Diego Schwartzman battles past Dominic Thiem in thrilling five-set quarter final at Roland Garros - UBITENNIS
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Diego Schwartzman battles past Dominic Thiem in thrilling five-set quarter final at Roland Garros

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Diego Schwartzman battled past 2020 US Open champion Dominic Thiem 7-6 (7-1) 5-7 6-7 (6-8) 7-6 (7-5) to reach his first Grand Slam semifinal on Court Phillippe Chatrier at Roland Garros in Paris.

 

Thiem saved the first break point in the first set and broke serve in the sixth game to open up a 4-2 lead. Schwartzman broke back in the seventh game and held her serve after saving two break points to draw level to 4-4 sending the first set to the tie-break. Schwartzman won the first five points en route to winning the tie-break 7-1. 

Thiem got an early break in the second set to take a 3-1 lead. Schwartzman broke back to draw level to 3-3, as Thiem made his fifth double fault. Schwartzman saved seven break points to hold his serve to hold his serve in a 15-minute ninth game at 4-4. Thiem held serve, while he was serving at 4-5 15-30 after a forehand error from Schwartzman. Thiem broke serve in the 11th game to take a 6-5 lead and closed out the second set after a 68-minute battle, when Schwartzman hit a backhand into the net. 

The third set featured eight breaks of serve (four in the first five games). Schwartzman got two of the first three games to open up a 3-1 lead, but Thiem broke back in the fifth game and held his serve to draw level to 3-3. Schwartman broke again in the eighth game to take a 5-3 lead. Thiem broke serve to claw his way back to 4-5. Thiem faced a set point at 4-5 30-40, but Schwartzman ove-hit a backhand. Thiem broke in the 11th game after Schwartzman hit a backhand long. Schwartzman broke to 15 in the 12th game, as Thiem was serving for the set. The Austrian player reeled off five consecutive points from 0-1 down in the tie-break. Schwartman fended off two set points at 4-6, but Thiem converted his third chance with a smash winner at 7-6. 

Thiem earned an early break in the second game to take a 2-0 lead, but Schwartzman bounced back by winning four consecutive games to take a 4-2 lead. Thiem fended off three set points, as Schwartzman was leading at 5-4 40-0. Thiem broke back to draw level to 5-5, when Schwartzman hit a forehand into the net. Thiem fended off a break point at 30-40 in the next game. Thiem took a 4-3 lead in the tie-break, but Schwartzman came back by winning four of the next five games to clinch the tie-break 7-5 forcing the match to the decider, when Thiem hit a backhand wide. 

Schwartzman earned a cruclal break in the sixth game at love and never looked back. The Argentine sealed the decider 6-2 with another break in the eighth break at 15. 

Schwartzman has continued his great period of form after reaching his first Masters 1000 final in Rome last month. He will face either 12-time champion Rafael Nadal or 2019 Next Gen ATP Finals Jannik Sinner in the semifinal. 

“Dominik is one of the best players right now in the world, winning the last Slam, two-times final here. We are friends. I have a lot of respect for him. That’s why this match is so important to me. This is the third time I have played five sets here. This time I deserved to win”, said Schwartzman. 

Thiem was the first to congratulate with Schwartzman. 

“At the end, I gave everything I had out there. It was an amazing match. I think the first in my career over five hours. Diego fully deserves it. I came back unbelievably in the fourth set. When he served for it at 5-4 40-0, I played I played this down the line winner. The match was basically all the time on the edge for both of us. In the tie-break at 5-5, he played a great point. With that, I think he had a little advantage in the fifth set. If I would have wanted to win that match, I should have done it in four sets. In the fifth set, he was just a little bit fresher and better than me”, said Thiem. 

