We created a brotherhood: Leander Paes on his successful partnership with Mahesh Bhupathi
Mumbai, Sep 24 (Sports News) Many years ago, Leander Paes acted on a whim when he asked Mahesh Bhupathi, "Would you like to win Wimbledon?" and the tennis star says what followed was a partnership that brought many trophies for India.
This "brotherhood" between the two Indian tennis icons, who were the first doubles team from the country to win at Wimbledon in 1999, is what the two tennis legends have revisited through ZEE5's non-fiction series "Break Point".
Paes said the audience will get to see a faithful representation of their journey through the series, directed by filmmaker couple Nitesh Tiwari and Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari.
"We created a brotherhood. And through ‘Break Point’, you get to see the journey of two young Indian boys and how we conquered the world of tennis, won Wimbledon and became number one in the world," Paes told PTI in an interview.
Once the poster boys for the sport in the country, nicknamed the "Indian Express", Paes and Bhupathi played together from 1994 to 2006 and reunited for their second stint from 2008 to 2011.
Besides the Wimbledon championship that they won in 1999, Paes and Bhupathi also won two French Open titles in 1999 and 2001.
Through "Break Point", Paes said he re-lived all the games that he and Bhupathi played together including the several Grand Slams and the Olympics, while also taking note of the ups and downs of their relationship, among other things.
"One of my favourite memories is when I was 16-year-old playing in Sri Lanka, and Mahesh was 15, playing at the same Asian championships. So when I saw him, I had an intuition that we could win Wimbledon together and we could be number one in the world.
"So I watched him play for about 15 minutes and when he came off the court he had a big smile on his face and I shook his hand. I said, 'I am Leander.' and he said, 'I know and I have been following you'. And then I said, 'Thank you, but would you like to win Wimbledon?'" Paes said.
He recalled that Bhupathi was taken aback by what he said and started laughing.
"He said, 'You're crazy.' I said, 'I am crazy. Would you like to win Wimbledon?' And the rest is history," added Paes, who as a singles player had famously won the bronze medal in tennis at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.
What Paes respects a lot about Bhupathi is that he believed in his dreams and worked hard for them.
"I think that what we've achieved together has created some world records as we are unbeaten in the Davis Cup in 24 matches, we played so many Olympics together.
"We've been number one in the world together. So I really respect the hard work that you put into believing in that dream." Their partnership, however, was marred by a public fallout in 2012 ahead of the London Olympics but Paes said they have put that past behind them and moved on in their lives.
He described the show as quite "real" and "raw".
"We are very true to telling the story of how we were pioneers at the time because there was no manual to teach us how to be the best in the world.
"And it also shows our mistakes, the downfalls that we had, the things that possibly we did wrong that we could have done better." Personally, for him, his win at Atlanta Olympics is a moment closer to his heart as it seemed like emulating his Olympian father Vece Paes.
The tennis star felt that one of the key reasons why they chose to narrate their own story through "Break Point" is that they wanted to share a true story.
"One of the reasons we didn't choose actors and told it directly from our own mouths and our own stories…and also we got our parents, siblings, friends and opponents that we played against, like the Bryan twins, the Woodies, Martina Hingis, Radek Stepanek, Mark Knowles.
"I'm really appreciative of all of them coming and taking part in ‘Break Point’," he said.
Praising Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari and Nitesh Tiwari, Paes said the directors have gone beyond the game and tapped into the human aspect.
"Through all the episodes, they take you through a journey of human emotions. They show you how champions are built, how Champions also make mistakes and that they are human also.
"They show you how winning Wimbledon on one day might make you the king of the world but the next day you are vulnerable too,” he added.
Paes is grateful to the director duo, writer Piyush Gupta and the streaming platform ZEE5 for giving them the platform to narrate their story in multiple languages.
"It's been one phenomenal journey. We proved that if you work hard and if you believe in yourself, have the courage to believe in your dreams, you can be world champions, for sure.
"With this show, we can actually reach the masses to inspire them that if these two can win Wimbledon then you can also be a champion of the world in anything you want to." "Break Point" will stream on ZEE5 on October 1.
Also Read : Tokyo Olympics gold medallist Neeraj Chopra meets Abhinav Bindra
News Source : PTI
Andy Murray reaches first ATP quarter-final since 2019 after defeating Vasek Pospisil
to progress into the quarter-finals of the Moselle Open in Metz. The former World Number 1 reached his first ATP quarter-final since 2019 and will now face either Wimbledon semi-finalist Hubert Hurkacz or Frenchman Lucas Pouille.
Murray overcame Pospisil in the seventh game of the opening set but went 2-0 down in the second set as the Canadian looked to be back in the game. Murray maintained his composure and levelled the score 3-3 soon enough by keeping pressure that resulted in some unforced errors by the Canadian. Murray is currently ranked 113th in the world and is making his second appearance at the Metz, having reached the final in 2007. The three time Grand Slam winner has undergone two surgeries on his right hip in three years and is looking to rediscover his old form by winning his first ATP tour event since the European Open in Antwerp in 2019.
In a courtside interview with Amazon Prime, Murray said "I was trying to make him work on his service games, and he has an excellent serve, then likes to dictate with the first ball after. I was trying to focus on getting lots of returns back and then when I got the opportunity I was trying to put some pressure on him, I think I did that well.
"For the most part, I served pretty well, lost my rhythm a bit at the end of the first set, start of the second, but I returned well and played a smart match.
"Even after I had a breakdown, I was still creating chances and once I got back into the second set I gained a bit of confidence and was a little bit more offensive, that was what turned the match for me.
"My body feels good and I am starting to gain just a little bit of confidence with each match, starting to see the points and how I want to play them, which is great.
"There have been times in the past year where I have been a little bit confused and not seeing how the points are developing which was always a strong part of my game.
"It made me feel quite uncomfortable on court when I was feeling that way, so I am starting to get that back and the results are coming, my tennis is getting better."
Virat Kohli joins Hyperice as athlete-investor, global brand ambassador
New Delhi, Sep 16 (Sports news) Hyperice on Thursday said Indian cricketer Virat Kohli has partnered with the global wellness brand as an 'athlete-investor' and brand ambassador.
Through the partnership, Kohli will work collaboratively with Hyperice to further accelerate the wellness category as it begins its expansion into India and continues its growth throughout the globe, a statement said.
However, financial details of the partnership were not disclosed.
"Virat Kohli joins an unmatched list of elite global athlete-investors, including global football superstar Erling Haaland, 4-time tennis Grand Slam champion Naomi Osaka, Super Bowl MVP Patrick Mahomes, NBA Star Ja Morant and PGA Tour champion Rickie Fowler," it added.
A Hyperice spokesperson said India is one of the company's top three expansion markets.
"India is one of our top three expansion markets, so we are putting significant resources toward growing the category in India. Hyperice is approaching a billion dollar valuation, and we believe Virat's involvement in our global expansion will play a significant role in helping increase our valuation," the spokesperson told PTI.
Hyperice is a high-performance wellness brand that aims to serve a broad audience of athletes, fitness enthusiasts, and anyone looking to combat the impact that sport and daily life have on their minds and bodies.
"Consumers across the country will have access to our wellness technology products through Croma and on the Hyperice India website. Hyperice is rapidly expanding in countries throughout the globe and views India as a priority market for further expansion," the spokesperson said.
Hyperice is strategically building its business locally and views the relationship with Virat Kohli as a massive growth accelerator, the spokesperson added.
"Virat is one of the most prolific cricketers around the world and we are honored to have him join Team Hyperice.
"We are on a mission to help everyone move and live better, and Virat is key to helping us elevate the importance of both mental and physical wellness for all people - both on and off the field," Jim Huether, CEO of Hyperice, said in the statement.
Founded in 2010 by Anthony Katz, Hyperice has numerous product lines and categories including Hypervolt (percussion line), Normatec (dynamic air compression), Vyper and Hypersphere (vibration), Venom (thermal technology), Core by Hyperice (mind technology) and Hyperice X (contrast therapy).
"Hyperice has provided me with a suite of innovative products that have continuously helped me optimise my performance and recovery, so it was a no-brainer for me to join the team as both an investor and ambassador.
"Hyperice is on a mission to help people move better around the world, and I look forward to helping tell their story in my home country of India and beyond," Kohli said.
Also read: BCCI announce Virat Kohli to step down as captain of India's T20I side after the ICC Men's T20 World Cup
News source: PTI
Davis Cup: Indian players need to give their all against Finland
Espoo (Finland), Sep 16 (Tennis news) India's singles players will need to back their talent with some killer instinct for the team to emerge victorious against a reasonably strong Finland in the Davis Cup World Group I tie, starting here on Friday.
Prajnesh Guneswaran and Ramkumar Ramanathan have the experience of playing the big matches.
They have rubbed shoulders with better players but it's time for them to move forward from playing mere close matches. They need to deliver that knockout punch that will take India to the next year's Qualifiers.
If Ramkumar can play the same way he competed against 2014 US Open champion Marin Cilic in the previous tie against Croatia and does not miss the chances he gets, India will have a very good chance in the tie.
As the second-best ranked player from India, Ramkumar will be up against Finland's number one player Emil Ruusuvuori, who is placed 74 in the world, on the opening day of the tie.
If Ramkumar takes the court first and puts India on board, that will be a huge result for the visitors and take the pressure off Prajnesh (ranked 165) who will most likely compete against Otto Virtanen (ranked 419).
Prajnesh too gets close to wins with his talent but has the tendency of giving up advantageous positions, like the one against Borna Coric in the last tie against Croatia.
Maybe it's pressure of playing for the flag but the left-hander from Chennai insists it is not the case.
"Matches against good players are always close if I'm playing well. I have won matches against good players being in the lead and I have also lost matches being in the lead. That's just the way they go," Prajnesh told PTI.
"Matches which are closely fought can go either way. There is no pressure of playing for India that influences me...Sometimes there's more pressure, other times that's less.
"Again, just depends on how well I cope on that particular day," he added.
India considered the doubles point in their pocket till the time Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi competed together but now things have changed.
Rohan Bopanna (44) has immense experience of the big stage and he needs to use all of that to shepherd the team with Divij Sharan (86) since their opponents -- Henri Kontinen (ranked 46) and Harri Heliovaara (ranked 76) -- will be a tough nut to crack.
Bopanna and Sharan have played only one tie together, winning against Italy in March 2019.
Most of 40-year-old Bopanna's doubles wins have come either with either Paes or Saketh Myneni.
It remains to be seen if captain Rohit Rajpal fields Bopanna with Sharan or Myneni, who is the fifth member of the squad.
Kontinen has played three of the four Grand Slams this year with Edouard Roger-Vasselin but paired with Heliovaara at the US Open, probably to get ready for this tie.
They had a decent first round before losing in a close three-set match.
Non-playing captain Rohit Rajpal feels that the conditions are not entirely in the favour of the hosts since the low bounce of the courts will benefit the Indian players, who can play the chip-and-charge game to counter their rivals.
Also Read : Low bounce, not-so-fast court surprises Indian Davis Cup team in Finland
News Source : PTI
The 21st Slam in 2022 or the end of the big three reign, two groups on two different missions
(Tennis news) With the end of the final Grand Slam this year, the big three will start next year with 20 Grand Slams and there will be pressure on each of them when they face their younger rivals who are also on a mission. The US Open final saw youngsters all over the place as the older players just couldn’t match the energy with their juniors.
Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer, the three greatest players whose rivalry has a new target. Federer and Nadal are plagued by injuries as they would not be competing this year, something which was supposed to clear the route for Djokovic but the next generation came in the way. The Australian Open next year will be a must watch as now the draw is hard to predict.
Focusing on the big three’s mission, Djokovic is the youngest as he is 34 years old with Nadal being a year older and Federer at 40 being the oldest. Djokovic is aging gracefully as he has reached the last four finals at the Grand Slam and won three of them which means that he is the clear favourite on any surface. Djokovic is the third man to win all the Grand Slams twice and the first one in over four decades, he defeated Nadal in the semifinals at the French Open this year and also saved two match points in the final at Wimbledon against Federer two years back.
Nadal has his best chances at the French Open which he has won a record 13 times. Even though he is affected by injury a comeback is never off the charts and is a fighter off court too. Nadal’s attacking style has cost him multiple times but he has the never give up spirit which even troubled Federer at his prime. Nadal has struggled in Wimbledon and also in Australian Open, French Open has been his home and the US Open also has been kind to him in recent times.
Federer was written off by critics 4 years back as he had not won a Slam since 2012. In the 2017 season he came back from an injury and made one of the most inspiring comebacks by winning two slams in the year which included a record 8th Wimbledon title. Federer is always a contender even though his last Slam was the Australian Open which he won three years ago and will hope to come back next year to further add more records in his glittering career. Maybe even a dream US Open clash facing Rafael Nadal as both of them have never played at Flushing Meadows.
The second mission is spearheaded by the newly crowned US Open champion Daniil Medvedev followed by Alexander Zverev, Dominic Thiem and Stefanos Tsitsipas. These players are most likely to take the game ahead in the coming years when the big three step out of the court. They have the potential to win slams even if the big three is on the way and even if the odds are against them as seen at the US Open.
Dominic Thiem and Daniil Medvedev are the only players to win a Slam in their pack. Zverev and Tsitsipas have reached the finals of a Slam and are expecting to open their tally next year. This year there were a lot of matches where these players made up for the absence of the veterans. Players like Matteo Berrettini who made the Wimbledon final, Andrey Rublev, Felix Auger Aliassime, Denis Shapovalov are also not far behind in troubling the big three and the emergence of even younger players like Carlos Alcaraz Garfia, Jannik Sinner, Lorenzo Musetti and Jenson Brooksby add more woes to the seniors.
Next year it might not even be about who will win the 21st Slam. It will be about who’s going to take the baton or to rephrase who’s going to grab it as the chances are high that the younger generation start their dominance and assert their presence on court. These players are ready to make history and take what is rightfully theirs, the courts are going to get messy but that's what happens in an invasion.
Also read: Daniil Medvedev’s groundbreaking run at the US Open gives hope to the next generation of stars
Daniil Medvedev’s groundbreaking run at the US Open gives hope to the next generation of stars
(Tennis news): Daniil Medvedev has pulled off one of the biggest upsets in tennis history as he defeated Novak Djokovic in the most unforeseen circumstances at the US Open. The odds were against Medvedev as he was facing arguably the most versatile tennis player on the planet but Medvedev put all that aside and did not let Djokovic in his head.
Djokovic was having the best possible year as he was unbeaten in Grand Slams and was looking to repeat the feat achieved by Rod Laver in 1969. Rod Laver was himself present in the crowd as his record was in danger but as the match started the record seemed to move further away. Medvedev played like he had nothing to lose and just broke Djokovic mentally as the pressure to win the calendar slam rocketed.
Djokovic lost the opening set as he had done previously in the last four matches and he had always come back in those matches but this time it looked like it was getting delayed as Medvedev did not falter at any point of time and kept winning points as he looked at the crowd which was witnessing a major upset.
Djokovic changed his shirt in the beginning of the last set as he tried one last time to make a comeback and there was a slight hope that the match would go another set and the crowd was suddenly chanting for Djokovic’s revival. Djokovic had the lost the first set at Wimbledon against Matteo Berrettini but even more notable was that he had the lost the first two sets against Stefanos Tsitsipas at the French Open but found ways to finish with the trophy in hand.
It was looking as if Medvedev had lost control and would choke in the end but Medvedev made sure the crowd would get the answer quick and clear. Maybe the Australian Open final against Djokovic in the year beginning played a major part in Medvedev’s victory or the pressure got to Djokovic in winning the calendar slam which does not seem likely.
The match saw both the players becoming emotional as there was a lot at stake especially for Djokovic. Djokovic was also seen smiling in the end as it reminded the crowd of the same grin which was there 10 years back when Djokovic saved one of the match points against Roger Federer in the semifinal with a powerful cross court forehand. This time Djokovic was seen in tears as he put the towel in his face before the last game and Medvedev who is known for his celebrations which involves a smile or just a thumbs up also did not hold back as he just fell on the court after winning the last point.
This victory is one of the most significant victories ever in the game, Rafael Nadal was defeated for the first time at the French Open in 2009 by Robin Soderling and it was a huge victory as Nadal had won the last four titles. Roger Federer was defeated in the same year at the US Open final by Juan Martín del Potro and Federer had won the last five titles. Nadal was defeated by the brutal strength of Soderling’s forehand and Federer was annihilated by Potro’s forehand, but the difference here is Djokovic had won all the Slams in the year, something which had not happened in the last 52 years.
Roger Federer was known for his ability to excel in all the surfaces but even he had his troubles in clay as he struggled especially against Nadal. Djokovic has proved himself to be a court player as he has continued to win no matter what the surface or opponent is but will be wondering what went wrong against Medvedev.
Medvedev stopped Djokovic from a historic calendar Slam and also from a record 21st Grand Slam title. Medvedev had already lost to Djokovic in the Australian Open final but none of that mattered to him when he played the final here at the US Open. Medvedev has now cemented his place in the list of greatest upsets and is the second man born in the 90’s to win a Grand Slam after Dominic Thiem took the title here last year.
Daniil Medvedev will celebrate his achievement now as he will lift the trophy and make sure he gets more next year. As for Djokovic it will be a painful defeat as he was only victory away but being the athlete he is there is no need to wait for him to bounce back. Djokovic will look to defend the titles next year and hope to give company to Rod Laver next time.
Also read: Paralympic stars Dylan Alcott and Diede de Groot create history by winning the Golden Slam in wheelchair tennis
Paralympic stars Dylan Alcott and Diede de Groot create history by winning the Golden Slam in wheelchair tennis
(Tennis news) History was created on Sunday when Dylan Alcott and Diede de Groot won the U.S Open to conclude the most successful tennis campaign imaginable. Nobody in the history of wheelchair tennis had won the Golden Slam until yesterday and when it finally happened, it occurred not once but twice.
Having already won the Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon and Paralympic gold medals, Dylan Alcott and Diede de Groot won the U.S Open in dominant fashion to cement their historic accomplishment. World number 1 from Australia Dylan Alcott defeated Niels Vink of the Netherlands 7-5, 6-2 in the quad singles division while Dutch World Number 1 Diede de Groot defeated 2nd seed Yui Kamiji of Japan 6-3, 6-2 in the Women’s Singles Final.
Only Steffi Graff in 1988 has won all four Grand Slam titles and an Olympic gold medal in the same year. The accomplishment was not possible in wheelchair tennis until 2016, when Wimbledon was added for wheelchair tennis players. Alcott, who previously won a Paralympic gold medal in basketball in 2008 became the only male tennis player to win the Golden Slam.
In his acceptance speech, Alcott said “To all the sponsors, everybody that makes it happen, thank you for putting us on stadium courts, changing my life, changing Niels's life, but hopefully changing the lives of millions of people with disability around the world, that they can see themselves on the big stage doing what they love." He continued, "I used to hate myself so much. I hated my disability. I didn't even want to be here anymore. And I found tennis, and it changed and saved my life, and now I've become the only male ever in any form of tennis, I think, to win the Golden Slam, which is pretty cool."
