Venus Williams Is Triumphant in Wimbledon Return But Unclear On Her Future - UBITENNIS
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Venus Williams Is Triumphant in Wimbledon Return But Unclear On Her Future

She is back in business but for how much longer?

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image via facebook.com/wimbledon

Earlier this year Venus Williams traveled to the French Open with no intention to play. She then planned to do the same at Wimbledon but seeing the grass in person changed all that.

Nine months had gone by since the former world No.1 last played a match in the first round of the Chicago Open. At the age of 42 and with a troublesome knee issue, her lengthy absence from the sport sparked speculation that she is entering into retirement. This may still be the case but at The All England Club she couldn’t resist another go.

“It was definitely super last minute. I was just inspired by Serena (her sister),” said Williams.

The choice of her return is in the mixed doubles where she has paired up with Jamie Murray who won the title with Jelena Jankovic in 2007 and Martina Hingis in 2017. Playing their first match on Court One, they were greeted by loud screaming fans who cheered them on throughout the match. Spurring them on to defeat Alicja Rosolska and Michael Venus 6-3, 6-7(3), 6-3.  

“​​I had no plan to play,” the seven-time Grand Slam winner admits. “I saw the grass and I got excited. I was at the French (Open), it’s a beautiful event, but my heart didn’t beat the same way.”

It is the ambiguity in Williams’ comments which makes it near impossible to establish what she may do in the future. This year might be the last time she plays at Wimbledon but then again she may have another last-minute change of heart in 12 months time again.

“You never know where I’ll pop up,” she replied when asked about a potential return.

Incredibly this year is the 25th anniversary of when Williams made her Wimbledon debut back in 1997. During her career, she has won 49 tour titles, spent 11 weeks as world No.1 and has earned more than $42M in prize money.

Despite her vast experience, you can never beat the feeling of success. This was evident following her mixed doubles triumph where she was seen sitting down momentarily to soak up the atmosphere.

“It was like, ‘Oh, my God, wow.’ I not only played a match but won a match. I’m never like that kind of player. I always expect to win. But when I sat there it was real. I felt something in my heart.” She said,

Hoping to continue her Wimbledon run, Williams and Murray will play Alicia Barnett and Jonny O’Mara. That could be Williams’ last match at SW19 but at the same time who knows what the future has in store? 

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Jelena Ostapenko beats Greer Minnen to reach the second round at Eastbourne

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Number 6 seed Jelena Ostapenko beat Belgian qualifier Greet Minnen 7-6 (7-3) 6-1 after 1 hour and 29 minutes to secure a spot in the second round at the Rothesay international in Eastbourne. 

Ostapenko won the Eastbourne title in 2021 and reached the 2022 final before losing to Petra Kvitova. 

Minnen led by a break three times and served for the set at 5-4 and 6-5 but Ostapenko pulled back on serve each time. 

Ostapenko fired a backhand crosscourt winner to earn three set points at 6-3 in the tie-break. The Latvian player converted his first chance with a forehand return winner. 

Both players traded breaks in the first two games of the second set. Ostapenko earned a second break in the third game, but she took an off court medical time-out after a fall at 3-1 in the second set. 

Ostapenko recovered by winning four consecutive games with two breaks to win the second set 6-1. 

“Grass is a great surface, but sometimes it can be slippery and really tricky. So I took the medical time-out just to make sure I am fine”, said Ostapenko.  

 “I think the surface suits me really well. The first I played on grass, I was like: ‘How can we play tennis on this surface ? I don’t understand what’s happening here, but then every year was better and better”, said Ostapenko. 

British wild card Harriet Dart battled past former Wimbledon quarter finalist Marie Bouzhkova 7-5 6-7 (7-9) 6-4 after 3 hours and 29 minutes in the third-longest match on the WTA Tour this year. 

Bouzhkova broke twice in the third and fifth games to open up a 4-1 lead, but Dart won six of the next seven games with three breaks of serve to win the first set 7-5. 

Dart fought back from 1-4 down to force a tie-break with two breaks of serve in the sixth and eighth games. The British player never held a match point in the second set. Bouzhkova converted her fourth set point to seal the tie-break 9-7 after a 88-minute second set. 

After a trade of breaks at the start of the third set, Dart earned a decisive break in the third game to take a 2-1 lead. The British wild card saved a break point at 4-3 en route to the win. 

Dart was scheduled to face 2022 Wimbeldon champion Elena Rybakina, but the Kazakh player withdrew from the tournament on Monday due to a change of schedule. Dart will face wild card Sofia Kenin, who won the Australian Open title and reached the final at Roland Garros in 2020.  

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(VIDEO) What A Weekend For Italian Tennis!

Ubitennis founder Ubaldo Scanagatta looks back on this week’s action on the ATP Tour.

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Jannik Sinner – ATP Halle 2024 (foto via Twitter @atptour)

It has been a memorable Sunday for Italian tennis with the country winning two titles on the ATP Tour. 

In Halle, world No.1 Jannik Sinner claimed his first trophy on the grass with a hard-fought two-set win over Hubert Hurkacz. There was also success in the doubles tournament with top seeds Simone Bolelli and Andrea Vavassori winning the title. Meanwhile, in London, Lorenzo Musetti was unable to make it a hatrick of wins for his country after losing in the final of the Cinch Championships to Tommy Paul.  

So how much can be read into these wins and should we be expecting similar results at Wimbledon which begins a week tomorrow? 

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Jannik Sinner reaches the first grass final of his career in Halle

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Jannik Sinner overcame Zhang Zhizhen 6-4 7-6 (7-3) to reach the first final of his career on grass at the Terra Wortmann in Halle. Sinner achieved his best result on this surface when he reached the semifinal at Wimbledon in 2023. 

Sinner will face a final against his friend Hubert Hurkacz, who beat Alexander Zverev 7-6 (7-2) 6-4 in the first semifinal. The Italian player converted his only break point in the ninth game and fended off the only break point he faced at 5-6 in the second set with a forehand winner, one of his winners of the match. 

The Italian player earned an early mini-break to take a 2-0 lead. Zhang Zhizhen pulled the mini-break back. Sinner earned two mini-breaks in the fourth and eighth points to win the tie-break 7-3. Sinner won the first of the four tie-breaks he played this week.

Sinner finished the match in straight sets after clinching three consecutive three-set wins at the start of his campaign at this year’s edition of the Terra Wortmann in Halle. 

The world number 1 player won three titles on hard court at the Australian Open, Rotterdam and Miami this year. 

“It means a lot. I had four tough matches to go to the final. It was a good match today. Definitely more rallies than yesterday. And that’s definitely what I needed today. I am happy and let’s see what’s coming tomorrow”, said Sinner.  

Earlier this week Zhang Zhizhen had previously beaten Danil Medvedev in the second round and came back from 2-5 down to beat Christopher Eubanks in the quarter finals. 

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