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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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Belinda Bencic cruises past Zarina Diyas to reach the quarter final in Luxemburg

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This year’s Olympic champion Belinda Bencic cruised past Zarina Diyas 6-1 6-3 to reach the quarter final at the WTA Tournament in Luxemburg 

 

Bencic broke three times and converted her second set point to win the first set 6-1. Diyas earned her first break in the third game to take a 2-1 lead. Bencic broke broke straight back in the fourth game and sealed the second set 6-3 with another break in the sixth game. 

The Swiss player sealed the second set on her second match point. 

Bencic set up a match against Liudmila Samsonova, who beat the Swiss player in the Berlin final last June. Former Roland Garros champion Jelena Ostapenko beat Arianne Hartono 6-2 4-6 6-1. Hartono started the first set with a break in the opening game. Ostapenko broke straight back on the second game and earned two breaks in the sixth and eighth games to win the first set 6-2. Both Hartono and Ostapenko won a service game at love. Hartono broke serve at 2-2 and raced out to 4-2. The Dutch player hit some winners and broke Ostapenko at 4-3. Ostapenko broke twice in the fourth and sixth games to win the third set 6-1. 

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Emma Raducanu Launches Own Weibo Account With Viral Video

In her first video, the teenage sensation promised to play in China next year.

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Emma Raducanu reacts after winning a Women's Singles semifinal match at the 2021 US Open, Thursday, Sep. 9, 2021 in Flushing, NY. (Darren Carroll/USTA)

British tennis sensation Emma Raducanu is gaining a rapidly growing fan base in China with her first video on the social media account Weibo surpassing one million views in less than two days.

 

The 18-year-old has become one of the most talked about athletes in the world of tennis following her unprecedented run to the US Open title. At the Grand Slam she didn’t drop a single set in 10 matches played to become the first qualifier in history to ever win a major title. Even more remarkable was the fact Raducanu was playing in a Grand Slam main draw for only the second time in her career.

In her native UK bookmakers are already tipping the youngster as a strong contender to win this year’s prestigious BBC Sports personality of the Year award. Although it isn’t just Britain where she is proving to be a hit. Raducanu was actually born in Canada to a Romanian father and Chinese mother who both work in the finance section. The family moved to the UK when Raducanu was two-years-old.

“My mum comes from a Chinese background. They have very good self-belief. It’s not necessarily about telling everyone how good you are, but it’s about believing it within yourself. I really respect that about the culture,” she said.
“She’s always instilled a lot of discipline and respect for other people into me, so I think that having parents like I do, they always push me, they have high expectations so I’ve always tried to live up to that. And I just hope I did them proud this week and I’m going to keep trying to go, keep going.”

Shortly after her US Open win, the world No.23 delivered a message in mandarin which was posted on the tournament’s Weibo account. SportsPro Media reports that the video generated more than 11 million impressions.

Now Raducanu has launched her own Weibo account with a video message to her fans. Shine.cn, which is a website powered by Chinese newspaper Shanghai Daily, said that the British player has promised to play in the country next year. This season’s Asian swing has been cancelled due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Shine also said she spoke with a slight ‘accent from northeast China’ where her mother is from.

According to the latest view count, the video has been watched more than 1.22 million times since it was published. The view count may look impressive but it is by no means a one off. The Guardian newspaper recently reported that two hashtags related to Raducanu on Weibo have been viewed at least 200M times each as a result of her US Open win. These hashtags were ‘18-year-old ethnic Chinese young player wins US open championship‘ and ‘Raducanu.’

Despite her relative inexperience on the Tour, many are tipping Raducanu to become one of the most marketable athletes in the world. Her ability to interact with the Chinese market will play a significant role in those considering the country has invested millions into the sport and hosts a series of prestigious women’s events. However, in the immediate future the teenager says her focus is on the tennis.

“I have a few days’ rest and recovery – I think needed after the last seven weeks,” she told CNBC’s Closing Bell earlier this week.
“But then I am straight back to training and hungry to get better and come back out and play some more tournaments.”

Besides Weibo, Raducanu also has over 583,000 followers on Twitter, 1.9M Instagram followers and 63,000 followers on her official Facebook page.

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