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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Male Tennis Player

Male Tennis Players in the U.S. Open 2020: Djokovic Gets Disqualified

One of the most promising tennis tournaments that both local bookmakers and international bookmakers have been excited about is the U.S. Open. Many prominent tennis players are participating. Although two of the Big Three, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, won’t be participating, tennis fans and punters still have Novak Djokovic, or so they thought.

Shocking Disqualification of Djokovic

To many people’s shock and dismay, Djokovic, the world No. 1 male tennis player and a 17-time Grand Slam champion, was eliminated from the tennis tournament. It was because he hit a line judge in the neck with a ball. He had struck it toward the back of the court in frustration.   

The line judge, Laura Clark, “was clearly hurt and Novak was angry, he hit the ball recklessly, angrily back and taking everything into consideration, there was no discretion involved,” as stated by the U.S. Open referee Soeren Friemel.

Djokovic’s actions then fell under the Grand Slam rule book’s definitions of “unsportsmanlike conduct” and “ball abuse.” In this regard, the officials had two options in the rules that they could use to punish Djokovic. It was either to warn him or to default him. They chose the latter. 

“In accordance with the Grand Slam rule book, following his actions of intentionally hitting a ball dangerously or recklessly within the court or hitting a ball with negligent disregard of the consequences, the U.S. Open tournament referee defaulted Novak Djokovic from the 2020 U.S. Open,” said in a statement by the United States Tennis Association.

Djokovic Accepts the Decision

Although at the start Djokovic had asked Friemel why he could not just take a point penalty instead of being defaulted, later on, Djokovic accepted the referee’s decision. It came as quite a shock to him since he had not received a warning during the match. But the rules do allow officials the option of proceeding straight to default.  

“Of course, it was very hard for me to accept right after it happened. For a couple of days, I was in shock and I was shaken by the whole thing,” the Serbian tennis player had said at a news conference.

He continued, “I felt very good about myself, my game. It was totally unexpected and very unintended but, when you hit the ball like that, you have a chance to hit somebody that is on the court. I accepted it and I had to move on. Of course, I didn’t forget about it, I don’t think I’ll ever forget about it.”

Because of his disqualification, it ended his 29-match winning streak, and sadly his bid for an 18th Grand Slam title. He only comes third amongst the famous male tennis players, Roger Federer, who has 20 and Rafael Nadal who has 19.

It might have been disappointing for some of the best bookmakers in the world to lose Djokovic in the U.S. Open, but there are still promising male tennis players that are participating in the event. Tennis fans and punters alike can still support and wager for players such as Dominic Thiem and Daniil Medvedev.

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Woman holding racket

4 Female Tennis Players Who Dominated the Court

Tennis is a sport that is gender inclusive, which is a rare characteristic if you compare it to other sports that are usually male-dominated. But ever since the 1800s, when women were allowed to play the sport and participate in events, it has led to many achievements in both genders.

The famous interview with Andy Murray when he corrected a journalist who claimed that Sam Querrey was the “first US player to reach a major semi-final since 2009” is a testament to the fact that many are constantly pushing for gender equality in tennis. 

In a press conference, Murray had interrupted the journalist’s question that Querrey was merely the first “male player” to have done so. This is because female tennis players such as Serena and Venus Williams are all US players who have qualified for Grand Slam semi-finals since 2009.  

With so many female tennis players that are known to be tennis greats, here’s a list of some of the best players throughout history. These phenomenal women are reminders of how far tennis has come over the years. 

Serena Williams

At the top of this list is none other than Serena Williams, who has won 23 Grand Slams, making her the second tennis player with most major wins in the Open era and 4 Olympic gold medals. She also has 73 WTA titles and is currently one of the best players in women’s singles tennis. Williams is undoubtedly an icon in the tennis world because she holds the most major singles, doubles, and mixed doubles titles combined amongst both male and female active tennis players.  

Steffi Graf

This female tennis player is one of the greatest tennis players of all time because she has proven her unmatched prowess on the court. She broke many records that are still unbeaten such as the record for the highest number of weeks with a number one ranking. It was an impressive 377 weeks. She is also the only tennis player to win every Grand Slam event at least four times in singles. Not to mention that Graf holds the record for the third-most major wins with 22 Grand Slams Singles titles and is the first female tennis player to win 4 Grand Slams and an Olympic gold medal in a calendar year.

Martina Navratilova

Navratilova is one of the women who reigned in the world of tennis during the 1970s to 1980s. She is one of the best female tennis players who have made a mark in history. She has 18 Grand Slams and 167 WTA titles. Navratilova also has the following titles: 9 Wimbledon, 4 US Opens, 3 Australian Opens, and 2 French Opens. She was also known to be one of the unbeatable players from 1982 to 1986 since she only lost 14 matches. 

Billie Jean King

Billie Jean King is also one of the legends of tennis. She became best known for her Battle of the Sexes match with Bobby Riggs, whom she defeated. It was the match of the 20th century and resulted in attracting more than 50 million viewers. This amazing female tennis player has won 6 Wimbledon singles, 39 Grand Slams, 4 US Opens, 1 Australian Open, and 1 French Open. King is the perfect example as to why female tennis players are in the same leveling ground as male tennis players. Her battle with Riggs proved that female tennis players are just as excellent in the sport as male tennis players.    

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