Both Dylan Alcott and Diede de Groot were honoured during the men’s final between Novak Djokovic and Daniil Medvedev. Alcott poured a can of beer into his trophy and chugged it, much to the crowd's delight. "I just haven't done it in front of 20,000 people and 50 million watching. There was no chance I wasn't going to skull that beer on Arthur Ashe after I just won the Golden Slam.
"I saw I got a smile from Novak and Medvedev, action which was nice. I wouldn't want to be a beer in New York tonight, because you're going to get destroyed. That's for sure.''
Also read: Daniil Medvedev does the impossible against Novak Djokovic at the US Open final, Emma Raducanu captures first Grand Slam in style
Daniil Medvedev does the impossible against Novak Djokovic at the US Open final, Emma Raducanu captures first Grand Slam in style
(Tennis news): The final slam of the year never had any shortage of records or entertainment as the tournament came to an end with the last match being the Men’s Singles. The Men and Women’s Singles saw first time Grand Slam champions as the last two weeks saw the younger generation hogging the limelight.
In Men’s Singles, Daniil Medvedev won his first Grand Slam in the most extraordinary way possible and did it when it mattered the most. Medvedev was just better than Novak Djokovic in the final and has marked an important day in the history of tennis. Medvedev's service helped him against the Serbian, Djokovic dropped the first set but it looked like his usual games and a comeback was expected but Medvedev simply decided to continue.
Medvedev’s serve looked in trouble as he double faulted in his first championship point as the crowd started cheering for Djokovic. The Russian made sure the chants did not affect him as he served out the match and just fell on the court when he won the final point. Medvedev defeated Djokovic 6-4, 6-4, 6-4.
In Women’s Singles, Emma Raducanu picked up her first Grand Slam in a record second appearance as she beat Leylah Annie Fernandez in a full packed Arthur Ashe Stadium. Emma did not drop a set in the tournament and looked super confident right from the start of the match as she became the first qualifier ever to win a Grand Slam title.
Emma relied on quality shotmaking and placement as Leylah was unable to pick up momentum in both the sets. The 18 year old did not slow at any point and always had the upper hand over Leylah as she won the title to end the week with a remarkable performance. Emma defeated Leylah 6-4, 6-3.
In Women’s Doubles, Samantha Stosur and Zhang Shuai defeated tennagers Caty McNally and Cori Gauff in a match between two generations. The match saw Caty and Cori lifting up the crowd set as they took the second set with wild celebrations. Stosur and Shuai finally delivered in the end as they captured the title in under 2 hours. Stosur and Shuai defeated Cori and Mcnally 6-3, 3-6, 6-3.
In Mixed Doubles, Joe Salisbury and Desirae Krawczyk captured the title as they beat Marcelo Arévalo and Giuliana Olmos in straight sets. The first saw them holding their serves till the 11th game as Joe and Desirae finally broke the serve and it was all needed to win the set. In the second set Joe and Desirae broke serve in the very first game as it proved to be a major breakthrough for the pair. Joe had earlier won the doubles title with Rajeev Ram and followed it up with a win in the mixed doubles too. Joe and Desirae defeated Giuliana and Marcelo 7-5, 6-2.
Also read: Joe Salisbury and Rajeev Ram win doubles title at the US Open, Novak Djokovic and Daniil Medvedev reach summit clash
Joe Salisbury and Rajeev Ram win doubles title at the US Open, Novak Djokovic and Daniil Medvedev reach summit clash
(Tennis news): In Men’s Singles, Daniil Medvedev proved why he is the world number 2 as outsmarted Felix Auger Aliassime in the semifinals of the US Open. Medvedev has been finishing matches quickly in the tournament so far and the semifinal was no different. Felix started well as he came into the net and picked up a few points in the first set but Medvedev was always a step ahead.
In the second set Felix gave his best shot as he raked up a 5-2 lead and even had a set point at 5-4 even as Medvedev slowly started coming back. Medvedev took the second set as he reeled off the final five games and the third set saw Felix making an exit from his best ever performance in a Grand Slam. Medvedev defeated Felix 6-4, 7-5, 6-2
Novak Djokovic beat Alexander Zverev for the third time this year to reach the finals of the US Open. Djokovic made sure what happened in Tokyo stayed in Tokyo as he did not let his guard down and kept fighting till the last point. Djokovic repeatedly came into the net to outplay Zverev, Zverev then could not get the ball past him. Although Djokovic won the match it certainly brought out some great rallies from the players. Djokovic defeated Zverev 4-6, 6-2, 6-4, 4-6, 6-2.
Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Andy Murray have been exchanging the world number one ranking since 2004. The last time someone outside the big four became world number was in 2003 when Andy Roddick was on top and Daniil Medvedev has a chance to topple Djokovic if he manages to stop him in the final.
Djokovic is reaching the finals of all the Slams for the second time as he did it first in 2015. The last Calendar Slam was achieved by Steffi Graf in 1988 and in the Men’s field by Rod Laver in 1969. Djokovic will be under pressure as he is going to break many records when he steps on the court against Medvedev, but he has excelled in times like these and acts quick in times of crisis.
Djokovic is the hot favourite to win the Championship as Medvedev continues to spearhead the next generation against the big three. Medvedev has it in him to stage an upset and if he does it will be one to be remembered for ages. Whatever the result is on Monday it will be historic and a landmark in the sport.
In Men’s Doubles, Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury won the title as they defeated Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares 3-6, 6-2, 6-2. Rajeev and Joe did not let the first set defeat wear them down as they played aggressively against the error free pair of Jamie and Bruno.
Rajeev and Joe won the Australian Open last year and also reached the final this time. They will look to compete in the year end Championships but for now will celebrate the victory here.
In Women’s Doubles, the pair of Caty McNally and Cori Gauff have reached the finals and will play against Samantha Stosur and Zhang Shuai. Cori and Caty received a walkover in the semifinals against Luisa Stefani and Gabriela Dabrowski. Meanwhile Samantha and Zhang defeated Desirae Krawczyk and Alexa Guarachi 6-2, 7-5 to make it to the finals.
Caty and Cori upset top seeds Hsieh Su-wei and Elise Mertens in the quarterfinals, Cori is only 17 years old and Caty is 19 as Samantha is 37 years old and Zhang is 32. The US Open is indeed an entrance for future superstars as many veterans made their breakthroughs at New York. Samantha Stosur won the Singles title in 2011 and the doubles title in 2005 and it will be interesting to see how they perform against the teenagers given their success at the Singles this time. The Women’s Singles and doubles final will take place tomorrow.
In Mixed Doubles, Giuliana Olmos and Marcelo Arévalo will face Joe Salisbury and Desirae Krawczyk in the championship match. Giuliana and Marcelo defeated Max Purcell and Dayana Yastremska 4-6, 6-4, 10-6 in the semifinals and will expect to have a tough fight against Joe and Desirae. Joe and Desirae defeated Jessica Pegula and Austin Krajicek 7-6(7-2), 6-4 to save some energy for the finals. The finals will be played today.
Also read: Teenagers Emma Raducanu and Leylah Fernandez into the finals of the US Open
Monica Seles will always be the greatest teenager in the history of Tennis
(Tennis news): The recent arrivals of teenagers in the US Open such as Emma Raducanu, Leylah Fernandez and Carlos Alcaraz Garfia have amazed the tennis world. Many teenagers have come and gone in the past few years as only few have managed to stay on the tour. The rest succumb to pressure or lose their magic as they age. Monica Seles is undoubtedly the best when it comes to young talent.
Seles played left handed and had a double handed forehand and backhand which brought out a lot of force in her groundstrokes. She was a baseliner and a very aggressive player who grunted on the court. The significance of Seles still remains as she had beaten the top players in Grand Slams multiple times before even turning twenty as she became a professional player at only 15 years old.
In the Men’s field, the most Grand Slam titles in Singles before the age of 20 is two. The record is shared by three men in the Open era, Boris Becker, Bjorn Borg and Mats Wilander. The women’s field has seen many more younger champions in the field and the record looks astonishing. Monica Seles holds the record for most Grand Slam titles in Singles as a teenager as she won 8 Grand Slam titles before turning twenty.
Steffi Graf and Martina Hingis had won five slams before their twenties. To be able to play on the WTA or ATP at such a young age is itself a major accomplishment but to defeat the top players who have twice the experience is almost impossible. Monica Seles was projected to win more slams than Steffi Graf and even Margaret Court but had an unfortunate end to her career.
Seles won her first Grand Slam in 1990 when she was 16 years old and defeated Steffi Graf in the final to win the French Open. She had reached the semifinals in the previous year, losing to Graff but this time clinched victory in straight sets. Seles won the French Open the next two years as she defeated Arantxa Sánchez Vicario in 1991 and won an epic match against Graf in 1992 as the final set score read 10-8.
Seles also won the Australian Open and US Open in 1991 and 1992, although she won more after turning twenty. She also reached the finals of the all Slams in 1992 and only lost in Wimbledon to Graf, they have played in 10 matches at the Slams with Graf leading with 6 victories. Seles won the Australian Open in 1993 which was her last as a teenager on tour. She also won three successive WTA Tour Finals which is the season ending championship.
On April 30 1993, Seles was playing in the Quarterfinals against Magdalena Maleeva at the Citizen Cup in Hamburg. During the games break, a fan came into the court and stabbed her from behind with a knife which resulted in her taking a break from the competition for two years. After the attack Seles could never come back to her old self and only won one slam after that.
Seles came back to the tour in 1995 and even reached the finals of the US Open where she lost to Graf. She won her 9th and final slam in 1996 by defeating Anke Huber at the Australian Open and reached the finals of the US Open that year again losing to Graf. Seles reached her last Grand Slam final at the 1998 French Open where she lost to Arantxa Sánchez Vicario. She played the French Open in 2003, losing in the 1st round, which was her last official match.
It is almost possible to find a successor to Seles as it requires a lot of talent and hardwork to achieve what she did at that age. In an era where most of the players even fail to win a Grand Slam or win a handful in their whole career. Seles' form in court from 1990 to 1993 was outstanding as she won 8 titles and a runner up trophy. The level of tennis that was on display is still a sight to see and admire as she defied all odds and obstacles. Thirty years later we are witnessing a huge shift in the Men’s and Women’s tour as the young athletes are bagging the spotlight. The Women’s final will see two teenagers battling it out, maybe it's a start to a new era but Seles' record is here to stay.
Also read: Teenagers Emma Raducanu and Leylah Fernandez into the finals of the US Open
Teenagers Emma Raducanu and Leylah Fernandez into the finals of the US Open
(Tennis News): In Women’s Singles, Emma Raducanu showed no intentions of slowing down in her semifinal match against Maria Sakkari. Emma has become the first qualifier to reach the Women’s Singles final in the Open era and she has won all her matches in straight games. Maria tried her best with her powerful groundstrokes but it proved futile as Emma somehow managed to get to them and even return with more power.
Raducanu got off to a fine start as she took the first five games and Maria could only watch as the teenager took the set with ever growing confidence. In the second set again Raducanu never really lost control as Maria tried everything. There was a 17 point rally as Maria was trying to hold off a breakpoint at 2-4 and it involved two overhead smashes at the net which Raducanu defended brilliantly even though Maria won the point, it summed up the whole match. Raducanu defeated Maria 6-1, 6-4.
Leylah Annie Fernandez had to reserve her best for the end as she beat Aryna Sabalenka in her semifinal match. Leylah was down 0-3 in the first set but played like a veteran and took it till tiebreak to take the set even though Sabalenka gave her a tough time. The World number 2 was not going to go down against Leylah without a fight as she took the second set, Sabalenka had strong winners to lift up her spirit from time to time.
Leylah at times could not reach some of the groundstrokes produced by Sabalenka as it was a display of raw power. Although Sabalenka kept hitting powerful strokes it also brought many unforced errors which gave the teenager a hold of the match. Leylah defeated Sabalenka 7-6(7-3), 4-6, 6-4.
Last time the US Open saw two teenagers in a final was in 1999 when Serena Williams defeated Martina Hingis in the final.
Novak Djokovic versus Alexander Zverev
Djokovic and Zvere have played three matches this year with Djokovic leading 2-1. But in their last meeting Zverev pulled off a historic victory against the World number one. All of their matches have gone till the final set this year and Djokvic is the favourite to win the clash against young German.
In this year’s US Open Zverev has only spent 8 hours on the court and Djokovic has spent over 12 hours on the court. The time difference will play a major role even though Zverev will be getting two days and Djokovic will get one day rest. Zverev wil try breaking the Serb physically and also try getting into his head. Djokovic showed visible frustration against Pablo Carreño Busta in the Bronze medal playoff even smashing his racket in the court.
Zverev will try to repeat what he had done in the Tokyo Olympics and if he does will be one of the biggest upsets in tennis history. Djokovic has been invisible this year and stopping him in the Grand Slams is a tough task especially on hardcourts, he has had slow starts this time but once he finds his form there is no chance that he can be beaten this time.
Daniil Medvedev versus Felix Auger Aliassime
Daniil Medvedev is one of the most successful players on tour other than the big three over the past few years. He is the first man other than the big three to hold either of the top two spots in the rankings since 2005 and looks to be the next world number 1.Medvedev has won three titles this year with the latest one being the Toronto Open. He also has 40 victories this year and 10 losses, Medvedev was also the runner up in this year’s Australian Open where Novak Djokovic prevailed in straight sets. He also reached the quarterfinals of the French Open where he lost to Stefanos Tsistipas, Medvedev has so far only lost one set in the tournament.
Medvedev is a very cool and calm player on the court and he does express his emotions a lot. He has a very unorthodox forehand and backhand which enables him to change the direction of the ball quickly. Even though he is tall, Medvedev moves around the court like a gazelle and also has fast serves. He returns far away from the baseline which has been very effective in recent matches. Medvedev has spent over 10 hours on court and looks to be the favourite.
Felix Auger Aliassime is one of the latest players to have come up in the big stages, he has had a decent year but reached the quarterfinals of a Grand Slam for the first time in Wimbledon. Felix is quick around the court and has a stable backhand which comes to play during long rallies. Felix has spent over 14 hours on court and has had tough matches on his way to the semifinals.
Felix did have a great time in the grass courts but on the hard courts this year he has struggled a bit. But in the US Open he showed that he is ready for big time tennis and will look to preserve as much as stamina against Medvedev, Felix will try to finish the rallies quickly as Medvedev is a baseliner and doesn’t come to the net much. The match will be in Medvedev's favour if it goes too long as he has had a similar experience against Rafael Nadal two years back, Felix will try to create more chances early in the match and continue his record breaking run here.
In Men’s Doubles, Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares defeated the pair of Filip Polášek and John Peers 6-3, 3-6, 6-4 in the semifinals. In the second semifinals Steve Johnson and Sam Querrey’s brilliant run came to an end as they lost to Joe Salisbury and Rajeev Ram. Rajeev and Joe defeated Querrey and Johnson 7-6(7-5), 6-4.
Also read: Novak Djokovic books semifinal showdown against Alexander Zverev at the US Open, Emma Raducanu breaks into the last four
Novak Djokovic books semifinal showdown against Alexander Zverev at the US Open, Emma Raducanu breaks into the last four
(Tennis News): In Men’s Singles, Novak Djokovic is now only two wins away from winning the Calendar Grand Slam. Djokovic has now beaten Matteo Berrettini thrice this year, all of them coming in the Grand Slams. Berrettini took advantage of Djokovic’s slow start to take the first set but that was it as Djokovic delivered a masterclass to take the three sets to set up a semifinal clash against Alexander Zverev. Djokovic defeated Berrettini 5-7, 6-2, 6-2, 6-3.
Alexander Zverev put an end to Lloyd Harris’s fairytale run at the US Open. Harris had earlier beaten Reilly Opelka, Denis Shapovalov and Karen Khachanov on his way to the quarterfinals. Zverev was in no way threatened by Harris although in the first set Zverev had to bring out his top game. Zverev also came to the net and effectively used the volley to win points even at crucial stages. Zverev defeated Harris 7-6(8-6), 6-3, 6-4.
In Women’s Singles, Emma Raducanu is making sure she spends more time at the US Open as she beat Belinda Bencic in the quarterfinal. Emma has become the first Qualifier in the open era to make the semifinals at the US Open. Emma was down 1-3 in the first set as Belinda kept showering blows to take an early lead but then Emma came back with an inspiring performance as she took the next five games to take the set. Emma kept hitting better and better as the match went on and Belinda waved goodbye to the crowd. Emma defeated Belinda 6-3, 6-4
Aryna Sabalenka was on her usual attacking form when she beat Barbora Krejcikova in the Quarterfinals. Sablenka had reached the semifinals in Wimbledon this year and looks to win the Championship to reach closer to the number 1 ranking which she has been chasing for some time now. Barbora could not withstand her opponent’s shots in the first set and in the second set made a brief comeback but it was not enough as Sabalenka will play against Leylah Annie Fernandez in the semifinal. Sabalenka defeated Barbora 6-1, 6-4.
Maria Sakkari’s backhand was too powerful and accurate as it played a major role in her quarterfinal match against Karolína Plíšková. The rallies were short as tournament’s ace leader Pliskova could not match Maria’s serve and groundstrokes. Maria is the first Greek player to ever reach a US Open semifinal; she had reached the semifinal at the French Open earlier this year. Maria defeated Pliskova 6-4, 6-4.
Leylah Annie Fernandez versus Aryna Sabalenka
Leylah Annie Fernandez is the second youngest in the last four. The 19 year old produced a huge upset as she knocked out defending champion Naomi Osaka in the third round. She also defeated 2016 champion Angelique Kerber in the fourth round, her powerful strokes and athleticism has served her well in the hardcourts.
Aryna Sabalenka is the world number two and has plenty of experience by her side. She is 6ft tall and uses that for her powerful serves and groundstrokes to beat the opponent. Aryna is also very ruthless and can hit winners from any side of the court; she has dropped only one set in the tournament. She won the doubles title here in 2019 and the Australian Open doubles this year and can use the serve and volley combination to beat the teenager. Aryna will also have the mental strength over her young opponent.
Emma Raducanu versus Maria Sakkari
Emma is having the time of her life as she is into the last four in her second Grand Slam. She has not dropped a set in the tournament and even in the qualifiers did not lose a set. She has grown physically stronger and has not been challenged so far in the tournament. She is the youngest player left in this tournament and in the third round was almost close to a double bagel against Sara Sorribes Tormo. Although she has less experience she certainly looks the favourite given her form in the past few days
Maria Sakkari is a strong server and has powerful groundstrokes to accompany her all-court style of play. She will look to use her experience against the 18 year old and put her under pressure, Maria will also look to use her backhand which was particularly useful against Pliskova. This will be Maria’s second career semifinal after reaching the semifinal at the French Open.
