Retirement Still Not On The Cards For Venus Williams As She Turns 40 - UBITENNIS
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Retirement Still Not On The Cards For Venus Williams As She Turns 40

25 years after first turning pro back in 1995 the American isn’t done with the sport just yet.

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Venus Williams (@usta on Twitter)

When Venus Williams made her grand slam debut at the 1997 French Open three members of the world’s top 10 on the WTA Tour weren’t even born.

 

The seven-time grand slam champion has impressively remained a headline act in the sport for more than 20 years along with her sister Serena. Her resume includes 49 WTA titles and 11 weeks as world No.1 during 2002. At the Olympics, she is the only tennis player in the Open Era – male or female – to have won five medals with four of them being gold.

Despite her impressive career the veteran American player still has no intention of hanging up her racket yet as she turns 40 on Tuesday. Williams is one of only two women aged over 40 to have an official WTA ranking. The other is Hungarian world No.424 Greta Arn who is 41. Some guessed that Williams might have retired after the Olympics this year if it wasn’t for COVID-19 bringing the Tour to a standstill. However, this isn’t the case.

“I don’t think I was going to retire there at all,” she told Tennis Majors last week. “But we basically missed a year so we’ll see what happens.’
“(I will) Probably not play as long as I’ve already played. Let’s put it that way. I will not be like 80 on the court unless there’s like a circuit for me. I can play padel or something.’
“Outside of this, I don’t know. We’ll see how I feel. When you’re over it you’re over it.”

The determination of Williams to keep playing for the foreseeable future comes after what has been a lacklustre time on the Tour. In her seven most recent tournaments she has failed to win back-to-back matches and has lost in the first round of all three tournaments played this year. Resulting in her dropping to 67th in the world. The last time Williams was ranked outside the top 100 was back in March 2011.

It could be very easy for the former world No.1 to retire given her commitments outside of sport. She also runs two successful businesses called V Starr Interiors and athletic apparel line EleVen. However, her desire to win and achieve more is still there.

“If you’ve achieved all your dreams then either you want nothing else or you’re dead,” she said. “It’s never enough.”

As to what her dream goal would be before retiring, Williams mentioned getting her maiden French Open trophy. She has played at Roland Garros 22 times during her career, but has only reached the final once. Settling for runner-up to Serena back in 2002. Overall, Williams has played in a record 85 grand slam main draws.

“I’d love to win the French Open,” she says. “I’ve come close. And the Australian, I’ve come close too, just unlucky there it seems?”

Whenever Williams does decide that enough is enough, her legacy will continue with the next generation of American player’s. Many of which were inspired by her to start playing the sport, including Madison Keys.

“I think Venus has helped the sport, especially the women’s side, with equal prize money,” Keys told reporters during the 2015 Australian Open where she lost to Williams in the semifinal. “She was a huge part of that. Just watching her is inspirational. She’s had her health battles. She loves tennis. She’s still out here, and she’s doing it remarkably well. I think that’s inspirational. However long I play, I hope I can be someone similar to that.”

Williams has won $41,805,656 in prize money during her career, which is the second highest in the history of the WTA Tour. Only Serena and four players on the men’s Tour have earned more than her.

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Andrey Rublev, Dominic Thiem and Roberto Bautista Agut secure their spot in the semifinals at Thiem’s 7 tournament

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Andrey Rublev edged Casper Ruud 6-2 3-6 10-4 at the Thiem’s 7 tournament in Kitzbuhel. After losing the first set Ruud came back to win the second set forcing the match to the third set. Rublev won the super tie-break when Ruud made a double fault on the match point. Rublev needed a win from Dominic Thiem against Jan Lennard Struff to secure his spot in the semifinal.

 

Thiem beat Struff 6-4 7-6 (7-3) to score his third consecutive win at this tournament after defeating Casper Ruud and Andrey Rublev in the first two days.

