Tennis Net

WTA Stars: Taylor Townsend Excited for Her Pregnancy

Although most WTA stars have been making their slow return to most competition these days, one such tennis player won’t be joining them, and that is Taylor Townsend. The popular female tennis player announced her pregnancy last October 2020 and has been gushing over her motherhood journey ever since. 

According to Townsend, “I think that 15 years ago if you were pregnant and you had a kid, it was over. The whole dynamic has just changed and I think the sport has evolved and realised that this is part of a woman’s life. This is part of what comes with being a woman. Women get pregnant, they have kids, but it doesn’t stop what you’re doing. And it doesn’t stop the path that you want to be on.”

The WTA Star’s Rough Tennis Career

Townsend has been in the public eye for almost a decade. She had an amazing run during her junior career, which catapulted her to fame. In 2012 she won the singles title and the doubles title at the Australian Open and not to mention the doubles title at Wimbledon and the US Open. That was why she was the 2012 ITF Junior World Champion. She also finished the season at No. 1. 

With such an accomplishment at 15 years old, there were many expectations for Townsend. However, she found herself in the centre of controversy at the 2012 US Open. The USTA refused to pay for the professional tennis player’s expenses. They told her that she should stop competing until she lost weight and be in a better shape. This incident sparked a national debate about body-shaming.     

“I was actually very upset. I cried.” I was actually devastated. I mean, I worked really hard, you know.” Townsend said in an interview back in 2012.

Becoming a Mother and One of the WTA Stars

Today, Townsend, 24 and one of the rising WTA stars, holds no ill will against USTA about the body-shaming incident. But, she admits that she’s not that involved in the organisation. She brushed off the haters and officially turned pro for the 2013 season. By early 2015, she was in the top 100 singles. She struggled a few years after that, but she proved her potential during the 2019 US Open when she won over Simona Halep, a top-10 tennis player. By 2020 she opened the season with Muhammad with a doubles title at Auckland and another trophy at the Indian Wells Challenger Series tournament last March.

Townsend’s career might have had its ups and downs, but as one of the promising WTA stars, she proves to be resilient. She considers her pregnancy a blessing, and although she’ll be taking a brief pause on her career, she’ll get through it–just as she always does. The mother-to-be announced her pregnancy in a social media post in October. But, she already knew it last July during the World Team Tennis season. She was playing for Philadelphia Freedoms when she felt discomfort in her stomach. She took a pregnancy test and tested positive. 

It’s heart-warming to see the dedication that these female tennis players have, more so when motherhood is being celebrated in this sport. It’s not a hindrance to their career. 

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Tennis Player ATP

2020 US Open Winner Dominic Thiem Beats Rafael Nadal

Dominic Thiem, who just won the 2020 US Open beat Rafael Nadal in the ATP Finals in London. The Austrian tennis player had defeated Nadal in a high-quality match with 7-6 (9-7) 7-6 (7-4). The year is looking great for Thiem since he is the first man to move into the last four of the ATP Finals event.

Thiem Wins the US Open 2020

The world-renowned tennis player has been continuously knocked down in Grand Slam finals by fellow iconic tennis players. But, time and time again, Dominic Thiem never gave up hope and persisted. His efforts finally paid off when he won the US Open at the Arthur Ashe Stadium. He became the first man after 71 years to also win this title after losing the first two sets of the final. 

In an interview, he stated:

“I hope that it doesn’t change my life because my life cannot depend on success. That would be wrong. But I hope it definitely changes my career. I achieved the biggest goal so far that I set for myself and I hope that it lets me play more free and even better tennis in the next big tournaments coming up.”

With his win against Alexander Zverev, Tim Henman, the former fourth-ranked tennis player in the world believes that Thiem has established himself in the sport and have become a favourite in any tournament. He said, “Dominic Thiem is now established as the third-best in the world.’

Beating Rafael Nadal

Thiem was able to beat Nadal, a 20-time Grand Slam champion in straight sets. He grabbed his win on his fifth match point. 

“I think it was a great match from the first to the last point and actually I was pretty lucky to get the first set. I was, I think, 2-5 down in the tiebreak and against Rafa it’s nice to win the first set obviously but still he’s there 100% from the first to the last point.”

