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    LI NA: SERENA CAN PULL IT OFF

    June 29, 2018 // Comments Off on LI NA: SERENA CAN PULL IT OFF

    Tennis legend Li Na is backing WTA star Serena Williams to make a return to the game after recovering from the birth of her first child. The American is seeking a quick return to the game in January and there are fears that the recovery time is too short.

    The 36-year old won the Australian Open in January 2017 despite being pregnant. She took the year off but she is planning a quickfire return for the same event in 2018. She gave birth to her daughter: Alexis Olympian Ohanian Jr. on September 1, meaning she would take less than five months to make a return to the physically demanding sport.
    (more…)

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    MUrray Blossoming

    September 8, 2014 // Comments Off on MUrray Blossoming

    Clearly, Andy Murray has not given as many days to his fans to celebrate as he should have after his glory in Wimbledon last year. He has had a lean patch of about 12 months or so, but, currently at Flushing Meadows, the 27-year old is blossoming.

    In the pre quarter final round yesterday, Murray got better of the French star Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in what was a hard fought encounter to set a meeting with the top seed Novak Djokovic.

    Tsonga is not an easy player to contain on a hard court. His reach is as long as anybody else in the world and to add to that, he has got enormous physical strength. When he starts getting his timing right, he can pose threat to even the greats. So, top game was needed from Murray’s side to make sure that he got past the Frenchman and the Scot brought that sort of performance out of him. He showed what a class act he is.

    Tsonga was actually not in a poor nick. He was just about there in all the sets, but, he faltered during the important moments and that tilted the match towards Murray who deserves praise for keeping his cool.

    In the post match interview, Murray was quoted as saying, “Playing two and half hour match in such humid conditions is exhausting. Fortunately, towards the end of the match, the temperature dropped just a little bit, but, it was still very hot and I think I did well to fight it out. I was just looking not to let the momentum drift in the opposite direction.”

    It was Murray’s 12th match against Tsonga and it was the 10th time that he ended on top of the Frenchman. This is certainly an incredible record

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    Navratilova Praises Djokovic

    August 7, 2014 // Comments Off on Navratilova Praises Djokovic

    Martina Navratilova has hailed Novak Djokovic for not giving up in that epic Wimbledon final against Roger Federer last week.

    That was a marathon match in which Djokovic looked like emerging out victorious at one point of time, but, he lost the plot in the 4th set losing 5 games on the trot.

    People especially Djokovic’s fans started fearing that the 26-year old might choke again, but, that wasn’t the case to be. The Serbian made a Grand come back in the 5th set after being broken once and ended up clinching the title.

    Djokovic had made his way to the All England Club this year with a reputation of a choker after having lost most of his final matches of late, but, he got rid of that tag with a superb outing in Wimbledon.

    Talking about Djokovic’s glory, Navratilova said, “If he had lost this one, he would have developed huge self doubt. It would have been extremely difficult for him to recover from another setback, but, the great players show their character when their backs are against the wall and that’s what Novak did. He’s gone for all money, but, he refused to give up. He kept fighting and fighting and don’t forget whom he was up against. He was up against Roger.”

    “I would say this Novak victory is the one of the greatest efforts that I have ever seen. Rafa had done something similar to this in Australia in 2009.”

    Djokovic had brought in a bit of experience in his support staff in the form of Boris Becket towards the end of last year and that seems to have helped him for sure.

    With this Wimbledon title, Djokovic has now taken his slam tally to 7. He has won all the slams except the French Open so far in his career.

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    15 WINS AND COUNTING

    March 28, 2014 // Comments Off on 15 WINS AND COUNTING

    Serena Williams’ dominance over Maria Sharapova continued yesterday too as the American superstar defeated her Russian opponent easily in the semi final round match in the Sony Open tennis tournament.

    Serena faced a few problems when the match started. She was actually down by 1-4 in the opening set, but, once she got going, she was unstoppable. 11 out of the last 14 games went in her favour.

