Venus Williams Targeting US Open, Rome And Doubles With Serena In Return - UBITENNIS
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Venus Williams Targeting US Open, Rome And Doubles With Serena In Return

The 40-year-old tennis veteran speaks out about her plans for the rest of 2020 amid the threat posed by COVID-19.

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Venus Williams (image by Nicole Gotwols from Miami Open Marketing)

Former world No.1 Venus Williams has vowed to return to competitive tennis as soon as possible despite having nerves about the threat posed by COVID-19.

 

The seven-time Grand Slam champion has confirmed that she intends to play at the US Open should it get the go ahead in what will be her 22nd main draw appearance there. The tournament is set to start on August 31st and will take place behind closed doors for the first time in history. Players participating will be subjected to numerous COVID-19 testing throughout. A move that has been praised by Williams.

“Right now a crowd would be dangerous,” she said during a Q and A session on her YouTube channel. “I really want to play tennis and go back to work like most people. I want to do what I do well. I don’t want to sit at home and not have that goal of challenge.”
“If it is safe to play I really want to play at the US Open,” she added.

Williams, who turned 40 last month, is yet to officially lay out her schedule for the remainder of 2020. However, it appears that she will be heading to Europe to play on the clay after saying she was hoping to also play at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome. One of the two Premier events sandwiched between the US Open and French Open. Williams has only won the Rome title once, which was back in 1999 when she defeated Mary Pierce in the final.

“I hope so, right now there is a travel ban. It could be lifted, who knows?” She commented on playing in Europe. “But hopefully there will be some exceptions made for athletes. When I saw that Rome was on the calendar I literally cried tears of joy.”

At present the WTA Tour will officially resume on August 3rd at the Palermo Open in Italy. Then the week after the North American swing will start in Lexington. Although there has been fresh doubts cast on American tournaments after one report claims the Citi Open in Washington could be cancelled this week.

The COVID threat

Whilst Williams is eager to return back to competition, she admits to having some anxiety about travelling during a pandemic given her health. She suffers from Sjogren’s syndrome, which is an auto-immune disease. It has been reported that some people with auto-immune diseases could be more vulnerable to the COVID-19 disease.

“In the beginning I wasn’t afraid (of catching COVID-19). I made up my mind that I’m not getting it, mind over matter.” Williams explained. “I was really serious about self-isolation and lately I’m more than anything afraid of being asymptomatic. That’s my biggest fear right now and not being able to play.”
“When you venture out to the world and play tennis you do start to get nervous about that. I’m a person with a pre-existing condition and I need to be more careful than most people. Am I nervous? In the last few days, yes but before no.”

Despite the inevitable nerves during what is an uncertain time, Williams has vowed to return to the doubles court alongside her sister Serena in the future. Together the duo has won 22 WTA titles with 14 of those being in the majors. Making them joint-second most successful women’s doubles pairing in Grand Slam history.

“I can’t wait to play doubles with Serena. We just have had a blast at the doubles court. We have got a lot of success,” Williams stated. “I noticed that the thing I missed the most is playing doubles. I am looking forward to joining her on the doubles court and I just don’t care whom I play against. Who’s across the net, as long as there’s a net and there’s a match. Right?”

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Matteo Berrettini cruises through to the second round with a straight set over Vasek Pospisil

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Last year’s US Open semifinalist Matteo Berrettini beat Canada’s Vasek Pospisil 6-3 6-1 6-3 on the Suzanne Lenglen Court to reach the second round at Roland Garros. 

 

Berrettini broke twice in the fifth game at deuce to take a 3-2 lead with a forehand passing shot on the break point. The Italian player broke for the second time at 15 to close out the first set 6-3. 

and ninth games to win the opening set 6-3. Pospisil hit 4 winners to 11 unforced errors in the opening set. 

The world number 8 player went up a double break to race out to a 4-0 lead. Pospisil saved three break points in the sixth game and held his serve for 1-5, but Berrettini served out the set at 30 in the seventh game. 

In the third set Pospisil saved three break points in the first game. Berrettini fended off the only break point of the match in the second game with a service winner. 

Pospisil fended off two more opportunities in the fifth game to take a 3-2 lead. Berrettini won the final four games from 3-3 with a double break in the seventh and ninth games to seal the third set 6-3. Berrettini won 69 % of his first serve points. 