Emma Raducanu is the youngest of the four as she is only 18 years old and Maria Sakkari is the oldest as she is 26 years old. Of the four semi finalists, none of them have ever reached a Grand Slam final and we will be looking at a first Grand Slam winner at this year’s US Open.
Also read: Canadians Felix Auger Aliassime and Leylah Fernandez into the semifinals at the US Open
Canadians Felix Auger Aliassime and Leylah Fernandez into the semifinals at the US Open
(Tennis news): In Men’s Singles, Felix Auger-Aliassime did not have to break much sweat in his quarterfinal match against Carlos Alcaraz Garfia. Alcaraz retired in the second set due to a right adductor injury, Alcaraz had spent over 7 and half hours in his last two matches. Meanwhile Felix has spent 14 hours in five matches this year at the US Open, he played well in the first set as his serves were under control and also came into the net to finish points quickly.
Felix is the first player born in the 2000’s to make it into the semifinals of a Men’s Grand Slam and is also the first Canadian man to make the last four in the US Open. Although he did not expect the match to finish in this way, Felix has been in good form this year. As for Alcaraz his campaign ended in painful fashion and will look to comeback stronger, he could not produce his magic often in the match as he bids farewell to the final Slam of the year. Felix defeated Alcaraz 6-3, 3-1 (retired hurt).
Daniil Medvedev reached the semifinals for the third consecutive time at the US Open as he overcame Dutch qualifier Botic van de Zandschulp in four sets. Medvedev dropped a set for the first time as he had straight set victories till the fourth round, he played his usual self in the first two sets, even served and volleyed a couple of times. The first two sets were wrapped up quickly until Botic took control in the third set but Medvedev didn’t let that affect his performance as he came back to take the fourth and advance into the semifinals. Medvedev defeated Botic 6-3, 6-0, 4-6, 7-5.
In Women’s Singles, Leylah Annie Fernandez continued her giant killing run as she beat Elina Svitolina in the quarterfinals. Elina had won the Singles bronze in the Tokyo Olympics and was looking to make her second semifinal in the US Open after 2019. Leylah’s groundstrokes were no match for Svitolina, Leylah also returned the ball somehow no matter where and how hard Svitolina hit it. Both of them had powerful groundstrokes but Leylah also covered the court like a machine even at the end moments of the match.
In the final set it was 5 all in the tie break, Leylah then hit a banana like forehand which hit the net cord as Svitolina approached it and it was match point for Leylah as she apologised to Svitolina who couldn’t believe it. Svitolina then hit a backhand long to send Leylah into the semifinals. Leylah defeated Svitolina 6-3, 3-6, 7-6(7-5). Two Candians are into the semifinals of the US Open for the first time in the Open era.
In Men’s Doubles, Bruno Soares and Jamie Murray had a close call in the first set as they defeated Marcel Granollers and Horacio Zeballos 6-7(7-5), 6-4, 6-4 in the quarterfinals . Sam Querrey and Steve Johnson made a surprising entry into the semifinals as they defeated Horia Tecău and Kevin Krawietz 6-2, 7-6(7-5).
In Women’s Doubles, American pair of Caty McNally and Coco Gauff did not make it look like an upset as they defeated Andreja Klepač and Darija Jurak 6-4, 6-4 in the fourth round. Caty and Gauff will face top seeds Hsieh Su-wei and Elise Mertens who seem to be the favourites to take the title. Zhang Shuai and Samantha Stosur defeated Caroline Dolehide and Storm Sanders 6-2, 6-3 in the quarterfinals. Zhang and Samantha have not lost a set so far in the tournament.
In Mixed Doubles, Joe Salisbury and Desirae Krawczyk overcame Sander Gillé and Demi Schuurs in the quarterfinal as the match swung in both the teams favour until the final set tiebreak. The first two sets saw the teams dominating each other until the tiebreak finally ended in favour of Joe and Desirae. Joe and Desirae defeated Sander and Demi 6-1, 1-6, 10-7.
Giuliana Olmos and Marcelo Arévalo defeated Marcelo Demoliner and Ellen Pérez 3-6, 6-3, 10-4. Olmos and Arévalo only committed 8 unforced errors as they kept the defensive mode throughout the quarterfinal.
Also read: Emma Raducanu breezes past Shelby Rogers at the US Open, Matteo Berrettini seeks Wimbeldon revenge against Novak Djokovic
Bopanna-Dodig pair goes down fighting in US Open
New York, Sep 7 (Tennis news) Veteran Indian tennis player Rohan Bopanna and his Croatian partner Ivan Dodig fought their hearts out before losing their men's doubles third round to fourth seeds Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury at the US Open here.
Bopanna and Dodig, seeded 13th, lost 7-6(4) 4-6 6-7(3) to the Australian Open runners-up in a gruelling contest that lasted two hours and 30 minutes on Monday night.
With this defeat, India's challenge has ended at the last Grand Slam of the season.
Also read: Emma Raducanu breezes past Shelby Rogers at the US Open, Matteo Berrettini seeks Wimbeldon revenge against Novak Djokovic
Sania Mirza lost her both women's doubles and mixed doubles first rounds and Ankita Raina also lost in the women's doubles.
Prajnesh Gunneswaran, Sumit Nagal and Ramkumar Ramanathan could not not qualify for the singles main draw, falling in the Qualifiers.
News source: PTI
Emma Raducanu the top newcomer in the WTA tour this season
(Tennis news): Emma Raducanu is playing in her second Grand Slam tournament and is into the quarterfinals of the US Open where she will face Tokyo Olympics Singles champion Belinda Bencic. Emma is only 18 years old and has been playing professional tennis since 2018 and played her first main draw tour level match at the 2021 Nottingham Open.
Emma was ranked 338 in the world when she got the wildcard for the Nottingham Open in June, she lost her first match against Harriet Dart in straight sets. Emma also earned a wild card in Wimbledon defeating Russian qualifier Vitalia Anatolyevna Diatchenko in the first round. She had a tough first set but bageled her opponent in the second one. In the second round she defeated 2019 French Open runner up Markéta Vondroušová and Emma didn’t stop there. In the third round she defeated Sorana Cîrstea to become the youngest British woman to reach the last 16 in the open era. She lost in the fourth round to Ajla Tomljanović as Emma had to retire in the second set due to breathlessness. The level of physical fitness of Emma was questioned as she seemed to struggle in the match.
Emma’s efforts were a boon to her rankings as she rose to a career best 179 in the world. She again gained a wild card to the Silicon Valley Classic tournament which was her first entry into a 500 event. She lost in the first round to Zhang Shuai in straight sets, Emma then reached the final of the WTA 125 tournament in Chicago which propelled her to a career best ranking of 150.
Emma’s Meteoric rise on the tour has been exceptional. The sport has seen many different champions in the past twenty years, in the Grand Slam stages there have been different winners as only Serena Williams, Venus Williams and Maria Sharapova have made it multiple times. Serena of course is on a different pedestal but now these young players are slowly rising. Emma played well in Wimbledon, where she reached the fourth round in just her Grand Slam debut. Players of this generation are used to huge crowds and have advanced technologies to analyse their opponents matches. They are well equipped, but the amount of dedication and hardwork will always be the same to be a top ranked player on tour.
The top players have always started out young, some have found success at a very young age like Serena, Rafael Nadal in the recent past and a handful of the players can play for a long time. This US open was a painful reminder to the fans and the audience that the older generation players cannot compete continuously like the younger ones. The youngsters gave the fans and audience a happy reminder that there are more records to come, even though it will take some time. Players like Emma who were not even in the top 300 at the start of the year but now are in the top 150 can be the future superstars of the game.
Emma came in the US Open as a qualifier, where she played three matches and did not drop a set. In the main draw she was expected to have tough challenges but so far has not been facing trouble. Emma upset Shuai Zhang, a player ranked 100 places above her in the second round and in the next round caused a bigger upset as she defeated Sara Sorribes Tormo also bageled her in the second set. Sara had defeated Ashleigh Barty in the Tokyo Olympics and is having a good tour this season, Emma took the first 11 games of the match. In the next round was the biggest upset by Emma yet as she defeated Shelby Rogers. Rogers again had defeated Barty in the earlier round and reached the quarterfinals last year.
It is interesting to see that Emma has not dropped a set yet in the US Open, she has not conceded more than four games in a set against her opponents. In her eight Grand Slam matches so far, she has lost one to Ajla Tomljanović in Wimbledon other than she has won all her matches in straight sets. Emma also recorded a bagel in her very first Grand Slam match, she seems to be very promising and will look to be at her best against Belinda Bencic.
Emma is a right hander who plays a two handed backhand, she has powerful groundstrokes which has been a nuclear weapon in the US Open. She has a total of 92 winners in four matches and so far has quickly closed out the matches. Emma’s physical fitness has improved ever since her Wimbledon retirement, she is now used to the game of the top players. Emma hopefully won’t fall prey to the heavy expectations as every upcoming young player faces this stern task of facing the audience in times of defeat. She will need every bit of strength in the coming matches and the crowd so far has been super supportive of the players. Emma looks to be the flag bearer of the latest generation.
Also read: Emma Raducanu breezes past Shelby Rogers at the US Open, Matteo Berrettini seeks Wimbeldon revenge against Novak Djokovic
Emma Raducanu breezes past Shelby Rogers at the US Open, Matteo Berrettini seeks Wimbeldon revenge against Novak Djokovic
(Tennis news): In Men’s Singles, Novak Djokovic was challenged initially in the start of the match by Jenson Brooksby. Jenson seemed not to be bothered by the World’s best player as he took the first set. The crowd went wild only to watch in despair as Djokovic took the next three as Andy Roddick, a former world number 1 and the champion here in 2003 tweeted perfectly about the match that First he takes your legs, then he takes your soul. Djokovic defeated Jenson 1-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-2.
Matteo Berrettini looked strong and fast as he took on World no 144 Oscar Otte in the fourth round of the US Open. Oscar had reached the fourth round of a Grand Slam for the first time and suffered blows from Berrettini, Oscar took the second set to add some mystery in the clash but it was soon put off as Berrettini close with an ace as he faces Djokovic for third time in a Grand Slam this year after the French Open quarterfinal and the Wimbledon final. Berrettini defeated Oscar 6-4, 3-6, 6-3, 6-2.
Lloyd Harris reached his first Grand Slam Quarterfinal as he out performed Reilly Opelka in every aspect of the game. Harris even lobbed the ball over the 6 foot 11 inch American in the very first game of the match, even though Opelka took the first set Harris simply played better throughout the match. Harris even served more aces than Opelka in every set and in the final two sets Harris was seen toying with perfection as he did not commit a single unforced error and progressed to the quarterfinals. Harris defeated Opelka 6-7(6-8), 6-4, 6-1, 6-3.
In Women’s Singles, Emma Raducanu took just an hour to knock out Shelby Rogers who had beaten Asheligh Barty in the previous game. The scoreboard was supposed to be the same but not in favour of Emma as she took the first set with a blazing forehand return winner. Emma just continued her A game in the second set as she was up 5-0 and Rogers somehow got one game off her. Emma defeated Rogers 6-2, 6-1.
Maria Sakkari reached the quarterfinals of a Grand Slam for the second time after reaching the semifinals of the French Open a few months earlier. Maria had to play a marathon match against 2019 champion Bianca Andreescu in the fourth round. Biana had the chance to settle the match in the second set tiebreak as she needed two points for a win but Maria took the set and took the last three games in the final set to finally finish out in the match in three and half hours. Maria defeated Bianca 6-7(2-7), 7-6(8-6), 6-3.
Barbora Krejčíková won her first Grand Slam in Singles this year at the French Open, She was facing Garbiñe Muguruza for the third time this year and Barbora had won their last meeting in the fourth round of the Cincinnati Open. In the first twelve points of the match, Muguruza could only win two points as Barbora raced off to a 3-0 lead. Muguruza came back with 3 continuous games but Barbora took the next three to take the first set and in the next set Barbora again took the first 4 games. This time there was a much stronger Muguruza as she took the next five games and even had two set points while Barbora was serving at 4-5. Barbora took it to a tie break as it was a close contest in the second set. Barbora defeated Muguruza 6-3, 7-6(7-4).
In Men’s Doubles, Joe Salisbury and Rajeev Ram defeated Rohan Bopanna and Ivan Dodig in the fourth round as the Indian contention at the US Open came to an end. Joe and Rajeev defeated Rohan and Ivan 6-7(3-7), 6-4, 7-6(7-3). Marcel Granollers and Horacio Zeballos did not face much trouble as they defeated Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi and Jonny O'Mara 7-5, 7-5 to go into the quarterfinals.
In Women’s Doubles, Hsieh Su-wei and Elise Mertens continued their smooth run with a hat trick of straight set victories. Hsieh Su-wei and Mertens defeated Greet Minnen and Alison Van Uytvanck 6-0, 6-2 in the fourth round. Luisa Stefani and Gabriela Dabrowski had it rough in the start but eventually defeated Dayana Yastremska and Marta Kostyuk 6-7(5-7), 6-4, 6-2.
In Mixed Doubles, Marcelo Demoliner and Ellen Perez faced tough competition as they defeated Joran Vliegen and Andreja Klepač 6-7(4-7), 6-4, 10-5 to advance into the quarterfinals. Max Purcell and Dayana Yastremska only lost five games as they defeated Fabrice Martin and Yaroslava Shvedova 6-2, 6-3 to enter the semifinals.
Also read: Novak Djokovic four victories away from making history at the US Open, Leylah Fernandez knocks out Angelique Kerber in fourth round clash
Young Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz is breaking records one step at a time
(Tennis news): Carlos Alcaraz Garfia is just 18 years old and already making heavy strides in the game. The US Open has been his major spotlight although he has been making progress since the start of the year. At the start of the 2019 season, he was ranked 490 and by the end of the year he was ranked 130. In 2020 he started the year ranked 130 and the rankings didn't change much as there were few tournaments taking place. He has made his debut in all the Grand Slams this year.
In the 2021 season, Alcaraz made his Grand Slam debut at the Australian Open where he beat Botic van de Zandschulp in the first round but lost to Mikael Ymer in the next round. His major breakthrough came in the AnyTech365 Andalucia Open, a 250 tier tournament where he made the semifinals beating Feliciano Lopez, Casper Ruud on the way. Alcaraz also faced his idol Rafael Nadal in the third round of the Madrid Masters 1000 losing in straight sets.
In the French Open, Alcaraz won his opening match against Nikoloz Basilashvili but lost his next match to Jan-Lennard Struff. In Wimbledon too he won his first match against Yasutaka Uchiyama and in the next match lost to Daniil Medvedev. His next tournament, the Croatia Open 250 will always be special to him as he beat Filip Krajinovic, Albert Ramos-Vinolas and in the final demolished Richard Gasquet for his first ATP tour title.
The Croatia Open has an interesting history behind it. Alcaraz’s coach, Juan Carlos Ferrero had won it in 2010. Novak Djokovic also made his tour level appearance in Umag back in 2003 when Alcaraz was born. The year 2003 is also when Rafael Nadal made his Grand Slam debut and Roger Federer won Wimbledon which was his first Grand Slam title. Alcaraz has a lot of players he can look upto especially his own countrymen, he considers Nadal as his idol.
Juan Carlos Ferrero, a former world number 1 and French Open winner in 2003 has been instrumental in the young Spaniard’s career. He has been coaching him since 2018 and has been bringing in changes constantly especially on his aggressive play. Stefanos Tsitsipas said that he has never seen anybody striking the ball that hard after losing to Alcaraz in the fourth round of the ongoing US Open.
Alcaraz is a right hander and plays a two handed backhand, he employs his powerful forehand to hit winners and also uses a drop shot as he can also finish off points in the net. His endurance was heavily tested against Stefanos Tsitsipas in the fourth round of the US Open, the match lasted for over four hours and Alcaraz had covered 9kms in distance during the match. Although he is young, he has the strength and grit to trouble the top players.
Alcaraz is the youngest Grand Slam quarter finalist since Michael Chang in the 1990 French Open and is the youngest to reach the US Open quarterfinals since 1963. He is the youngest man from Spain to reach the US Open fourth round since Nadal in 2006, Nadal had lost in the quarterfinals to Mikhail Youzhny that year. Alcaraz is also the youngest player to beat a top three ranked opponent since the start of the ATP rankings in 1973.
Alcaraz has a lot to look forward to since he has just started his career and has done it in the best way possible. 16 years ago, on a different surface another aggressive young Spaniard won his first Grand Slam and now will be looking for a successor. Nadal has set the bar high for the future players from Spain, Alcaraz has his targets in sight as he will try to reach the last four and maybe even face Novak Djokovic in a thrilling battle. There are a lot of expectations from the young lad as he will try to break in the next Gen which will be carrying the tour hopefully soon. Alcaraz has been a major headline of this year’s US Open and who knows might even lift a Grand Slam in a year or two.
The tour has seen a lot of youngsters making the top cut, but someone so young shining in the Grand Slams has not been seen in recent years. The pressure and facing the crowds itself is a difficult task and adding to facing top players who have had years of experience. Alcaraz doesn't seem to be distracted by all this as he is now a crowd favourite and showed his best tennis in Arthur Ashe Stadium which is the largest tennis stadium in the world. He will next face Felix Auger Aliassime who is also a rising star himself, it will be a eye dropping battle as the crafty Canadian will take on the aggressive rough Spaniard. A battle of the future stars and they have indeed added more spice in the tournament. The future of tennis is in safe hands and the ball is in the court, let's admire the show while it lasts.
Also read: Novak Djokovic four victories away from making history at the US Open, Leylah Fernandez knocks out Angelique Kerber in fourth round clash
Novak Djokovic four victories away from making history at the US Open, Leylah Fernandez knocks out Angelique Kerber in fourth round clash
(Tennis news): In Men’s Singles, Novak Djokovic shook off a slow start to secure victory over former US Open finalist Kei Nishikori. Nishikori took control in the first set as Djokovic made few unforced errors in crucial stages, but after losing the first set Djokovic made sure the audience will have to wait to see him lose as he progressed into the fourth round. Djokovic defeated Nishikori 7-6(7-4), 6-3, 6-2.
Carlos Alcaraz Garfia continued to scale new heights as he beat Peter Gojowczyk in another five set contest to progress into the quarterfinals. Alcaraz is the youngest Grand Slam quarter finalist since 1990 and will look to create more milestones ahead. Both the players had a good start as they started with a set apiece, Gojowczyk then took the third set for a two set lead as Alcaraz looked in danger. Alcaraz responded sharply as he gave no chances to Gojowczyk in the next two sets to steer the match in his favour. Alcaraz defeated Gojowczyk 5-7, 6-1, 5-7, 6-2, 6-0.
