Jennifer Brady Says She Once Hated Tennis After Australian Open Breakthrough - UBITENNIS
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Jennifer Brady Says She Once Hated Tennis After Australian Open Breakthrough

The American tennis star details what ‘made her realize’ that she wanted to become a professional player following college.

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This year’s Australian Open has confirmed to America’s Jennifer Brady that she belongs at the top of the game as she enjoys her best ever run at the tournament.

 

The world No.24 is through to the semifinals in Melbourne Park after fighting back from a set down to defeat compatriot Jessica Pegula 4-6, 6-2, 6-1. To put that achievement in perspective Brady had lost in the first round of the tournament in two out of her three previous appearances at the event. In her latest win, she impressively won 82% of her first service points and produced a total of 22 winners.

Brady’s breakthrough in Australia follows-up on her run at the US Open last year where she also reached the semi-final stage. It was during 2020 when she broke into the world’s top 50 for the first time and won her maiden WTA title in Lexington.

“I think they’re separate entities,” Brady replied when comparing her runs at the Australian Open to that of the US Open.
“It definitely helps, just helps my overall confidence. Knowing that I belong at this level, I can compete in the second week of Grand Slams consistently, and I hope to continue to do that consistently.’
“It will obviously benefit me moving forward.”

At a younger age Brady would never imagine she would have such success in a sport which she admits to having a love-hate relationship with. Speaking franking with reporters on Wednesday, the American says for her it was a case of ‘growing to love’ the sport instead of love at first sight.

“When I was younger, I used to hate watching tennis, I didn’t really enjoy playing either, to be honest,” she said. “I would say as the years go by, I enjoy it more and more.”

So what changed? Unlike her peers, Brady didn’t go straight into professional tennis and instead opted to go through the college system first where she enjoyed a high amount of success. During her freshman year at UCLA she help her team win the 2014 Division 1 Women’s Tennis National Championship.

It was at college where Brady came to a revelation that sport and not education was what she wanted to do. She didn’t play in a main draw of a Grand Slam until the age of 21.

“I didn’t like to study. I didn’t like school. I found that out real quick when I went to college,” Brady reflected. “I was like, okay, studying isn’t really for me. I’m not made for a desk job. I enjoy playing tennis. So it took me to get away a little bit from the sport to realize that this is what I want to do.”

Now a full-time player, she is just two wins away from her first Grand Slam title. Standing in her way of the final is Czech Republic’s Karolina Muchova who has knocked Ash Barty out of the tournament. The winner will then take on either Naomi Osaka or Serena Williams for the trophy.

“I think it’s a huge achievement for me to make these semi-finals here. I look to make the finals, so we’ll see,” she concluded.

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Aljaz Bedene rallies from one set down to beat Jannik Sinner in Montpellier

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Slovenia’s Aljaz Bedene came back from one set down to beat 2019 Next Gen ATP Finals champion Jannik Sinner 3-6 6-2 7-6 (7-5) to reach the second round at the Open Sud de France in Montpellier. Sinner was hindered by a back injury in the final stages of the match. 

 

Bedene entered the match with a 2-1 lead in his head-to-head matches against Sinner, but the Italian 19-year-old player won their most recent clash at the Great Ocean Road Open in Melbourne en route to the second title of his career.  

Sinner earned his only break in the fourth game to take a 3-1 and held his next service games to close out the opening set 6-3 with a forehand down the line. 

Sinner went down 0-40 in the fourth game of the second set on serve, but he saved three consecutive break points. Bedene converted his fourth break point at deuce, as Sinner made an error at the net. Sinner forced the next game to deuce, but Bedene held his serve to open up a 4-1 lead. Bedene closed out the second set 6-2 with his double break at 15.

Sinner saved a break point and held serve after two deuces in the second game. The Italian player wasted two break points in the third and fifth games. 

Sinner earned an erly mini-break, but Bedene got back on serve immediately. Bedene opened up a 4-2 lead with two more mini-breaks in the tie-break before Sinner received a medical time-out to a lower back injury. Bedene earned two more mini-breaks to close out the match after 2 hours and 39 minutes. 

Bedene becomes the first player outside the top 10 to defeat Sinner indoors in a year. Sinner entered the match on a 10-match indoor winning streak against players outside the top 10, which dated back to the quarter final defeat against Pablo Carreno Busta in Rotterdam. 

“In the first set Sinner was the better player. Afterwards, I became more aggressive and was making less mistakes. I think that decided it. On the important points I was there. I didn’t lose my focus”, said Bedene. 

Bedene set up a second round match against Egor Gerasimov, who beat Andy Murray 7-6 (10-8) 6-1on Tuesday evening. 

Alejandro Davidovich Fokina converted six of his fifteen break points to overcome Bernabe Zapata Miralles 7-6 (7-3) 5-7 6-2 setting up a second round match against Hubert Hurkacz. 

French qualifier Gregoire Barrere broke twice in each set and won 65 % of his second service points to defeat Nikoloz Basilashvili 6-4 6-4. 

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Marin Cilic beats Taro Daniel to reach the quarter final at the Singapore Open

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Former US Open champion and world number 3 Marin Cilic won 82% of his first-serve points and and fended off three of the four break points he faced to claim a 7-5 6-4 win over Taro Daniel after 1 hour and 40 minutes at the Singapore Tennis Open. 

 

Cilic converted his second break point at deuce in the third game to take a 2-1 lead. Daniel broke back in the eighth game to draw level to 4-4. Cilic earned his second break in the 11th game and served out the first set at love in the 10th game. Cilic earned the only break in the 10th game to seal the second set 6-4. 

Cilic set up a quarter final match against South Korea’s Soonwoo Kwon, who came back from one set down to beat Thai-Son Kwiatkowski 4-6 6-3 6-4. 

Fourth seed Alexander Bublik fired 10 aces to beat Turkish qualifier Altug Celikbilek 6-3 6-2. Bublik will take on Yoshihito Nishioka, who won 62 % of hsi second serve points to claim a 6-4 6-2 win over Maxime Cressy. 

Australia’s Alexei Popyrin overcame Adrian Andreev 6-1 5-7 6-3. Popyrin earned two breaks in the fourth and sixth games to win the first set 6-1. Andreev sealed the second set 7-5 with his only break in the 12th game. Poppyrin broke twice in the fifth and ninth games to close out the third set 6-3.  

Italy’s Roberto Marcora broke once in each set to upset former top 10 player Ernest Gulbis 7-5 6-4 setting up a second round match against Frenchman Adrian Mannarino. Matthew Ebden edged Yuki Bhambri 6-3 7-6 (7-3) to secure his spot in the second round where he will face second round match against second seed John Millman.

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Lorenzo Sonego beats Sebastian Korda to reach the quarter final in Montpellier

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Lorenzo Sonego cruised past US Next Gen player Sebastian Korda 6-3 6-2 after 1 hour and 15 minutes to reach the quarter final for the eighth time in his career on the ATP Tour. Sonego will face either David Goffin or Benjamin Bonzi. 

 

Sonego did not convert a break point at 2-1 in the opening set. Korda earned two break points in the fifth game, but Sonego saved them at deuce. The Italian player broke serve at 15 to open up a 4-2 lead and held his next service games to claim the first set 6-3.

The second set went on serve the first four games before Sonego earned a break with a forehand passing shot to take a 3-2 lead. The 2020 Vienna finalist came back from 0-30 down to hold his serve before breaking for the second time in the seventh game at 15 to race out a 5-2 lead. Sonego served out the win on his first match point in the eighth game to reach his first ATP Tour quarter finals this year.

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