‘Excited And Humbled’ Ash Barty Hopes To Emulate Idol Goolagong At Wimbledon - UBITENNIS
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‘Excited And Humbled’ Ash Barty Hopes To Emulate Idol Goolagong At Wimbledon

The Australian will making her own personal tribute to the 1971 champion throughout the tournament.

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2021 04 29 MADRID - MUTUA MADRID OPEN DE TENIS 2021

Ash Barty says ‘dreams don’t always come true’ but has vowed to give her all to win this year’s Wimbledon Championships.

The world No.1 heads into the Grand Slam with questions looming over her current form and fitness on the Tour. Barty hasn’t played a competitive match since withdrawing from her second round match at the French Open due to a flare up of a left hip problem. As a consequence the Australian hasn’t played in any event leading into Wimbledon and last played a competitive match on the grass back in 2019.

“We’ve (my team) been able to go through the rehab, do what we’ve needed to do, give ourselves the best chance to play here at Wimbledon,” Barty commented on her recovery.
“Now I feel like I’m fit, I’m ready to play and I’m excited to play. To have an opportunity to again play the main draw here at Wimbledon is certainly something that excites me and really drove me to do everything as best as I possibly could with my team to make sure we’re fit and we’re here playing.”
My preparation has been as good as it could be. I couldn’t ask anything more of myself to give myself an opportunity to play here at Wimbledon,” she added.

In the past Barty has experienced mixed fortunes at The All England Club where she has reached the fourth round only once in four attempts. Although she has previously won the junior title back in 2011 before reaching the women’s doubles final two years later with Casey Dellacqua.

Due to reigning champion Simona Halep withdrawing from the tournament, Barty will be the woman who will open up play on Center Court on the first Tuesday. A tradition which is usually given to the player who had won the previous year.

“I’m extremely excited and humbled to have the privilege and to have the honour,” she commented.

Perhaps even more special for the 24-year-old is that her presence at the tournament coincides with the 50th anniversary of Evonne Goolagong’s triumph. To mark the occasion she will be wearing an outfit inspired by the one her idol wore back in 1971.

“Evonne has guided the way. She’s created a path for all of us as Australians, but as a family and for our heritage to know that there is an opportunity to chase after your dreams and to do what you love,” said Barty, who has an Aboriginal heritage like Goolagong.
“She’s created a legacy like no other in Australia. I think I’m exceptionally proud to be able to call her a friend and a mentor, to be able to share heritage. For me to be able to pay tribute to that on a really special anniversary is something that I’ll never forget. I know not only myself but my team, my family, and Evonne and her family are really excited for the outfit, as well.”

The top seed will start her campaign against Carla Suarez Navarro who will be playing in the tournament for the last time in her career. Navarro returned to the Tour earlier this year after successfully overcoming cancer.

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Wrist Injury Threatening To End Holger Rune’s Olympic Dream

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Holger Rune will have a second medical opinion on Monday before deciding if he is fit enough to play at the Olympic Games, according to his team. 

The Danish world No.17 recently retired from his quarter-final match at the Hamburg Open due to a knee injury. The hope at the time was that his withdrawal would be just a precautionary measure ahead of the Olympics. However, he is also dealing with a second issue that appears to be more serious.

According to TV 2 Sport, Rune has been struggling with a wrist issue and underwent a scan on Sunday which his mother Aneke says ‘doesn’t look promising.’ Aneke is also the manager of her son’s career. Rune’s Olympic dreams now rest on the outcome of a second medical expert that he will visit tomorrow who has a better understanding of the sport. 

“Unfortunately, it does not look promising after the first medical opinion after the review of the scan of the wrist,” Aneke Rune told TV 2 Sport.

“We are waiting for two tennis-specific doctors who will give a second opinion tomorrow (Monday). Tennis wrists look different from regular wrists, so we’ll hold out hope for one more day.” 

Rune is one of three Danish players entered into the Olympic tennis event along with Caroline Wozniacki and Clara Tauson. The country has only won one medal in tennis before which was at the 1912 Games when Sofie Castenschiold won silver in the women’s indoor singles event. 

