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Venus Williams Hits 34

Yesterday i.e. the 17th of June was the birthday of Venus Williams. She has become 34 years of age, one of the oldest players on the tour now. She had started her journey in professional tennis about 20 years back i.e. in 1994 and since then, she has been an influential figure in the female’s game. She has achieved a lot during her career so far. Winning Grand Slam singles title, winning Grand Slam doubles title, becoming the no. 1 player in the world, she has done almost everything that a professional player dreams of while starting his/her career.

Venus has not only been a strong personality on the court, she has been the same off the court as well. She suffered a dangerous illness a while back which threatened to finish her career. It was a unique sort of illness and most of the players perhaps would not have been able to fight with it, but, Venus showed what a fighter she was. She had that will to put her career back on track and thus, she struggled hard against that illness and ended up getting rid of it.

Yes, people can say that since making her comeback, Venus doesn’t look the same player that she once was and it’s true to some extent, but, making a comeback after getting rid of such dangerous illness is a huge achievement in itself. Even after achieving so much in the game, the desire that Venus showed to come back, that’s worth a salute.

Venus is also responsible for shaping the career of her younger sister Serena Williams. She used to help her a lot during the starting days of her career and today Serena is a legend.

So, it’s safe to say that Venus is someone whom the youngsters can idolize both on and off the court. Her ability, her character, her passion and her temperament, everything is admirable.

Stephens Beat By Wozniacki

Mardy Fish’s countrywoman, Sloane Stephens, has been defeated by Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark in the second round of the AEGON International Tennis Tournament which is going on in Eastbourne at the moment. It was an easy win for Wozniacki. She took only about an hour to crush her opponent who was comparatively very young and inexperienced. The Danish woman won both the sets by the same margin of 6-3.

The two players came into the match with different sort of attitude. While, Wozniacki was looking calm, composed and relaxed, Stephens seemed to be trying too hard. She was trying to win points quickly and was over aggressive in order to do so. That resulted in her committing a number of unforced errors in both the sets and she ended up handing the match to Wozniacki.

With this win, Wozniacki remained undefeated against Stephens. She has now played 5 matches against the American youngster in total and has won all of them.

In the opening set, both the players held their serve in the first 3 games and the scores were 2-1. In the 4th game, the first breakthrough for Wozniacki came and after that, she made sure that she didn’t let Stephens break her back. She won her next three service games and sealed the set.

Having had the first set in her bag, Wozniacki looked much more confident in the second set and with the help of a serve break pretty early, she got ahead by 2-0. With consecutive serve holds after that, the Danish player extended her lead to 5-3 and then, she broke Stephens again in the 9th game to get the match done and dusted.

It’s been the first time in the last couple of months that Wozniacki has got two wins successively. Her form before this tournament was pathetic.

MIAMI HAPPY TO HAVE TOP PLAYERS

The organizers of Miami Masters Tennis tournament are very happy that two of the greatest entertainers in the game i.e. Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal are going to take part in the event this year.

Both of them were absent last year and the popularity of the tournament had decreased immensely because of that. Only about 30,000 people had turned up which was about 5 percent less than the no. of spectators that had gathered to watch the matches in 2012.

The reason behind Nadal withdrawing from Miami last season was his fitness. He had not recovered from that famous knee injury. Federer was fit though, but, he had taken some time off the game at that point of time and thus, he hadn’t participated in the tournament.

With both these superstars back, the upcoming edition of Miami Masters is anticipated to be a big success. After quite some time, Federer is looking in top form and he would certainly attract big crowd to the playing arena.

Talking to the reporters about the availability of Federer and Nadal yesterday, one of the senior officials of the organizing committee said, “These two players are probably the biggest heroes going around at the moment. So, not having them last year was obviously disappointing and we did suffer a little bit due to that. But, we are absolutely thrilled that they are back for this year. I hope we will have some decent crowd during the matches.”

Apart from the male category, all the top female tennis players are available as well for the Miami Masters 2014. The weather forecast on the match days is not too bad either. So, there would surely be heavy increment in the ticket sales for this year’s tournament.

