Comforted By Her Baby Niece, Ash Barty Insist Pressure Played No Factor In Australian Open Exit - UBITENNIS
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Comforted By Her Baby Niece, Ash Barty Insist Pressure Played No Factor In Australian Open Exit

The world No.1 brought a special guest to her press conference as she spoke out about her surprise loss.

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Following the aftermath of her shock exit from the Australian Open Ash Barty was able to look at things in perspective with the help of the newest addition to her family.

 

The world No.1 was knocked out of the semi-finals in Melbourne by 21-year-old American Sofia Kenin. A player who hadn’t gone past the fourth round of a major tournament prior to this year. Barty’s loss ends Australia’s hopes of a home player winning a singles title at the tournament for the first time since 1978. A bitter pill for Barty to swallow, but at least she had somebody to console her after the match.

Entering her routine press conference after her defeat, journalists were caught off guard when she turned up carrying a baby girl named Olivia. A perhaps random decision from the French Open champion, but one that also had meaning.

“It’s my newest niece. My sister just had her about 11, 12 weeks ago. This is what life is all about. It’s amazing.” She said of Olivia.
“Perspective is a beautiful thing. Life is a beautiful thing. She brought a smile to my face as soon as I came off the court. I got to give her a hug. It’s all good. It’s all good.” She added.

Throughout this year’s tournament, there were high expectations for the 23-year-old. Not only is she the highest ranked player in the world, Barty also recently won the Adelaide International. Her first WTA trophy on home soil. Furthermore, organizers promoted Barty as one of the star attractions through numerous advertisements and so forth. A rapid surge of interest in somebody who was seeded only 15th in the tournament 12 months ago.

It is for this reason, some argue that the pressure got too much for the top seed. However, Barty has an alternative view.

“I’ve been in a Grand Slam semifinal before. Yes, it’s different at home. I enjoyed the experience.” She said.
“I love being out there. I’ve loved every minute of playing in Australia over the last month. I could have had an opportunity to go one more match, but we (my team) didn’t quite get that today.”

Besides the positive outlook, there is also the inevitable frustration. Against Kenin Barty was unable to capitalize on her opportunities. Failing to convert two set points during the first set tiebreak and then losing a break advantage in the second.

Reflecting on the past month, the world No.1 has said she has learned a lot and hopes to put it into action in the coming weeks. Although she was coy about what it is that she has learned. Saying to reporters ‘I don’t need to tell you guys. Obviously I’ll keep that, keep chipping away, keep learning, keep growing.’ Only time will see what she means by this.

“I’ve learnt so much over the last month. I’ve learnt from all of the experiences that I’ve kind of been thrown into. I’ve loved every minute.” She evaluated of her Australian summer.
“I won’t wait a year to put those into practice. I’ll put those into practice next week. The next time I walk out on court, the next time I kind of wake up in the morning, every experience you need to learn from. I’ve done that.’
“I feel like as a team we’ve grown. We’ve enjoyed every single minute. I mean, can’t wait to get started for kind of the rest of the year.”

Barty will return to action at the Dubai Tennis Championships. The tournament will get underway on February 17th.

 

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Kontaveit upsets Bianca Andreescu in Eastbourne

Anett Kontaveit knocked Bianca Andreescu out of Eastbourne.

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Anett Kontaveit (@ribella96 - Twitter)

The Estonian beat the Canadian on Center Court in straight sets in an hour and six minutes.

 

Anett Kontaveit only needed 66 minutes on Center Court to dispatch the world number seven and the third seed at the tournament Bianca Andreescu 6-3, 6-3 firing 16 winners while the Canadian hit 28 unforced errors.

“I thought I played a really good match today and I was consistent throughout the whole match and I feel like I kept my level up and played some good tennis”.

It was the world number 27 with the aggressive start earning the first breakpoint of the match in the opening game with a stunning forehand winner and on the following point ripped a forehand return winner to take a 1-0 lead.

The Canadian was keen to bounce back and earned her first breakpoint the following game with a backhand winner up the line and broke right back to go back on serve.

The Talinn, Estonia native once again responded by breaking right back and this time was able to consolidate the break until 3-2 when once again the Toronto native broke again to level the first set at 3-3.

Once again the Estonian broke Andreescu serve to take another lead and at 5-3 had two set points set up by a powerful backhand winner and took the first set 6-3 in 31 minutes.

The second set started with both players holding serve for the first three games until the 25 year old earned three more breakpoints and got the first break of the set.

After that it went back on serve until 4-2 when the Canadian once again had two chances to go back on serve and she broke when the Estonian struggled with her serve.

