‘Everything Was An 'A' Except For My serving’ - Coco Gauff Reflects On Sabalenka Win In Lexington - UBITENNIS
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‘Everything Was An ‘A’ Except For My serving’ – Coco Gauff Reflects On Sabalenka Win In Lexington

The teenage sensation speaks out after scoring a big upset in her first tournament since January.

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Rising star Coco Gauff believes her roller coaster performance in the second round of the Lexington Open where she at times struggled with her serve was more mental than technical.

 

The 16-year-old scored another milestone win in her career on Wednesday after stunning second seed Aryna Sabalenka 7-6 (2), 4-6, 6-4, to book a place in the quarter-finals. The victory was Gauff’s third over a top 15 player on the WTA Tour and the second this year after Naomi Osaka at the Australian Open.

“I think my mentality pushed me to win,” the world No.53 said after the match. “We’re both playing good tennis, and had our ups and downs in the match. At the end of the day, it came down to a couple close points.”

It was by no means a straightforward encounter for Gauff who looked at time shaky behind her serve. During the match, she was broken seven times in total and hit eight doubles faults. An almost identical tally as Sabalenka who dropped serve the same amount of times but hit 11 double faults. Furthermore, Gauff only won 40% of her second service points compared to 64% of her first.

Reflecting on her latest victory, the teenage sensation said she gives an ‘A’ to her performance with the exception being her serve. Quizzed about what the exact problem was, Gauff blamed the mental side for the issues.

“Everything was an ‘A’ except for my serving. I definitely served better in my first match than today, but you’re going to have good and bad days, and I like to go for my serves, so that’s the give and take,” she said.
“I think my serve today was more mental than technical. Towards the end of the match, I started serving better, and I may have been overthinking at some points.”

There were also positives to be taken from her latest encounter. Gauff’s ability to absorb the powerful shot-making coming from across the net frustrated and flustered Sabalenka. On top on that, a series of angle shots combined with her own powerful hitting kept Gauff in contention throughout despite the blips.

“I can always improve, and I always believe I can improve, but this was also only the second match,” she stated.
“I thought I would be much more nervous coming into my matches, but I actually wasn’t, and I just have this mentality to have fun and enjoy the competition. That’s what I’ve been doing, and I would say it’s better than I thought it would be, especially because last week, my practices weren’t so good. This is definitely a big improvement from then.”

Gauff’s next test will be a showdown with Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur who defeated Olga Govortsova in three sets in her second round match. Jabeur is ranked 14 places higher and became the first Arab woman to reach a Grand Slam quarter-final earlier this year at the Australian Open.

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Carlos Alcaraz dreams to become world number 1 player

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Carlos Alcaraz is getting ready to the first Grand Slam tournament of his career at the age of 17 at the upcoming Australian Open in Melbourne. 

 

The Spanish teenager has clear ideas about his future goals. 

“I dream to become the world number 1 and play matches, which will go down in the history of tennis. I watch videos from past Wimbledon matches of Rafa, Novak and Roger many times and Imagine that I will take part at this tournament in the future. It’s very special to play on grass courts. It would be incredible to win the Wimbledon tournament”, said Alcaraz. 

Alcaraz is currently keeping fit in the bubble created in his hotel in Melbourne ahead of the Australian Open, which will start on 8 February. The player coached by Juan Carlos Ferrero wants to set high goals, but he is aware that he needs to contunue his career step by step. Alcaraz climbed six places in the ATP Ranking to world number 135 and he has the chance to improve his ranking if he advances through the rounds at the Australian Open. 

“The main goal is to finish the 2021 season in the top 50. I would like to play in the Masters 1000 in Madrid and in the Barcelona tournament. It would be nice to train with Rafa and Novak. I have already had the chance to train with Roger, but I am shy and I could not speak English very well. I was not able to talk with him. I think I have tennis and I would say that I have the maturity to face any player. I try to handle situation as well as possible and I am doing well. I don’t look at points much, I have it apart. I am going to Australia to improve and grow as a player and a person. I must not go too much. Whatever comes is welcome, but I still have a lot of room”. 

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Paula Badosa tested positive for Covid-19

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Paula Badosa Gilbert posted on her social media channels that she was tested positive for Covid-19. 

 

The 23-year-old Spanish player, who won the French Open Junior title in 2015, had been quarantining in Melbourne under the mandatory 14-rule after a couple of co-passengers in her flight to Melbourne had tested positive for the coronavirus when they arrived in Melbourne. 

The world number 67 was one of the 72 players forced to isolate in their hotel rooms after passengers on three separate charter flights to Melbourne tested positive. 

Badosa is symptomatic and has been shifted to a different hotel. She is the first player to be tested pasitive to Covid-19 after travelling to Melbourne. 

“I will try to recover as soon as possible listening to the doctors. I have been taken to a health hotel to self-isolate and be monitored. Thanks for your support. We will be back stronger”, said Badosa. 

Badosa made two appearances at the Australian Open in 2019 and 2020. She reached  her best result in Melbourne last year, when she got through to the second round, losing to former finalist Petra Kvitova. The list of players forced to isolate include two-time Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka, former US Open champion Sloane Stephens and 2014 US Open finalist Kei Nishikori. 

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Belgrade will host an ATP Tour event in 2021 following Budapest relocation

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Belgrade will host an ATP Tour tournament for the first time since 2012. The Hungarian Open, who was hosted in Budapest on clay court from 2017 to 2019 and is traditionally held during the European clay-court season, will be relocated to Belgrade from 2021. This tournament was cancelled last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic. 

 

Belgrade will host the Serbia Open from 19 to 25 April 2021 under a lease agreement between licence owner Ion Tiriac and new event organisers Tara 16s, led by Tournament Director Djordie Djokovic, the younger brother of Novak Djokovic, who won two editions of the ATP 250 tournament in 2009 and 2011.

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