Feisty Serena Williams Overcomes 'Internal Problems' To Reach Australian Open Third Round - UBITENNIS
Connect with us

WTA

Feisty Serena Williams Overcomes ‘Internal Problems’ To Reach Australian Open Third Round

The former world No.1 didn’t have it all her own way at Melbourne Park on Wednesday.

Published

on

Serena Williams (image via https://twitter.com/AustralianOpen)

A series of almighty shouts and roars erupted from Serena Williams throughout her second round win over Tamara Zidanšek at the Australian Open.

 

Seeking a record-equalling 24th grand slam title, the eighth seed battled to a 6-2, 6-3, victory over the 22-year-old world No.70. Conducting her usual display of power hitting on the court, Williams was highly animated during her latest encounter with various screams and shouts of ‘come on.’

“It was a good match for me. She was a really good fighter and she didn’t let me win.” Williams said during her on court interview.
“I was up forty-love on both her serves (in the second set) and I got a little bit frustrated. There were so many errors in a row and I just had to battle through that, my own internal problems.” She added.

Despite the seemingly one-sided score, it was a far from perfect performance from the former world No.1. Her 25 winners produced were cancelled out by 28 unforced errors. At times she also struggled behind her second serve by winning just 46% of points and could only convert four out of 14 break point opportunities. However, in spite of those blips Williams still had the firepower and skill to topple her fellow top 100 player in just under 80 minutes.

It has been 22 years since Williams last lost in the second round at Melbourne Park. Taking to the court for her latest match, the 38-year-old started off guns blazing against the Slovenian. Who is yet to beat a top 10 player in her career. Twice she dismantled the Zidansek serve during the opener. At the start of the match she immediately broke with the help of a forehand shot from her opponent drifting wide. Four games later, Williams eased to the double break. Enabling her to clinch a 6-2 lead in just 32 minutes.

Despite her dominance on the Rod Laver Arena, there were still areas of Williams’ game to work on. Especially concerning her at times tentative forehand that produced both outstanding winners and a few lacklustre mistakes. However, the eighth seed did receive a reprieve from Zidansek, who confusingly appeared be reluctant to hit the ball to her temperamental forehand side.

The frustration of the American grew throughout the second frame due to her inability to break. Twice she held a 40-0 advantage against the Zidansek serve, but failed to capitalize on those advantages. Despite the blips, Williams managed to establish her lead once again. Breaking for a set and 4-3 lead to close in on victory. Blasting her way to her first match point, Williams prevailed with a forehand winner that sailed past her rival.

“I knew I had to play better. I couldn’t keep making unforced errors like that.” Said Williams
“I knew that I had to step up or it was going to be a long evening for me.’
“I know I have a great forehand and backhand. I just had to rely on it a bit more and not question myself so much.”

In the next round Williams will play Chinese 27th seed Wang Qiang. Wang thrashed Fiona Ferro 6-1, 6-2, in her second round match.

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

WTA

Simona Halep saves a match point to edge Ons Jabeur in Dubai

Published

on

This year’s Australian Open semifinalist Simona Halep came back from one set down to edge Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur 1-6 6-2 7-6 (9-7) in two hours reaching the quarter final at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships.

 

Halep opened up a 4-1 lead in the third set, but Jabeur came back by winning five of the next six games to take a 6-5 lead. Halep broke back to love to set up a tie-break. Halep reeled off five of the six points from 1-2 down in the tie-break to earn three match points.

Jabeur saved all three opportunities and brought up a match point at 7-6 when Halep hit a backhand long. The Tunisian player hit a forehand into the net at 7-7 and made another forehand error on the next point to give Halep a fourth match point. The Romanian player converted her chance when Jabeur hit her stroke over the baseline.

Halep set up a quarter final match against Aryna Sabalenka, who beat Elise Mertens. Sabalenka beat Halep 6-4 6-2 in the quarter finals in Adelaide.

“It was like a football match or a Fed Cup match. I did not really realize what is going on on court. Everyone was with with a lot of energy so we had to give our best. It was a great match. In the end I don’t know how I could finish that in a right way. It was up and down a lot because she does not give rhythm. It was very weird, but I was happy that I could win”, said Halep.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending