Kristina Mladenovic Dropped By Coach After Six Months - UBITENNIS
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Kristina Mladenovic Dropped By Coach After Six Months

The 26-year-old reacts to the unexpected departure of her mentor.

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Former top 10 player Kristina Mladenovic has suffered an off-court blow following the departure of her coach Sascha Bajin.

 

The 26-year-old had been working with Bajin since April and has made steady progress on the tour by rising more than 20 places to back inside the world’s top 40. Last Month Mladenovic reached the semi-finals of the Zhengzhou Open, in what was one of her best runs on the WTA Tour this year. During 2019 she has also recorded four wins over top 10 players, including Naomi Osaka when she was No.1 in the world.

It is understood that the departure of Bajin was on his own terms and not of a mutual agreement. Bajin is the former hitting partner of Serena Williams (2008-2015) and help guide Osaka to her two grand slam titles prior to his departure in February. In 2018 he was awarded the inaugural WTA Coach of the Year Award.

“I’m very disappointed about Sasha’s decision not to continue our relationship next season, I enjoyed our work, we had some great wins and I truly felt my game was on the rise again.” Mladenovic wrote on Twitter.
“I think that there was a lot more to achieve together, but I can’t change his opinion and decision. On my side, I am proud of my year and progress and I will keep working hard and build strong to be even better in 2020.”

Last week at the Kremlin Cup Mladenovic reached the semi-finals before losing to eventual champion Belinda Bencic. At the tournament she scored wins over seeded players Anastasija Sevastova and Kiki Bertens. Whilst her season has been mixed, the Frenchwoman believes she has the ability to beat the best players in the world.

“When I put together everything on court I can beat anyone.” She told reporters in Moscow.
“And no matter what the season, no matter what ranking, I always have some upsets here and there but now it is really about coming back in the rankings where I was at my highest. And already this year, I am still not satisfied with my ranking but I have a lot of wins against very good players.”

Mladenovic, who is also a top five doubles player that won the French Open title in June, is currently ranked 39th in the world. She is set set to end the season inside the top 50 for the fifth year in a row.

There has been no information released about who may potentially replace Bajin next year.

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Nick Kyrgios and Amanda Anisimova lose to Barbora Krejcikova and Nikola Mektic in the second round of the Australian Open mixed doubles tournament

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Nick Kyrgios returned to the court to play with Amanda Anisimova for the mixed doubles tournament just one day after losing to Rafael Nadal in the fourth round of the men’s singles tournament.

 

Kyrgios and Anisimova lost to Barbora Krejcikova and Nikola Mektic 4-6 6-4 10-8 in the second round after 1 hour and 19 minutes.

Both teams traded holds in the first two games before Anisimova dropped serve, as she netted a backhand. Krejcikova consolidated the break by holding serve with a service winner. Kyrgios broke back to draw level to 3-3 with a return winner. Kyrgios saved a break point in the ninth game with his serve, before breaking serve in the 10th game with a return winner to seal the first set 6-4.

Kyrgios and Anisimova fended off three break points in the fifth game of the second set with a service winner from Kyrgios.

Mektic hit a volley winner on the fourth break point chance in the seventh game to break serve for 4-3. Kyrgios and Anisimova broke back in the eighth game to draw level to 4-4. Krejcikova and Mektic broke serve to take a 5-4 lead. Krejcikova held serve at love to seal the second set 6-4, as she was serving for the set, forcing the match to the decisive tie-break. Krejikova and Mektic raced out to a 5-1 lead, when Amanda netted a backhand.

Kyrgios and Anisimova won three consecutive points to claw their way back to 4-5. Krejicikova and Mektic won four of the next five points to take a 9-5 lead. Kyrgios and Anisimova saved three match points before Krejikova sealed the win with a service winner to reach the quarter final.

Men’s doubles tournament: Ram and Salisbury reach the semifinal at the Australian Open

The US and British team formed Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury beat Finland’s Henri Kontinen and German Jan-Lennard Struff 6-4 6-4 to advance to the Australian Open doubles semifinal.

Ram and Salisbury will face Alexander Bublik and Kikhail Kukushkin, who reached the semifinal on Monday.

Last year’s Wimbledon semifinal Ivan Dodig and Filip Polasek eased past Marcelo Arevalo and Jonny O’Mara 6-3 6-2 in 1 hour and 19 minutes. Dodig and Polasek set up a semifinal against Max Purcell and Luke Saville, who beat Santiago Gonzalez and Skupski 6-2 6-4 after 68 minutes.

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(VIDEO) Novak Djokovic Makes Tearful Tribute To Mentor Kobe Bryant After Australian Open Win

The world No.2 pays his respect to ‘one of the greatest athletes of all time’ on the Rod Laver Arena.

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Novak Djokovic posing for a photo ahead of his quarter-final match with Milos Raonic at the Australian Open (image via https://twitter.com/AustralianOpen)

World No.2 Novak Djokovic shed tears following his quarter-final win over Milos Raonic after paying tribute to NBA legend Kobe Bryant.

 

The 16-time grand slam champion took to the Rod Laver Arena wearing a green zip-up top. On the top right of his jacket with Bryant’s initial along with the numbers 8 and 24. The jersey numbers Bryant worn throughout his 20-year NBA career with the LA Lakers. A love heart was also placed under the numbers on Djokovic’s top.

“’I don’t know what we could say. It really caught us by surprise.” An emotional Djokovic said during his on-court interview with John McEnroe on Tuesday.
‘He was one of the greatest athletes of all time, he inspired myself and many other people around the world. I had that fortune to have a personal relationship with him over the last 10 years.’
‘When I needed some advice and support, he was there for me. He was my mentor, my friend, it’s just heartbreaking to see what has happened to him and his daughter. It’s unbelievable.’

Bryant was killed on Sunday in a helicopter crash that also claimed the life of his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven others. As an athlete, he achieved numerous milestones. Including being named the 2008 NBA Most Valuable Player and two-time NBA Finals MVP. He was also a two-time Olympic gold medallist and played in 18 All Star Games.

Just days before Bryant’s death, Djokovic spoke about their friendship during an interview with ESPN. Praising him for the support he received during his elbow injury and fall in the rankings during 2017 and the start of 2018. Reflecting on the conversations the two have had, he said he received some ‘valuable guidance.’

“Kobe has been one of my mentors,” Djokovic told ESPN. “I’ve had several phone conversations with him and also of course when we see each other live in the past couple of years. When I was going through the injury with my elbow and struggling to mentally and emotionally handle all of these different things that were happening to me and dropping in the Rankings and then having to work my way up, he was one of the people who was really there for me to give me some very valuable advice and guidelines to kind of believe and trust in myself, trust the process that I’ll be back.”

Djokovic will play Roger Federer in the semi-finals of the Australian Open.

The tribute can be watched below (from 00:30 to 01:40)

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(VIADEO) Australian Open Day Eight: Rafael Nadal Muzzles Kyrgios At Night

The match that everybody was talking about on the second Monday of the grand slam lived up to expectations.

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Rafa Nadal - Australian Open 2020 (via Twitter, @AustralianOpen)

Ben Rothenberg from The New York Times joins Ubitennis to look back on Rafael Nadal’s latest win over Nick Kyrgios. The four-set triumph now sees the top seed extend his winning head-to-head record to 5-3. However, was the latest match between the two tennis stars as good as their clash at Wimbledon last year?

 

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