Two years ago, Serena Williams gave birth to her first child, and suffered some life-threatening complications thereafter. Just 10 months later, in her fourth tournament, she impressively reached the Wimbledon final, but was outplayed by Angelique Kerber. Two months after that, she was back in another Major final, but lost to Naomi Osaka here a year ago in one of the most controversial matches of all-time. After battling injuries for the first half of 2019, she returned to the Wimbledon final, but was thumped in that championship match by Simona Halep. Now she’s into her fourth Slam final in the past 14 months, and is playing her best tennis since becoming a mother.
A year ago, Bianca Andreescu was ranked outside the top 200, and was eliminated in the first round of US Open qualifying. But in 2019, she’s been on an absolute tear. She started the year by getting through qualifying to reach the final in Auckland, and subsequently qualified for the Australian Open. Andreescu then won a minor league title in Newport Beach, and reached the semis in Acapulco. However, it was in Indian Wells where she truly made herself known, blitzing through the draw to win that Premier Mandatory event. Due to injury, she wouldn’t complete another event until her home country’s biggest tournament, the Rogers Cup. In Toronto, Bianca would again battle her way to another Premier Mandatory title. Now she’s into her first Major final, will debut inside the top 10 on Monday, and is in position to qualify for the WTA Finals.
Serena Williams (8) vs. Bianca Andreescu (15)
As ESPN’s Chris McKendry reported, this is the largest age gap for a women’s final in the Open Era. With Bianca at 19 years of age, and Serena a few weeks away from 38, Williams is nearly twice as old as Andreescu. They technically played last month in the Rogers Cup final, though Serena retired after just four games due to back spasms. They shared a nice moment there, as the teenager would comfort the all-time great, who was extremely upset that her body had let her down. Serena has been in excellent form this fortnight, just demolishing most of her opponents. As per the WTA, she’s been broken only three times in six matches. In her last three matches, she’s hit twice as many winners as errors. And her movement appears to be as good as it’s been since her return. However, Andreescu’s all-court talents paired with her fighting spirit have proved to be an unbeatable combination of late. She’s 44-4 on the year at all levels, and hasn’t lost a completed match in over six months. As Rennae Stubbs highlighted, she’s yet to lose to a top 10 player in her short career. Bianca is yet to blink on a big stage, though playing the greatest player ever for your first Major title will be a new test for the teenager.
Will Serena blink again for the fourth time at the finish line of a Major? It’s hard to imagine so, though most of us didn’t see her first three losses coming either. Will Serena be motivated by what happened in last year’s US Open final, or haunted by it? It’s hard to know, as she’s refused to discuss the Osaka match from 2018. Will Andreescu finally remember how to lose a match? If anyone is going to remind her, it’s Serena. This is a most compelling women’s championship match with huge stakes, and I can’t wait to watch how it all plays out. I expect an intense, prolonged battle between these two warriors. In the end, I give the slight edge to Serena. As much as Bianca has refused to lose, Serena just has a look about her this tournament. And no one has stronger skills, or a stronger will, than Serena.
Other notable matches on Day 13:
In the mixed doubles final, it’s the top seeds versus the defending champions: Hao-Ching Chan and Michael Venus (1) vs. Bethanie Mattek Sands and Jamie Murray.
Caroline Wozniacki Bids Emotional Farewell To Tennis After Defeat to Jabeur
Caroline Wozniacki gave her last on-court interview and said goodbye to the fans after she lost the last match of her career.
Caroline Wozniacki brought the curtain down on her exceptional tennis career with a tearful farewell on Margaret Court Arena.
Appropriately, the Dane’s last professional match was the kind of pulsating three-set battle she is famous for. Ultimately, she lost it 7-5 3-6 7-5 to Ons Jabeur, but the occasion was about so much more than that.
It was a time for Wozniacki to look back at what she achieved and celebrate her triumphs. And, although she was clearly emotional that it was all over, there was no regret in her voice.
“I think it’s only fitting that my last match would be a three-setter, a grinder, and that I would finish my career with a forehand error,” the Dane said in her on-court interview.
“Those are the things that I’ve been working on my whole career, and I guess this was just meant to be.”
Wozniacki continued, “There’s so many things I will remember. Obviously the achievements I had on the court were amazing. The feelings that the fans give us players when we’re out here are really amazing.”
“I will remember the support I’ve had from my family – especially my dad who has coached me all these years.”
“Those are the special memories that I will always cherish. The journey we’ve been on together has been really amazing. It’s been a great ride. I really am happy, but I’m ready for the next chapter (in my life) and I’m excited for what’s to come. You may see me around – off the court.”
Players pay tribute to Wozniacki
During a special tribute, some of the players Wozniacki competed against gave their thoughts on the Dane. Several mentioned that she was a great fighter, while others praised her positive attitude.
Meanwhile, Sloane Stephens summed up many an opponent’s feelings when facing Wozniacki. “Most annoyingly, she just got every ball back – literally every ball,” the American said. “And she had that backhand which was just not fun (to face).”
“I have a lot of really nice memories of her of just being a really genuinely nice person,” added Naomi Osaka.
The last words were left for one of the Dane’s best friends: Serena Williams. “It’s going to be really hard for me to not have Caroline on the tour,” she said. “I’m really happy for her and I know that she’s doing what she wants to do and that’s what it’s all about.”
Wozniacki was then asked how she fought so hard on court but made so many friends on tour.
“When you’re on the court, you’re there to compete and there to win,” the Dane responded. “But when we’re off the court, we’re all in the same boat. We’re all travelling to the same tournaments and I think it makes it a lot more fun if you have friends on tour.”
