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.”

With the dedication that these tennis players have for the sport, no wonder there are so many fans and bettors out there who keep a close watch for these tennis tournaments. For those who want to engage in sports betting brokerage, you can check out Eastbridge brokerage!

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Tennis Rising Stars 2019: Watch Out for These 10 Names

Federer, Nadal, Djokovic and Williams.

Such names are the Hall of Famers—legendary. They dominate the tennis world ‘til today. But they would eventually fade from prominence. Boris Becker even called out the young tennis players to rise up.

Assuming the mantle may not be easy but these tennis players have all the rights to be the next big stars. 

These names can make the spectators rave with excitement. And they have already started carving out their names on clay, grass, and hard surfaces.

The tennis rising stars of 2019

1) Alexander Zverev

Also called Sascha, the 21-year-old German has already defeated not just Djokovic, but also Federer. He won the ATP (Association of Tennis Professionals) World Tour Finals in London. He reached Grand Slam quarterfinals once as well.

2) Aryna Sabalenka

The 20-year-old Belarusian started at No. 73 and ended the year at No. 13. The match of the US Open 2018 was given to her, winning against Naomi Osaka in just three sets. She had also won the Wuhan title, weeks after playing at the Open.

3) Amanda Anisimova

Anisimova was already included in the Top 100 even before she hits her 18th birthday this August. The American player had already won the French Open (juniors division) and Orange Bowl titles in 2018.

4) Stefanos Tsitsipas

The Greek player is the 2018 Next Gen ATP Finals men’s singles champion. He had already reached three ATP singles finals only to be defeated by Nadal in two of these. He was one of the strongest contenders of 2019 ATP World Tour.

5) Dominic Thiem

Thiem is one of the prominent names in the ATP World Tour. He reached the French Open final against Rafael Nadal. He has also reached the ATP Finals in London for three straight years.

6) Denis Shapovalov

Shapovalov is a Canadian tennis player who had already hit records in 2018. The 2018 ATP World Tour ranked him at 23. He won the junior grand slam title at the 2016 Wimbledon and the junior doubles title at the 2017 US Open. 

7) Alex de Minaur

De Minaur reached the 2018 Next Gen ATP Finals, leading him to be ranked at No. 31. He had already appeared in the third round of the grand slam singles events. 

8) Nick Kyrgios 

Kyrgios is another Australian on the list, aside from de Minaur. He had already won four ATP singles titles, three of which were from 2016. Krygios had reached the quarterfinals in two grand slam singles events. One of these grand slams was the 2015 Australian Open. 

9) Maria Sakkari

Sakkari was ranked at No. 29 by the WTA (Women’s Tennis Association). In 2018, she reached the semi-finals in Istanbul. But in 2019, Sakkari won the Morrocan Open against Johanna Konta. She had also defeated the top players, Kiki Bertens and Petra Kvitova, in 2019.

10) Bianca Andreescu

Andreescu, who is also a Canadian, is currently ranked 22 by the WTA. Andreescu has already defeated Venus Williams. She also won the 2019 Indian Wells Masters. Martina Navratilova believes she has the potential towards becoming the next tennis superstar.

 

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Player Feature: Novak Djokovic

Full Name: Novak Djokovic 

Birthdate: May 22, 1987

Birthplace: Belgrade, SR Serbia 

Years active: 2003 – present

ATP Rank: #1

Key facts and statistics

  • One of the Big Four of men’s tennis
  • Had the highest Elo rating
  • 16 Grand Slam titles
  • Held the 4 major titles at once
  • 5x ATP #1 tennis player in men’s singles
  • Has 75 singles titles

Novak Djokovic is dubbed as one of the best male tennis players of the Open era and of all-time. He ranks among the rosters of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Pete Sampras, and Bjorn Borg.

An aggressive baseline player, there is something unique about Djokovic’s all-court (albeit modern) playing style. He is known for his deep and penetrating groundstrokes. But his backhand underspin is legendary with its consistent pace and precision – even considered as the best in this era. 

Djokovic is both a defensive and offensive player. He can easily convert positions on seemingly defensive positions. 

He turns to his serves as a weapon to win free points. The same goes with his return of serves; John McEnroe even said that Djokovic is the most outstanding returner in tennis history.

Together with Federer, Nadal, and Andy Murray, they formed the Big Four. The players dominate men’s tennis division in terms of ranking and victories. Djokovic has the highest Elo rating of the four, though, because of his records in winning against quality opponents. He was the only player to defeat the top three tennis players within one season.

The Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) currently rank him as the #1 player in men’s singles. He was a five-time #1 player, grabbing the position in a total of 250 weeks. He was the only Serbian to achieve the ranking as well as win a Grand Slam singles title.

Djokovic has numerous titles under his belt; 75 titles. He has a total of 16 Grand Slam titles, reaching the Career Grand Slam title after winning the 2016 French Open. He was the eighth player to do so.

He was also the third tennis player who holds four major titles at once, on different surfaces. His major titles include seven Australian Opens, five Wimbledons, three US Opens, and one French Open.

He was consistently on tours since he started playing professionally as well. Djokovic has won 33 ATP Tour Masters, 12 ATP Tour 500s and five ATP Finals. He holds the record for being the only male player to win tournaments under Masters 1000.

With all these, he was always the consistent half on the best rivalries on the court. Not just against his Big Four contemporaries, but also Stan Wawrinka, Jo-Wilfred Tsonga, and Juan Martin del Potro. In all their meetings, Djokovic prevailed.

One of the cited reasons for his court endurance and agility is his vegan diet. In 2010, his coaching team, which included Igor Četojević, a nutritionist, discovered that he has a gluten intolerance. Gluten was removed from his diet. He became stronger and quicker after the change.

Aside from playing tennis, he also devotes his time to his vegan restaurant in Monte Carlo that he opened in 2016.

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