBLEDON: Serena Williams has vowed to continue working after suffering the heaviest defeat of her entire career in a grand slam final.
Williams, who was bidding to claim her 24th major trophy, could only win four games against Simona Halep in the Wimbledon final on Saturday. Losing in just 56 minutes to make it one of the shortest matches to have ever taken place at that stage of the tournament. Williams headed into the clash with a winning 9-1 head-to-head record against the Romanian and defeated her earlier this year.
“I don’t know if there’s anything I could have done differently. I think I gave a great effort for this fortnight.” Said Williams.
“I just think Simona just played her heart out. If anything, I could just learn to be like that.’
“So I don’t think there’s anything too much differently I could have done today.”
Since returning to the tour in 2018 after the birth of her daughter, Williams has suffered numerous disappointments in the majors. She also reached the final of Wimbledon last year before losing in straight sets to Angelique Kerber. At the US Open, she fell short to Naomi Osaka and was embroiled in controversy following her clash with the umpire. Then in the quarter-finals of the Australian Open in January, she lost a 5-1 lead against Karolina Pliskova in the final set.
Despite the blips, the 37-year-old is confident of finding a light at the end of the tunnel. Admitting that a lack of match play in recent months has hindered her ability to play her best at the crucial moments. Wimbledon is only her sixth tournament of the season. Williams has been troubled by knee and ankle problems in recent months.
“I just have to figure out a way to win a final. Maybe it is playing other finals outside of Grand Slams would be really helpful just to kind of get in the groove so by the time I get to a Grand Slam final I’m kind of used to what to do and how to play.”
Praise for the new Wimbledon queen
Regardless of her lackluster performance, which featured 26 unforced errors, the former world No.1 is refusing to take any credit away from Halep. Who has become the 10th active player on the WTA Tour to win multiple grand slam titles and the first from her country to win Wimbledon.
“When someone plays lights out, there’s really not much you can do. You just have to understand that that was their day today. Hopefully, they can play like that more often, more consistently.” She said.
“Hopefully I can raise the level of my game sometimes.”
It is unknown as to how many more times we will see the seven-time champion at Wimbledon, who has won 107 matches on the grass. She is currently the fourth oldest player to have a WTA ranking. The oldest is her sister Venus, who is 40.
“I feel like I’m still incredibly competitive or else I wouldn’t really be out here.” The 23-time grand slam champion insisted.
“For the most part, I feel like I’m on the right track. I’m just going in the right direction in terms of getting back to where I need to be.”
From now until the US Open, Williams has confidently said that two tournaments are adequate preparation for her. Explaining that she doesn’t want to ‘overdo it’ in light of her recent physical problems. The tournaments she is set to play is the Rogers Cup and Cincinnati Open.
Williams’ stats from Wimbledon final
- First serves in – 68%
- First serves won – 59%
- Second serves won – 47%
- Fastest serve – 118 mph
- Winners – 17
- Forced errors – 16
- Unforced errors – 26
- Net points won – 4/11
- Baselies points won – 17/52
‘She Got lucky’ – Jelena Ostapenko Has Dig At Opponent After Wimbledon Exit
The top 20 star was also not happy with the umpire following her latest loss.
Former Grand Slam champion Jelena Ostapenko believes her exit from Wimbledon was nothing but a stroke of bad luck after criticizing her match umpire.
Ostapenko, who was the 12th seed in the tournament, fell 5-7, 7-5, 7-5, to Germany’s Tatjana Maria. The clash was a frustrating encounter for the Latvian who had an array of chances to establish a strong lead. After winning the opener, she boasted a break advantage in each of the next two sets before losing them. Then at 5-4 in the third, she failed to convert two match points before losing the final two games of the match.
“I thought it was like my match. I had to win it and she got just so lucky in some moments so she could come back. I felt I was the player who had to win this match today,” said Ostapenko.
Claiming that she felt she was playing at a better level than Maria, Ostapenko has taken a swipe at the match official for making in her view ‘a huge mistake.’ She is not the first player to criticize the court officials with Nick Kyrgios expressing his frustration about them multiple times at the tournament.
“She got lucky, she framed it, put the ball on the line,” she commented on how her match ended. “Then the chair umpire made a huge mistake on 5-All in the third set when it was breakpoint on my serve and I had no challenges left. People who watched the match texted me that it was quite big out.”
“All those small things together, they come and you can lose such a match. Of course, I’m really disappointed because if I lost against an amazing player who just beat me in a great match, but I just lost my match.”
A win would have elevated Ostapenko into the last eight of a major for the first time since Wimbledon 2018. The 25-year-old is currently ranked 17th in the world but has been as high as fifth before.
It was visible how annoyed she was with the match immediately afterward when she threw her water bottle onto her chair out of anger, knocking it out. Prompting an inevitable reaction of boos from the crowd.