    This win obviously made sure that Serena would enter the title round of the tournament. It’s the 9th time that she has managed to reach this stage here in Miami. On 6 out of the previous 8 occasions, she has lifted the trophy and people around the globe would not be surprised at all if she converts this opportunity into title victory as well.

    Competing against her in the final though will be Li Na who has been in great form in the recent times.

    Talking to the reporters after beating Sharapova, Serena said, “I found it tough today. Maria began brilliantly and won early games, but, I didn’t lose my shape there. I focussed even harder after that and pulled things back thankfully.”

    When reminded that it’s going to be her 9th appearance in the Miami final, she said, “That’s great really. I had no idea about that. It’s one of the venues where I like playing the most and I am thrilled that I have made it to the final once again over here.”

    Meanwhile, in the men’s category, as expected, the Czech player Tomas Berdych made his way into the final 4 by getting better of Alexandr Dolgopolov of Ukraine.

    It was a straight set win for Berdych. He has not lost a set in the tournament till this point of time.

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    HALEP DREAMS

    January 2, 2014 // Comments Off on HALEP DREAMS

    The 2013 season was the best season of the career of the 22 years old Romanian youngster Simona Halep. She jumped 36 places up in the world rankings and was in the top 20 at the end of the season. Even her fans would not have been backing her to do that.

    Halep won a total of 6 singles titles during 2013 and she won all of them in the latter half of the year. The only player who won more singles title than Halep in the last season was Serena Williams who is the no. 1 player in the world.

    Halep hadn’t lifted even one trophy before 2013. She believes that the reason behind her huge amount of success in the recent past is that she is not putting unnecessary pressure on herself. She is just trying to enjoy herself on the court and that’s bringing the best out of her.

    However, one thing needs to be noted here that the tournaments that Halep won in the last season were not the major ones. She did not defeat too many top players during the season and it would be in the back of her mind. She would be aware that people would start calling her a quality player only if she produces the goods at the highest level.

    In two out of the 4 Grand Slams last season, Halep got beaten in the very first round. She couldn’t go that far in the other two either.

    The one advantage that Halep had had in the last season was that there wasn’t much expected from her. But, that will not be the case in the upcoming season. She would be carrying the burden of expectations next year and it would be interesting to see how she deals with that pressure.

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    WIN IS A RELIEF

    October 9, 2013 // Comments Off on WIN IS A RELIEF

    Serena Williams has said that her victory over the Belarusian player Victoria Azarenka in the final of the US Open was a big relief to her.

    Serena lifted the singles trophy for the 5th time at Flushing Meadows a few days back by securing a straight set win over Azarenka in the final.

    Talking to the reporters about that win, Serena said, “I was not satisfied with my performance in the season. I had won at Roland Garros, but, barring that, I was not that consistent. I hadn’t even reached the quarterfinals at Wimbledon. So, I was not feeling that good going into the US Open. But, lifting the trophy there has certainly made me feel better.”

    This year’s US Open was the 17th Grand Slam title won by Serena in her career. Now, she has only 5 less than Steffi Graf who is the leading Grand Slam winner in women’s tennis.

    When asked what her future targets are, Serena said, “I haven’t set any particular goal for myself. I just want to keep winning matches. Fitness wise, everything is perfect at the moment and I can tackle hectic schedules. I am really looking forward to the upcoming months.”

    When asked about her being levelled with Roger Federer as far as winning the Grand Slams is concerned, Serena said, “It’s really a privilege to equalize Roger’s record. He has been amazing over the years and he is still going pretty well. I think he can still lift a few Grand Slam trophies.”

    When asked about her total career earnings going past 50 million Dollars, Serena said, “Yes, I was told by someone about that earlier today. Money is not something which I play the game for. It’s secondary. The thing which has kept me going is my love for the game.”

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    SERENA PULLS OUT

    October 7, 2013 // Comments Off on SERENA PULLS OUT

    Serena Williams will not make an appearance in the upcoming Pan Pacific Open which will be played in Tokyo, Japan. The reason behind her withdrawal is tiredness.

