Francesca Schiavone wins battle against cancer. - UBITENNIS
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Francesca Schiavone wins battle against cancer.

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Francesca Schiavone broke news on social media on Friday that she had undergone successful chemotherapy to fight against a malignant tumour. The 2010 Roland Garros champion revealed the diagnosis was one of the reasons behind her absence online.

 

Schiavone played the final tournament at Gstaad in July 2018 and announced her retirement one month later at the US Open. She briefly consulted as a coach with Caroline Wozniacki during the clay-court season.

The 39-year-old star won eight titles, including the French Open in 2010, when she became the first Italian woman to win a Grand Slam tournament. Schiavone played in the longest ever women’s match at a Grand Slam tournament, when she beat Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-4 1-6 16-14 in the fourth round at the 2011 Australian Open. Later that year she lost to Li Na in French Open final. Schiavone also won three Fed Cup titles.

“I tell you what happened over the last seven months in my life. I was diagnosed with cancer. It was the hardest fight I have ever faced. The best thing is that I was able to win this fight. When I was told about it some days ago, I was so happy, and now I live of happiness. I am already happy to face new projects whom I had, but could not achieve. I fought a tough battle and now I am still breathing. I am now back in action. When they told me a few days ago, I exploded with happiness and I still live with happiness today. I can cut it with a knife”,wrote Schiavone on Twitter.

“I thank my parents. Without their help I would not have found the strength to fight this battle”

The world of sport reacted to Schiavone’s shock news:

“Your strength, your courage, your roar are always an inspiration”, tweeted Inter Milan, one of the two Serie A football clubs based in her home city Milan.

 Marion Bartoli sent her best wishes to Schiavone.

“I wish you the best of luck in this battle. Come on champion, you got this !”,wrote Bartoli.

 

 

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Alexander Zverev: “You can’t imagine what this means to me and I hope it will be the first of many Grand Slam semifinals”

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Alexander Zverev has reached the first Grand Slam semifinal of his career after beating Stan Wawrinka 1-6 6-3 6-4 6-2 in the quarter final of the Australian Open in Melbourne.

 

Zverev became the first German player to reach a Grand Slam semifinal since Tommy Haas at Wimbledon ten years ago.

“It feels awesome. I have done well in World Tour Finals, won Masters, but could never make that breakthrough at a Grand Slam. I am happy to be in the semifinals. You can’t imagine what this means to me and I hope it will be the first of many.”, said Zverev after the quarter final match against Wawrinka.

Zverev set up a semifinal against Dominic Thiem, who beat Rafael Nadal 7-6 (7-4) 7-6 (7-4) 4-6 7-6 (8-6). The Austrian player leads 6-2 in his eight head-to-head matches against his younger German rival and won their most recent clash in the semifinal of the ATP Finals in London.

“I will have a cold glass of Coca Cola in my hotel room, with air conditioning, hopefully watching Nadal and Thiem play for six hours. That’s my assessment of the match”, joked Zverev in his post-match interview.

Zverev started his 2020 season with three defeats against Alex De Minaur, Denis Shapovalov and Stefanos Tsitsipas at the ATP Finals, but he bounced back at this Australian Open, where he dropped just one set against Wawrinka in the quarter final.

“After losing the first set against Stan, I was getting ready to talk to the press about why I lost in straight sets. I turned it around and my energy picked up a bit. I wasn’t used to his ball. I needed to get used it. Thank God it worked out. I hope you can see in ATP Cup I was horrible, but this is a Grand Slam and this is where you’re meant to play your best tennis and I have been doing that. My energy picked up a little bit”, said Zverev.

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(VIDEO) Australian Open Day 10: Dominic Thiem Stuns Nadal, Zverev Breaks New Ground

A four set thriller resulted in the shock exit of the world No.1.

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Dominic Thiem - Australian Open 2020 (via Twitter, @AustralianOpen)

Rafael Nadal has become the first member of the illustrious Big Three to exit this year’s Australian Open. The world No.1 crashed out in four sets to Austria’s Dominic Thiem, who is through to the last four in Melbourne for the first time at the age of 26. Awaiting Thiem next will be another semifinal debutante in the shape of Alexander Zverev.

 

Ubitennis’ Ubaldo Scanagatta analyse both matches with British journalist Stuart Fraser from The Times.

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Hsieh-Su Wei and Barbora Strycova set doubles final clash against Timea Babos and Kristina Mladenovic

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Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova will battle against against Timea Babos and Kristina Mladenovic in a clash between the number two seeds in the doubles final at the Australian Open in Melbourne.

 

Hsieh and Strycova beat number 4 seeds Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova 6-2 6-3 in Thursday’s first semifinal. The top seeds will be bidding for their second title as a team after their triumph at Wimbledon last summer.

Hsieh and Strycova broke twice in each set and never faced a break point in each set.

“It’s always so amazing to be back here, because my first final in a junior Grand Slam was here, so I would like to thank Barbora for bringing me back again”,said Hsieh.

 “I am very happy that we are through to the final. It means so much for me. To have a partner like Su-wei by my side, it’s something very special. Playing another final of a Grand Slam, especially in Australia, which is my favourite country”,said Strycova.

Babos and Mladenovic beat Latisha Chan and Chan Hao-ching 7-5 6-2 in the second semifinal. Neither team faced a break point in the first ten games before Babos and Mladenovic earned the first break to take a 6-5 lead. The Hungarian and French team came back from 4-5 down in the first set by winning eight of the next nine games.

Babos and Mladenovic beat Hsieh and Strycova 6-1 6-3 in their previous head-to-head clash in the final of the WTA Finals in Shenzhen.

 

 

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