Advertisement
Sunday, Dec 05, 2021
Outlook.com
Outlook.com

Time Warning Flusters Serena Williams In Meek 3-Set New York Loss To Maria Sakkari

This was Serena Williams' fifth match since professional tennis resumed amid the coronavirus pandemic after a hiatus of nearly six months — and all five have gone three sets. She is 3-2 in that stretch

Time Warning Flusters Serena Williams In Meek 3-Set New York Loss To Maria Sakkari
Serena Williams hits a shot to Maria Sakkari during the third round at the Western & Southern Open tournament in New York | AP Photo/Frank Franklin II
Time Warning Flusters Serena Williams In Meek 3-Set New York Loss To Maria Sakkari
outlookindia.com
2020-08-26T10:06:48+05:30

Serena Williams was flustered when she got called for taking too much time between points, flung away her racket after letting a lead slip away and finished surprisingly meekly in a 5-7, 7-6 (5), 6-1 loss to Maria Sakkari at the Western & Southern Open. (More Tennis News)

This was Williams' fifth match since professional tennis resumed amid the coronavirus pandemic after a hiatus of nearly six months — and all five have gone three sets. She is 3-2 in that stretch.

The result against No. 13 seed Sakkari, and particularly the way the match ended, was hardly promising for Williams as the U.S. Open's start approaches next week.

The Western & Southern Open is usually held in Ohio but was moved to the U.S. Open's site in Flushing Meadows this year to make for a two-event, no-spectator “bubble” during the pandemic.

Williams was seemingly in control early, serving for the first set at 5-3, 30-0, when things began to unravel.

She missed two backhands in a row, then put a forehand into the net to set up a break point, and walked over to the stand holding her towel at the back of the court (the ball people normally handle towels for players, but not during COVID-19).

That's when chair umpire Aurelie Tourte called a time violation. On the following point, Williams sailed a forehand long to get broken.

At the ensuing changeover, the 23-time Grand Slam champion argued with Tourte, saying: “I mean, I'm getting my own towels. That's not fair. You should tell me on the sidelines next time if I need to play faster. Believe me, I will. ... You didn't even give me a warning.”

While Williams eventually did grab that set, she again frittered away a 5-3 lead in the second, plus a 4-1 edge in the tiebreaker. When she sat after the second set, the 38-year-old American tossed her racket over her shoulder the way an office worker might flip a crumpled piece of paper toward a trash can.

Williams came out flat in the third set, as if she'd rather be anywhere else. She double-faulted four times in the second game, including on Sakkari's eighth break chance, to make it 2-0 and that was pretty much that.

Hours earlier, Novak Djokovic's neck felt much better, and his tennis looked much better, in a 6-2, 6-4 victory over unseeded American Tennys Sandgren that improved the No. 1-ranked man to 20-0 in 2020.

“Actually, I'm pleasantly surprised with the way I recovered and felt today — just overall, physically, but also with the neck, specifically, because that was a little bit of a concern,” said Djokovic, who will be eyeing his 18th Grand Slam title at the U.S. Open.

“Going back four, five days, I did struggle quite a lot.” Djokovic was treated by a trainer and played sluggishly in his opening match Monday, but he was at his best from the outset against Sandgren and saved all four break points he faced.
Djokovic will face 34th-ranked Jan-Lennard Struff in the quarterfinals.

The other quarterfinal in the top half of the draw will be defending champion Daniil Medvedev against No. 8 seed Roberto Bautista Agut.

Reilly Opelka, a 6-foot-11 American who is ranked 39th, delivered 19 aces and knocked off 2019 U.S. Open semifinalist Matteo Berrettini 6-3, 7-6 (4). Opelka next meets No. 4 seed Stefanos Tsitsipas, whose 7-6 (2), 7-6 (4) win over No. 16 John Isner was interrupted by a rain delay of nearly 1 1/2 hours late in the first set.

Also interrupted by the weather was three-time Grand Slam champion Andy Murray's 6-2, 6-2 loss to 2016 Wimbledon runner-up Milos Raonic, who has held all 29 games he's served so far in the tournament.

“It was poor. Didn't play well. It was not a good day,” said Murray, who hadn't competed since November because of a pelvic injury and is playing on a metal hip after two operations on that joint.

“The positives are that I got three matches in. Physically, I pulled up OK.” Women's quarterfinal matchups set earlier in the day were two-time Grand Slam champion Naomi Osaka against Anett Kontaveit, former No. 1 Victoria Azarenka against Ons Jabeur, and 83rd-ranked American qualifier Jessica Pegula against No. 14 Elise Mertens.

(AP)

Advertisement

Outlook Newsletters

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Read More from Outlook

BWF World Tour Finals, Live: Sindhu Cuts Korean Seyoung's Lead

BWF World Tour Finals, Live: Sindhu Cuts Korean Seyoung's Lead

Follow live scores and updates of BWF World Tour Finals 2021 match between India's PV Sindhu and Korea's Au Seyoung in Bali, Indonesia.

Hyderpora Encounter: Arrest Of Khurram Parvez Brings Focus Back On Human Rights In Kashmir

Hyderpora Encounter: Arrest Of Khurram Parvez Brings Focus Back On Human Rights In Kashmir

Alleging abuse of anti-terror laws, the United Nations and international human rights bodies seek release of rights activist Khurram Parvez and inquiry into the Hyderpora encounter.

Omicron In India: Planning To Travel? Five Things You Must Do

Omicron In India: Planning To Travel? Five Things You Must Do

As the threat due to the Omicron variant of the coronavirus rises in India, public health experts advise travellers to follow five steps to avoid contracting Covid-19.

AR Rahman's All-Woman Show And 'Miracle In Matunga Street’

AR Rahman's All-Woman Show And 'Miracle In Matunga Street’

To breathe real stage dust was a pleasant feeling, after a year and more of watching stuff on the small screen or phone.

Advertisement