- Jay Hart at Busted Racquet5 hrs ago
There’s something about this that makes you just tear up. Maybe it’s the parent in you (if you are a parent) or maybe, in a time when the world seems to be at its own throat, you witness a moment when everyone is on the same side.
A mother looking for her child. A child desperate to find her mother. And everyone around them, including Rafael Nadal who’s supposed to be concentrating on the player on the other side of the net, realizing that their reunion is more important than anything else.
This took place Wednesday during an exhibition match in Nadal’s native Mallorca. Partnered with a teenager named Simon Solbas, and squaring off against Carlos Moya and John McEnroe, Nadal was on serve when a commotion in the crowd (that would normally halt as play resumes) didn’t stop. And rightfully so.
Nadal stopped, the crowd did too, and mother and daughter were reunited.
- Jay Busbee at Busted Racquet1 day ago
Add Serena Williams to the growing list of athletes speaking up against racial tensions, and specifically police-related violence. Writing on her Facebook page, Williams told the story of the fear she felt at having her nephew drive with a police officer nearby.
“Why did I have to think about this in 2016? Have we not gone through enough, opened so many doors, impacted billions of lives?” Williams wrote. “We must stride on – for it’s not how far we have come but how much further still we have to go.”
Athletes have been taking stands in support of racial equality for decades, but the most recent flurry of public statements arose in the wake of San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s decision not to stand for the national anthem. Williams took pains to note that she was not condemning an entire group of people or occupation, but noted that those who are “ignorant, afraid, uneducated, and insensitive” are the root of the problem.
- Joe Lago at Busted Racquet9 days ago
An abrupt exit at the Rio Olympics and a disappointing U.S. Open has not deterred Serena Williams one bit. If anything, she’s just as eager to keep her place atop women’s tennis.
The world No. 2 talked about her undying passion to be the best in an interview with Yahoo France’s Alexandre Delperier on Monday. The motivation that “comes from inside” is still ever present, leaving her “even hungrier than before.”
Williams won Wimbledon this summer to bring her Grand Slam singles championship haul to 22, one short of Steffi Graf’s all-time record of 23. But the 34-year-old American made it completely clear that the 22 titles are just “a starting point” – another indication that winning large, shiny trophies is far from getting old.
Williams sat down with Yahoo France in Nice for the opening of the Mouratoglou Tennis Academy, which was created by her coach Patrick Mouratoglou. When Delperier asked if she likes “playing with kids all around you” at the academy, Williams looked around the picturesque setting and replied yes.
But her reason was the real surprise.
- Jackie Bamberger at Busted Racquet17 days ago
The 2016 US Open came to a thrilling conclusion Sunday night, as Stan Wawrinka out-dueled top-ranked Novak Djokovic 6-7 (1), 6-4, 7-5, 6-3 to claim his first title in New York.
Though Djokovic came into the match with a 19-4 head-to-head advantage and two US Open titles under his belt, Wawrinka delivered the clutch performance Sunday under the bright lights of Arthur Ashe Stadium.
Early on, it looked as if the world No. 1 might run away with the contest. Djokovic jumped out to a 4-1 lead with precise shot selection, while Wawrinka struggled to keep up.
But Wawrinka soon found his rhythm and fired off three straight games, saving two set points, to erase the early deficit and then take the set to a tiebreak. In the end, though, it would be Djokovic who seized the momentum in the tiebreak filled with spectacular points, storming to a 6-1 win.
In the second set, it would be Wawrinka that jumped out to a 4-1 lead, and Djokovic who fought his way back to even the score. With Djokovic serving to stay in the set 4-5, the Serb hit three unforced errors that gave Wawrinka the set.
- Jackie Bamberger at Busted Racquet19 days ago
Angelique Kerber did not disappoint in her first match as the new world No. 1, defeating Karolina Pliskova 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 to win the US Open.
Facing off against Pliskova, who had defeated top-seeded Serena Williams in the semifinals, Kerber executed her game plan to perfection. She showed off her superior return game, drew her heavy-hitting opponent into long rallies, and did not give Pliskova any mistakes to pounce on.
Kerber jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead in the first set, and held on despite a tenacious challenger. Though Kerber struggled to get her serves in play, she staved off three break points in the opening set and committed just three unforced errors to win 6-3.
But as the match grew on, Pliskova gained the confidence to go after Kerber’s serve. She won 13 of 14 points at the net, while winning 89 percent of points on her first serve to send things to a decider.
Pliskova broke early in the third set and looked to have captured the momentum, but Kerber held strong. She broke back to tie it at 3-3, and used her experience to carry her over the finish line.
