Barbora Krejcikova and Nikola Mektic claim the mixed doubles title - UBITENNIS
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Barbora Krejcikova and Nikola Mektic claim the mixed doubles title

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Barbora Krejicikova won the mixed doubles title at the Australian Open for the second year in a row. One year after clinching this title with US Rajeev Ram, Krejicikova won this year’s edition alongside Nikola Mektic.

 

Krejicikova and Mektic came back from losing the first set to beat Bethanie Mattek Sands and Jamie Murray 5-7 6-4 10-1 on the Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne.

Krejicikova and Mektic earned an early break in the opening game and held their service games to open up a 2-0 lead. Mattek Sands and Murray broke back in the 10th game to draw level to 5-5. Mattek-Sands and Mektic converted their second break point chance in the 12th game to close out the opening set 7-5.

Krejicikova and Mektic went up a double break to take a 5-2 lead. Mattek Sands and Murray pulled back one break in the eighth game for 3-5, but Krejikova and Mektic broke for the third time to clinch the second set 6-4 sending the match to the tie-break.

Both teams traded mini-breaks on two of the three points, but Krejikova and Mektic reeled the final eight points to win the tie-break.

“10-1, it’s unbelievable when you see the score. Definitely, it was not easy. Every point ws very stressful, obviously in the finals. In the end, we were much better. Luckily, we won 10-1”, said Mektic.

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Dominic Thiem comes back from one set down to win the Bett1 Aces final in Berlin

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Dominic Thiem beat Matteo Berrettini 6-7 (4-7) 6-4 10-8 after 1 hour and 31 minutes to win the Bett1 Aces exhibition tournament in Berlin. Thiem and Berrettini met for the second time since the lockdown after their recent clash at the Ultimate Tennis Showdown.

 

Both players had to wait seven hours before stepping on the court due to rain. In the first set they held on their serve without any break points. Berrettini came back from 1-4 down by winning six points to win the tie-break 7-4.

Berrettini earned two break point opportunities in the second set, but he did not convert any of them. Thiem converted his third break point in the seventh game and held on his serve to win the second set 6-4 forcing the match to the super tie-break. Thiem earned two mini-breaks to take a 7-3 lead. Berrettini clawed hiw way back to 8-9. Thiem sealed the super tie-break 10-8 on his third match point.

“I think that there was a changing point in the second set where I saved two break points. I got really lucky with a drop shot that came off the frame to defend one break point. Match tie-breaks are always very close but I guess I was the luckiest today”, said Thiem.

Elina Svitolina and Petra Kvitova were set to play the women’s final, but the match was postponed due to bad light until Friday.

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Kim Clijsters starts the World Team Tennis tournament with a win over Bernarda Pera

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Former world number 1 and multiple Grand Slam champion Kim Cljisters made a winning start to her 2020 World Team Tennis campaign with a 5-2 win over US player Bernarda Pera. World team Tennis is a mixed gender professional tennis league played with a team format in the United States.

 

The Belgian player rallied from 0-40 down twice and won two of three deciding points to seal the win. The 2020 World Team Tennis season will be the 45th season of the league and features nine teams and each team will play a 14-match regular-season schedule.

Clijsters has won 41 WTA singles titles and 11 doubles titles and lifted three WTA Tour Championships. She has won the Australian Open singles title in 2011 and three US titles in 2005, 2009 and 2010 and two Grand Slam doubles titles at Roland Garros and Wimbledon in 2003.

Cljisters retired from tennis in 2007 at the age of 23 to start a family. She made her come-back in 2009 and won her second US Open title as unranked player in just her third tournament of the comeback. Kim won her back-to-back title at the US Open in 2010 and the Australian Open in 2011. She became the first mother to be ranked world number 1 by the WTA. She holds the record for most Grand Slam singles titles won as a mother and was the first to win one since Evonne Goolagong Cawley in 1980.

Clijsters retired again after the 2012 US Open.

Cljisters returned to professional tennis at the Dubai Tennis Championships more than seven years of retirement. She lost to Garbine Muguruza in the opening round.

Cljisters is determined to return on the court after the WTA Tour was suspended since March due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“The most important lesson for me is to trust the process. It does not mean because COVID happened that I am not interested in playing more tennis. There are some challenges and combining parenting at home and teaching the kids at home and still going to practice and things like that, so it was challenging but at the same time you get through that together”, said Cljisters.

 

Several precautions are in place at the World Team Tennis to avoid the risk of contracting Covid-19. No more than 500 spectators are allowed inside the 2500-seat stadium.

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Angelique Kerber suggests she won’t travel to New York

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Three-time Grand Slam champion Angelique Kerber suggested she won’t travel even if the US Open gets the go-ahead.

 

The US Open organizers are determined to hold their tournament despite the restrictions imposed to fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

The German star says travelling to New York to play at the US Open is the last thing she wants to do due to the coronavirus crisis.

“As of today, I say quite honestly, I cannot imagine it. I don’t think anyone wants to get in a plane and fly to New York. At the moment no one knows what’s happening and how it will go on. I have the greatest respect that I or a member of my team could be infected and we are stuck without knowing how to proceed”, said Kerber.

Kerber is not optimistic that the WTA Tour will resume according to plan.

“Who knows, perhaps we will not play tennis in the next two years. It’s hard to say. We will also start again in three weeks”, said Kerber.

Daria Gavrilova said that she needs to play the US Open for financial reasons. The Australian tennis player has not played since the US Open last year due to injury and the shutdown caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

“For me it’s important to make a living, to make some money. We have a choice. Personally I like to know that I have an opportunity to play and earn, but I feel like the players just don’t want to make a tough decision and maybe would feel a relief if the tournament is cancelled”, said Gavrilova.

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