Botic van de Zandschulp from the Netherlands is another player who is seen making great progress in this year’s US Open. He has battled through the qualifiers and has so far 5 career victories all of which have come this year. Zandschulp had taken out eighth seed Casper Ruud in the second round and in his biggest career win defeated Diego Schwartzman in the fourth round. In his four hour battle against Diego, Zandschulp was on fire from the start and took the first two sets. Diego, under pressure fought hard and took the next two and was the favourite to win the final set. Zandschulp crushed the hopes of the world number 14 to progress into the quarterfinals. Zandschulp defeated Diego 6-3, 6-4, 5-7, 5-7, 6-1.
In Women’s Singles, Leylah Annie Fernandez took on another US Open champion and the result was the same as the previous round. Angelique Kerber could only delay her fate as Leylah proved to be too good for her. In the first set Kerber played her usual self and took the first set but in the next set the teenager shot back by winning the second through a tie breaker. In the final set Leylah gave away no chances to Kerber as she cruised into the quarter finals. Leylah defeated Kerber 4-6, 7-6(7-5). 6-2.
Shelby Rogers secured a huge win as she overcame World number 1 Ashleigh Barty in a final set thriller. The first set saw Rogers taking the lead with a defensive play and tried to land the shots in the court, in the second set Barty played even more aggressively as she used her serve and netplay to force the match into a decider. In the final set Barty looked promising with a 5-2 lead until Rogers turned into a gladiator and fought back with mighty force as it came to a tiebreaker. In the tiebreak both the players were on level with five points each until Rogers took two points as the crowd could not believe what they had just witnessed. Rogers defeated Barty 6-2, 1-6, 7-6(7-5).
In Men’s Doubles, Rohan Bopanna and Ivan Dodig had mid match hiccups as they outplayed Arthur Rinderknech and Hugo Nys in a three set second round clash. Bopanna and Dodig defeated Rinderknech and Hugo 6-3, 4-6, 6-4. Jack Sock and Neal Skupski started their campaign with a thumping win over Filip Krajinović and Laslo Đere in the first round, Sock and Skupski defeated Krajinović and Laslo 6-2, 6-3.
In Women’s Doubles, Luisa Stefani and Gabriela Dabrowski had a tight second round clash against Shelby Rogers and Petra Martić as it took two and half hours to secure a victory. Stefani and Dabrowski defeated Rogers and Petra 6-4, 6-7(7-5), 7-6(7-3). Top seeds Elise Mertens and Hsieh Su-wei had an relatively easy second round as they defeated Ulrikke Eikeri and Elixane Lechemia 6-4, 6-2.
In Mixed Doubles, Giuliana Olmos and Marcelo Arévalo caused an uproar as they took out top seeds Nicole Melichar-Martinez and Ivan Dodig in the fourth round. Olmos and Marcelo defeated Nicole and Dodig 7-5, 3-6, 10-5. Jessica Pegula and Austin Krajicek had to struggle in the beginning as they defeated the Japanese pair of Ena Shibahara and Ben McLachlan 7-6(7-1), 6-3.
Also read: Carlos Alcaraz and Leylah Fernandez lead with huge victories at the US Open
Carlos Alcaraz and Leylah Fernandez lead with huge victories at the US Open
(Tennis news): In Men’s Singles, 18 year old Carlos Alcaraz Garfia reported a major casualty when he beat World number 3 Stefanos Tsitsipas in the third round of the US Open. Alcaraz covered over 9 kms during the four hour battle, he even came back from 2-5 in the third set as Tsitsipas simply couldn’t get the ball past him. In the fourth set, Tsitsipas came back roaring with 6 consecutive games to take the match into the decider. Alcaraz played like a true warrior against the Greek god to go into the fourth round. Alcaraz defeated Tsitsipas 6-3, 4-6, 7-6(7-2), 0-6, 7-6(7-5).
World no seven Andrey Rublev was also knocked out by Frances Tiafoe in another five setter as two top ten players have already crashed out of the US Open. Rublev started well taking the first set but Tiafoe immediately answered as he took the next one. In the third set Rublev had a set point in the tie break but Tifaoe managed to sabotage it and went on to win the set. Things were never smooth for Rublev as he could never carry the momentum in the match as Tiafoe constantly troubled his rhythm to take the match. Tifaoe defeated Rublev 4-6, 6-3, 7-6(8-6), 4-6, 6-1.
The third five setter match saw Felix Auger Aliassime continue his good run at the Grand Slams as he recorded a victory against Roberto Bautista Agut in the third round. Felix had earlier reached the quarterfinals in Wimbledon for the first time, he was on course for a straight set victory by taking the first two sets comfortably until Roberto fought back taking the next two. The match was suddenly even and both of them had equal chances. Felix showed tremendous stamina to come out firing in the final set for a well deserved win. Felix defeated Roberto 6-3, 6-4, 4-6, 3-6, 6-3.
In Women’s Singles, 18 year old Leylah Annie Fernandez caused the biggest upset of this year’s US Open so far as she ended the campaign of defending champion Naomi Osaka in the third round. Osaka took the first set and was almost close to taking the next one too until Leylah found hope at the right time. Osaka was serving for the match 6-5 in the second set when Lelyah had other ideas and won the set in the tiebreaker. The final set saw Leylah winning 18 of her 19 first serves and had enough energy left in the tank to blast winners as she grew with confidence in the last few games. Leylah defeated Osaka 5-7, 7-6(7-2), 6-4.
Garbine Muguruza, a two time Grand Slam champion was up against another two time Grand Slam champion Victoria Azarenka. Muguruza started off on a bright note as she took the first set and the duel was bound to go to the third set when Azarenka took the second set with equal ease. In the third set Azarenka lost control of her serve and groundstrokes as Muguruza won the match. Muguruza defeated Azarenka 6-4, 3-6, 6-2.
Two former US Open champions collided in another exciting contest, Angelique Kerber won here 5 years ago and Sloane Stephens had won 4 years ago. Stephens took the first as she looked more comfortable on court than Kerber, but the next two sets saw Kerber walk all over her opponent. Kerber was striking the ball so well and finished the last two sets in jiffy. Kerber defeated Stephens 5-7, 6-2, 6-3.
In Men’s Doubles, Rohan Bopanna and Ivan Dodig took the last two sets to win their opening match against the pair of James Duckworth and Jordan Thompson. Bopanna and Ivan Dodig defeated Duckworth and Thompson 3-6, 6-3, 7-6(7-1). Third seeds Nicolas Mahut and Pierre-Hugues Herbert needed three sets which involved two tie breakers to see off Marcelo Demoliner and Marcus Daniell. Mahut and Herbert defeated Demoliner and Daniell 6-3, 7-6(7-3), 7-6(7-1).
In Women’s Doubles, Desirae Krawczyk and Alexa Guarachi had an easy outing against Rebecca Peterson and Danka Kovinić, Krawczyk and Guarachi just gave four games as they are into the third round. Krawczyk and Guarachi defeated Peterson and Kovinić 6-3, 6-1. Samantha Stosur and Zhang Shuai continued their good run as they defeated Miyu Kato and Sabrina Santamaria 6-2, 6-4.
In Mixed Doubles, Rajeev Ram and Sania Mirza lost their opening match to Dayana Yastremska and Max Purcell as they couldn’t turn things around in the final set tiebreaker. Dayana and Max defeated Rajeev and Sania 6-3, 3-6, 10-7. Joe Salisbury and Desirae Krawczyk had a tough opening match as they defeated Mitchell Krueger and Jamie Loeb 5-7, 6-3, 10-8.
Also read: Jack Sock and Kei Nishikori turn back the clock at the US Open, Nikola Mektić and Mate Pavić exit in the first round in doubles
Jack Sock and Kei Nishikori turn back the clock at the US Open, Nikola Mektić and Mate Pavić exit in the first round in doubles
(Tennis news): In Men’s Singles, Jack Sock entered the third round of a Grand Slam after 4 years. Sock defeated Alexander Bublik in an entertaining contest as both the players were engaged in trickshots and super fast forehands. Sock began to win points at the net right from the start whereas Bublik was simply firing aces along with winners, in the end Sock managed to slow down his opponent for an emotional victory. Sock defeated Bublik 7-6(7-3), 6-7(2-7), 6-4, 4-6,6-3.
Kei Nishikori, also on the verge of a comeback defeated Mackenzie McDonald after spending 4 hours on the court. Nishikori was on course for a comfortable straight set victory as he took the first two sets but a sudden surge from Mackenzie forced the match to the decisive set. Nishikori charged ahead early in the final set as Mackenzie failed to outsmart him, Nishikori will face Novak Djokovic in the third round. Nishikori defeated Mackenzie McDonald 7-6(7-3), 6-3, 6-7(5-7), 6-2.
Andreas Seppi reached the third round of the US Open Singles for the fourth time in 18 years and the first since 2015 as he staged an upset over 10th seed Hubert Hurkacz. Seppi was totally beaten by Hubert in the first set but managed to come back without any trouble to take the next two sets. Seppi then showed no signs of slowing down as he won the match by taking the fourth set tiebreaker. Seppi defeated Hubert 2-6, 6-4, 6-4, 7-6( 8-6).
In Women’s Singles, Varvara Gracheva secured her 13th career win as she beat Paula Badosa. Varvara did not show any form of fear or pressure when faced the world number 26, Varvara led the fight early on as it took her only an hour and 14 minutes to send Paula packing. Varvara defeated Paula 6-4, 6-4.
Jil Teichmann continued to struggle in Grand Slams as she lost to Anett Kontaveit in straight sets. Anett played aggressively and used her serve and volley to beat the in-form Teichmann, Anett made Teichmann run all over the court as the second set saw Anett improving her serve game by game. Anett defeated Teichmann 6-4, 6-1.
Tokyo Olympics Singles Gold Medallist, Belinda Bencic dominated her match against Martina Trevisan to enter the third round. Belinda won 12 of her last 13 points to take the 1st set and took the first five games in the second set as Martina found support from the crowd when she won her fourth and last game. Belinda defeated Martina 6-3, 6-1.
In Men’s Doubles, Wimbledon champions Nikola Mektić and Mate Pavić were stunned by Nathaniel Lammons and Jackson Withrow in straight sets. The Americans beat the Croatians 6-2, 7-5. Kevin Krawietz and Horia Tecău had an easy outing against Márton Fucsovics and Stefano Travaglia as they beat them 6-3, 6-2.
In Women’s Doubles, Elise Mertens and Su-Wei Hsieh took just 43 minutes to demolish the pair of Yulia Putintseva and Anna Kalinskaya with a 6-0, 6-0 victory. The double bagel will give them the boost for the next round. Sania Mirza and CoCo Vandeweghe lost their opening match to Raluca Olaru and Nadiia Kichenok. Even though Sania and Coco started off well by winning the first set, things didn’t go their way as the pair lost the next two. Raluca and Nadiia defeated Mirza and Coco 4-6, 6-4, 6-3.
In Mixed Doubles, 8th seeded Demi Schuurs and Sander Gillé beat Bruno Kuzuhara and Elvina Kalieva as they relied on their serves to get past their opponents. Demi and Sander defeated Bruno and Elvina 6-4, 6-3. Marcelo Melo and Luisa Stefani were beaten by Gabriela Dabrowski and Marcus Daniell in a three set thriller. The final set saw the pair come heartbreakingly close as Gabriela and Marcus edged them in the finish line.
Also read: Rain takes centre stage in the US Open as matches get delayed, Cori Gauff loses to Sloane Stephens
Novak Djokovoc hits few minor bumps against Debutant in the US Open, Maxime Cressy upsets Pablo Carreño Busta
(Tennis news): In the US Open Men’s Singles, Novak Djokovic started off his historic run with minor setbacks as teenager Holger Vitus Nodskov Rune made an impact on his Grand Slam debut. Djokovic wasted no time as made the moves from the very beginning but was outsmarted by Holger at times who gave his everything as he shocked the crowd by taking the second set. Djokovic carried on even though the crowd was not on his side and went on to take the next two sets for victory as Holger had cramps in the final moments of the match. The score line read 6-1, 6-7 (7-5) , 6-2, 6-1.
Tokyo Olympics Gold medalist, Alexander Zverev sailed smoothly over Sam Querrey as he began his quest for a first Grand Slam and the man who is the top bet in stopping Djokovic. Zverev played an error free game and had a top notch serve over the match which helped him seal the match. Zverev beat Querrey 6-4, 7-5, 6-2 in over an hour and forty minutes.
Pablo Carreño Busta made a shock exit as he was defeated by Maxime Cressy in a five set thriller. Maxime played it like old times as he attacked the net relentlessly and it worked against Carreno Busta who had defeated Djokovic in the Bronze medal playoff. Maxime did not let anything stop him as he was almost out of contention in the fifth set tiebreak fighting off four match points for victory. After 3 and half hours and a total of 123 winners, Maxime took the match with the scoreboard reading 5-7, 4-6, 6-1, 6-4, 7-6 (9-7).
In Women’s Singles, Ashleigh Barty blasted off in her opening match against Vera Zvonareva who had reached the finals here 11 years ago. Barty had no issues in the first set but in the second set had to showcase her best and even saved a set point as she looked to win her second slam of the year. Barty won the match with a score of 6-1, 7-6 (9-7).
2019 US Open champion, Bianca Andreescu was tested to the limit as she battled her way across Viktorija Golubic. Golubic after losing the first set managed to take the second to take the match into the decisive set. The final set had an interesting fact as both the players won 36 points and Golubic was playing it safe but Andreescu went in for the kill by playing in attacking mode and finishing off the match. Andreescu recorded a 7-5, 4-6, 7-5 victory over Golubic.
Karolína Plíšková sprinted towards the finish line in her match against Caty McNally. Karolína set the tone from the beginning as she kept firing winners across Caty who was unable to counter them. Karolina will be trying to carry the same attacking style into the second round of the US Open. The final scoreboard read 6-3, 6-4.
Also read: Stefanos Tsitsipas survives Murray scare in the 1st round of US Open, Madison knocked out by Sloane Stephens
Stefanos Tsitsipas survives Murray scare in the 1st round of US Open, Madison knocked out by Sloane Stephens
(Tennis news): The final Grand Slam of the year saw two former champions bow out in the first round in Men’s Singles. Stefanos Tsitsipas somehow scraped through Andy Murray who is racing against time after his hip surgery two years back. Murray showed the power and dominance of the big four as he made Tsitsipas sweat every point, Murray took the first set as the crowd witnessed the vintage Murray lobs grabbing the spotlight. Tsitsipas fought back in the second set to seal it in a tiebreaker but Murray again took a lead as he won the third set. The match was evenly poised till the fourth set until Tsitsipas blew the lid in the fifth set as his forehand dictated the final hours of the match signalling victory for Tsitsipas. The match saw Tsitsipas hitting 67 winners and 19 aces showing how aggressive he had to be to beat the former champion.
Another former champion, Marin Cilic had to pull out from the match in the deciding set against Philipp Kohlschreiber due to a medical issue. The physical wear out was clearly visible after the first two sets, Cilic started just fine from the blocks as his powerful groundstrokes helped him take the first two sets as fired 47 winners across Kohlschreiber who just couldn’t withstand the force. But Cilic couldn't continue as the next two sets saw him slowing down and eventually issuing a walkover in the final set.
Carlos Alcaraz Garfia is having a dream run this season as the 18-year-old defeated Cameron Norrie in straight sets in the 1st round. Alcaraz showed patience as he waited for Norrie to make an error as the rallies were long and Alcaraz kept the ball in play. It paid him off as he secured a victory in under 2 hours. Alcaraz has made his debut in all of the four Grand Slams this year.
Daniil Medvedev secured his 200th career win over Richard Gasquet in the 1st round. Medvedev looked on from right from the start and had no trouble dispatching his groundstrokes on the court against Gasquet. Gasquet struggled to find shots that could match Medvedev’s tempo as Medvedev closed the match with a resounding win.
Four years ago in the US Open Sloane Stephens edged out Madison Keys for a maiden Grand Slam title in the Women’s Singles. The same result occurred in the 1st round as Stephens came out on top to knock out Madison. Stephens had a dream start as she took the first set with relative ease but in the second set, Madison produced a massacre as she did not give a hint of opportunity to Stephens. The third set saw both the players racing for victory but Stephens found answers to Madison’s powerful groundstrokes and proved it with a win.
Naomi Osaka was brutal in her return to the Grand Slam after the French Open as she left no stone unturned on the course of her victory against Marie Bouzkova. Osaka showed no signs of rustiness as she swept across her opponent 6-4, 6-1 in an hour and 30 minutes.
17-year-old Cori Gauff had a rough start to her US Open campaign as she won her match against Magda Linette in three sets. Gauff struggled to land her shots in as Linette took the first set but Gauff came back as she found her rhythm in the next two sets to proceed to the second round.
Simona Halep found little trouble while defeating Camila Giorgi in her opening match, Halep served her way across the first set as Giorgi simply couldn’t send the ball across the net. In the second set, Giorgi proved why she was a threat as she came back in form to tackle Halep who struggled in between but finally found a way past her opponent in a tiebreak.
Also read: Naomi Osaka waiting to fire her best shot, looks for a second major title this year
Naomi Osaka waiting to fire her best shot, looks for a second major title this year
(Tennis News): Naomi Osaka is only 23 years old and has won one slam every year since 2018 and this year lifted her second Australian Open. Her first Grand Slam title came when she beat the most decorated tennis athlete in the past twenty years, Osaka defeated Serena Williams in straight sets to lift the trophy. She has won all the four finals she played in the Grand Slams and is predicted to be the next superstar in the Women’s tour. Osaka is the defending champion as she won her second US Open title by defeating Victoria Azarenka after losing the first set.
Osaka had a dream start in the year when she won the Australian Open defeating Jennifier Brady 6-4, 6-3. She was on the verge of losing in the fourth round against Garbine Muguruza but saved two match points to stand strong like a true champion. In the next three tournaments, her best performance was a quarterfinal finish in Miami Masters 1000, in the French Open she won her first round match against Patricia Maria Tig from Romania but issued a walkover in the 2nd round. Osaka had said that she wouldn’t attend press conferences for her mental being, this caused controversies as she received a warning and also a hefty fine from the organisers. Osaka finally decided to pull out of the French Open to ensure a healthy mental well being.
Osaka pulled out of the Wimbledon due to personal reasons but confirmed her participation in the Tokyo Olympics in front of her home crowd. She lost surprisingly in the round of 16 to Marketa Vondrousova to miss out on a medal opportunity. She returned to the Cincinnati Open and started well by defeating Cori Gauff in her first match but lost in the next to Jill Teichmann in the round of 16. Osaka has played 22 matches this year winning 17 of them and has been struggling recently but champions are never out of contention.
Osaka is a highly aggressive player on court and has a monster forehand along with a super fast serve. She is known to serve which has speeds upto 200km/h and her forehands bounce off the court with speeds up to 160km/h. This is one of the main reasons why she has found immense success in hard court as it is suited for style of play. Osaka also patiently waits in long rallies before finishing with a powerful groundstroke.
