Air Quality A Worry For Serena Williams At Australian Open - UBITENNIS
Connect with us

WTA

Air Quality A Worry For Serena Williams At Australian Open

The former world No.1 speaks out about the current conditions at Melbourne Park.

Published

on

Eighth seed Serena Williams has said she is concerned about potential changes in air quality levels during the Australian Open due to her medical history.

 

The 23-time grand slam got off to a perfect start at Melbourne Park on Monday by thrashing Russian world No.90 Anastasia Potapova 6-0, 6-3, in under an hour. The dominant performance saw Williams hit 24 winners to 16 unforced errors as she broke her rival five times in total. Three times in the first set and twice in the second. The only issue for Williams was her second serve where she could win only nine out of 20 points.

“I felt like I started out really well. Played really strong in the first set, and just building on that.” Williams said during her press conference.
“I feel like I can still improve and get better throughout this tournament, for sure. This is a good steppingstone for right now.”

This year’s tournament is taking place in the midst of the ongoing bushfire crisis causing havoc in the region. One of the issues affecting Melbourne Park is the smoke that has travelled to the city, which affected players during the qualifying tournament last week. At its worst the Air Quality Index rated Melbourne as ‘hazardous.’

Fortunately for players such as Williams, the conditions were considerably better on Monday. Partly helped by the rain disrupting play on the outdoor courts. However, there are fears that the haze could return to the tournament depending on the wind.

“I definitely was concerned, and am. I think it changes every day.” Said Williams.
“There are a lot of factors on how it can change. That is still a concern for, I think, pretty much everyone.”

The 38-year-old has previously suffered from pulmonary embolisms. Following the birth of her daughter Olympia, the former world Nol.1 complained about being short of breath. A scan later found that she had several blood clots in her lungs. Previous medical studies have found a link between air pollution and a rise in the chances of suffering from blood clots in the lungs.

“It definitely crossed my mind. I’m, like, Oh, no, I’m already playing a little down than most people.” The world No.10 replied when asked if she was worried.
“But we’ll see. I just have to focus on what happens and we’ll see what happens.”

For the first time this year Tennis Australia has introduced a five-level Air Quality Index to follow on a daily basis. The move came after the grand slam was criticised last week for allowing qualifying to take place in the conditions. However, tournament director Craig Tiley insists that players were never put at risk.

“Air quality is a very complex and confusing issue which relates to a number of different factors,” said Tiley.
“There are number of different air quality measures and it is made more complex by going on an app. There are different apps and websites which give you different readings.
“This is about trusting the medical advice and trusting the expertise and scientific advice of the people who analyse this every day.
“The safety, the wellbeing and the health of the players is the priority for us, as with our staff and our fans.”

Williams will play Tamara Zidanšek in the second round on Wednesday.

WTA

Simona Halep eases through her first final of the season in Dubai

Published

on

Simona Halep cruised past US qualifier Jennifer Brady 6-2 6-0 after just 62 minutes to reach her first final of the season at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships.

 

Halep saved the only two break points she faced and hit 16 winners to 8 unforced errors. Halep earned an early break in the opening game before saving two break points to hold serve for 2-0. The 2019 Wimbledon player went up a double break and held serve to race out to a 5-1 lead. Brady hit a backhand winner to win her service game for 5-2. Halep wrapped up the first set on her first set point in the next game.

Halep went up an early break in the first game of the second set. She hit a forehand winner on her third break point to race out to a 3-0 lead. Halep earned her third consecutive break in the fifth game for 5-0. Halep earned a match point with a backhand winner and sealed the win after a backhand error from Brady. Halep set up a final against Elena Rybakina, who beat Petra Martic 7-6 7-6.

“It felt much better than previous matches. I played really well. Everything went in my side. I felt the ball great. I feel like I played the best match since I came here. It’s amazing what Rybakina has done already this year”, said Halep.

