Roberto Bautista Agut: "The tough times made me more focused and motivated " - UBITENNIS
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Roberto Bautista Agut: “The tough times made me more focused and motivated “

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Roberto Bautista won seven of his nine ATP titles between 2016 and 2019 and reached a career-high number 9 a the end of last year.

 

Just days before Roberto was due to represent Spain at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, Joaquin became a quadriplegic after suffering a fall while he was cleaning the family’s house stables. He could no longer move from the neck down and required an artificial breathing machine. Roberto won the Davis Cup at the Caja Magica in Madrid last November just a few days after his father passed away as a consequence of a tragic accident.

One year earlier Roberto’s mother Esther unexpectedly died in her sleep at the age of 52. Roberto started playing tennis at the age of five when his mother singed him up to play on the weekends.

“My mother passed away in 2018. I was at the club to train at, when I got a call after practice. I found out my mother went to sleep and did not wake up. It was 100% unexpected. She was very young, only 52 years old, but she was suffering a lot of stress from taking care of my father. My father fell while he was cleaning our horse stables and became paralyzed. It was days before the Rio Olympics, which I almost decided to skip, but I ended up going in the end. My father was in the bed in the next room when my mother passed away. It was an incredibly tough four years. My father became quadriplegic and could not move move from the neck down. He used an artificial breathing machine since he could not do it himself. We had two people, plus my mother, who took care of my father 24 hours a day”

The Spanish star honoured his parents in his upload to Behind the Raquet, that tennis player Noah Rubin started to give players the players a platform to share their stories.

“My parents wanted me to make my dreams come true no matter the situation. I kept playing and fought harder than I ever did. That was my way of making it worth it. I played some of my best tennis during this horrible time. I was there for my family as much as I could, but I could not throw away what I have worked all my life for. I wanted to keep working, and harded than ever”.

 During 2019 Bautista Agut advanced to his first Grand Slam quarter final at the Australian Open and his first Grand Slam semifinal at Wimbledon (losing to Novak Djokovic). The Spaniard earned the second win of his career over Novak Djokovic en route to his ninth ATP Tour title in Doha. He beat Djokovic for the third time to reach the quarter finals in Miami. He advanced to two consecutive Masters 1000 quarter finals in Montreal and Cincinnati.

Bautista was in Madrid for the Davis Cup, when his father died. He returned home to Castellon to assist his ailing father. After his father’s funeral Roberto returned to Madrid to help his team against Canada the following day.

“These tough moments made me stronger and more powerful. It gave me a strength others did not have. Through all the tough times I had at home and did not want to travel because I was so tired, it made me more focused and motivated. I did everything I could to fight hard on the court to show my mother and father that the hard work was worth it”.

 Nadal paid tribute to Bautista Agut’s resilience during tough times.

“What Roberto did today is something out of this planet. Roberto has been an inspiration to all of us”, said Nadal.

 Bautista Agut played football for Villareal until he was 14 before focusing on his tennis career.

“Soccer has always been a passion of mine. When I was younger I played for Villareal until I was 14. It was not an easy decision but I am very happy that I am playing tennis. I miss playing for a team a lot but looking back I am lucky I chose tennis. It was difficult to leave all my friends on the team and to lose a dream of yours. It is not easy to make a life decision like that at 14. I don’t regret it but after a couple of years of tennis practice I could never have imagined the sacrifices you needed to make to become a pro tennis player”.

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Felix Auger Aliassime leads the ATP Next Gen Race to Milan

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Felix Auger Aliassime rose to the top of the ATP Next Gen Race to Milan after strong performances at Wimbledon, Cincinnati and at the uS Open. 

 

After reaching the quarter final at Wimbledon the Canadian player advanced to the last eight at the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati before losing to Stefanos Tsitsipas. It was the second time he reached the quarter final in a Masters 1000 tournament. 

At the US Open the 21-year-old Canadian player edged Roberto Bautista Agut in a five-set match before beating Frances Tiafoe to reach the semifinals. Auger Aliassime became the first Canadian player to reach the semifinals at the US Open in the tournament history and the youngest player since Juan Martin Del Potro won the tournament in 2009. 

“I am happy with the level I have been playing at times, with the results I have had. It’s a positive week. Things are moving in the right direction”, said Auger Aliassime. Carlos Alcaraz has become the fourth player to secure a spot in the Next Gen ATP Finals after Auger Aliassime, Jannik Sinner and Sebastian Korda. Alcaraz became the youngest US Open quarter finalist in the Open Era after scoring an upset third-set win over Stefanos Tsitsipas. The player coached by Juan Carlos Ferrero also won the ATP 250 title in Umag and reached the semfinals in Marbella and Winston Salem.