    Announcing her withdrawal from the tournament yesterday, Serena said, “I want to inform you guys that I will not be playing in the Pan Pacific Open this year. It’s obviously gutting, but, I badly need a break. I have been continuously playing since the last few months and I am completely exhausted. I need some time off for my body to recover completely.” (more…)

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    STEPHENS MISSES OUT

    August 28, 2013 // Comments Off on STEPHENS MISSES OUT

    Sloane Stephens has defeated the Russian superstar Maria Sharapova in the second round of the Western and Southern Open. Stephens won the match in three sets by 2-6, 7-6 (7/5), 6-3.

    It was a great effort by the local youngster. She was playing against one of the strongest contenders for the title and she had had her back against the wall. She was close to losing the match at one stage, but, she showed remarkable calmness and battled back to pull off a huge upset.

    This was the 4th match between these two players and Stephens defeated Sharapova for the first time.

    In the post match interview, Stephens said, “The beginning was horrible. Losing a set and then getting down by 0-2 in the second set, she was cruising. I am happy that I managed to pull it back.”

    In the opening set, Sharapova had a terrific start. She bagged the first 3 games in a row with a breakthrough in the second game.

    The next 4 games went with the serve and at the end of the 7th game; Sharapova had a lead of 5-2.

    The Russian player sneaked in another breakthrough in the 8th game and clinched the opener with that.

    Sharapova started in the same fashion in the second set as well. She again managed to break Stephen’s serve in the second game, but, this time around, she failed to consolidate on that. She lost her serve in the next game to lose the advantage.

    In the next 9 games, there were no breakthroughs and at the end of the 12th game, the scores were tied at 6-6 which took the set into the tie breaker.

    In the tie breaker, Sharapova was tentative. She was the more experienced player, but, she couldn’t soak up the pressure well. Some terrible shots came off her racket and she ended up losing the tie breaker.

    In the decider, Sharapova dropped her serve twice in the first 5 games and got trailed by 1-4. She wasn’t able to bounce back from that stage as Stephens held her next couple of serves to finish off the match.

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    TSONGA BEATS FERRER

    June 13, 2013 // Comments Off on TSONGA BEATS FERRER

    Mary Pierce’s countryman, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, has been defeated by David Ferrer of Spain in the semi final of the ongoing French Open. Ferrer won the match in the straight sets by 6-1, 7-6(3), 6-2.

    Ferrer was in fine nick and he outclassed Tsonga in just more than a couple of hours to reach the final of the French Open for the first time in his career. The Spanish no. 2 smashed a total of 24 winners in the match.

    This was the 5th match between these two players and Ferrer defeated Tsonga for the 4th time.

    Ferrer was in his zone in the opening set of the match. He unsettled his opponent with some powerful shots and bagged the first 5 games on the trot. Tsonga finally managed to held his serve in the 6th game to diminish the lead to 5-1, but, that was all for him in the set. Ferrer sealed the set with a serve hold in the 7th game.

    In the second set, Ferrer’s start was awful. He dropped his serve in the second game and lost the first 3 games successively to get trailed by 0-3. But, he bounced back with breakthroughs in the 5th and the 7th game and managed to take a lead of 4-3.

    Tsonga broke Ferrer’s serve again in the 8th game and the scores got levelled at 4-4. There were no breakthroughs in the next 4 games and the set was extended into the tie breaker in which Tsonga looked terribly nervous. He gifted Ferrer some easy points and ended up losing the tie breaker and the set as well.

    In the third set, both the players held their serve in the first 3 games and Ferrer was ahead by 2-1 when the 3rd game ended.

    The Spanish no. 2 got a breakthrough in the 4th game and then increased his lead to 4-1 with a serve hold in the next game.

    After that, Ferrer just needed to hold his remaining serves to win the contest and he did that quite comfortably to move into the title round where he will face his compatriot Rafael Nadal.

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