Venus Williams Reacts To Winning First Tour Match In 18 Months At ASB Classic  - UBITENNIS
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Venus Williams Reacts To Winning First Tour Match In 18 Months At ASB Classic 



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This year marks the 29th anniversary of Venus Williams’ first Tour win and remarkably the veteran player is showing no signs of retiring from the sport. 


Now at the age of 42, Williams has returned back to winning ways at the ASB Classic where on Monday she recorded her first Tour win in over a year. In her opening match, she defeated 21-year-old Katie Volynets 7-6(4), 6-2, in under two hours. A player who wasn’t even born when Williams won her first of seven Grand Slam titles at the 2000 US Open. 

During her latest match, Williams won 80% of her first service points and broke her opponent four times. It is the first time she has won a singles match on the Tour since Wimbledon 2021. However, she played just four tournaments throughout the entire 2022 season. As a result, she is currently ranked 1003 in the world and is relying on wildcard’s to enter the main draw of events. 

“I haven’t played a lot, in years! So it’s never easy to walk out there,” quoted Williams as saying.
“I know I’m playing well, but getting into a match is a completely different story.
“It was a tough match today, she got so many balls back and it just felt good to be able to play well against an opponent who’s on the rise.”

Unlike her sister Serna who confirmed last year she was starting to ‘evolve’ away from tennis, Williams has been hard at work improving her game. In a video published on her Youtube channel last month, she spoke about working on her forehand, serving and volleying. 

“I did my best to put some time in on the court after the US Open, so that goes for something,” she commented on her performance against Volynets.
“But like I said, I’ve probably played some of the least matches on the WTA Tour.
“So I knew going out there it wasn’t going to be an easy task for me, mentally, physically, or anything.
“But what I need is to win some matches, get out there and get more and more comfortable. So it’s nice to see that some things were still firing.”

She will be hoping to keep firing in the second round where she faces Chinese world No.84 Zhu Lin who stunned fifth seed, Madison Brengle, 4-6, 7-6(6), 6-4, in her opening match. 

Williams has won the ASB Classic once before in her career which was in 2015. She was also runner-up to Ana Ivanovic in 2014. 

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Hamad Medjedovic moves to 2-0 in Red Group at the Next Gen Finals in Jeddah



Hamad Medjedovic edged past Luca Van Assche 4-2 2-4 4-3 (9-7) 4-1 to move to 2-0 In Red Group at the Next Gen ATP Finals in Jeddah one day after winning a marathon five-set match against Alex Michelsen. 


Medjedovic broke serve in the third game of the opening set to take a 2-1 lead. He held serve and saved two break points in the sixth game to close out the first set 4-2. 

Van Assche saved three break points at 2-2 before breaking serve in the sixth game  with a running forehand pass to seal the second set 4-2. 

Medjedovic earned a break point in the first game of the third set, when Van Assche made a double fault. Van Assche saved them to hold on his serve. Both players held on serve en route to a tie-break. Van Assche raced out to a 5-1 lead. Medjedovic won three consecutive points to claw his way back to 4-5. Van Assche earned three set points at 6-4, 6-5 and 7-6, but Medjedovic won the final three points to win the tie-break 9-7. 

Medjedovic left the court for nine minutes for a bathroom break. 

Medjedovic broke serve in the fourth game to take a 3-1 lead. When he was serving out the match, he saved three break points as he closed out the win with two unreturned serves. 

“For sure the tie-break changed a lot of things in this match. He had three set points. I stayed focused on the important points. I was consistent, hitting the ball hard, and I am glad that I won the tie-break”, said Medjedovic. 

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Abdullah Shelbayh upsets Alex Michelsen to win his first win at the Next Gen Finals in Jeddah



Jordan’s wild card Abdullah Shelbayh beat world number 97 Alex Michelsen 4-2 1-4 4-0 4-0 to clinch his fourth top 100 win. Shelbayh moves to 1-1 in Red Group. 


Shelbayh hit 26 winners, including seven aces. The Asian player will face Serbia’s Hamad Medjedovic in his third round robin match. 

Shelbayh earned the first break in the third game of the opening set to take a 2-1 lead. The wild card held his next two service games at 30 to close out the first set 4-2. 

Michelsen, who reached the ATP 250 final in Newport last summer, broke in the second game of the second set to take a 2-0 lead, when Shelbayh made a backhand error. 

Michelsen earned a break point in the first game of the third set, but Shelbayh saved it with an ace. The Jordanan player held serve before breaking serve to close out the third set 4-0. Shelbayh won four consecutive games with two breaks of serve to win the fourth set 4-0. 

“Having the opportunity to play here now to finish here, I could not ask for a better end to the year. I appreciate all the support throughout the week that I have been receiving already, throughout the year and from the Arab world especially. It makes me happy to represent my country. There is some pressure but you feel like it’s good pressure to have on you shoulders when you are representing your country and the region you come from”,said Shelbayh. 

Shelbayh improved his ATP ranking from world 470 to 185. His tennis idol is Rafael Nadal. Shelbayh has trained at the Rafa Nadal for more than five years. Toni Nadal flew to Jordan when Shelbayh was 13 years old to recruit him to train at the Rafa Nadal Academy. He became the first Jordanan player to win a main-draw ATP Tour match last April against Elias Ymer in Banja Luka. 

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Arthur Fils eases past Flavio Cobolli to move to 2-0 at the Next Gen Finals in Jeddah



World number 36 Arthur Fils eased past Flavio Cobolli 4-1 4-2 4-2 in 59 minutes to move to 2-0 in Green Group at the Next Gen ATP Finals in Jeddah. Fils won 72% of his first service points and fired five aces. 


Fils saved a break point in the first game on the deciding point. The Frenchman broke serve in the second game and rallied from 0-30 down to hold serve in the third game. 

Fils served out the first set 4-1 with a hold at love. 

Cobolli made a double fault at 30-30 in the first game of the second set, but Fils broke serve when Cobolli hit his backhand into the net. 

Cobolli saved a break point with an ace on the deciding point in the third game. Fils won his next two service games with ease to seal the second set 4-2. The Frenchman dropped two points on serve in the second set.

Fils earned an early break in the first game of the third set. Cobolli broke straight back to draw level to 1-1. Fils broke for the second time at love in the third game with a backhand down the line return winner and sealed the win on his second match point. 

Fils, who beat Luca Nardi in five sets in his opening match, will face Dominic Stricker in his third round-robin match. 

“I played very nice today. I served very good, and I was moving well on the court, so I am very happy with it. Tomorrow I have a good match against a great opponent. He already beat me once this year, so let’s what I can do”, said Arthur Fils. 

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