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Liudmila Samsonova sets up semifinal against Jelena Ostapenko in Luxembourg

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Liudmila Samsonova upset this year’s Olympic champion Belinda Bencic 6-1 6-4 with three breaks of serve to reach her third semifinal of the season at the Luxembourg Open. 

 

Samsonova broke twice in the second and sixth games to win the first set 6-1. The Russian player claimed the second set 6-1 with a break in the third game and sealed the win on her first match point. 

Samsonova beat Bencic for the second time this season after beating the Swiss player in the final of the WTA grass tournament in Berlin. 

Bencic dropped serve three times in her first tournament since reaching the quarter finals at the US Open where she lost to eventual champion Emma Raducanu. 

Samsonova will face 2019 Luxemburg Open champion Jelena Ostapenko, who edged past Alizé Cornet 7-6 (8-6) 6-2. Ostapenko improved her winning streak to 8-0. Ostapenko went down a break twice in the first set. Cornet earned a chance to serve for the set at 5-4, but Ostapenko did not face any set point. Ostapenko saved the first set point in the tie-break before earning the mini-break to win the tie-break 8-6. Ostapenko broke twice in the third and seventh games to win the second set 6-2. 

Marketa Vondrousova completed the semifinal line-up with a 7-5 6-2 win over number 2 seed Elise Mertens after 1 hour and 37 minutes. Mertens broke serve in the eighth game to take a 5-3 lead. Vondrousova won four consecutive games with two breaks to take a 7-5 lead. The Czech player broke twice in a row in the third and fifth games to win the second set 6-2. 

Clara Tauson broke twice in each set to beat Marie Bouzkova 6-3 6-2. 

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Venus Williams Explains Met Gala Photo With Maria Sharapova

The former world No.1 says she and her sister Serena have ‘respect and love’ for Sharapova.

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Venus Williams, Maria Sharapova and Serena Williams at the 20201 Met Gala (image via Instagram)

Seven-time Grand Slam champion Venus Williams says there are no hard feelings between her, her sister Serena and Maria Sharapova after the trio took a photo together at the Met Gala.

 

The former world No.1s was seen smiling and laughing together at the New York fundraising event with both of the Williams sisters uploading a photo of them all on their Instagram story. Prompting surprise from some fans considering the at times icy rivalry between Serena and Sharapova that dates back to the 2004 Wimbledon Championships.

In her 2017 autobiography, Unstoppable: My Life So Far, Sharapova mentioned Serena’s name more than 100 times. She says the American hated her for beating her at Wimbledon that year and that the two were ‘not friends.’

“What I heard when I came in to the locker room was Serena Williams bawling,” Sharapova wrote.
“Guttural sobs. I got out as quickly as I could, but she knew I was there.
“I think Serena hated me for being the skinny kid who beat her, against all odds … I think she hated me for seeing her at her lowest moment.
“But mostly I think she hated me for hearing her cry. She’s never forgiven me for it.”

Responding to the claims, Serena hit back at the book in 2018 by describing it as ‘hearsay’ and said she never had any ‘negative feelings’ towards Sharapova. The two clashed on the Tour no fewer than 22 times with Serena winning 20 of those meetings.

“So I don’t have any negative feelings towards her, which again, was a little disappointing to see in that hearsay book,” Williams commented back in 2018. “So I have always, you know, and especially having a daughter, like, I feel like negativity is taught. One of the things I always say, I feel like women, especially, should bring each other up.”

Three years later and it now seems that all parties have put their disagreements behind them. At the Met Gala they were seen getting on pretty well. Besides posing for a photo together, they were also seen together in the bathroom at the event. A photo taken by pop star Anitta and rapper Saweetie which showed them in the background.

Speaking about the event for the first time, 41-year-old Williams said she wishes Sharapova was still playing before adding that they still ‘respect and love’ each other.

“First of all, Serena and I were talking about Maria the day before,” the 41-year-old explained on Instagram.
“We were like, ‘Damn, I wish Maria was still playing.’
“And we saw her, and we both told her separately, ‘Oh my gosh, we were just talking about you yesterday, we wish you were still on tour.’
“We were so happy to see each other. There was hugs, there was laughing, there were stories, and there was a photo.
“So the backstory is that even though us players compete really hard of the court for years, we still respect and love each other, and love Maria
.”

Williams, Serena and Sharapova have won a total of 35 Grand Slam singles titles between them.

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