Serena Williams Closing In On Becoming The Most Successful Female Player In US Open History - UBITENNIS
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Serena Williams Closing In On Becoming The Most Successful Female Player In US Open History

The former world No,1 has produced her most dominating win yet.

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Serena Williams US Open 2019 (photo Twitter @USOpen)

Former world No.1 Serena Williams has hit peak form at the US Open after producing a clinical 44-minute display during her quarter-final match on Tuesday.

 

The eighth seed eased to a dominating 6-1, 6-0, win over China’s Wang Qiang. Making it her most one-sided win in terms of games dropped since defeating Madison Brengle at the 2015 Madrid Open. Williams’ ruthless display saw her win 50 out of the 65 points played as she hit 25 winners compared to none from her opponent. Furthermore, she also dropped only two points behind her first serve and five points behind her second.

“This is what I’ve been training for. This is how hard I’ve been working. It feels like hard work pays off when that happens.” Said Williams.
“I’ve been working on my speed, getting shots. I didn’t give her too many chances in the match.” She added.

Tuesday’s win was Williams’ 100th at Flushing Meadows. Becoming only the second woman to do so after Chris Evert, who ended her career with 101 victories 30 years ago. She could break that record this year if she was to go on and win the title. Which would also place Williams on level footing with Margaret Court in terms of the most grand slam singles titles won at 24.

A lot has happened since Williams won her first US Open match against Nicole Pratt back in 1998. An encounter she can barely remember nowadays. Her resume currently stands at 72 WTA titles and she has spent 319 weeks as world No.1. The third longest period on the WTA Tour after Martina Mavratilova and Steffi Graf.

“I think the sport has come a really long way. It’s been really satisfying to see sport for women, the premier sport for women,” said Williams.
“It’s the best work in the world that a woman can do in my mind. I’m a little biased obviously.
“I feel like we fought so hard for so many years for so many different things. I feel like we still obviously have a ways to go, but a lot of that fighting through decades has come through.”

It is the fiery attitude of the 37-year-old that many know her for. Whether it is screams of ‘come on’ or cries of anger after hitting a bad shot. However, Williams insists that she is not increasing her intimidation factor in the tournament. Insisting that her approach to the major is that same as all the others.

“I don’t try to up any intimidation factor. I am who I am. I’ve always been the person that goes out there and roars and screams and complains and cries and fights.” She explained.
“I’m extremely passionate about what I do. Most people that love their jobs are passionate about what they do. That’s just me.”

Elina Svitolina stands in the way of Williams’ 101st win at the New York major. They will meet in the semi-finals on Friday. Svitoliva disposed of Johanna Konta 6-4, 6-4, in her quarter-final match. The two haven’t played each other since 2016 and Williams currently leads their head-to-head 4-1.

“It’s definitely it’s a big challenge to play against her.” Svitolina previewed.
“She has a big serve. That’s obvious to everyone. And that’s what I have to expect. I have to react quickly and try to take my chances when I have them.”

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Old Habits Die Hard For Some In Palermo

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic even a traditional post-match gesture is now not frown upon.

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As the players return to competitive tennis for the first time in five months this week some are still not used to the new post-match rules.

 

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, there are a series of protocols in place at this tournament and ones that will follow on the WTA Tour. In Palermo specifically players are prohibited from showing on site, signing autographs and posing with fans. Something which would have been routine at the start of this year. However, old habits are hard to break for some.

Sara Errani celebrated her marathon first round win over Sorana Cirstea by throwing her wristbands to fans. Something which has always been traditionally done by the winner of matches. However, such a well-meaning gesture is prohibited at the event due to the potential transmission of illnesses. Although all players have been COVID-19 tested and cleared before playing.

Fortunately for Errani, she isn’t the only person to unintentionally go against protocol. Qualifier Kaja Juvan did the same on Tuesday following her shock 1-6, 7-5, 6-4, win over second seed Markéta Vondroušová. The win was Juvan’s first ever over a top 20 player.