Berrettini set up a second round match against South Africa’s Lloyd Harris, who beat Australia’s Alexei Popyrin 6-4 6-4 7-6 (9-7). 

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‘On This Surface I’m Only Inferior To Nadal’ – Pablo Carreno Busta Fires Warning at French Open

The world No.18 explains why he has very high expectations for Paris this year.

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Pablo Carreno Busta in action against Alexander Zverev during a men's singles Semifinal match at the 2020 US Open. (Photo by Simon Bruty/USTA)

Pablo Carreno Busta believes he has what it takes to pose a serious threat at this year’s French Open following his recent success in North America.

 

The world No.18 heads into Paris less than a month after reaching the semi-finals of the US Open for the second time in his career. Carreno Busta boasted a two-set lead over Alexander Zverev to close in on his first major final before the German fought back to clinch the match. Prior to the run, he also won the men’s doubles title at the Western and Southern Open alongside Alex de Minaur.

Taking to the court at Roland Garros on Monday, Carreno Busta eased to a 6-3, 6-2, 7-5, win over Australia’s John Milman in the first round. Producing 34 winners and breaking his opponent eight times en route to the win in the night-time encounter. Speaking to reporters afterwards, the 17th seed believes he has what it takes to go deep in the draw.

“I have a very high level, on this surface I am not inferior to anyone, except perhaps Rafa,” EFE quoted Carreno Busta as saying.
“If I am one hundred percent and I am brave and aggressive I am dangerous and it is not easy for them (other players) to beat me. It is what I have to try to do.”

It was at Roland Garros where the 29-year-old made his Grand Slam debut back in 2013. Since then his best run in the tournament was to the quarter-finals in 2017. Overall, Carreno Busta has won 11 out of 18 main draw matches played but has only managed to progress to the second week once in his seven previous attempts.

The next test for the Spaniard will be Argentina’s Guido Pella, who defeated Italy’s Salvatore Caruso 7-6(6), 6-7(4), 7-5, 6-4, in his opening match. Pella achieved a ranking high of 20th last year and his only title was on the clay was in Sao Paulo.

“It will be a very difficult game, perhaps more than today (Monday),” he previewed.
“I have to face the game the same, be solid and aggressive. It will be long, but I have played matches like that.”

Regardless of what happens over the coming days, Carreno Busta says he is happy to be playing once again following the break. The ATP Tour was stopped for five months due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Which is why the French Open is taking place later than usual in trickier conditions due to the cooler weather.

“It has been a very complicated year for all of us, there were moments when we did not know if we were going to be able to play. The important thing is that we are playing,” he states.

Carreno Busta is one of three Spanish players to be seeded in the men’s draw this year along with Nadal (2) and Roberto Bautista Agut (10).

Carreno Busta’s French Open record

2013 – R1
2014 – R1
2015 – R2
2016 – R2
2017 – QF
2018 – R3
2019 – R3

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Marton Fucsovics upsets Danil Medvedev in four sets at Roland Garros

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Hungary’s Marton Fucsovics upset last year’s US Open finalist Danil Medvedev 6-4 7-6 (7-3) 2-6 6-1 after 3 hours and 17 minutes in cold weather conditions on Monday evening to reach the second round at Roland Garros. Fucsovics won 70% of his net points and broke serve six times. 

 

Fucsovics converted his second break point at deuce in the ninth game to take the first set 6-4. Both players traded breaks in the first two games of the second set. Fucsovics broke serve in the third game to take a 2-1 lead. Medvedev broke straight back to draw level to 3-3. Both players traded breaks in two deuce games to draw level to 4-4. 

Medvedev went up a mini-break in the tie-break of the second set, but he could not hold his lead and dropped two consecutive service points to trail 3-6. Medvedev was frustratred and  broke his raquet. He received a point penalty and lost the second set. 

Medvedev got a double break in the first and fifth games to win the third set 6-2. Fucsovics went up a break to take a 2-0 lead and held serve with a serve and volley in the fourth game for 3-1 lead. The Hungarian player got a double break in the sixth game, when Medvedev missed a backhand wide. 

Medvedev reached the semifinal at the 2020 US Open, but he was beaten by Ugo Humbert in the first round in Hamburg. The Russian player has lost his first round match in all four appearances at Roland Garros. 

“It’s one of my biggest wins. First time I beat a top-10 player, especially in a Grand Slam. I really wanted to show that I am a very good player. I also want to be in the top 10”, said Fucsovics. 

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