After her final on-court interview, all that remained was for Wozniacki to say goodbye. Tournament director Craig Tiley gave her a hug and presented her with a koala. Then her dad Piotr lifted her up and carried her across the court.
Finally, the Dane walked around the stadium thanking the fans for their love and support with happy tears in her eyes. She will be remembered very fondly by the tennis community.
Serena Williams Crashes Out Of The Australian Open With Shock Loss To Wang
Serena Williams suffered a shock third-round exit at the 2020 Australian Open. She lost a tight three-set match to Wang Qiang.
Serena Williams unexpectedly tumbled out of the 2020 Australian Open at the third-round stage with a 6-4 6-7(2) 7-5 defeat to Wang Qiang.
It is a massively upsetting results for the American. And it means that her quest for a Margaret Court-equalling 24th Grand Slam title will have to continue if she wants it to be successful.
For Wang, this day means something entirely. It is undoubtedly the biggest win of her career so far and should give her great confidence for her first-ever Grand Slam last-16 match in two days’ time.
It also marked an extraordinary transformation from the Chinese player. At the US Open in September, she was humiliated by the great American. She lost 6-1 6-0 in 44 minutes and did not hit a single winner.
Today in Melbourne, she took the game to Serena and hit 25 of them. In addition, she made sure she held onto her serve as much as possible (she was only broken once) and she made the American play as many balls as she could.
Wang punishes Serena’s mistakes
The 23-time Grand Slam champion did not perform at her best. She made more unforced errors (56) than winners (43), which is usually a bad sign. And she only got 56% of her first serves, which enabled Wang to attack her second serve.
To the 27th seed’s immense credit, she capitalised on Serena’s mistakes. She remained so consistent and made so few unforced errors in the match (just 20 in 160 minutes of play) that she reduced the margin for error for her opponent significantly.
This meant that when the American faltered, Wang could pounce. She was gifted 0-30 in the ninth game of the first set and hit two winners to seize the crucial break.
Then Serena made some sloppy errors in the fifth game of the second set and the Chinese player broke her again. Unfortunately for the 27th seed, the World No.9 played arguably her best tennis of the match to break back four games later and then eventually take the set 7-2 in the tie-break.
In the decider, Wang served brilliantly. She got 74% of her first serves in and won 84% of those points. Consequently, she did not face a single break point in the set.
By contrast, Serena had to save two break points to keep the match going all the way to 6-5 in the Chinese player’s favour.
However, that was the limit of the American’s resistance. She made five unforced errors to gift Wang the game and with it the win that she had worked so hard for.
The Chinese player will now take on another surprise winner – Ons Jabeur – in the fourth round. The Tunisian became the last player to beat Caroline Wozniacki in her career when she recorded a 7-5 3-6 7-5 win.
Barty eases into Last 16
While the former World No.1 was knocked out, the current occupier of that ranking – Ashleigh Barty – suffered no such strife. She continued her serene progress through the draw with a comfortable 6-3 6-2 victory over rising star Elena Rybakina.
The Australian, 23, has now lost just twelve games in her last six sets after she dropped the first set against Lesia Tsurenko in round one.
It is ominous form, but if Barty’s rivals are starting to worry, they may take some comfort from the fact that the World No.1 might have to play the woman who beat her at Wimbledon – Alison Riske – in the next round.
Furthermore, if the Australian makes it to the quarter-final, she will probably face a very tough task in the shape of Petra Kvitova.
The Czech, 29, has made this Grand Slam business look very easy so far at this year’s Australian Open. She followed up straight-set victories over Katerina Siniakova and Paula Badosa with a 6-1 6-2 thrashing of Ekaterina Alexandrova to book her place in the fourth round.
(VIDEO) Australian Open Day Four: American Men Continue To Exceed Expectations
Ben Rothenberg from The New York Times joins Ubitennis to discuss the unexpected run of good fortune for American players in the men’s draw at Melbourne Park. The two also discuss why Roger Federer will not be looking forward to his third round match.
The fourth day of the Australian Open saw few surprises. Both Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer progressed to the third round with straight sets victories. Nick Kyrgios was in solid form during his triumph over Gilles Simon. As for the women’s draw, Simona Halep and Karolina Pliskova experienced little difficult during their second round matches.
Sofia Kenin sets up clash with Cori Gauff in Melbourne
Fabio Fognini beats Guido Pella in straight sets to reach the fourth round in Melbourne
Roger Federer Survives Millman Scare To Reach Australian Open Fourth Round
Marin Cilic prevails over Roberto Bautista Agut in five-set thriller in Melbourne
Stefanos Tsitsipas Exits Australian Open Frustrated, But Not Heartbroken
Roger Federer And Rafael Nadal Branded ‘Selfish’ As Fallout Over Australian Open Conditions Continue
Roger Federer Responds To Criticism From Environmental Activists
Rafael Nadal Undaunted By Growing Threat From The Next Gen
L’Equipe names Rafael Nadal “Champion of Champions”
Gael Monfils and Benoit Paire lead France to a 2-1 win over Chile
(VIDEO) Australian Open Day Four: American Men Continue To Exceed Expectations
(VIDEO) Australian Open Day Three: Roger Federer Gains Momentum As Wind Causes Havoc
(VIDEO) Australian Open Day 1: Rain Causes Havoc, But Djokovic And Federer Still Shine
(VIDEO) Season’s Greetings From Ubitennis
(VIDEO) Davis Cup Round-Up: Rafael Nadal Leads Spain To Victory
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