Apart from a stern glare from the match umpires, neither Errani or Juvan will be penalised in any way for doing something that is a force of habit.

Tournament director Oliviero Palma has told AFP that he is ‘proud’ that Palermo is hosting the return of tennis and the protocols implemented at the event are ones that can be copied at other events. However, he admits that it could be more challenging in certain parts of the world. Most notably America, which will host the US Open whilst there is a rise in OVID-19 cases in some areas of the country.

“The protocol is good, it’s applicable everywhere, so far it’s safe, it works. But we’re in a quiet part of the world. I understand the difficulties that the US Open could have with many more people,” he said. “But New York’s budget is not Palermo’s budget.”

Heading into the second round of the tournament on Wednesday, five out of the eight seeded players remain in the draw. Besides Vondroušová, Maria Sakkari (3) and Elise Mertens (5) have been knocked out of the tournament.

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‘My Body Is Not Use To Playing At 2am’ – Kristyna Pliskova Stuns Sakkari In Late-Night Palermo Duel

The Czech player has caused the biggest upset of the draw so far.

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Kristyna Pliskova has started her return to professional tennis following the five-month break by recording one of the biggest wins over her career at the Palermo Open.

 

The Czech tennis player held her nerve to knockout world No.20 and third seed Maria Sakkari 6-4, 6-4, in a late-night encounter. The first day of the WTA event saw a series of matches go the full distance, leading to Pliskova’s opening match taking place in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

Despite the later than expected encounter, a sleepy Pliskova still managed to come out on top to record only her seventh win over a top 20 player and second this year. She also beat Aryna Sabalenka at the Shenzhen Open in January. During her latest match, the Czech stood firmly behind her serve as she won 80% of her first service points and saved all three break points she faced. Overall, she won 69 points in the match compared to Sakarri’s 60.

“The conditions were really tough,” wtatennis.com quoted Pliskova as saying. “Before the match, I was also sleeping a little bit! We stayed so late here, I think it’s tough for [Sakkari] as well.”
“The body is not used to playing at 2:00 a.m.,”
she added.

Pliskova broke Sakkari twice in the match by doing so at the start of each set. The triumph avenges her loss to the Greek in their previous meeting that took place at the 2017 Wimbledon championships. On that occasion Sakkari fought back from a set down to win.

Former Wimbledon girls champion Pliskova is seeking her first WTA title in almost four years this week in Palermo. Her next opponent will be Italian veteran Sara Errani, who required almost three hours to oust Sorana Cirstea 7-5, 1-6, 6-4, in a roller-coaster encounter.

“[Errani is] at home here, so for sure the people will cheer for her,” Pliskova commented on her next test. “She had quite a tough match, I saw. It’s very different from today, but I will try to hold my serve and hopefully I will also break her!”

Pliskova is currently ranked 69th in the WTA rankings.

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Fabio Fognini is planning to return in Kitzbuhel

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Fabio Fognini is currently training in Puglia to prepare his return to the ATP Tour in Kitzbuhel next September after undergoing ankle surgery two months ago. His coach Corrado Barazzutti confirmed that Fognini will not play in the Cincinnati Masters 1000 tournament and at the US Open. 

 

Fabio knows what he has to do to recover from the injury and is working very hard. He trains every day from 10 to 14.30. I am happy with his committment and his hard work”, said Barazzutti, who is also the Italian Davis Cup captain. 

“I think that Fabio will be ready in two weeks. We will work for four weeks in Rome to prepare for Kitzbuhel, which will mark his come-back. If everything goes to plan, Fabio will play there. We are confident because his preparation is going well well”. 

Fognini is spending his time with his wife Flavia Pennetta and his children Federico and Farah. “I think that spending with his family will be very positive for Fabio. They give him the strength to overcome the recovery from injury. Living with injuries is normal for all athletes, but it is not very easy. He is now more relaxed”, concluded Barazzutti

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