So far this season, the 21-year-old has won 27 matches on the Tour but is yet to claim a title. He reached the final of the Brisbane International and then the semi-finals of three more events. In the Grand Slams, he made it to the fourth round of the French Open and Wimbledon. 

It is not known when a final decision regarding Rune’s participation in Paris will be made.

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Hubert Hurkacz Undergoes ‘Knee Procedure’ Ahead of Olympic Bid

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Poland’s top player on the ATP Tour is not giving up on his dream of winning a medal at the Olympic Games despite recently undergoing a medical procedure.

World No.7 Hubert Hurkacz suffered a knee injury during his second round clash at Wimbledon against France’s Arthur Fils. In the fourth set tiebreak of their clash, Hurkacz dived for a shot but landed badly on his knee and required on-court medical attention. He then played two more points before retiring from the match. 

In a social media post published on Wednesday, the  27-year-old confirmed he underwent a procedure on his knee earlier this week but didn’t provide any further details.  Although Hurkacz has stated his intention to play at the upcoming Olympic Games in Paris, where the tennis event will be held on the clay at Roland Garros. 

“I had a knee procedure this Monday, but I’m feeling better already and my team and are dedicating extensive time each day to the rehab process.” He wrote on Instagram. 

“It’s a dream for every athlete to represent their country at the Olympics, and I want to make sure I am fully fit and ready before making the final decision to step on court. The aim is not only to participate, but to win a medal for my country.”

So far this season Hurkacz has won 34 out of 48 matches played on the Tour. He won the Estoril Open in April and was runner-up to Jannik Sinner in Halle. 

The Olympic tennis event is scheduled to begin a week Saturday on July 27th. Poland is yet to win a medal in the event but expectations are high with women’s No.1 Iga Swiatek also taking part. 

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Krejcikova Comes Alive With Her Serve To Win 12th Grand Slam Title At Wimbledon

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image via x.com/wimbledon

It must have seemed like the whole world was against her when Barbora Krejcikova served for the match for a third time against crowd favorite Jasmine Paolini.

But Krejcikova was only going for her 12th Grand Slam title. She was well prepared.

So, she released her patented way-out-wide serve to the smallish Paolini’s backhand, and the best the Italian could do was get her racket on the ball enough to return the serve far off the court, long and wide.

ARMS UP FOR A CHAMPION

The weight of the world was gone as Krejcikova threw her arms over her head and calmly walked to the net to greet the Wimbledon runner-up.

Now, Krejcikova was half-way home to a career Grand Slam in singles. She already owns a career Grand Slam in doubles among her dozen Grand Slam titles that also include one mixed doubles Grand Slam title.

She has won the hard ones, the French Open on clay and Wimbledon on grass.

At 28 years old, anything must look possible to this 5-10 Czech.

KREJCIKOVA COMES THROUGH UNDER PRESSURE

Paolini simply was out played in a second straight Grand Slam final, on clay and on grass. Now she faces the real tests, two straight Grand Slam tournaments on hard surfaces that might not be overly friendly to the 5-4 Paolini.

But there it was, a 6-2, 2-6, 6-4 victory for Krejcikova on Wimbledon’s famed Center Court.

After what might be called a throw-away second set for Krejcikova, she came alive in the third set, pinning Paolini to the deep corners while nailing low hard-hit balls to both corners.

Krejcikova got off to 40-0 starts on her first four service games of the decisive set and ended all four with service winners to take a 5-3 lead (with the aid of the only service break of the third set). She yielded only one point in those four service games, a double fault at 40-0 that was followed by an ace.

Of course, it was the serve again that saved the day for Krejcikova and gave her set points two and three, then sealed the deal for a spot in Wimbledon history.

James Beck was the 2003 winner of the USTA National Media Award  for print media. A 1995 MBA graduate of The Citadel, he can be reached at Jamesbecktennis@gmail.com. 

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