Again the resiliency and the determination of the Estonian kept her going and she broke right back the following game and served out the match. In her post match press conference she was asked how she was able to keep bouncing back in the face of adveristy.

“I think I am a pretty good returner and she is as well so sometimes it’s difficult when the other person so consistent hitting deep returns off your serve so I just tried to stay with it especially in the second set and she never gives up so I had to keep playing and be ready for it”.

Kontaveit will now face the Swiss player Viktorija Golubic who pulled off another upset beating the number six seed and fellow Swiss player Belinda Bencic.

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Dayana Yastremska Cleared Of Wrongdoing Over Failed Drugs Tests

The tennis has star had been provisionally suspended from the Tour since 7 January 2021.

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Ukraine’s Dayana Yastremska said she looks forward to ‘returning to her passion’ after getting her doping ban lifted with immediate effect following a hearing.

 

The former world No.21 has been sidelined from the sport with a provisional suspension after testing positive for the banned substance mesterolone which is prohibited under category S1 of the 2020 WADA Prohibited List (Anabolic Agents). The positive test came from a sample which was taken on November 24th that Yastremska argued was linked to cross-contamination. She had appealed for her provisional ban to be lifted earlier this year but was denied.

Following her official hearing on May 21st, the Independent Tribunal under the Tennis Anti-Doping Programme has concluded that the tennis star didn’t deliberately take performance enhancing drugs. In their ruling, the panel says they ‘accept’ how the substance managed to get into Yasstremska’s body. She has previously claimed to have ‘scientific evidence’ of cross contamination.

Ms. Yastremska’s provisional suspension is lifted with immediate effect, and she will not serve any period of Ineligibility for her violation. For the avoidance of doubt, Ms. Yastremska is eligible to resume competition immediately.” The ITF stated.

In a statement, Yastremska says she has struggled over the past six months with the negative comments related to her suspension from the sport. Earlier this year she flew to the Australian Open hoping to compete, but wasn’t allowed to under anti-doping rules.

“I’ve been through a lot in the last 6 months and found it difficult to deal with all the negative comments,” she wrote.
“I want to thank my family, my lawyers, my agent and the entire Top Five Management team for their continued and unwavering support. I would also like to thank my fans for the love and messages that I received during this difficult period.’
“Now I look forward to returning to my passion – tennis. It was taken away from me for too long, I can’t wait to get back on tour.”

The 21-year-old has won three WTA Premier titles so far in her career with her most recent triumph occurring at the 2019 Strasbourg Open. Her best run in a Grand Slam was two years ago at Wimbledon, where she reached the fourth round before losing to Zhang Shuai of China.

Yastremska is currently ranked 37th in the world. She has not given any details about when or where she plans to return to competitive tennis yet.

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Victoria Azarenka And Amanda Anisimova Advance In Bad Homburg

Victoria Azarenka continued her momentum towards Wimbledon.

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Victoria Azarenka (@24NewsHD - Twitter)

Victoria Azarenka and Amanda Anisimova both cruised into the second round as they prepare for Wimbledon.

 

Starting with two time grand slam champion Victoria Azarenka who enters this week after winning the doubles title with Aryna Sabalenka in Berlin.

Azarenka continued her momentum with a 7-5 6-0 win over compatriot Yuliya Hatouka.

The world number 14 struggled in rainy conditions in Germany in the first set as she was broken three times in the first set.

It was a tough start from Azarenka who couldn’t consistently blast past the world number 271.

In the end Azarenka saved some break points and broke in her following two return games to seal the opening set in 53 minutes.

However the second set was much easier as she didn’t concede a single break point and won all six games.

Azarenka will now play Alize Cornet in the second round.

Meanwhile 19 year-old Amanda Anisimova is looking for a good grass court season after crashing down to 81st in the world.

The American sealed a 6-1 7-5 win over German veteran Andrea Petkovic as she moved into the last eight.

Anisimova produced a high-quality first set as she stormed into a 4-0 lead in the opening set.

After sealing the opening set in 24 minutes, Anisimova continued the momentum by breaking in the opening game of the second set.

However Petkovic has shown good performances on a grass court in the past and she remained resilient to break back for 4-4.

Despite that setback, the American broke in the eleventh game and closed out the match to love.

Anisimova will play Angelique Kerber or Anna Blinkova next.

In other results Katerina Siniakova edged past Jessica Pegula 6-3 5-7 6-4 and will meet Laura Siegemund in the quarter-finals.

Siegemund booked her place in the last eight with a 6-2 6-2 win over Tamara Korpatsch.

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