Blue Tennis Court

Australian Open 2021: Djokovic Beats Zverev and Qualifies for Semi

Hailed as one of the world’s top male tennis players, Novak Djokovic beat Alexander Zverev in a challenging game with 6-7(6) 6-2 6-4 7-6(6). Because of this, he remains a contender for the Australian Open 2021 semi-finals to the joy of some of the best betting brokers. This means more appealing offers for the smart tennis punters. Moreover, the number one player did not have an easy time beating 23-year old Zverev.

Djokovic vs Zverev: How Did the Match Play Out?

Zverev was able to begin the first break of the match with confidence with 5-3, but he hesitated on his own serve at 5-4. Because of this, Djokovic took the set into a tiebreak. The Serbian tennis player was doing well and won the second set. However, his level dropped at the beginning of the third set. Because of this, Djokovic destroyed his racket in anger as he got left behind with 4-1.

In the next game, Zverev was ahead with 0-30. But, Djokovic was able to turn the tides and won 20 of the next 24 points and moved one set from victory. Zverev tried to get another momentum going with a 3-0 lead in the fourth set and only needed three points to move 4-0 ahead. But to his dismay, the world number one male tennis player was able to save a set point at 5-6. Djokovic then finished the match with his twenty-third ace. 

Djokovic’s Thoughts on the Australian Open 2021 Mandatory Quarantine

There’s no doubt that Novak Djokovic is one of the best male players out there. While having his match with Zverev, he suffered from an abdominal injury that he got in the third round of his match with Taylor Fritz.

He blames the mandatory 14-day quarantine that all tennis players have to go through for the Australian Open 2021. Djokovic demanded a better solution and suggested the NBA-style bubbles.

According to an interview after his match with Zverev, Djokovic stated, “Talking to a lot of players, a majority of the players just don’t want to go ahead with the season if we are going to have to quarantine most of the tournaments.”

He further added, “I’m waiting for some answers. I want to understand how our continuation of the season post-Australia is going to look like, because this definitely is not good for players in terms of their wellbeing.”

The reigning champion is also not the only player suffering from a battle injury at this year’s Grand Slam. There’s Italian player, Matteo Berrettini who also suffered from an abdominal problem. Another one would be Grigor Dimitrov who suffered back spasms during his quarter-final defeat by Aslan Karatsev.

To find a solution to this problem, Djokovic suggests playing several tournaments at the same venue. This is similar to the NBA basketball’s “bubble” solution last year at Disney World in Florida.

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Tennis and Mask

Dozens of Australian Open Tennis Players Quarantined for 14-days

With the Australian Open tournament looming in close, many tennis professionals have been arriving in Melbourne ahead of the game. However, officials forced the tennis players into a 14-day hotel quarantine for safety protocols. This is because weeks before, some of them had tested positive for coronavirus.

Australian Open Tennis Players and Staff Quarantined

More than 1,200 players, officials, and support teams have arrived in Australia for the two-week Australian Open tournament. They have already anticipated the strict measures in place. This is because Australia has come close to eliminating community transmission with the help of the hotel quarantine system for international arrivals, vigilant and prompt tracing methods, and high testing rates. 

According to Tournament Director Craig Tiley, in an interview with Channel 9, “We are in this situation, we have to deal with it, the Australian Open is going ahead. It’s a tough situation and we have got to do whatever we can to make it as fair as possible for those players that are in lockdown.”

Rising Tensions Between Australian Officials and Players

Australia holds a record of fewer than 29,000 cases of Covid-19 and 909 deaths. Because of the U.K. Covid-19 variant, they tightened the rules more in order to prevent an outbreak. But, because of the government restrictions, many of the quarantined tennis players felt like they were losing time to practice. 

Isolated players and tennis officials are not given permission to leave their hotel rooms, but some people are causing issues because they open doors for conversations. According to Emma Cassar, Quarantine Victoria commissioner, “There are a few people who are testing our procedures and we would encourage them to remain in their rooms.”

Moreover, Danial Andrews, Victoria state Premier, also told reporters, “I know that there’s been a bit of chatter from a number of players about the rules. Well, the rules apply to them as they apply to everybody else, and they were all briefed on that before they came. And that was the condition on which they came. There’s no special treatment here.”

Tennis Professionals Making the Best Out of their Situation

On a positive note, despite the 14-day quarantine, many tennis professionals are doing their best to adjust to the circumstances. You have Pablo Cuevas and Yulia Putintseva taking to social media to show what they’ve been up to. They uploaded videos of themselves “training” for the tournament by hitting balls against upended mattresses inside their hotel rooms. 

Although, Novak Djokovic, the world’s No. 1 male tennis player, is not among those ordered into the strict quarantine in Melbourne. According to News Corp., Djokovic issued a list of demands to the tournament organizers. This included reducing the length of the isolation period and moving tennis players into private houses with a tennis court.

The Australian Open might be off to a rocky start. But, tennis players and punters still have high hopes for many tennis tournaments. For the tennis punter, they can use quantitative analysis sports betting for their wagers, among others.

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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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