Osaka is scheduled to face Marie Bouzkova of the Czech Republic in the first round. She is predicted to win a fifth Grand Slam overall and a third US Open this time. Although in the last few tournaments she has failed to make an impact but it is a different stage and she knows the court well. Osaka can fill in for the veterans who are missing out this time, her blistering forehands can make the spectators curiously wait for the next one in line. The spectators will be allowed and they will be in for a treat as they watch the young generation leading the field.
Osaka should be having no trouble in the first two rounds and after that her path gets a little tricky but she has the potential to take out any opponent. She will be looking for a bright second half of the season, Osaka will face some tough opponents in between like Madison Keys, Aryna Sabalenka and World number one Asheligh Barty who has been the top player this season. She is not new to pressure as has already overcome them in the past. Osaka will hit hard once she steps on court and allow her forehands to orchestrate the audience cheering.
The top players and champions are never counted off in a competition, they will always pose a threat and Osaka is just that person. She is young, aggressive and brave as she will try to break more records and stamp her place in this decade. The US Open starts from 30th August, the roar of the players combined with the audience and the balls firing away in the blue courts. What more can you ask?
Also read: India's singles challenge ends in US Open qualifiers
Mirza-McHale reach finals in Cleveland
Cleveland, Aug 28 (Tennis News) Ace Indian tennis player Sania Mirza and her American partner Christina McHale sailed into the women's doubles final of the 'Tennis in the Land' tournament with a straight-set win over Ulrikke Eikeri and Catherine Harrison here.
Mirza and McHale took one hour and 23 minutes to defeat the Norwegian-American pair 7-6 (5) 6-2 in the semifinals of the WTA 250 tournament on Friday.
Also read: Novak Djokovic aims to break multiple records, 21st Grand Slam on sight
The unseeded Indian-American pair will battle it out for the top honours with top seeds Shuko Aoyama and Ena Shibahara of Japan in the summit clash.
Mirza and McHale had notched comprehensive wins without dropping a set in their previous two games.
News source: PTI
Novak Djokovic aims to break multiple records, 21st Grand Slam on sight
(Tennis news): There are certain instances in history where the chances of a particular event happening is nearly impossible but everyone wants it to happen as that little desire, that little madness which jumps across logic and imagination takes over statistics and science. Time plays a crucial role here as Rod Laver was the last man to win all the four Grand Slams in a year and it was 52 years ago. Novak Djokovic is chasing history and is en route to become the greatest ever. In a sport that requires stamina, agility, strength and speed, abilities a young 18 year old or a 20 year old should possess but that has not been the case here for the past 17 years. The big four have shattered the stereotypes and broken all physical barriers that built the sport earlier, they have quantum leaped and have rebuilt the game.
Djokovic burst into the Tennis world in 2008 when Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer were sharing the spotlight in the court no matter what the surface they played on. It was supposed to be a predictable final but two young gentlemen decided to take matters into their own hands. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga simply broke Nadal’s defense and Djokovic made sure Federer gave him company afterwards. Both the semifinals were whitewashed in straight sets, Tsonga was the biggest surprise as Djokovic had earlier reached the US Open finals in the previous year. Djokovic prevailed in the final over the frenchmen to win his first Grand Slam title.
Djokovic’s breakthrough year was in 2011 where he won three of the four Grand Slams and looked unbeatable the whole year. Even in 2015 he again won three of the four Grand Slams and was sweeping the Masters 1000 titles. But there was one similarity in both the years, he lost in the French Open and both the defeats featured swiss players with one handed backhand. Federer defeated Djokovic in the 2011 semi final of the French Open and Stan Wawrinka defeated him in the 2015 Final. Both the Swiss players won't be playing in this year’s US Open due to an injury and this year things are different, Djokovic not only captured the French Open but defeated Nadal in the semi final. Nadal has won the French Open a record 13 times and Djokovic is the only player to defeat him twice at the French Open.
Djokovic is an aggressive player who has the current best backhand in the world as it is effective on both sides of the court. His defense is outstanding and can turn into a Rahul Dravid when needed, he is very flexible on court and oftens employs it to win some breathtaking points and not to mention his speed. Overall he can perform every possible stunt in the court but has not been impressive in the net play as his smash has been the best on tour. Djokovic is also a great returner of the serve and to serve an ace will require loads of luck and power.
Djokovic has won the US Open three times with the last one coming in 2018 when he defeated Juan Martin Del Potro in the final. Last year he was defaulted from the tournament while accidentally hitting a line official in the throat with a tennis ball during his fourth round match. Djokovic will look to change things this year and continue his exceptional season.
This year Djokovic has played 43 matches and lost only five of them. He won the Australian Open for a record 9th time as he defeated Daniil Medvedev in the title match, won the French Open defeating Stefanos Tsitsipas in the final and won Wimbledon by beating Matteo Berrettini in the final match. Djokovic will look to be in his best shape, especially mentally as he has a lot riding on him and the pressure might get into him as seen in the Tokyo Olympics. But he has been known to have one of the strongest mental games in the sport and has played mind blowing tennis under pressure. Djokovic will face stern competition from Alexander Zverev, Daniil Medvedev and Andrey Rublev. Djokovic has an all round game so tactics won't be much of a use and if he is on form then Rod Laver just might get company.
Djokovic is the favourite to win this time and will take some monumental tennis to shake him up from the top. He is the perfect embodiment of a tennis player and there is no reason why he won’t win his record 21st Grand Slam. Djokovic lost his last match to Zverev but in Grand Slams it is tough to uproot Djokovic and we can expect some shocks in the first few days. Djokovic will look to be calm and only let the court decide who is the winner and keep his racket intact and break the milestones.
Also read: A new chapter is beginning to unfold with the next generation of tennis stars hungrier than ever
A new chapter is beginning to unfold with the next generation of tennis stars hungrier than ever
(Tennis news): In every sport there are moments where a new generation of players take over, the baton is exchanged as the young ones carry legacy forward. In tennis since the late 90s, the William sisters started dominating the Women’s tour, Roger Federer came into the frame in 2003, Rafael Nadal came in 2005 and Novak Djkovic in 2008 and since then these players have taken the sport to new heights. The matches have been nothing short of epic, the courts have seen rallies that brought the spectators to their feet and for over two decades, these athletes have shown extraordinary skills that have kept them on the top of the game for so long.
Only few sports have seen athletes dominating for so long in the international era, Sachin Tendulkar, Carl Lewis, Peter Gade, Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo to name a few. It takes years of dedication and hardwork to excel in the field for such a long time, it is even tougher to deal with it when they start ageing. It's only a matter of years when we see some legends of the game retire and watch others script history.
Last year’s US Open saw history in the making as Dominic Thiem became the first male player born in the 90’s to win a Grand Slam title, he finally broke the jinx as it was time for the young stars to shine and take the spotlight. This year, Novak Djokovic has won all the Grand Slams but has faced tough competitions from the younger players. He was outmatched by Alexander Zverev in the Tokyo Olympics Semifinals and will now have to wait three more years for the prestigious Gold. He left Tokyo without a medal after losing in the Bronze medal playoff Djokovic lost to Pablo Carreño Busta.
The 2021 season has seen 6 Masters 1000 tournaments take place, Rafael Nadal was the oldest winner aged 35 as the second oldest is Daniil Medvedev aged 25. Five of the tournaments were won by players born in the 90’s and one was won by Nadal. All the finalists were also born in the 90’s except in Rome where Djokovic lost to Nadal. Times like these are inevitable and happen in every field, although it had not happened in tennis for a very long time.
Also read: Ashleigh Barty back in the US Open, aiming to win her 2nd Major this year
The new generation players have come out in top form in recent times, with Thiem leading with a Grand Slam title, Daniil Medvedev is a two time finalist, Alexander Zverev is a Olympic champion, Stefanos Tsitsipas is also Grand Slam finalist. They have led the younger players and have played some great matches against their idols which brings in the question of who’s next. Who will set the benchmark now, who will lead the force and what new records will be made. Reily Opelka has served his way into the top 25 Singles ranking with a semifinal finish in Rome and a runner up in Toronto Open. Pete Sampras set the bars high when he finished with 14 slams but now records are tumbling in every slam. Serve and volley are not used as much anymore as trickshots and power are winning matches now.
Alexander Zverev has a great return percentage with a steady backhand and he is also very athletic when it comes to drop shops and volleys. Daniil Medvedev is 6 feet 6 inches but his movements on court don't reflect his height as he is very swift and has an unorthodox style in his forehand and backhand, he can cause real damage as he is also mentally tough. Medvedev was booed multiple times last year in the US Open but faced it like a true champion and even said that it's because of the crowd’s behaviour he won certain matches. Tsitsipas reached the finals of the French Open and is expected to strike when he enters the court next week. Andrey Rublev is also a major contender who can use his extremely powerful groundstrokes to finish off points especially in the hardcourt, Nick Kyrgios has had a poor show in recent events but can produce magic when in form.
In the Women’s competition, Naomi Osaka has won four Grand Slams and will turn 24 in two months. She is the defending champion and won her first major title here, Ashleigh Barty also looks to continue her great season forward as she looks to win her second major and 6th title this year. Barbora Krejčíková is having one of the best seasons in Singles ever, she started this year with a ranking of 65 and now is ranked 9th. Barbora won her first Singles Grand Slam by capturing the French Open along with the Doubles title and also won the mixed doubles title in the Australian Open.
The US Open starts from August 30th and many top players have pulled out as injuries have made them rest for now. As older players also take more time to recover, their future endeavours look doubtful. The younger ones look fitter than ever and ready to write a new chapter in the game.
Interesting fact: This is the first time in 24 years that neither Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Serena Williams and Venus Williams are not featuring in a Grand Slam draw.
Ashleigh Barty back in the US Open, aiming to win her 2nd Major this year
(Tennis news): Ashleigh Barty will be looking for a third Grand Slam victory at this year’s US Open. She won the French Open two years ago and this year’s Wimbledon. Next, she will try to capture a Grand Slam in the hardcourt too. Barty was at her best in Cincinnati Open as she didn’t lose a set on the way to capturing the title, defeating Victoria Azarenka, Barbora Krejcikova, Angelique Kerber. In the final she overcame Jil Teichmann who upset Naomi Osaka, Belinda Bencic and Karolina Pliskova. It was supposed to be a tight contest between Barty and Teichmann but Barty proved to be too good.
Barty is a top contender for the US Open as her style is suited for hardcourts as she has won 9 of them out of thirteen career titles in hardcourt. She will also look to improve her previous best in the US Open which is a fourth round finish in 2018 and 2019. Barty won the 2018 US Open doubles title with Coco Vandeweghe thus showing that she is an all round player capable of playing any style. She also has a strong serve and uses efficient volleys as she has also found success in doubles. Barty is leading in aces this year with 297 and has won 74.9 percent of her first serve proving that it will be tough to find a way across her. Barty also has a strong forehand which comes to use while playing cross court or creating sharp angles and her backhand slice can disturb the speed and rhythm of the rally. She has won titles on hardcourt, grass, clay this year which shows she can adapt to any surface
Barty has won five Singles titles this year, she won in Yarra Valley Classic, Miami Open, Stuttgart Open, Wimbledon and the last one coming in Cincinnati. She also won the doubles in Stuttgart partnering with Jennifier Brady. Although she was knocked out in the first round of Tokyo Olympics by Sara Sorribes Tormo from Spain, Barty found success in the mixed doubles as she won the bronze with John Peers. She has the most titles with 5 and most victories with 40 in this WTA Singles season.
Also read: Alexander Zverev waiting to halt Novak Djokovic from a historic Grand Slam victory
Barty did not participate last year due to the pandemic and would try to add the two Slams she hasn’t won yet that includes the Australian Open. She has progressed beyond the quarterfinals in all the Slams except the US Open, this year she looks to be the player to watchout for. Barty will face tough competition from two time champion Naomi Osaka, Bianca Andreescu who also won here in 2019 defeating Serena Williams in the final. Belinda Bencic will also prove to be a tough one to beat as she won the Singles Gold in the Tokyo Olympics and Karolina Pliskova who lost to Barty in the Wimbledon final.
This year’s US open will miss a lot of players due to the injuries, Barty will look to dominate from the start like she did in Cincinnati sending a warning to the other players. She has played over 19 tournaments this year and has a healthy lead over world number 2 Aryna Sabalenka. She has been the World number since 2019 and will look to end the year as number 1 for a third consecutive time. Barty suffered injuries earlier in the year that caused her to miss the French Open and the run up events to Wimbledon but she came back strong by capturing the title on grass. Barty will look to finish the year with a first US Open title and will be waiting to get back on court.
US Open to include mental health support for players
(Tennis news): US Open has become the first Grand Slam to focus on mental health services for the players on a major scale with specialised teams. USTA (United States Tennis Association) mental health initiative will include mental health providers and quiet rooms. It is headed by the Mount Sinai Health System who will have expert medical officers, sports psychiatrists and former player Mardy Fish on their team. Their team will also have Stacey Allaste who is the Chief Executive of USTA and the US Open Tournament Director and other tournament officials. The pandemic has affected the sport as well as the players, especially the mental health issues and the latest initiative will try to tackle them.
Mental health has been widely discussed on the tour since Naomi Osaka left the French Open after victory in the 1st round, she took part in the on court interview but skipped the post match news conference. It resulted in the tournament organisers giving her a warning that she could be expelled and was fined $15,000 by Roland Garros. She withdrew from the tournament before her 2nd round match and stated that she had to protect her mental wellbeing. The tournament invited a lot of criticism from players and the fans but the organisers cited article III H of the Code of Conduct. Failure to follow certain protocols or duties result in affecting the tournament as it also involves other players being treated equally. When one individual is exempted from certain duties it calls for unfair treatment on other players.
It is routine that every player should attend the post match session after a match is over, there have been many instances where players have had arguments in the past with the reporters as sometimes sensitive questions pop up and land in a controversy. It does bring news as the players discuss their plans or what difficulties they face and is a player’s duty to address them. It also brings in a lot of attraction for the tournament and revenue as it is an important aspect of the sport. A lot of sports have post match conferences including Cricket, Basketball and also Football.
Also read: Mental health taking a toll on athletes as Osaka leaves press conference in tears in Cincinnati
Mental health in the sporting field has been a recent topic as only physical injuries were the concerns earlier. It is important that both the aspects should be taken care of so that the performance and their career won't be affected. It is not the first time that an athlete has openly talked about mental health, Michael Phelps opened up about being depressed after every Olympics and how it affected him and even made him think suicide. Former England Batsmen Jonathan Trott had anxiety battles during the 2013-14 Ashes series which caused him to retire from the game. The most recent being American Gymnast Simone Biles in the Tokyo Olympics, she withdrew from several team events due to her mental health.
Wrestler Vinesh Phogat recently talked about how Indians praise overseas athletes talking about mental health but fail to acknowledge it when it happens in the country. Former Indian footballer Gouramangi Singh also talked about how mental health is currently being openly talked about and the changes taking place over the years.
While it is important to protect one’s well being, it can be done without affecting the other individual or group. The pressure on being top of their game can affect the mental health of the players, it is important that players actively seek medical attention when in need. They also face pressure in their personal life as there have been many instances where their behaviour outside the field has affected their image or the sport they play. They can produce superhuman qualities in the ground but outside they face the same battles every being comes across.
This year, there have been a lot of advancements in the field of mental health. With the US Open starting this initiative, it can bring a lot of change and will help the athletes stay healthy on tour. The challenges will be present at first but will set an example for other events and sports as it is a major event in Tennis. It attracts millions of people around the globe and can be a doorway for other Grand Slams to follow through. It is a great change to the sport and will be exciting to see the players going through with it. The final Grand Slam starts in five days with the qualifiers going on now.
Nagal, Ramkumar bite dust in US Open qualifiers
New York, Aug 25 (Tennis news) Indian tennis players' struggle at the Grand Slam events continued as both Sumit Nagal and Ramkumar Ramanathan lost their respective first round singles matches to make an exit from the US Open qualifiers, here.
Nagal lost 5-7 6-4 3-6 to Argentina's Juan Pablo Ficovich in two hours and 22 minutes on Tuesday night.
Nagal had played in the Australian Open main draw early this year and had lost in the first round. He could not qualify for the French Open and missed the Wimbledon qualifiers due to an unrevealed injury.
Also read: Bopanna retains place in Indian team for Davis Cup tie against Finland in September
Ramkumar frittered away a one-set advantage to lose 6-4 6-7(1) 4-6 to Russia's Evgeny Donskoy in two hours and 35 minutes in his opening round.
It was Ramkumar's 21st attempt to qualify for the singles main draw of a Grand Slam since 2014.
Prajnesh Guneswaran is the only Indian left in the men's singles qualifiers. The left-hander is up against Canadian Brayden Schnur.
Ankita Raina has also exited after losing her first round in women's singles qualifiers to American Jamie Loeb.
News source: PTI
Alexander Zverev waiting to halt Novak Djokovic from a historic Grand Slam victory
(Tennis news): Alexander Zverev is on a roll this year, winning the last two tournaments he has entered. He has won four titles this year, including two Masters 1000 and an Olympic Gold. He is one of the players who has beaten Novak Djokovic this year. Zverev stopped him in the Tokyo Olympic semi finals, denying Djokovic a chance for an Olympic Gold and this time he will be trying to stop him from winning a calendar slam. The calendar slam was last achieved in 1969 by Rod Laver in the Men’s tour and Steffi Graf in 1988 in the Women’s tour. Zverev is the second German player after Steffi Graf to win the Olympic Gold in Singles and the first German man to do it.
Zverev last year entered the finals of the US Open and was on the course of winning his first title when he was up two sets against Dominic Thiem but fumbled in the next three sets. He will look to win his first Grand Slam and has been in exceptional form in hard courts as three of his four titles this year have come in hard courts. Zverev has faced Djokovic nine times overall, winning thrice. The pair has met thrice this year with Djokovic leading 2-1, they have met in the Grand Slam twice and Zverev is looking for a maiden win against him at the majors.
Their first meeting was back in 2017 in the Rome Masters 1000 final when a 20 year old Zverev prevailed over Djokovic in straight sets to take the title. They last met in the Tokyo Olympics where Zverev shocked the World number 1 in three sets on the way to winning the Gold medal. He is known to handle high pressure, the best one coming in 2018 in the Nitto ATP finals against Novak Djokovic and came out blazing to take the trophy in just his second attempt against the five time champion.
Also read: Serena Willams hoping for a comeback, looking to win first major since 2017
Zverev has a strong return percentage in the tour, he also has a fast first serve. He can move around the court as quick with his feet, he also has a powerful reliable backhand along with a strong forehand which will play a crucial role as he will start his preparations. His backhand is one of the best in the game and also is very agile. He also volleys from time to time and uses his height in the net. Zverev is one of the top players in the next gen and a possible future world number no 1.