SHARAPOVA MISSES OUT

Svetlana Kuznetsova’s countrywoman, Maria Sharapova, has been defeated by Serena Williams of USA in the semi final round of the ongoing Brisbane International Tennis tournament.

This win didn’t come that easily for Serena. She was pushed to the limits by her Russian opponent, but, eventually, she came through.

Had Sharapova been able to get better of Serena in this match, it would have been her first victory over the American superstar in the last 9 years.

The last time that Sharapova had secured a victory over Serena was at All England Club way back in 2004. She was just 17 years of age at that point of time.

In total, there have been 17 matches played between Serena and Sharapova so far and the Russian player has managed to win just a couple of them.

However, despite losing the match, Sharapova should take heart from the fact that she moved quite nicely in all her matches in this tournament and that was a big positive as she was returning after recovering from a nasty injury.

The tennis lovers were quite excited about this match not just because of the fact that these two are high quality players, but, also, because of the statements being made by these two about each other in the recent past. It was obvious that both of them would try their best to win this contest and the same happened. Some brilliant tennis was played by both the players, but, at the end, it was Serena who proved to be better.

In the final, Serena will be up against another quality opponent i.e. Victoria Azarenka. Her record against Azarenka is pretty impressive too. She has faced the Belarusian in 20 matches so far and has beaten her 17 times.

PENG IS NEXT

Svetlana Kuznetsova will take on Shuai Peng of China in the second round of the ongoing US Open.

Kuznetsova has made her way into the second round with an easy win over the local girl Mallory Burdette. She outclassed the American youngster in just 92 minutes.

The last few months have been pretty tough for Kuznetsova. She was looking in good form in the French Open and had reached the final 8 stage, but, she got beaten by Serena Williams there.

Thereafter, she picked up an injury and couldn’t take part in the Wimbledon Championships. She got recovered in a few weeks though and made her comeback by playing in a couple of hard court tournaments prior to the US Open, but, she couldn’t do well in either of them.

Kuznetsova’s opponent Peng has also not been in the greatest of forms off late. She had reached the title round in the Brussels Open which was played towards the end of May, but, after that tournament, her form dipped down.

In the opening round here at Flushing Meadows, Peng was up against Yvonne Meusburger of Austria and she got better of her with ease. She served brilliantly and was solid from baseline too.

Peng would know that she has a great chance of upsetting Kuznetsova here as the Russian player isn’t at her peak at the moment.

These two players have faced each other 5 times before and Kuznetsova has a lead of 3-2. But, the last couple of matches between these two have been won by Peng and the Chinese player can take heart from that.

It would be a tight contest as there is no lack of potential in either of these two players. Kuznetsova might be the favourite due to her experience, but, she will have to play really well to make it to the third round.

KIRILENKO LOSES OUT

Svetlana Kuznetsova’s countrywoman, Maria Kirilenko, has been knocked out of the Wimbledon Championships 2013. She suffered a straight set defeat against the British youngster Laura Robson in the opening round yesterday. Robson won the match by 6-3, 6-4.

It was a superb all round performance by Robson. She entered the match in an attacking mood and just took the match away from Kirilenko.

Kirilenko’s world ranking is much higher than that of Robson and she was not supposed to struggle against the British player. But, that didn’t happen. Kirilenko wasn’t even close to her best. She never managed to get into a good rhythm.

In the post match interview, Robson said, “This was the first time I was playing against Maria and I was nervous. Fortunately, I got a good start and that calmed me down. I lost my concentration towards the end of the second set, but, I bounced back in time and managed to finish it off.”

In the first set, the first 7 games went with the serve and at the end of the 7th game; the score was 4-3 in the favour of Kirilenko. The Russian player managed to sneak a breakthrough in the 8th game and then, by serving out the next game, she clinched the opener by 6-3.

In the second set, there were no breakthroughs in the first couple of games and the scorecard was showing 1-1 when the 2nd game got over. After that, Robson went berserk for a while. She won the next 3 games consecutively with the help of two breakthroughs and took a lead of 4-1.

Kirilenko pulled things back a little bit with a serve break in the 6th game and a serve hold in the 7th game. But, that was too little, too late. Robson easily won her next two service games and finished off the proceedings.

In the next round, Robson will take on Mariana Duque of Colombia.