Thiem further stated, “I knew I had a slight advantage when I won the first set but still I had to stay focused. It’s like I said the other day – I think all 8 players are in a great shape both physically and mentally so we’re going to see a lot of close matches, lots of close tiebreaks like today and as always the one who is a little bit luckier, the one who has the slightly better day is going to win and I’m happy that I got it today.”

What Rafael Nadal Says of the Match

On his part, Rafael Nadal credited Thiem and also stated that it was an equal match.

“Both of us played at a very high level. He deserved to win because he played a little bit better at some key moments. I am much more confident now with the level of tennis that I am playing than a couple of days ago.”

Although the pandemic has affected many sports events, it seems like players like Thiem are not letting it stop them from achieving their goals. Thiem described his match with Nadal as one of the best of his career. He won the first set after coming from 5-2 down in the tiebreaker.

Next year, the ATP Finals is set to take place in Turin, Italy after being held for 12 years in London. For the first time, electronic line calling will be used for the tournament. Players won’t also be able to challenge whether a ball was in or out. However, for other disputed situations, they can request for a video review.

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Tennis Ball

Serena Williams’ Shocking Exit from the French Open

It was stunning news to the tennis world when Serena Williams announced her withdrawal from the French Open before her second-round match. The announcement came less than an hour before her game with Tsvetana Pironkova.

The Reason for Her Withdrawal from the French Open

Williams could not participate because of a recurrence of an Achilles injury that she had suffered at the US Open, where she was defeated at the semi-finals by Victoria Azarenka.

According to the 39-year old professional tennis player, “The Achilles didn’t have enough time to heal after the US Open. I was struggling to walk and that is a tell-tale sign that I should try to recover.”

Williams is known as the three-time champion of the Roland Garros for the years 2002, 2013 and 2015. So, it is quite a blow to the tennis player that she could not give her best for this year’s tournament.

“I need four to six weeks of sitting and doing nothing. It’s more than likely that I won’t play another tournament this year,” Williams stated in an interview.

With her injury, she will likely miss the rest of 2020. This means that the Australian Open in 2021 is her next opportunity to equal Margaret Court’s all-time majors’ record. 

Williams’ Bid for the Grand Slam Suffers a Blow

With her withdrawal from the French Open, this has sparked doubts about her long-term future in tennis. The skilled tennis player is into her fourth decade on tour and has not won a grand slam since 2017 at the Australian Open. The clock is ticking for Williams, as stated by Dave James of AFP. He further wrote, “An Achilles injury ended Williams’ latest bid for a record-equalling 24th grand slam title at Roland Garros on Wednesday, but it’s Father Time who may prove her most implacable rival.” 

It has been near misses for Williams. In 2018, she pulled out despite the much-awaited last-16 clash with Maria Sharapova in Paris. In 2018 and 2019, she had reached the finals of Wimbledon and the US Open but could not bring the trophy home. This year, she fell in three sets in the fourth round against Wang Qiang in Australia. Finally, with the cancellation of Wimbledon, it has not been looking good for the tennis player. 

Williams’ Rankings Fell to World No. 10 at the WTA Rankings  

The French Open drama has further affected Williams’ record as she fell to World No. 10 at the WTA rankings. Instead of cashing in for her 24th major if she participated in the French Open, it was Iga Swiatek who claimed her first win. The Polish teenager was also the first to win in tennis history for a Polish player.  

Swiatek, who is 19 years old, climbed 37 spots to a career-high 17. There’s also Sofia Kenin, the French Open runner up, who rose to a career-high No.4. And Barty still remains World No. 1 even though she missed the past two grand slam tournaments.

Williams is Not Giving Up

Despite all of the setbacks that have happened to her this year, Williams did not give any indication that she was going to retire soon. With her 73 career titles, 23-slam haul and a staggering $93.5 million in prize money, the award-winning tennis player is not going to give up.

In her interviews, she stated, “I always give 100 percent, everyone knows that. Maybe even more than 100 if that’s possible. I take solace in that.”

“I’m pretty good at it still and I’m so close to some things, so I feel like I’m almost there. I think that’s what keeps me going.”

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