- Jackie Bamberger at Busted Racquet20 days ago
While Serena Williams was shocked in the semifinals of the US Open Thursday, there would be no such upset for the top-ranked player on the men’s side.
Novak Djokovic moved on to his third Grand Slam final of the year with an entertaining 6-3, 6-2, 3-6, 6-2 win against Gael Monfils.
Friday’s match inititally looked like an easy victory for the world No. 1, who handily took the first two sets without much of a challenge from Monfils. But things took a turn when Monfils found his groove and won five straight games to force a fourth set.
At times, both players sought treatment to deal with the effects of the oppressive heat and humidity. Monfils hunched over his racquet between nearly every point and called for a soda during one changeover.
After the two traded breaks in the fourth, Djokovic broke Monfils again to recover the edge he needed to advance to his third Slam final of the year.
There, he will face No. 3 Stan Wawrinka on Sunday in a rematch of the 2015 French Open final.
- Jackie Bamberger at Busted Racquet20 days ago
For the first time in 186 weeks, a new name will be featured atop the WTA world rankings.
Because of Serena Williams’ stunning loss Thursday in the semifinals of the US Open, Angelique Kerber is now set to take over her No. 1 slot.
Before she faces off against Karolina Pliskova in Saturday’s US Open final, here is everything you need to know about the German tennis star.
“Steffi is a great champion, a great person and I think she’s proud of me to be the next No. 1 after her,” Kerber said after her semifinal win Thursday.
- Jackie Bamberger at Busted Racquet20 days ago
For the second consecutive year, Serena Williams bowed out in the semifinals of the US Open.
Two matches in less than 24 hours proved to be too much for Williams, who fell to 10th-seeded Karolina Pliskova 2-6, 6-7 (5).
Coming back to the court after a tough three-set quarterfinal against Simona Halep the night before, Williams looked physically and mentally drained Thursday night. She also appeared to be struggling with a left leg injury that severely inhibited her movement.
Unlike Roberta Vinci, who bested Williams in 2015, this time Williams was outdueled by a fellow heavy hitter. Like Williams has done to so many opponents before, Pliskova overpowered her on serve and Williams struggled to react.
The 24-year-old Pliskova, who had never before made it past the third round of a major, becomes the first person to best both Williams sisters at the same Slam since Kim Clijsters did so in 2009.
Williams was looking to break Steffi Graf’s Open era records for most Grand Slam wins and consecutive weeks at number one. Instead, Williams will stay at 22 Grand Slams and her reign atop the WTA will end at 187 consecutive weeks.
- Jackie Bamberger at Busted Racquet21 days ago
It wasn’t as easy as she’d hoped, but Serena Williams is onto the semifinals of the US Open.
The 22-time Grand Slam winner met a formidable challenger Wednesday night in Simona Halep, who became the first player to take a set off of Williams in New York.
Williams started strong, winning the first set 6-2 on the back of her reliable serve and solid play at the net.
But Halep stayed confident and aggressive, breaking Williams in the third game of the second set and prevailing in a 22-point game to even up the score.
In the decider, it would be Williams who would seize momentum early, grabbing a 3-1 lead. That slight edge was all she needed to advance to the semifinals 6-2, 4-6, 6-3 .
There, she’ll hope to avoid another major upset against 10th-seeded Karolina Pliskova. Williams already stands alone for most major match wins in the Open era and can make more history by passing Steffi Graf’s Slam title mark. Williams tied Graf with her performance at Wimbledon earlier this summer.
- Jackie Bamberger at Busted Racquet22 days ago
Andy Murray’s stellar summer came to an untimely end Wednesday, as Kei Nishikori outlasted the world No. 2 in a five-set US Open quarterfinal showdown at Arthur Ashe Stadium.
Murray looked every bit the man to beat coming into New York, and comfortably took the first set 6-1, but a series of distractions, including an inexplicable gong noise, rain and a persistent butterfly, took him off his game and Nishikori seized the opportunity with a 1-6, 6-4, 4-6, 6-1, 7-5 win.
Nishikori picked up his level following a rain delay midway through the second set, dazzling the New York crowd with an array of stunning drop shots and perfectly placed winners to even things up.
The third set was an up and down affair with five breaks of serve and Murray would come out on top 6-4.
Things came undone for the Scot at the start of the fourth set, when an equipment malfunction caused a loud gong sound in the middle of play. Murray utterly lost his cool, complaining to the umpire, while Nishikori kept calm, winning five straight games to send things to a decider.