Sports Tennis

Wimbledon 2021 Day 4: Federer faces familiar French foil Gasquet in 2nd round

Roger Federer lost to Frenchman Richard Gasquet the first time they played each other in 2005, but is 18-1 against his familiar foil since, including victories in their past 10 meetings. Roger Federer lost to Frenchman Richard Gasquet the first time they played each other in 2005, but is 18-1 against his familiar foil since, including victories in their past 10 meetings. They square off again Thursday in the second round at Wimbledon. Federer was in danger in the first round but advanced when his opponent retired with a knee injury. Also on the men’s schedule is No. 2-seeded Daniil Medvedev, who plays wild card Carlos Alcaraz. U.S. Olympian Marcos Giron takes on No. 14 Hubert Hurkacz. On the women’s side, top-ranked Ash Barty will be first on Centre Court to play Anna Blinkova, the runner-up in girls singles at Wimbledon in 2015. Seventeen-year-old…

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‘Sad story’: An injured Serena Williams is out of Wimbledon 2021

Serena Williams bit her upper lip. She held her left hand over her mouth and tried to hold back tears while getting ready to serve. It was the first set of her first-round match Tuesday at Wimbledon, and Williams knew this stay at a tournament where she has won seven of her 23 Grand Slam singles titles was about to end because she hurt her right leg when she lost her footing behind a baseline. Moments later, her legs buckled as she tried to change directions to chase a shot by her opponent, 100th-ranked Aliaksandra Sasnovich of Belarus. Williams dropped to her knees, her head down on the grass. She used her racket to help her stand, but only so she could limp to the net to concede — just the second mid-match retirement at any Grand Slam tournament of her career and first…

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Wimbledon draw: Tough path ahead for eight-time champion Roger Federer

Eight-time Wimbledon champion, Switzerland’s Roger Federer, will have to potentially overcome world No.2, Daniil Medvedev of Russia, and Germany’s Alexander Zverev to reach a 13th Wimbledon final, according to the draw announced on Friday. Federer, who has a 101-13 match record at Wimbledon since his debut in 1999, will take on France’s world No. 42 Adrian Mannarino in the first round. The sixth-seed Federer, who has beaten Mannarino six times overall, could face Queen’s Club Championships runner-up, England’s Cameron Norrie, in the third round. Federer would be hoping to bounce back from a second-round loss at the Noventi Open in Halle (Germany) last week as he seeks a record-breaking 21st Grand Slam championship. Should the 39-year-old make it to the quarter-finals, he could meet Medvedev, who is competing at the Mallorca Championships this week. World No. 1 Novak Djokovic of Serbia, who beat Federer…

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Tokyo Olympics: Sania Mirza all set to make history at Games

For the better part of the last decade, Indian tennis has desperately tried to answer the question, ‘Who’s the next Sania Mirza?’ Even as the hunt is on, the woman herself isn’t even close to done. Mirza, 34, will become the first female athlete to represent India at four Olympics when she competes at Tokyo 2020, slated to get underway on July 23. “I have had an amazing career,” said Mirza told Olympics.com. “It’s just about believing in yourself and believing in your abilities. I am in my 30s and I’m still here! I don’t really think too much about it (how long I will play). I take it day by day, I don’t really think too far into the future.” After giving birth to her first child, Izhaan, in 2018, Mirza made a winning comeback in January last year as she won the…

Sports Tennis

Rafael Nadal opts out of this year’s Wimbledon, Tokyo Olympics

Rafael Nadal has confirmed he will not play at Wimbledon or Tokyo Olympics this year. Nadal, in an official statement, said that the decision was taken to “prolong my career” and to “keep fighting for those professional and personal goals at the maximum level of competition.” Nadal announced the decision on his official Twitter account. “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 take but after listening to my body and discuss it with my team I understand that it is the right decision,” Nadal wrote. “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…

Sports Tennis

How Novak Djokovic pulled off ‘the unthinkable’

Driven by utter belief and determination, Djokovic took down the Master in an epic four-setter semifinal battle, handing Nadal his third defeat in French Open. Numbers overwhelmingly favoured him. Drawing from recent encounters, pundits placed him above the world no.1. In his 107 matches on Parisian clay, Rafael Nadal, the 13-time French Open champion, never lost a semifinal or a final. And only eight months back, had decimated Novak Djokovic in supreme fashion at the Philippe Chatrier in the summit clash.  On Friday, on the sun-scorched clay court of Stade Roland Garros, Nadal started off from where he left at Rome, a month ago, racing to a 5-0 lead in the opening set. The sheer domination only brought back memories of the battle last fall and it only seemed a matter of time before Djokovic suffers a similar fate at the hands of the…

Tennis

French Open 2021: Let’s have a great battle, says Djokovic

The Serb tennis star said he is happy with the kind of tennis he is playing and believes he is capable of defeating Nadal at his own den. World No. 1 Novak Djokovic, who set up a clash with Rafael Nadal after his win over Matteo Berrettini, said he was under pressure throughout the quarter-final that he won in fourth set to enter a Grand Slam singles semi-final for the 40th time. “This match had it all: falls, crowd, break. It was a lot of intensity. I just felt under tension the entire time,” Djokovic said after the end of the match. “It was just super, super stressful to constantly be under pressure on my service games, because his service games were quite smooth with the big serve. The reaction in the end was just me liberating that tension that was building up for…

Sports Tennis

Italian Open: Nadal saves two match points to defeat Shapovalov, Djokovic also advances to quarters

Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic reached quarter-finals of the Italian Open in contrasting style here on Thursday. While Nadal struggled to win 3-6, 6-4, 7-6(3) in a three-and-a-half-hour epic against 13th seed Denis Shapovalov, Djokovic cruised past Alejandro Davidovich Fokina 6-2, 6-1. Nadal, the nine-time champion, trailed 0-4 in the opening set, 0-3 in the second and saved two match points late in the third set as Shapovalov took control in their third-round clash. But Nadal grabbed the high-pressure moments and steadily raised his level to secure the victory for a spot in the last eight. This is Nadal’s 16th quarter-final appearance in the tournament. Serb world No. 1 Djokovic, on the other hand, entered quarter-finals for the 15th time in his 15th appearance in the tournament. Djokovic, a five-time champion, broke serve in five of his seven return games to stretch his perfect…

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Sania Mirza opens up on battling depression after 2008 Olympics

The 34-year-old tennis star, who went on to win six doubles Grand Slams, said the injury left her in a vulnerable state of mind as she often ‘burst into tears for no reason’. India’s biggest women’s tennis player Sania Mirza revealed she battled depression after a wrist injury forced her to pull out of 2008 Beijing Olympics. The 34-year-old tennis star, who went on to win six doubles Grand Slams, said the injury left her in a vulnerable state of mind as she often ‘burst into tears for no reason’. In an interview to YouTube channel, Mind Matters, Mirza said, “That day — when I had to pull out of the 2008 Beijing Olympics because of a bad wrist injury — I went into depression for 3-4 months. I remember crying for no reason. I mean, I used to be absolutely fine and then…

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