 

 

Continue Reading

WTA

Elena Rybakina saves a set point in each set to overcome Petra Martic in Dubai semifinal

Published

on

Elena Rybakina came back from a break down and saved a set point in each set to overcome Petra Martic 7-6 (7-5) 7-6 (7-2) after 2 hours and 11 minutes reaching her fourth final this season at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships.

 

Rybakina has won 19 of her first 22 matches this season. She lost in Shenzhen before clinching her first title of her title in Hobart. She lost to Ashleigh Barty in the third round at the Australian Open. She advanced to her third final of the 2020 season in St. Petersburg before losing to Kiki Bertens.

Rybakina has won 19 of her first 22 matches this season. She lost in Shenzhen before clinching her first title of her title in Hobart. She lost to Ashleigh Barty in the third round at the Australian Open. She advanced to her third final of the 2020 season in St. Petersburg before losing to Kiki Bertens.

Rybakina has reached the sixth final of her career and her second at Premier level. She won two titles in Bucarest and Hobart and finished runner-up in Nanchang, Shenzhen and St. Petersburg. Earlier this week the Kazakh player beat two top ten players Sofia Kenin and Karolina Pliskova before beating Petra Martic in three hard-fought sets in the semifinal. Rybakina hit 32 winners to 23 unforced errors.

The opening set started with three consecutive breaks. Martic broke twice and maintained her lead until 5-4. Rybakina broke back in the 10th game to draw level to 5-5 to force the first set to the tie-break.

Rybakina saved a set point with a forehand pass to draw level to 5-5, as she was serving for the set. Rybakina built up a 6-2 lead. Martic saved three chances but Rybakina sealed her fourth set point with a volley at the net.

Martic earned an early break to open up a 3-0 lead. Rybakina saved a point to trail a double break at 0-4. Rybakina broke back in the seventh game, as Martic netted a dropshot. Both players saved break points in the final three games at deuce. Rybakina was just two points from losing the set, while she was serving at 4-5. Rybakina saved a set point at 5-6 with backhand winners forcing the second set to the tie-break.

Rybakina raced out to a 6-1 lead in the tie-break and sealed the win on her second match points with a backhand.

“I have to adjust because everything is new to me. It is always great to beat a player from the top 5  I alway try to do my best and want to win every match. I was focusing on on what I had to do”, said Rybakina.

 

Continue Reading

WTA

Elena Rybakina comes back from one set down against Karolina Pliskova to reach her fourth semifinal of the year in Dubai

Published

on

Elena Rybakina came back from a break down in the opening set to beat Karolina Pliskova 7-6 (7-1) 6-3 reaching the semifinal at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships.

 

Rybakina has qualified for her fourth semifinal this season. She opened the year with the final in Shenzhen followed by a title in Hobart. After losing to Ashleigh Barty in the third round at the Australian Open, the Kazakh player finished runner-up to Kiki Bertens in the final in St. Petersburg.

Rybakina hit 33 winners (including 11 aces) to 20 unforced errors and saved 10 of the 11 break points she faced.

Pliskova fended off a break point in the opening game of the first set before breaking serve in the sixth game to take a 4-2 lead after a pair of double faults from Rybakina.

Rybakina broke straight back in the seventh game with forehand return winners. The Kazakh player missed a break point at 4-4, but she held her serve in the 12th game with three consecutive aces to force the first set to the tie-break. Rybakina raced out to a 6-0 lead in the tie-break and sealed the tie-break on her second set point 7-1.

Rybakina broke serve in the second game to open up a 4-1 lead. She had to overcome a total of eleven deuces and saved six break points in her first three service games. She held serve for 1-0 with three consecutive service winners and hit a backhand crosscourt winner in the third game and a forehand down the line down break point in the fifth game.

Rybakina earned her first break in the second game of the second set to open up a 2-0 lead after a double fault from Pliskova.

Pliskova saved three break points in the sixth game to hold serve for 2-4. Rybakina held serve at deuce to take a 5-2 lead and rallied from 0-30 down to serve out the win.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending