Serena Williams Says She ‘Did What She Could’ But Still Falls Short At US Open - UBITENNIS
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Serena Williams Says She ‘Did What She Could’ But Still Falls Short At US Open

The 39-year-old sees a silver lining to her latest Grand Slam disappointment.

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Serena Williams (@usopen on Twitter)

Serena Williams’ bid for a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam title had once again ended in disappointment after she was knocked out in the semi-finals of the US Open by Victoria Azarenka.

 

The former world No.1 produced a strong start to her latest latch before falling 1-6, 6-3, 6-3, to the Belarusian who she has defeated in 18 out of their 22 previous meetings on the Tour. Williams had no answers to what was an inspired comeback from her rival despite producing six aces and 35 winners. It is the fourth time she has lost a semi-final at Flushing Meadows in her career and the first since 2016.

I started really strong. Then she just kept fighting. She just changed and started playing better and better. Maybe I took a little too much off the gas pedal at some point,” said Williams.
“I made some really key mistakes on some returns in the second set that I probably should have done better.”
“I think she started playing really, really well.She just started getting balls that she normally doesn’t get back, she got those back. She started hitting shots that she normally doesn’t make, she made those. She just really stepped her level up.”

The defeat is Williams’ latest Grand Slam heartbreak. Since giving birth to her daughter Olympia in 2017, the 39-year-old is yet to win a major trophy. Settling for runner-up four times in the past two years, including twice at the US Open. If she does win another title it was put her at level footing with Margaret Court for most Grand Slam singles won in history by any player.

“It’s obviously disappointing. At the same time, you know, I did what I could. I feel like other times I’ve been close and I could have done better. Today I felt like I gave a lot,” she said.

During her latest match, there were also injury fears for the American after she had extra strapping during the third set. The problem was associated with her Achilles but she later insisted that it wasn’t very significant and doesn’t see it disrupting her plans for the coming weeks.

Azarenka now has a shot at winning her first Grand Slam title in seven years on Saturday when she takes on 2018 champion Naomi Osaka. She is on a 11-match winning streak in what is one of her best runs on the Tour in recent years. Like Williams Azarenka also took time away from the tour for the birth of her first child but afterwards experienced issues both on and off the court which affected her performance.

“She’s had a lot of downs in her career. She started on a lot of highs. I don’t know how she stayed positive, to be honest, so… That’s a good lesson for all of us,” Williams commented on her rival.
“Hopefully she’ll keep going. But she’s just the kind of person you always root for, unless you’re playing her obviously. She’s just the kind of person you kind of always root for.”

Williams has confirmed that she will be playing at the French Open which will get underway at the end of this month.

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Diego Schwartzman Receives Threats On Social Media Following Shock Davis Cup Defeat

The world No.15 is the latest player to speak out about recieving abusive messages on social media.

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The weekend has been an emotional rollercoaster for Diego Schwartzman, who suffered ‘one of the worst’ losses of his career before helping secure victory for his country in their Davis Cup tie against Belarus.

 

On Saturday the world No.15 was stunned by unranked 18-year-old Daniil Ostapenkov who is yet to play a professional match on the pro Tour. Ostapenkov is currently ranked 63 in the world on the junior circuit. The comprehensive victory shocked the Argentinian team who was hosting the tie at the Buenos Aires Lawn Tennis Club.

Despite the shock upset, Schwartman managed to redeem himself the following day when he defeated Alexander Zgirovsky 6-1, 6-2. That victory handed his country an unassailable 3-1 lead in their tie and secured their place in the 2022 Davis Cup qualifiers which will take place next March.

Not only playing Davis, but in Buenos Aires, with a lot of people you don’t see, it’s not easy. My level can be and has to be much better. After the game on Saturday I had a difficult day in the spirit of being able to get up and enjoy with the group,” La Nacion quoted Schwartzman as saying.
“The most normal thing was that we won the series. It’s what everyone expected. But when you have a very difficult day at work like it was on Saturday and then you win, it excites you because you have some internal things withheld.”

Between those two matches, Schwartzman revealed that he was trolled on social media by some people unhappy about his loss in the tie. The 2020 French Open semi-finalist said he received criticism and even threats from some asking him to leave his home country. Something he admits affected him at times.

“It was one of the worst days of my career,” Schwartzman commented on his loss to Zgirovsky. “I lost to an unranked, inexperienced player. All that already affects (me) a lot. Although 80 or 90 percent of the people are always encouraging (me), there was a minority who criticized me with bad intentions.’
“I received threats, insults and requests not to return to Argentina. More or less, it affects (me)”.

Schwartzman is not the first player to speak out about online abuse. During the US Open Shelby Rogers said she was expecting to receive ‘death threats’ following her loss to Emma Raducanu who went on to win the title. Sloane Stephens has also previously spoken out about being the victim of racism online.

The 29-year-old says he has previously tried to interact with those who have trolled him on social media to find out why they are doing so.

Sometimes I start to answer some messages and I ask those people if they realize what they are sending,” Schwartzman said during his press conference. “The vast majority apologize and say they had not realized it. But at the moment it hurts. That very ill-intentioned criticism is the only bad thing about social networks.”

Schwartzman has won four ATP titles and earned more than $10M in prize money so far in his career.

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Jasmine Paolini lifts her first WTA title in Portoroz

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Jasmine Paolini claimed the first WTA Tour title of her career in Portoroz. The Italian player came back from two breaks down in the opening set to beat Alison Riske 7-6 (7-4) 6-2 in the final after 1 hour and 45 minutes.

 

“I think it’s been an amazing week here in Portoroz. I just feel very happy. It’s a big achievement for me, to win my first title. On hardcourts, it’s special. I think I was maybe a bit relaxed. I understood more about the game. I tried to change the rhythm of the game with higher balls, and I think that was the key”, said Paolini. 

Paolini beat Dayana Yastremska in the first round, Sorana Cristea in the quarter final, and Yulia Putintseva. The 25-year-old Italian player beat three top 50 players in a row in her final three matches this week. 

After a trade of breaks in the opening two games, Riske went up a double break to take a 5-2 lead. Paolini pulled one break back in the eight game from 3-5. The Italian broke at love in the 10th game to draw level to 5-5, as Riske was serving for the set. Riske rallied from 2-5 to 4-5 in the tie-break. 

Paolini earned two set points at 6-4 and converted her first set point when Riske sent an overhead long. Paolini broke serve in the fifth game with a forehand winner down the line to take a 3-2 lead. Paolini won the final five games and sealed the second set 6-2 with an error-forcing forehand.

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Clare Tauson claims her second WTA Tour title at the age of 18

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World number 70 Clare Tauson has won the second WTA Tour title of her career at the BGL BNP Paribas Luxembourg Open this season beating Jelena Ostapenko 6-3 4-6 6-4 in the final after 2 hours and 3 minutes. 

 

Tauson enjoyed a great week in which she up number 4 seed Ekaterina Alexandrova 6-3 6-4 7-6 (7-1) in the second round and this year’s Olympic finalist Marketa Vondrousova 6-4 2-6 6-4 in the semifinals. Tauson won her first title as a qualifer in another indoor tournament in Lyon last March in just her second Tour-level tournament. Tauson also won the WTA 125 trophy in Chicago last August beating Emma Raducanu, who went on to win the US Open last week. 

Tauson is one of the four players born in 2002 ranked in the the tpè 100 alongside Raducanu, the other US Open finalist Leylah Fernandez and Marta Kostyuk. 

The Danish teenager is the seventh player to claim more trophies, joining Wimbledon champion Ashleigh Barty, Barbora Krejikova, Aryna Sabalenka, Iga Swiatek, Danielle Collins and Daria Kasakina. 

Ostapenko won the Luxembourg tournament on her debut at this tournament in 2019 and had been undefeated before today’s tournament. 

Tauson has become the fourth player to successfully defend the Luxembourg title after Jana Novotna, Martina Navratilova and Kim Cljisters. 

Ostapenko hit a smash to break Tauson to take a 6-3 lead. The Latvian player earned an early break to take a 2-1 lead. Tauson broke back in the fourth game to draw level to 2-2. Ostapenko fired return winners to take a 2-1 lead with a break. Tauson broke back with two straight return winners. Tauson fended off two break points to hold serve after a marathon five-deuce for 3-2. Ostapenko was broken after a fourth double fault, when she was serving to stay in the match at 4-5. 

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