The first set went on serve until the 10th game, when Thiem converted on his first break point at 5-4 to clinch the first set in 30 minutes. In the second set Thiem did not convert two break points at 3-2 and another chance at 4-3. It came down to the tie-break. Thiem earned a mini-break to take a 2-1 lead and held on his serve to create three match point at 6-3. The home player converted on his first chance, as Struff’s backhand sailed long. Thiem set up a semifinal clash against Roberto Bautista Agut.

The Spanish player converted five of his six break points and won 73% of the rallies of the rallies in his service game in his 6-0 6-1 win over Dennis Novak to get the second point in his round robin group and secure his spot in the semifinals in the Group B.

Bautista Agut won 5 of the 7 games of the match before Novak earned his only game of the match by holding his first service game in the second set. Bautista Agut won five consecutive games to win the second set 6-1.

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Alexander Zverev and Nick Kyrgios pull out of Berlin exhibition tournament

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Alexander Zverev and Nick Kyrgios have withdrawn from the exhibition bett1 ACES tournament in Berlin. Both players were expected to join Dominic Thiem in the tournament, which will take place in the Steffi Graf Stadium from 13 to 15 July and in the Hangar 6 from 17 to 19 July. Caroline Garcia has pulled out from the women’s tournament due to a knee injury and will be replaced by Anastasija Sevastova.

 

“I was planning to play in Berlin this month, but I have made the decision to stay put and train with my team and not play any tournaments at the moment. It’s never nice to miss the chance to play, but I will be back soon”, said Zverev on the social media.

Zverev updated his fans on his latest news on his twitter account.

“I wanted to update you on a few things. First, on Friday I took my third test for Covid-19 and I am happy to say it also came back negative. Secondly, I am going through a trial period with David Ferrer on my team. I could not be more excited to get to work. I can’t wait for the tour to be back”, said Zverev.

Berlin organizers doubt that Zverev will play in Berlin. Last week Edwin Weindorfer said that he was considering refusing to allow Zverev to play in Berlin and warned he would have zero tolerance of any player who parties during the exhibition tournament.

“Zverev’s management said that he is not planning to play in any tournament at the moment. We are obviously disappointed, because he would have had a good opportunity to play in front of his fans”, said Weindorfer.

 Dominic Thiem, Jannik Sinner and Jan Lennard Struff in the men’s field and Elina Svitolina, Petra Kvitova, Kiki Bertens and Andrea Petkovic are the top names of the Berlin tournament.

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Donna Vekic Splits With Coach, Disputes The Reason Behind Move

The world No.24 has questioned a statement from her ex-coach concerning the reason behind his departure.

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Croatia’s top women’s player has been left searching for a new mentor on the Tour after parting ways with her coach after more than two years.

 

Donna Vekic has confirmed that she is no longer working with Torben Beltz, who previously guided Angelique Kerber to two of her Grand Slam titles. Under Beltz’s guidance, the world No.24 reached three WTA Finals as well as the quarter-finals of her first Grand Slam at the 2019 US Open. Last year the 24-year-old also broke into the top 20 for the first time in her career.

News of the split was confirmed by Beltz after the German coach posted a statement on his Instagram account. In it, he cites ‘different views’ in practicing and scheduling as the reason behind them going separate ways.

“Unfortunately Team Donna and I had different views in setting up the practice and tournament schedule for the restart of the tour which is why we will go separate ways! Thanks Donna for the last 2.5 years, it was a great ride and I always enjoyed our time together. Good luck for you in the future. Ready for a new adventure,” Beltz wrote.

However, it appears that there is more to it than what Beltz has said. Taking to Twitter, Vekic called him out by questioning his view on why the two split. Although she didn’t comment on why the decision was made.

“Well this is the first time I’m hearing of different views in practice and tournament schedules…?” She wrote on Twitter.

The separation comes after what was a mixed start to the season for Vekic prior to the Tour suspension. In her first five tournaments she only won back-to-back matches in Adelaide and at the Australian Open. Her 2020 win-loss record currently stands at 5-5.

So far in her career Vekic has earned more than $4.2 million in prize money which is the fourth highest tally ever made by a female Croatian player. Petra Martic holds the record with $5,128,866 in earnings.

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