In the Cincinnati Open, Zverev only lost a single set on the way to winning the tournament. He lost a set in the semifinals against Stefanos Tsitsipas and showed no signs of trouble when he defeated Andrey Rublev in the final. He is currently on a 11 match winning streak and last lost to Felix Auger Aliassime in fourth round of Wimbledon even after winning the first two sets. Zverev will need to be at his best against Djokovic as power and speed won’t guarantee victory, he will look to break Djokvic’s defense and fire aces to put the brakes on a calendar slam. Zverev will also be looking to close in the mental edge over Djokovic as he will look to remind him of Tokyo but Djokovic is on top form this year. Djokovic has won three slams in a year for a third time and won't be thinking of stopping there.
The Serbian had a similar run in 2015 and 2011 where he won three slams and both the years faced losses in French Open. Roger Federer defeated him in the semifinal of the French Open in 2011 and Stan Wawrinka defeated him in the final of the French Open in 2015. Zverev will have to produce the magic they both did. The only difference is that this time it is on a hard court. The last few tournaments have seen the young players trying to take over the reins, in the three slams this year the oldest finalist was Matteo Berrettini in Wimbledon who is 25 years old. Zverev already has some years of experience and has played Djokovic on several occasions including this year and will be ready to prevent Djokovic again from making history.
Serena Willams hoping for a comeback, looking to win first major since 2017
(Tennis news): Serena Williams has been on the Women’s tour since 1995, over her 26 year career, she has won an open era record of 23 Grand Slams, only Margaret Court tops the list with 24 Slams. She has been regarded as one of the greatest players of all time, due to her longevity and ability to excel in all surfaces and also in all categories. She is the only tennis player to complete a career Golden Slam in Singles and Doubles. She will be playing her 21st US Open and has gone beyond the Quarterfinals 11 times in the past 13 years since she did not play in 2010 and 2017.
She does have a special bond with the final year slam as her first US Open title came 23 years ago when she won the mixed doubles with Max Mirnyi. She won the Singles and Doubles title next year beating Martina Hingis in the final who was world number that time as well as defeating defending champion Lindsay Davenport in the semifinal. She paired with her sister Venus Williams to take the doubles title defeating Chanda Rubin and Sandrine Testud in the process. She last won a major in 2017 defeating her sister Venus Williams in the Australian Open and was also eight weeks pregnant with her daughter.
She has won a joint record 6 US Open along with Chris Evert, Serena has also won the doubles title twice and mixed doubles in 1998. She won three successive titles from 2012 to 2014 in Singles. She has also finished as a runner up in Singles four times. When looking at the timeline there was a 15 year gap between her first US Open Singles titles and her last. This shows how long she has stayed at the top of the game, to be a part of two different generations. A generation where serve and volley was the norm to a generation where hard hitting and trickshots have become the rule.
Also read: Alexander Zverev and Ashleigh Barty emerge as champions in Cincinnati
She is known to be a very powerful server and hard hitter from the baseline. Her forehands and backhands are one of the fastest in the tour and at the same time can mix her style with volleying given her doubles experience. She is one of the handful players currently playing who has won Grand Slams in Singles, Doubles and Mixed Doubles. Each format requires a different skill set and to be so proficient in them is truly spectacular. She is an all round player given that she has won all the Slams a minimum of three times, which shows her versatility on the court.
She is also very vocal on the court with few of her outbursts making headlines especially in the US Open over the past few years. The most recent one when she had an outburst in the 2018 US Open Singles Final against Naomi Osaka, it was reported that she received hand signals by her coach. She vehemently denied the allegations and went on to argue with the umpire which resulted in her breaking racket. She received code violations, a point penalty and also an in game penalty.
Serena Williams has been one of the flag bearers of Women’s tennis for the past two decades and nobody has been able to topple her in these years. What many people fail to notice is that even after attaining the age of 30 she has won 10 Grand Slams, there are few players who have more than 10 titles in their career but she has gone strong even at that age. She also has won the Australian Open, US Open and Wimbledon a record six times, she has won the French Open three times with the last one coming in 2015. She will be turning 40 next month but numbers won’t matter as she has shown in the past that she will always pose a threat. Naomi Osaka and Ashleigh Barty will also be strong contenders and will try to stop Serena. Serena is currently recovering from a leg injury which she suffered from in Wimbledon. She also skipped the Cincinnati Open along with her sister and will be looking to be in good shape as only a week is left for the final Grand Slam of the year.
Alexander Zverev and Ashleigh Barty emerge as champions in Cincinnati
(Tennis news): Alexander Zverev continued his winning run as he clinched his second title on the run after his Tokyo Olympics gold medal. He beat Andrey Rublev 6-2, 6-3 to take the trophy, his dominance over the past two tournaments has brought questions about the next Gen. Have they finally started their own dominance as the big three are slowly backing up or is it not time yet, only time will tell us as the final slam starts in a week. Rublev’s missiles were not strong enough to make an impact on Zverev as his defense was simply impeccable. Zverev is on a 11 match winning streak and can produce fine magic when in form.
Zverev took his fourth title this year and his second Masters 1000 title after the Madrid Masters 1000 in May where he beat Rafael Nadal in the quarterfinal. His best performance in a Grand Slam is a runner up finish last year in the US Open losing to Dominc Thiem after taking a two set lead. Zverev will be a major threat in the final slam if he continues this form and will be the favourite this year other than Novak Djokovic. It will take a tremendous amount of work to stop Djokovic especially in Grand Slams, Zverev will try to win his first Grand Slam and provide an open door to the next gen which has been struggling against the big three. Zverev can look to become the 2nd player born in the 90s to win a Grand Slam after Thiem.
Zverev has a strong return percentage in the tour, he also has a fast first serve. He can move around the court as quick with his feet, he also has a powerful reliable backhand along with a strong forehand which will play a crucial role as he will start his preparations. Zverev had skipped the Toronto Open citing he needed to rest after the Olympics. He has a week to rest and will look to prepare himself for the stern test.
Also read: Top four seeds into the last four in Cincinnati, Jil Teichmann upsets Belinda Bencic
Ashleigh Barty seemed like the perfect person to stop Jil Teichmann from making her next kill as she proved why she is the current world number one. She won her fifth title this season as Teichmann couldn’t trouble her. Barty hasn’t dropped a set in this tournament and will look to win her second grand slam this year after her Wimbledon victory. Barty leads the WTA tour this season in victories with 40. She also won the Yarra Valley Classic, Miami Open and now will head to the final slam looking to go beyond the fourth round which she hasn’t done before. She is in her best form after Cincinnati and will look to finish with a trophy beside her.
There have been 8 different winners over the past 10 years, with Serena Williams leading with three titles and Naomi Osaka coming in second with two titles. Barty had not participated last year due to the pandemic but won the mixed doubles title with Coco Vandeweghe in 2018. Barty has a strong serve along with strong gameplay at the net since she is also a well established doubles player. She will be the favourite to win given her recent form and will look to capture her third Grand Slam title overall after the French Open victory in 2019.
Injuries piling up this season as Rafael Nadal becomes latest casualty
(Tennis news): Rafael Nadal won't be seen on court until next year as he is still recovering from a foot injury. He is joined by Roger Federer and Dominic Thiem as the players who won’t be playing the remainder of 2021 season. This is the second consecutive time Nadal and Federer won't feature in the year end slam. Nadal played 29 matches this season winning 24 of them and failed to defend his French Open title as he lost to Novak Djokovic in the semifinals. Djokovic became the first man to beat Nadal twice in French Open and the first man to defeat him in the Semifinals.
Also read: Benoit Paire continues to impress in Cincinnati, Ashleigh Barty shines bright with a stellar performance
In the Australian Open, Rafael Nadal lost to Stefanos Tsitsipas in the quarterfinals. The Spaniard won two titles this year, both in clay courts. Nadal won the Barcelona Open Masters 500 beating Stefanos Tsitsipas in the Final and a Masters 1000 title in Rome beating Novak Djokovic in the final. Nadal has also won the US Open four times with his last one coming 2 years ago when he defeated Daniil Medvedev in the final. He also missed last year’s US Open due to the pandemic. Nadal completed the career Grand slam when won the US Open in 2010. The 35 year old will look to come back next year and achieve more milestones.
Defending champion Dominic Thiem out of the U.S Open due to injury
(Tennis news): 2020 U.S Open champion Dominic Thiem has pulled out of this year’s Championship due to a wrist injury. He stated he won't be available for the rest of the season and has played 18 matches so far. He also missed out on the Tokyo Olympics and Wimbledon. He has a 9-9 win/ loss record this year, with his last match coming in June at Mallorca. He lost in the 1st round of the French Open to Pablo Andujar and lost in the fourth round to Grigor Dimtrov in the Australian Open. He had won his first Grand Slam last year at the US Open defeating Alexander Zverev after losing the first two sets.
Also read: Jannik, Opelka and Murray stumble in Cincinnati, Halep withdraws due to injury
Thiem had also reached the final of the Australian Open last year where he lost to Novak Djokovic in five sets. He also reached the final of the French Open for two consecutive years in 2018 and 2019 losing to Rafael Nadal on both the occasions. He is the first Austrian to win the US Open and the first player born in the 90’s to win a Grand Slam and is one of the most successful players from the next generation. Thiem is known for his powerful groundstrokes and a strong serve, he also adds topspin into his forehand and single backhand which also has a strong slice game to slown rallies. He will be joined by Roger Federer who will be missing the US Open and also the remainder of the season. It will be interesting to see the top 8 in the World tour finals which will conclude the tennis season.
Dimtrov and Berrettini notch up victories as Giorgi gets knocked out in Cincinnati
Cincinnati (Tennis news): In Men’s Singles, John Isner had a rough start in his opening match against Cameron Norrie in Cincinnati Masters 1000. Norrie raced off to take the first set as Isner was looking at an early exit, in the second set both were players going head to head and a tiebreak was needed to separate the two. Isner took the tiebreak 7-5 as he avoided defeat and in the final set the American made no mistake as he won the match 4-6, 7-6(7-5), 6-4. Isner served his way into the record books as he became the second player to cross the 13,000 aces mark in the match. Ivo Karlovic leads the chart with 13,709 aces followed by Isner and Roger Federer. Isner will next face Jannik Sinner in the next round while another huge server Reily Opelka also needed three sets to advance against Corentin Moutet.
Opelka started strong as he took the first set 7-6(7-3), Corentin fought back to take the second set 6-4. The final set saw Opelka securing victory as he took it 6-4 and will next take on Casper Ruud. Wimbledon runner up Matteo Berrettini made a return to the tour by defeating Albert Ramos-Vinolas 6-7(5-7), 6-3, 7-5 in his first match since his incredible run on grass. Grigor Dimtrov defeated Roberto Bautista Agut in straight sets to set up an exciting contest against Alexander Bublik, this will be their third meeting and they last met in Wimbledon this year where Bublik prevailed. Benoit Paire secured his third win against Denis Shapovalov, he overcame Denis 6-3, 4-6, 7-5 as he looks in form this time around. The young Canadian had an early exit in the Toronto Open as well in the same round of 32 and will look to be his old self as he comes back for the US Open.
Also read: Paire and Shapovalov battle in round three as Murray advances in Cincinnati
In Women’s Singles, Jessica Pegula was in incredible form when she demolished Camila Giorgi when she secured victory as Camila could only win four games in total. Jessica will next face former world number Simona Halep, Halep had earlier defeated Magda Linette and had issues in the second set. Halep won the first set 6-4 and Magda came back with equal power by taking the second set 6-3 but the decisive set saw the two time grand slam winner conceding just a single to take it 6-1. Belinda Bencic also announced her return with a victory after winning the Gold in Singles at the Tokyo Olympics. She won her match against Markéta Vondroušová 6-3,7-5 to set up a round of 32 match against Shelby Rogers. Markéta Vondroušová had upset Naomi Osaka in the third of the Tokyo Olympics, Osaka who finished as runner up last year to Azarenka will start her campaign against teenager Coco Gauff who breezed past Hsieh Su-wei. Victoria Azarenka beat Ludmilla Samsonova 6-2,6-3 in her opening match, Azarenka had won here last year and back in 2013.
In Men’s Doubles, Rohan Bopanna and Ivan Dodig exited in their opening match as they lost 1-6, 6-4, 10-7 to Filip Krajinović and Fabrice Martin. It was a tough defeat as they took the first set and things looked set for a victory. They lost the second set and could not stage a dramatic run down the finish line in the final set. John Peers and Filip Polasek shook off a first set setback and took the next two sets against Luke Saville and Matwe Middelkoop to confirm a showdown with Alex de Minaur and Cameron Norrie.
In Women’s Doubles, Japanese pair of Ena Shibahara and Shuko Aoyama toppled Jeļena Ostapenko and Jil Teichman without much trouble with a 6-3, 6-3 victory. Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Iga Świątek won a marathon match against Petra Martić and Shelby Rogers when finally the scorecard read 2-6, 7-5, 10-5 and they will next face the pair of Darija Jurak and Andreja Klepač in the round of 16.
Isner and Opelka lead the American dream as Aryna sets up a Wimbledon rematch with Karolina in Toronto
Toronto (Tennis news): In Men’s Singles, Stefanos Tsitsipas dominated Casper Ruud as he beat him in straight sets to book a semifinal clash with Reilly Opelka. Opelka served his way through Roberto Bautista Agut as he swiftly took the first set but had to struggle in the second as it went till tie break but the American eventually came through. Daniil Medvedev was staring at a quarterfinal exit as he had to pull out every trick in the book against Hubert Hurkacz in a marathon three set battle. After winning the first set 6-2, Hubert was two points away from a semifinal spot in the second set tiebreak as both the players were leveled on 6 points each. The third set also saw both the players take it to the extreme as Medvedev scraped through and got himself a semifinal berth against John Isner. Isner defeated Gael Monfils 7-6(7-5), 6-4 as the first was nothing apart from magic when Monfils came back from a 1-5 deficit in the tie break but the American finished with an ace. Isner improved and took the second set with less trouble as he will face the young Russian for a place in the final.
Also read: Isner Upsets Rublev as Bautista saves three match points for a place in the quarterfinal in Toronto
In Women’s Singles, Ons Jabeur who had earlier defeated the defending champion Bianca Andreescu in the round of 16 lost to Jessica Pegula in a three set thriller quarterfinal. Jessica now has two victories against Jabeur in as many matches. Jabeur had a perfect start as she took the first 6-1, in the second set she was serving for the match at 5-4 but couldn’t finish it off as Jessica came back with a bang by taking the second set in a tiebreak 7-6(7-4). She kept improving as she bageled Jabeur to confirm her place in the semifinals. Top seed Aryna Sabalenka powered her way through to the semifinals when she defeated former world no 1 and two time Grand Slam winner Victoria Azarenka 6-2,6-4. The last time they played was last year in the Ostrava final where Sabalenka prevailed. Sabalenka had 33 winners to help her get past her opponent and will be needing those again when she faces Karolina Pliskova in the semifinals. Pliskova had earlier defeated Sorribes Tormo 6-4, 6-0 for a place in the semifinals, she was troubled by the Spaniard early on into the match as she was down 3-1 in the first set but that was the only setback she had in the whole match. She took 10 games in a row as she trounced her opponent in the second set by bageling her and stamping her place in the semifinals. Teenager Coco Gauff's run was halted by Camila Giorgi who is in terrific form this tournament as she had earlier taken out Elise Mertens and Petra Kvitova. The first set saw Camila leading early on as she took the first set 6-4, the second set saw both players go head to head as Gauff denied Camila twice when serving for the match at 5-4 and 6-5. In the tiebreak Gauff started early by securing a 2-1 lead but Camila took the next 6 points for a well fought victory.
In Men’s Doubles, Ivan Dodig and Rohan Bopanna were defeated in three sets in the quarterfinals by Joe Salisbury and Rajeev Ram. The winners will next face Sander Gillé and Joran Vliegen in the semifinals. In the second semifinal, Nikola Mektić and Mate Pavić will be facing Kevin Krawietz and HoriaTecău.
In Women’s Doubles, Sabalenka and Mertens lost to Gabriela Dabrowski and Luisa Stefani in the quarterfinals. The victors will next face Elena Rybakina and Veronika Kudermetova for a place in the final. Bernarda Pera and Magda Linette will face off Andreja Klepač and Darija Jurak in the first semifinal.
Injured Rafael Nadal pulls of Toronto Open, as Novak Djokovic withdraws from Cincinnati Masters
Toronto (Tennis news): Rafael Nadal has pulled out from the Toronto Open due to a foot injury, it will be a major crisis as the US Open is only two weeks away. His withdrawal ensured lucky loser Feliciano Lopez taking his place in the draw where he will be facing Lloyd Harris. Stefano Tsitsipas overcame Ugo Humbert in a three set marathon in which the second set tiebreak needed 18 points to decide the winner. Benoit Paire sailed smoothly as he won in straight sets against Mackenzie McDonald in round 64 and next will face Diego Schwartzman. In round of 32, Karen Khachanov will face his compatriot Aslan Karatsev which will prove to be a mouth watering clash. Reilly Opelka continued his fine form as he beat Grigor Dimitrov 6-3, 6-4 and had earlier beaten Nick Kyrgios in the first match.
In the Women’s Singles, Bianca Andreescu started her title defence by beating Harriet Dart as she had to struggle in between as Harriet stretched it till the deciding set. Garbiñe Muguruza is out of the tournament as Kateřina Siniaková came out as the winner in the final set even after being bageled in the second set.
In Men’s Doubles Ivan Dodig and Rohan Bopanna defeated the pair of Fabio Fognini and Lorenzo Sonego, they will face Simone Bolelli and Máximo González in the round of 16.
In the Women’s doubles Ellen Perez and Květa Peschke continued their winning run as they will face next Jeļena Ostapenko and Dayana Yastremska in the round of 16.
Also read: Reilly Opelka overcomes Nick Kyrgios in opening match, Garbiñe Muguruza to start her campaign today
With Nadal out in Toronto it has raised concerns as Novak Djokovic has withdrawn from the Cincinnati Masters which starts on 15th August. Djokovic’s last match was the Bronze medal playoff in the Tokyo Olympics and is resting after winning three Grand Slams this year. Roger Federer has also pulled out of the Cincinnati Masters as he is down with a knee injury. There is only one Tournament just before the US Open that is the Winston-Salem Open which ends 2 days before the US Open, Cincinnati is the last Masters 1000 before the US Open. The big three will look to come back in form and compete in the year end Grand Slam as the tennis season is slowly coming to an end.
Reilly Opelka overcomes Nick Kyrgios in opening match, Garbiñe Muguruza to start her campaign today
Toronto (Tennis news): The National Bank Open which started yesterday saw Nick Kyrgios poor form in the tournament as he failed to win his opening match for a third consecutive time here. He was beaten by Reilly Opelka in three sets and the big server will face the athletic Grigor Dimitrov. Lloyd Harris, the Washington Open champion, will face Rafael Nadal tomorrow for the second consecutive time as Nadal will be looking for revenge. Top seed Daniil Medvedev will be facing the crafty Alexander Bublik in his opening match today and Bublik will try to stage an upset.