“I’m an emotional player. I hate losing because I’m such a competitive person,” said Ostapenko.
“So I think it’s normal. Of course, maybe I shouldn’t have done this, but it’s easy to say from the outside when you are not in my place, it’s easy to judge.”
As for Maria, she will play compatriot Jule Niemeier in the quarter-finals.
Who Is Marie Bouzková? Six Things To Know About The Wimbledon Quarter-Finalist
After previously never going beyond the second round of a major, the Czech is making a name for herself at The All England Club.
Czech Republic’s Maria Bouzkova has broken new ground at Wimbledon by reaching the quarter-finals on Sunday.
Coming into the tournament, the 23-year-old has failed to win back-to-back matches in 12 Grand Slam appearances. However, the past week has seen her breakthrough with a surprise run to the quarter-finals. She secured a place in the last eight with a 7-5, 6-2, win over France’s Caroline Garcia. The player who defeated Emma Raducanu in the second round.
In her latest match, Bouzkova was by far the most consistent player on the court as she produced just four unforced errors against 13 winners. In comparison, Garcia’s tally was 25 against 24. She broke the Frenchwoman four times in the match en route to victory.
“I don’t know how I got here,” said Bouzkova.
“Now we will celebrate with strawberries and cream. It’s one of our 100 routines at Wimbledon.”
Bouzkova’s run at Wimbledon has brought the Czech into the limelight for the first time. Although some may not be too familiar with the right-hander who plays with a two-handed backhand. Here are five things to know about the underdog.
- As a junior, she won the 2014 US Open title and reached the final of the Wimbledon doubles event that same year.
- Wimbledon is where Bouzkova won her first Grand Slam main draw match back in 2019 after defeating Mona Barthel in the first round.
- Prior to Garcia, she defeated Danielle Collins, Ann Li and Alison Riske-Amritraj this week. Collins was the sixth top 20 player she has defeated and second this year after Karolina Pliskova.
- She was ranked as low as 97th in the world earlier this season but is currently up to 66. Her career-best is 46.
- Has reached three WTA finals in as many years in Guadalajara (2022), Melbourne 250 (2021) and Monterey (2020).
- She has a win-loss record of 18-9 so far this season. Although prior to Wimbledon, she has not won any matches on the grass after losing in the first round of Eastbourne to Shelby Rogers.
Bouzkova will play either second seed Ons Jabeur or Elise Mertens in the quarter-finals.
Iga Swiatek Explains Why She Is Unsurprised by Wimbledon Exit
The world No.1 spoke openly about her current form after crashing out in the third round.
Iga Swiatek says she was ‘confused’ about her tactics after suffering a shock straight-sets loss in the third round of Wimbledon.
Swiatek, who was on a 37-match winning streak, managed to win only six games against Alize Cornet during what was an error-stricken performance. The Pole produced a staggering 33 unforced errors and only managed to win 30% of her second service points. It is the first time she has failed to reach the second week of a major since the 2020 US Open where she also lost in the third round.
“I know I didn’t play good tennis. I was pretty confused about my tactics. As a solid player, she used that pretty well. For sure, it wasn’t a good performance for me,” Swiatek told reporters on Saturday.
“The thing that I changed this season is I started being more and more aggressive. It was really comfortable for me to have the initiative and be proactive. But here (at Wimbledon) I couldn’t control the ball. So I needed to slow down a little bit
Despite recently dominating the sport when it comes to playing on hard courts, it is clear that the grass is an Achilles heel for the world No.1. Her match against Cornet was only the 11th she has ever played on the surface at Tour level. Coming into Wimbledon she played no build-up tournaments.
Admitting that she has found training on grass difficult, Swiatek’s winning run coming to an end is one that does not surprise her. Since 1990, the only players to have won as many matches as her in a row are Martina Hingis in 1997 and Stefi Graf in 1990.
“I didn’t feel like I’m in the best shape. So I’m kind of aware that this could happen. Maybe it’s not the right attitude to have, but it is like it is,” she explains.
“I tried many things to feel better on the grass courts but it didn’t really work out. That’s why I’m not even hard on myself because it’s kind of logical that if I couldn’t find it even in practice, I’m not going to find it in a match.”
In her match against Cornet, Swiatek was highly erratic during the closing stages as she produced a series of uncharacteristic mistakes. She only won two out of the last 14 points played.
“I didn’t have any idea. I didn’t tank it, but I just didn’t know what to do,” she admits.
“I was hoping that it would go in, but I made many mistakes. I didn’t even want to get angry again because I was kind of frustrated during my practice week and in the second round. I didn’t think it was going to help me.”
As for what the future has in store for Swiatek on grass, she is keeping a very open mind.
“I don’t know if I should even have hope. Maybe it’s just easier to take it easy and see what grass is going to bring me.” She concludes.
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