Ash Barty Defends Muchova Over Use Of Timeout After Shock Australian Open Exit - UBITENNIS
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Ash Barty Defends Muchova Over Use Of Timeout After Shock Australian Open Exit

The Czech player said the break ‘helped’ her secure a shock win at the Grand Slam.

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World No.1 Ash Barty admits that a medical timeout taken by Karolina Muchova was a ‘turning point’ in their match but has refused to criticise the Czech player following her shock loss at the Australian Open.

 

The top seed looked to be on course to booking a place in the semi-finals after racing to a 6-1, 2-1 lead with relative ease before the match came to a halt which lasted nearly 10 minutes. Muchova received a medical timeout after complaining of dizziness caused by the humid conditions in Melbourne Park and left the court. When she returned, the world No.27 dominated proceedings by winning six out of seven games played en route to a surprise three-set victory. Following her win, Muchova commented on her decision to take a medical break.

I was a bit lost on the court and my head was spinning so I took a break. It helped me,” she said.

The use of words by the 24-year-old has raised eyebrows from some in the tennis world. Although conditions in Melbourne were tough for players with Daniil Medvedev saying after certain rallies he was struggling to breathe during his quarter-final clash with Andrey Rublev.

Questioned about Muchova’s ‘break’ Barty refused to engage in any potential argument by insisting that what her opponent did was within the rulebook. The International Tennis Federation states that a player is allowed a break for reasons such as dizziness if the physio deems it appropriate. However, Barty admits that the disruption caused a change in momentum.

“It’s within the rules, she’s within her rights to take that time,” she said during her press conference.
“If she wasn’t within the rules, the physios and the doctors would have said so. That’s the laws of our game. We have those medical timeouts for cases that are needed. Obviously, she needed that today. Completely within the rules for her to take that.
“From my point of view, I’ve played a lot of matches where there have been medical timeouts. I’ve taken medical timeout’s myself before, so that shouldn’t be a massive turning point in the match.
“I was disappointed that I let that become a turning point. I’m experienced enough now to be able to deal with that.
“It’s a disappointment today without a doubt. But we learn and we move on.”

Following their match, there are questions as to if a player should be entitled to such a break if they have no injury as such. Although Barty is staying clear of weighing in on the debate herself.

“I don’t write the rules. I abide by them,” she stated.
“It’s not my place to comment whether she had an injury or not. That’s the physios and the doctors. Obviously that she’s taken her medical timeout meant that there was something wrong. She was within the rules.”

Muchova later told reporters that at one stage she felt like she was going to faint on court due to the heat. It was after that when she received treatment which included having her blood pressure taken and being cooled down with ice.

Through to her first Grand Slam semi-final, Muchova will next play America’s Jenifer Brady.

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Felix Auger Aliassime leads the ATP Next Gen Race to Milan

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Felix Auger Aliassime rose to the top of the ATP Next Gen Race to Milan after strong performances at Wimbledon, Cincinnati and at the uS Open. 

 

After reaching the quarter final at Wimbledon the Canadian player advanced to the last eight at the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati before losing to Stefanos Tsitsipas. It was the second time he reached the quarter final in a Masters 1000 tournament. 

At the US Open the 21-year-old Canadian player edged Roberto Bautista Agut in a five-set match before beating Frances Tiafoe to reach the semifinals. Auger Aliassime became the first Canadian player to reach the semifinals at the US Open in the tournament history and the youngest player since Juan Martin Del Potro won the tournament in 2009. 

“I am happy with the level I have been playing at times, with the results I have had. It’s a positive week. Things are moving in the right direction”, said Auger Aliassime. Carlos Alcaraz has become the fourth player to secure a spot in the Next Gen ATP Finals after Auger Aliassime, Jannik Sinner and Sebastian Korda. Alcaraz became the youngest US Open quarter finalist in the Open Era after scoring an upset third-set win over Stefanos Tsitsipas. The player coached by Juan Carlos Ferrero also won the ATP 250 title in Umag and reached the semfinals in Marbella and Winston Salem.

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Liudmila Samsonova sets up semifinal against Jelena Ostapenko in Luxembourg

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Liudmila Samsonova upset this year’s Olympic champion Belinda Bencic 6-1 6-4 with three breaks of serve to reach her third semifinal of the season at the Luxembourg Open. 

 

Samsonova broke twice in the second and sixth games to win the first set 6-1. The Russian player claimed the second set 6-1 with a break in the third game and sealed the win on her first match point. 

Samsonova beat Bencic for the second time this season after beating the Swiss player in the final of the WTA grass tournament in Berlin. 

Bencic dropped serve three times in her first tournament since reaching the quarter finals at the US Open where she lost to eventual champion Emma Raducanu. 

Samsonova will face 2019 Luxemburg Open champion Jelena Ostapenko, who edged past Alizé Cornet 7-6 (8-6) 6-2. Ostapenko improved her winning streak to 8-0. Ostapenko went down a break twice in the first set. Cornet earned a chance to serve for the set at 5-4, but Ostapenko did not face any set point. Ostapenko saved the first set point in the tie-break before earning the mini-break to win the tie-break 8-6. Ostapenko broke twice in the third and seventh games to win the second set 6-2. 

Marketa Vondrousova completed the semifinal line-up with a 7-5 6-2 win over number 2 seed Elise Mertens after 1 hour and 37 minutes. Mertens broke serve in the eighth game to take a 5-3 lead. Vondrousova won four consecutive games with two breaks to take a 7-5 lead. The Czech player broke twice in a row in the third and fifth games to win the second set 6-2. 

Clara Tauson broke twice in each set to beat Marie Bouzkova 6-3 6-2. 

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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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