Also read: Rafael Nadal looking for a Hatrick in Toronto, chases record Masters 1000 title
Kei Nishikori will also start his campaign against Miomir Kecmanović today and will look to continue his incredible comeback into the tour. Third seed Stefanos Tsitsipas will have a challenging opening round as he will face frenchmen Ugo Humbert who earlier defeated Lorenzo Sonego in straight sets.
In the Women’s Singles, Océane Dodin made headlines as she defeated 14th seed Karolína Muchová in her opening match and she is set to face teenager Amanda Anisimova in her next match. Garbiñe Muguruza the 5th seed will start her campaign against former Grand Slam doubles champion Kateřina Siniaková who overcame Jeļena Ostapenko in her first match and the defending Champion Bianca Andreescu will face Harriet Dart from Great Britain in her first match.
In Men’s Doubles Ivan Dodig and Rohan Bopanna will face the Italian pair of Fabio Fognini and Lorenzo Sonego in their opening round. Russian duo Andrey Rublev and Karen Khachanov will face second seeds Colombians Robert Farah and Juan Sebastián Cabal in the round of 16. The Russians have started playing doubles consistently quite recently.
In the Women’s Doubles, Jessica Pegula and Coco Gauff lost to Elena Rybakina and Elena Rybakina in their first match. Ellen Perez and her 46 year old partner Květa Peschke seem to be in form after they reached the semifinals of the Silicon Valley Classic Open and they will be facing Lyudmyla Kichenok and Makoto Ninomiya in the round of 32.
Tennis player Sumit Nagal to face Denis Istomin in opening round at Tokyo Olympics
Tokyo, Jul 22 (Tennis news) Indian tennis player Sumit Nagal will face Uzbekistan's Denis Istomin in the opening round of the men's singles event at the Tokyo Olympics, starting here on Friday.
Nagal, who qualified for the Games last week after large-scale withdrawals, was pitted against the lower-ranked Uzbek in the draw on Thursday.
A first-round win for the 23-year-old Indian, ranked 160, could see him face second-seeded Russia's Daniil Medvedev, who takes on Alexander Bublik in his opening round match.
In women's doubles, six-time Grand Slam champion Sania Mirza and Ankita Raina will lock horns with the Kichenok twins -- Nadiia and Lyudmyla -- of Ukraine in the opening round.
Interestingly, Mirza had paired up with Nadiia after returning from her maternity leave to win the Hobart Open last year.
Also read: AITA Secretary General Anil Dhupar rues Bopanna and Mirza comments on social media, calls it inappropriate and misleading
News source: PTI
The Golden Slam Awaits Novak Djokovic at the Tokyo Olympics
Novak Djokovic is in fine form coming into the Tokyo Olympics 2020, winning the first three Grand Slams of the season. This year he has been creating records at each Grand Slam, in the Australian Open he won a record 9th title, in the French Open he became the first man to defeat Rafael Nadal twice at the French Open, in Wimbledon he won his 100th grass court win and in the US open he will be looking to be the first man in the open era to win all four Grand Slams in a year. More records are waiting for him at the Tokyo Olympics as he will look to win a Golden Slam and become the first male player and the second tennis player after Steffi Graf to do it. He is the favourite to win the title given his form this year and the way it has dominated this season. Ten years ago he gave us a stellar season to watch, as players around the globe were mesmerized by the high quality of tennis. It took the sport to another level as he won three slams that year, defeated Rafael Nadal in six finals at three different surfaces and had a 41 match winning streak that ended in the French Open semifinals where he lost to Roger Federer. He had a phenomenal season in 2015 too where again he won three slams, won 82 matches while losing a mere 6 and won 16 titles including the Grand Slams. These show us that he has the ability to win matches all year long, even if the surfaces change and the venues change. He has the ability to defeat Nadal on clay and Federer on grass and he has done it. He has come out on top every surface, he recently became the first man to win 75 matches in all four Grand Slams.
Age doesn't seem to be slowing him down, this year seems like a sequel to 2011 and 2015. The Olympic Gold medal is something he has to hunt down as he has won every tournament the sport has to offer. His best performance came in the 2008 Beijing Olympics where the Bronze medal, in the 2012 London Olympics he lost to Juan Martin Del Potro in the Bronze medal watch and in the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics lost again to Del Potro in the opening match. Daniil Medvedev and Stefanos Tsitsipas would love to have their revenge for their loss in the Grand Slam finals. The players need to bring out their best to stop him as it will be a major upset and would be a crucial mental advantage at the US Open. In Olympic news, Alex de Minaur has withdrawn from the Olympics after testing positive, joining this year’s Wimbledon runner up Matteo Berrettini who will not be playing because of a thigh injury. Bets will be in for Djokovic but for someone to pull off an upset would rely on the young guns for sure and the experienced players like Fabio Fognini or Gael Monfils. The tennis event starts on 24th July and will end on August 1st, it will be played on Hard Courts.
Interesting fact: Jennifer Capriati is the youngest tennis player to win an Olympic gold, she was 16 when she won the title in Barcelona 1992.
Also read: Naomi Osaka is looking to triumph at home in the Tokyo Olympics
Naomi Osaka is looking to triumph at home in the Tokyo Olympics
It is always a proud moment to represent the whole nation and compete against the top players in the world. Victory anthem in the podium and the millions of eyes watching these moments, it is indeed an event which is every athlete’s dream finish. The women’s Olympic tennis witnessed history upon its continuance in 1988 when Steffi Graff won the only ever Golden Slam. After that, it has seen the Russians taking home the top three medals in singles at the Beijing Olympics 2008. There have been a lot of records and milestones in the Olympics for women in tennis. There have been different winners on top with the most consistent being the Williams sisters.
The women's singles draw looks promising as most of the top players in the field are competing in this year’s Olympics which is being held at Tokyo. Serena Williams would not be competing this time because of her injury, as for her sister Venus Williams who has been competing since 1996 and has won five medals most likely won't compete this year. Monica Puig the defending champion will also not be competing as she has undergone shoulder surgery, she earlier became the first Puerto Rican to win a gold medal at the Olympics. US Open winner and teen sensation Bianca Andreescu will also not be competing this time due to Covid concerns.
Newly crowned Wimbledon champion Ashleigh Barty, who is also the world number 1 will be tough to deal with and world number 2 Naomi Osaka will be the favourite to win the gold medal as it also played in hardcourt, that too in her own backyard. Iga Świątek the 2020 French Open Champion will make her debut this time and she can pull a major upset in Tokyo. Heather Watson will be playing Singles and Doubles this time, she won the 2016 Wimbledon mixed doubles and will hope to do one better this time. In tennis news, the USA team will be led by one of the youngest Olympic tennis players, 17 year old Coco Gauff, who made the Quarterfinals of this year’s French Open and defeated Venus William in the Wimbledon in 2019. In the Indian team Sania Mirza and Ankita Raina will be competing in the women’s doubles, as India for the first time since 1988 won't feature a Men's doubles team. In the Rio Olympics, Sania Mirza and Rohan Bopanna came real close to winning a medal in the mixed doubles.
Aryna Sabalenka, Elina Svitolina, Karolina Pliskova, and Garbine Muguruza are all set to compete. Pliskova will be looking to avenge her Wimbledon final loss to Ashleigh Barty.Garbine Muguruza, the former world number 1 and two time Grand Slam champion can use her powerful flat groundstrokes which can come in handy to tackle the opponent in hard courts and with her experience can take on the new recruits. Osaka can become the first Women’s tennis player from Japan to win a medal in the Olympics as Kei Nishikori is the only other one. There won't be any spectators for the first time and it would be interesting to see how the players battle it out.
Interesting Fact: Venus Williams is the first tennis player to win a medal at four Olympic games. (2000, 2008, 2012, 2016)
Swiss tennis star Roger Federer pulls out of Tokyo Olympics due to knee problem
Lausanne (Switzerland), Jul 13 (Tennis news) Tennis icon Roger Federer on Tuesday announced that he is pulling out of the upcoming Tokyo Olympics owing to a knee injury.
The Olympics, in which on-site spectators will not be allowed owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, are scheduled to be held in the Japanese capital from July 23 to August 8.
In a statement, he said that he had "suffered a setback" with his knee.
Federer announced the news on Twitter saying that he is "greatly disappointed" on missing out on an opportunity to represent Switzerland in the world's biggest sporting spectacle.
"During the grass court season, I unfortunately experienced a setback with my knee, and have accepted that I must withdraw from the Tokyo Olympic Games," Federer said in the statement.
"I am greatly disappointed, as it has been an honour and highlight of my career each time I have represented Switzerland," he added.
Federer won the silver medal in men's singles at the 2012 London Olympics and gold old in men's doubles at the 2008 Beijing Games.
Also read: ‘The stars aligned’: Ash Barty’s Wimbledon win is an historic moment for Indigenous people and women in sport
The 39-year-old Federer, who has won 20 Grand Slam men's singles titles, a record he shares with his great rivals Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, has begun rehabilitation and hopes to return to action later this summer.
"I have already begun rehabilitation in the hopes of returning to the tour later this summer. I wish the entire Swiss team the best of luck and I will be rooting hard from afar. As always, Hopp Schwiz!" he added.
Last week, Federer was knocked out of Wimbledon by Poland's Hubert Hurkacz in the quarter-finals.
Hurkacz beat the legend in straight sets to reach the semi-final. In the first round of the tournament, Federer survived a scare before France's Adrian Mannarino retired due to injury.
In 2020, Federer had two knee surgeries. He even had to withdraw from French Open despite winning three matches to save himself for Wimbledon.
Federer has been dealing with knee issues for a while now. He had pulled out of French Open this year to help improve his condition before the Wimbledon. News source: PTI
Indian-origin tennis players Samir Banerjee lifts Wimbledon boys' singles title
London, Jul 11 (Tennis news) Indo-American tennis player Samir Banerjee lifted the Wimbledon boys' singles title on Sunday, a remarkable triumph for the youngster who was testing his skills in a Grand Slam for only the second time in his fledgling career.
All of 17, the player from New Jersey just wanted to win a match at the biggest stage in the junior circuit, but little did he know that he would be the last boy standing at the hallowed grass courts.
And that too when he did not have his coach Carlos Esteban with him since his wife had reportedly tested positive for COVID-19.
Up against compatriot Victor Lilov, the teenager won 7-5 6-3 in the summit clash that lasted one hour 22 minutes. He broke his rival thrice and dropped serve only once in the facile triumph.
"It's going to be amazing, this trophy is going to be my centrepiece, I'm going to look at this and be inspired to keep playing and hopefully come back here as a pro," he was quoted as saying by the Wimbledon website.
"I really just wanted to win a round, I didn't expect this. I had a tough French Open, lost to a good player.
"So here I just wanted to keep my expectations low so that if I passed them, then I'd be happy. But this was way beyond my wildest dreams," he said to a round of applause from the crowd.
Since the coach was unavailable, Banerjee 's uncle Kanad accompanied him.
"My uncle is here, he's not technically a tennis coach, but if these results keep happening then I should start travelling with him more," he said jokingly.
As Lilov's backhand sailed over the baseline on match-point, Banerjee dropped his racquet, put both his hands on his head in disbelief as if to say that this was not what he expected to do but still accomplished.
"Remember the name - Samir Banerjee. The American wins his first junior Grand Slam singles title by beating Victor Lilov in the boys' singles final," the official twitter handle of the Championships posted.
Legendary Indian tennis player Vijay Amritraj congratulated Banerjee.
"Wonderful win for Indian American 17 yr old Samir Bannerjee in the boys singles at Wimbledon 2021. Wish him well for a great future," the 67-year old who reached singles quarterfinals at Wimbledon and US Open tweeted.
Banerjee's father Kunal was born in Assam, and his mother Usha was brought up in Andhra Pradesh before both migrated to the USA in the mid-1980s and got married there.
The youngster, reportedly, will take a break from the tour to enroll for a degree in either economics or political science at the Columbia University in the coming months.
Also read: Mirza-Bopanna pair ousted from Wimbledon Championships
While Banerjee's victory is a testament to the system that US Tennis Association has put in place, India has been struggling to field a worthy contender at junior Grand Slams for some time now.
Due to the lack of a robust domestic circuit and not having enough competitions at home to earn world ranking points, India has been struggling to create the next crop of youngsters.
Yuki Bhambri was the last Indian to win a junior singles title when he triumphed at the Australian Open in 2009 while Sumit Nagal won the Wimbledon boys' doubles event in 2015 with Vietnam's Ly Hoang Nam.
Ramanathan Krishnan was the first Indian to win a junior major when he won the 1954 Junior Wimbledon championship.
His son Ramesh Krishnan won the 1970 junior Wimbledon and junior French Open titles while Leander Paes won the 1990 junior Wimbledon and junior US Open.
Paes was also a runner-up at the junior Australian Open.
News source: PTI
Mirza-Bopanna pair ousted from Wimbledon Championships
London, Jul 7 (Tennis news) Rohan Bopanna stayed solid with his service games and net play but Sania Mirza's serve was consistently put under pressure as the Indian team was ousted from the Wimbledon Championships following a three-set defeat in the stop-start mixed doubles third round, here on Wednesday. The contest resumed with the 14th seed pair of Jean Julien-Roger and Andreja Klepac having a one-set lead and they finished on the right side of the result with a 6-3 3-6 11-9 scoreline.
Mirza has not played much competitive tennis post her comeback and is struggling to get her serve right.
Serving to stay in the match at 5-6 in the decider, Mirza managed to hold after a few anxious moments.
It was largely Bopanna's reflexes at the net and a solid game from the baseline apart from a superb lob from Mirza that helped the Indians pull off the game after two deuce.
Mirza again served in a similar situation at 9-10. Roger hit a crushing forehand winner at 15-15 and then Bopanna's volley sailed over the baseline.
The Dutch player, on the second match point, then executed a stunning service winner, that whizzed past from Bopanna's right side.
It was Mirza's last tournament before the Tokyo Games where she will compete in the women's doubles with Ankita Raina.
With this defeat India's challenge has ended at the grass court Grand Slam.
Also read: Former tennis players Paes-Bhupathi set to reunite for a web series
News source: PTI
A Grand-Slam weekend for Verstappen
In Motorsports news, Max Verstappen wins in Austria a second consecutive time and extends his 18-point lead to 32 against Lewis. He not only won the race but with pole, fastest lap and victory, having led every lap he earned his first-ever grand slam weekend. The stands were overflowing with Dutch fans wearing orange shirts supporting Max and they couldn't be more thrilled to see Verstappen ease to victory.
The Red Bull driver had no real threats unlike the Styrian GP. Championship contender Hamilton had made his way up to P2 and then suffered from aerodynamic damage because of which he had to let Bottas and Norris through, ending his own race at P4 just outside of the podium.
Lando Norris delivered a spectacular performance, he managed to land a career-best and a front row start qualifying in P2, missing out on P1 by a mere 0.04s from Max Verstappen. What is it about him and the Red Bull Ring? He scored his maiden podium here in 2020 and managed to do it again on merit alone in 2021, despite having served a 5-second time penalty for easing Perez off-track Norris came in third. The penalty however cost him second place.
Also read: A recap of The 2021 Formula 1 season so far!
Sergio Perez had a disastrous race after having the turn 4 incident with Norris. Perez ended up off the track and rejoined at P10, from there he made up 5 place but received two 5 second penalties for pushing Leclerc off the track twice.The 10 seconds cost the Mexican P5 resulting in Sainz moving up a place.
Mr. Saturday, George Russel drove his Williams to the limit and managed to put his car on P9 for the race start, giving the team their first appearance in Q3 since 2018. Sadly he couldn’t score any points on Sunday. Esteban Ocon’s race came to a halt on lap 1 as his car got caught between two others and was forced to retire. Multiple penalties were given out to drivers on Sunday with some even getting penalized twice. There were many nail-biting moments throughout the weekend.
After the intense triple header, the drivers and the teams will get some much needed downtime. The next race to look forward to is ofcourse the 2021 British Grand Prix at Silverstone on July 16-18. It will hold the first ever sprint race qualifying for Formula 1 on Saturday.
Bopanna-Mirza pair wins historic all-Indian Wimbledon match
London, Jul 2 (Sports news) The experienced pair of Rohan Bopanna and Sania Mirza defeated the brand new combination of Ramkaumar Ramanathan and Ankita Raina 6-2 7-6 (5) in the historic all-Indian mixed doubles first round match at the Wimbledon here on Friday.
It was the first time in open era that two Indian teams competed against each other at a Grand Slam tournament.
The contest finally brought a Grand Slam debut for Ramkumar, who has made 21 attempts to qualify for the singles main draw of a tennis major.
While the first set ended quickly in favour of the veterans, Ramkumar and Raina presented a good fight in the second set, which even they led for a brief period with a break of serve.
Also read: India at Wimbledon: Ankita Raina and partner bow out in first round of women's doubles
Bopanna was clearly the best player on the court with his powerful serve and solid ground strokes from the baseline as well as the ability to execute a superior net game.
On expected lines, Ramkumar served big while Raina gave her all after growing in confidence.
Mirza's serve is still not at its best and would improve as she plays more matches.
Mirza has moved has also moved to women's doubles second round with Bethanie Mattek-Sands while Raina and her American partner Lauren Davis lost in straight sets to the US pair of Asia Muhammad and Jessica Pegula on Thursday night.
The 14th seeds disposed off the challenge from the Raina-Davis pair 6-3 6-2 in 70 minutes.
Bopanna and Divij Sharan are already out, having lost their men's doubles opening round match.
News sourece: PTI
AITA nominates Ankita, Prajnesh for Arjuna; Balram, Piperno for Dhyanchand
In Sports news, New Delhi, Jun 29 Asian Games bronze medallists Ankita Raina and Prajnesh Gunneswaran have been nominated for the prestigious Arjuna award by the national tennis federation, which has also sent names of Balram Singh and Enrico Piperno for the Dhyanchand honour.
Ankita and Prajnesh both won singles bronze medals at the 2018 Asian Games held in Jakarta and Palembang.
Ankita is now country's best-ranked singles (182) and doubles (95) player and is set to make his Olympic debut at the Tokyo Games next month.
"This year we have nominated Ankita and Prajnesh for Arjuna while the names of very respected Balram sir and Enrico Piperno have been sent for life time achievement honour, Dhyanchand," an All Indian Tennis Association (AITA) official told PTI.
The 28-year-old Ankita has been India's key player in the Billie Jean King Cup team for the last three years.
She was nominated for the 'Arjuna' last year also but Asian Games gold medallist Divij Sharan succeeded in bagging the award.
Prajnesh is one of the most mature players in the current Indian generation. Had he not lost five crucial years to knee stress fractures, his career would have been an altogether different story.
The 31-year-old left-hander from Chennai, ranked 148 on the ATP charts, has played five Davis Cup ties for the country.
In the Lifetime achievement category, Balram Singh, who has a 50 year-long association with the Indian tennis, will vie for the honour along with Piperno, who coached the Davis Cup team between 1991-2001 for 27 consecutive ties.
The 73-year-old Balram, one of those extremely shy and non-controversial figures in Indian tennis, coached the Davis Cup teams in 1989 (South Korea) and 1990 (Japan).
He himself reached the junior Wimbledon and junior US Open quarterfinals in 1966.
That he has always preferred to stay away from the limelight and work in the background is evident from the fact that he has applied for an award for the first time.
He also established Balram Singh Trust to support talented junior players. Balram is a member of the senior selection committee and also headed it in the past.
His children -- Ashutosh Singh and Shalini Thakur -- have also played tennis at a good level. While Ashutosh won the Fenesta Nationals and was also a reserve player in the Davis Cup side, Shalini has played the Fed Cup.
The 59-year-old Piperno also has an impressive CV as he himself is an 1982 Asian Games silver medallist was coach of India's first Grand Slam winner Mahesh Bhupathi from 1997 to 2003 and also travelled for with legendary Leander Paes.
He was also coach of Indian Fed Cup team between 2000 and 2012 and the national women team at the Asian Games in in Busan (2002), Doha (2006) and Guangzhou (2010).
Last year former Davis Cup coach Nandan bal had won the Dhyanchand award. News Source: PTI
Indian tennis player Sania Mirza and Mattek-Sands crash out of Viking International Eastbourne
Eastbourne (UK), Jun 24 Indian tennis star Sania Mirza and her doubles partner Bethanie Mattek-Sands lost their first round match in straight sets at the Viking International Eastbourne here.
The unseeded Indo-American pair lost 3-6 4-6 to the Christina Mchale and Sabrina Santamaria of USA in a match that lasted one hour 18 minutes late on Wednesday night.
The 34-year-old winner of six Grand Slams in doubles will pair up with Mattek-Sands in the women's doubles event of Wimbledon, starting on June 28. News source PTI
Rafael Nadal withdraws from Wimbledon and Tokyo Olympics
In the latest tennis news, Rafael Nadal has announced his withdrawal from Wimbledon and Tokyo Olympics after making the decision in consultation with his team due to an inadequate recuperation period after a physically and mentally demanding Roland Garros.
The 35 year old Spaniard announced his decision on Twitter to not participate in two of the biggest and most anticipated tennis events of the year. He said, “Hi all, I have decided not to participate at this year’s Championships at Wimbledon and the Olympic Games in Tokyo. It’s never an easy decision to make but after listening to my body and discussing it with my team I understand that it is the right decision.”
“The goal is to prolong my career and continue to do what makes me happy, that is to compete at the highest level and keep fighting for those professional and personal goals at the maximum level of competition.”
“The fact that there has only been 2 weeks between RG (Roland Garros) and Wimbledon, didn’t make it easier on my body to recuperate after the always demanding clay court season. They have been two months of great effort and the decision I take is focused on looking at the mid and long term,” said Rafa.
“Sport prevention of any kind of excess in my body is a very important factor at this stage of my career in order to try to keep fighting for the highest level of competition and titles. I want to send a special message to my fans around the world, to those in the United Kingdom and Japan in particular.The Olympic Games always meant a lot and they were always a priority as a Sports person, I found the spirit that every sports person in the world wants to live. I personally had the chance to live 3 of them and had the honor to be the flag bearer for my country,” he concluded.
The world number 3 has won 20 Grand Slams in his career so far and will have to wait a little longer to increase that tally. Last week, Novak Djokovic defeated Rafael Nadal 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (4), 6-2 and stopped the Spaniard from winning his 14th French Open title.
Women's cricket needs media support: Indian cricketer Mithali Raj
Mumbai, Jun 1 India Test and ODI captain Mithali Raj on Monday said women's cricket needs media support to promote the game and personally she had never felt the necessity to forgo a press conference. Mithali made the remarks in the wake of a controversy involving 23-year-old Japanese tennis star Naomi Osaka, who withdrew from the ongoing French Open, after refusing to take part in the post-match media conferences.
"Well, I think it is tough to be in quarantine for any athlete. But, I think getting into a tournament, we do not feel that. Personally I have not felt that I should forgo a press conference because women's cricket right now, where it stands, it needs media support," Mithali said when specifically asked about the topic.
Mithali was addressing a virtual press-conference ahead of the team's tour to England alongside head coach Ramesh Powar.
"And it is important for players also to try and help in the growth of a sport. So, we need to try and promote the sport," added the 38-year-old, who has several records to her name.
Osaka had decided to boycott press conferences during the ongoing Grand Slam - a move that had drawn flak - as he felt that the nature of questioning was often damaging to her mental health. New source PTI
Our dream of winning the tennis Grand Slams can come true if the right sponsorship and training is provided - Anil Dhupar, Secretary General of AITA
Over the years, India has produced some outstanding tennis players. From Leander Paes, Mahesh Bhupati, Sania Mirza, Vijay Amritraj and Rohan Bopanna to name a few, the sport has surged in popularity with India’s talent making its mark on the global stage. While the next generation aspires to accomplish greater heights, we’re delving into the world of tennis in India to see what’s in store for the future.
In an exclusive interview with SPOGO, Mr. Anil Dhupar, Secretary General of the All India Tennis Association speaks about the impact of COVID-19 on tennis in India, grassroot development, overcoming challenges, mental health and the future of tennis in the country.
Q 1) The COVID pandemic has disrupted sports around the world, how much of an impact has it had on AITA’s plans?
Ans: The pandemic has really made a lot of impact. After the first wave, we started a theme called ‘Return of Tennis’ which started on November 16th. Even though all the states in India were unable to conduct all the tournaments because of the restrictions given by the local government, we really did a good job at organizing all the tournaments at the junior, nationals, and international level with a prize money of 15,000 USD. Things were going on pretty well until the 2nd wave but since April onwards everything has stopped. There is no tennis, all academies are closed and it’s making a big impact on the junior players who could not be sent to the World Group Qualifying, the wheelchair team which was due to play for the first time in Portugal and similarly there were innumerable sectors that were affected in India. It has definitely impacted India more than other countries, especially in Europe.
Q 2) What is AITA doing at the grassroot level to promote tennis, especially in tier 2 and 3 cities?
Ans: We are conducting almost 600 tournaments in a year for the juniors. The junior category is from 10 years old to 12, 14, 16 and 18 years of age. These are All India Ranked Tournaments and the 12 and 14 year old juniors are sent to participate in the Asia/Oceania group. A child who is representing India is holding the flag as early as at the age of 12. We have the world’s finest scheme for junior tennis players known as the Talent Series Tennis Tournament which is organized for all age groups. When they become well versed with the tournament structure they progress to the Championship Series, Super Series and National Series. That’s how aspiring tennis players are promoted and it helps them develop into a good player. For the first time, we have started a national coaching camp in Delhi this January for 24 participants each amongst boys and girls from different states for a duration of 21 days. Unfortunately things have come to an end right now due to the pandemic.
Q 3) What are the biggest challenges that Indian tennis players face? How can those challenges be overcome?
Ans: There are multiple challenges that are faced by Indian tennis players. We need to have many more national and international tournaments in India which require money and sponsorship, either by corporates, state government or central government so that when Indian tennis players participate, they can get good points. We need to upgrade the tournament structure and have a series of international tournaments even at the junior level from grade 1 to 5. It is absolutely necessary for high ranked tournaments to be played in India so that tennis players in the country get ATP points to play across the world. Tennis is an expensive game and it needs sponsorship for players to travel and compete around the world. Sponsors need to support tennis as a sport and the government must support tournaments and despite the fact that they have started doing it, it's not to the extent that is required. There needs to be more tournaments for all categories. Having tournaments in India will help players save money that would be spent on travelling and would help get entry at the larger tournaments around the world.
Q 4) How is AITA grooming upcoming stars so that they can be competitive at the highest level?
Ans: A lot of tennis academies have come up around the country and there are many coaches that are certified by AITA. The benefits of that are that tennis players at the junior level are properly trained and even senior players are getting the best coaching facilities. We are still insisting to have many more in the years to come. There also has to be a willingness to come up in the grid and progress from the top 300, 200 to 100 in the world. Just like any other sport, passion is very important, not just for tennis players at the junior level but also parents. Parents need to be patient and supportive. We are conducting coaching camps, tournaments and are trying to get our junior players to participate in the Asia/Oceania group to give them more opportunities to participate and know where they stand as players. Even during the COVID times, we get 400 to 500 entries for the Nationals so the participation has grown and the desire to excel is now a part of the upcoming tennis players. That’s very important.
Q 5) Despite the fact that tennis is a physically demanding sport, how important of a role does mental health play?
Ans: It does play a very important role in every sport, especially in tennis. According to me, physical and mental strength is what determines a win or a loss. When two players contest a game they are at par in terms of physical strength but when they know which point to play in which fashion it makes all the difference. We have seen a lot of players losing a game from a winning position owing to the level of their mental toughness. They lose their mental toughness at some of the matches and lose the game. Mental toughness is very important and therefore many courses are brought into place in many academies including ours to make a child mentally tough. A child needs a physical trainer and a coach but along with it guidance on mental health and fitness is also very important.Therefore we have brought in some of the courses in this regard. Indeed mental fitness is equally as important as physical fitness.
Q 6) What needs to be done to get Indians to not just compete at the highest level such as Grand Slams or Olympics but also win?
Ans: It's a dream for all of us. In Europe there are about thirty to forty countries wherein the tennis circuit is still active and in full swing despite the pandemic. Naturally, the players hailing from these countries benefit from playing many more tournaments, spending a very little amount and gaining a large number of points. It Is very difficult for Indians as they have to travel extensively which a lot of people are not able to. We have a lot of talent to exploit but we need support, specially from corporate for grooming players. The dream of entering and winning Grand slams would definitely come true when we invest a lot of energy, money and corporate support as only then an Indian player will be able to do well at such levels.
Q 7) What do you envision as the future of tennis in India?
Ans: I think the future of tennis in India is fantastic. It's a game that has recently picked up as there were not many takers of the game earlier but today all towns and states across India are doing very well. We have a policy of registering players for junior, senior, men, women as well as the wheelchair categories. We have a system of registration and when you see it you will find that more and more players are joining the sport. My vision would be to create a system where a tennis player is not deprived of playing any tournament and his talent is exploited along with taking great care of it. We would like to go to the World Group as we did in the Fed Cup, the Billie Jean King Cup for the first time and we went into the World group this time. This can go on even in the junior levels, the junior Davis Cup and the Davis Cup. However, this will be only possible when all our players do well physically and mentally and are put into the right areas of playing the game. The biggest challenge for the All India Tennis Association today is where and when to start tennis and what kind of tennis as right now we don't have any clue from any corner of the state or anywhere else where tennis or any other game can be started. Hence once the pandemic is over, we are all geared up and will do our best to put our children on the roll and I'm sure this thing will help them in their future endeavors.
Indian tennis player Sumit Nagal also fails to make French Open main draw cut
Paris, May 27 India's top player Sumit Nagal could not make a hat-trick of Grand Slam main draw appearances following a straight-set defeat in the second round of the French Open Qualifying event here.
The Haryana youngster crashed out of the Clay Court major with a 3-6 3-6 loss to Alejandro Tabilo from Chile, last night.
In the engrossing contest that lasted one-and-a-half-hours, Nagal could break the serve of his rival, ranked 23 places below him at 146, only twice while he himself dropped his serve five times.
With the defeat of the 23-year-old from Jhajjar, India's challenge has ended in the Qualifiers.
Ramkumar Ramanathan, Prajnesh Guneswaran and Ankita Raina have already exited from the tournament.
Now India will be represented through Rohan Bopanna and Divij Sharan in the men's doubles main draw.
It is crucial for both of them to earn ranking points by going deep in the draw since the official rankings of June 10 will decide which players make the cut for the Tokyo Olympics.
Sania Mirza has decided not to compete in this tournament as she wanted to use her 'special ranking' to enter the Wimbledon Championships. New source PTI
Indian tennis players Ankita Raina and Ramkumar Samanathan bow out of French Open Qualifiers
Paris, May 26 Ankita Raina's yet another attempt to qualify for the singles main draw of a Grand Slam failed as she bowed out of the French Open Qualifiers with a second-round defeat, here on Wednesday.
Ankita, up against higher-ranked German Greet Minnen, could win only two games in the entire match that lasted one hour and 21 minutes.
The 125th ranked Indian could convert only one of the three break points and eventually lost 2-6 0-6.
It was Ankita's seventh attempt to crack the singles main draw of a major. She had reached the final round of the Australian Open qualifying event early this year, falling at the final stage.
Ramkumar Ramanathan also crashed out with a tame 1-6 2-6 defeat against Uzbekistan's Denis Istomin.
Sumit Nagal is now the only Indian left in fray for a main draw berth. He will take on Alejandro Tabilo in his second round. New source PTI
Indian tennis player Ankita Raina bows out of French Open Qualifiers
Paris, May 26 Ankita Raina's yet another attempt to qualify for the singles main draw of a Grand Slam failed as she bowed out of the French Open Qualifiers with a second-round defeat, here on Wednesday.
Ankita, up against higher-ranked German Greet Minnen, could win only two games in the entire match that lasted one hour and 21 minutes.
The 125th ranked Indian could convert only one of the three break points and eventually lost 2-6 0-6.
It was Ankita's seventh attempt to crack the singles main draw of a major. She had reached the final round of the Australian Open qualifying event early this year, falling at the final stage.
Later Wednesday, Ramkumar Ramanathan and Sumit Nagal will take court for their respective men's singles second round matches. New source PTI
Why should boys have all the fun?
'I love sports and no I'm not a boy!'
We're sure every fangirl at some point would have raised a few eyebrows and been a cause for a confused smirk on people's faces when they talk about their love and enthusiasm for sports. This isn't funny and could be very annoying. So, if you are one of those who fall for the popular belief that girls know nothing about sports or follow it only to swoon over the good looks of their favourite players then hold on! You're about to meet some of our special guests who can not only make you question your passion or fan boying skills but also school you about the very technicalities of the game!
Our first guest, Ashwathy Santhosh, a UPSC aspirant from Kerala talks about her craze for football and especially the ISL premier team Kerala Blasters FC. "I do watch every single game and never miss a chance to attend home matches" she says. Aswathy who is also a blogger loves writing fan blogs and makes it a point to regularly contribute fan blogs for official Kerala Blasters site and app despite being overburdened with studies to prepare for UPSC. "It's exhausting but I love to do it!" she further adds with a smile.
When asked about her favorite player from the team, Aswathy didn't take a second to think and replied with sheer excitement ''Facundo Pereya! I think he's just fab!" Other than Kerala Blasters FC she's been a diehard Real Madrid fan since the last ten years. "I really like Zidane, Kaka and Sergio Ramos," she says.
For her Football is a 'healthy addiction and a lifestyle'
Our Second guest, Marisha Bhatt, an engineer from Gujarat says her life revolves around the tennis court and especially Roger Federer - The Titan from Switzerland with 20 Grand Slam Titles. When asked about what she loves the most about tennis, she said "The absolute thrill and unpredictability of the game! You could be a Serena or a Djokovic and still get knocked out from your turf in the very first or second rounds by some underdog! Few misses or hits, some bad or good minutes and boom! You're either home or you're biting the dust! Talking about her love for Federer she gladly shares that she's been following him ardently since her childhood and that she is still not over Federer's loss in the 2019 Mens Wimbledon Finals against Djokovic. "My Heart still aches thinking about that" she laughs. "While everyone at my home was watching the ICC World cup final between New Zealand and England, I was in my room alone watching the Wimbledon finals. It was like an emotional roller coaster ride for me. Those five hours of the game, I experienced my worst sporting heartbreak that day." She concluded.
Our third guest , Satveer Kaur, a Physics teacher from Punjab passionately talks about her love for cricket and the Australian legend Brett Lee. "My friends call me 'Cricket ki encyclopedia' as I have a very sharp memory and remember every game, record and stat I see" she laughs. When asked about her admiration for Brett Lee she said "mostly people think I like him for his killer looks but it's not true, let's not forget he is one of the greats of the game and had a fantastic career with 718 international wickets and 2,728 runs despite enduring so many career threatening injuries over the years."
Not just this, Satveer was also lucky enough to have a video chat with Lee recently. "It was a particular quiz competition on Lee that I participated in on Instagram. I didn't really think I stood a chance to win among thousands of correct answers but as they say, miracles do happen and I got selected for a live chat with my childhood hero! That was indeed the best day of my life!” she says.
We also asked her about her most memorable game and she instantly replied "The Edgbaston Test from 2005 Ashes series was my favourite. Though Australia lost it but the fight Lee pulled up until the very end was an inspiration to draw. One of the finest games in test cricket, in my opinion!” she finishes.
So these were our guests who wholeheartedly shared their fandom stories. We would like to extend our sincere thanks to them for taking out time and speaking to us and proving our point "Mhari Chhoriya Chhoro se kam hai ke!?"
Written by Karina Michwal, Sports Enthusiast.
The opinions and views expressed in the blog are strictly personal opinion of the author.
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6-member Indian judoka team to feature in Tel Aviv Grand Slam
New Delhi, Feb 11 (PTI) Indian judokas will aim to secure Olympic rankings points when a six-member team heads to Israel to participate in the Tel Aviv Grand Slam, scheduled to be held from February 18 to 20.
With less than six months left for the Tokyo Olympics, which will start on July 23, the tournament will provide Indian judokas a chance to pocket vital ranking points in their bid to qualify for the Games.
The Indian team consists of five players -- three men and two female -- and a coach.
The players are Avtar Singh (men's 100kg), Vijay Yadav (men's 60kg), Jasleen Singh Saini (men's 66kg), Shushila Devi (women's 48kg) and Tulika Mann (women's 78kg). They will be accompanied by chief coach Jiwan Sharma.
The same five judokas had represented India at the Budapest Grand Slam in October last year.
Saini, who is a part of the government's Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS) developmental group, is upbeat about his participation in the event.
"All of us have medal expectations from this tournament, players are in their peak condition," he said in a release issued by the Sports Authority of India.
Saini, with 850 points (the most by an Indian), is currently in with a chance of earning a continental quota for the Olympics, but he is looking forward to winning a medal in the tournament as it will give him direct entry to the Tokyo Games.
"Last year, there were a lot of problems because of the coronavirus pandemic and the suspension of tournaments. But the government has supported us and has been sending us to play tournaments," he added.
A total of 512 athletes from 73 countries will be seen in action in the tournament.
After the Israel event, the Indian judokas are due to participate in Grand Slams to be held in Uzbekistan and Georgia in March, which are both Olympic ranking tournaments.