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techkenyot.com March 26, 2019


Serena Williams' legacy secure despite infamous US Open umpire row: Chris Evert

10 January 2019, 06:55 | Henrietta Morgan

Caroline Wozniacki celebrates after winning the Australian Open last year More

Caroline Wozniacki celebrates after winning the Australian Open last year

The first Grand Slam of 2019 sees world number one Novak Djokovic aiming for his third consecutive slam title, and seventh Australian Open.

"The fact that she dominated for so long and could break the record of Grand Slams I think that will overshadow everything at the end of the day", former world number one Evert, who will be part of ESPN's coverage of the Australian Open, told a conference call.

But the 20-year-old Aryna Sabalenka from Belarus has zoomed up the rankings from 73rd at the start of 2018 to number 11 on the back of tournament wins in New Haven and Wuhan, and is a dark horse to emulate Osaka and achieve a maiden Grand Slam. She warmed up for Melbourne by making the semi-finals of the Brisbane International last week, where she blamed a poor attitude for losing to Lesia Tsurenko. Wozniacki, ranked three, started last season by winning her first Grand Slam in Melbourne and returning to world number one, but ended it in October with the bombshell announcement that she had been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis.

Australia Open is slated to be held from January 14 to 27 in Melbourne, Australia.

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A second Australian Open title will be a ideal birthday gift for world number two Angelique Kerber, who turns 31 in the first week of the tournament.

Second-seed Rafael Nadal of Spain, who won his sole Australian Open title ten years ago, will begin his journey in Melbourne playing in the opening round against home wildcard James Duckworth. "I never feel pressure to perform".

"I think she's fresh that's one thing, but everyone else is fresh too", said Evert.

"In general, it's about her offensive game", Rittner told Deutsche Welle of the three-time Grand Slam champion who lost an agonising, breathless semi-final 9-7 in the final set to Halep in Melbourne a year ago.

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Williams was handed a warning by U.S. Open chair umpire Carlos Ramos last September for a coaching violation before being deducted a point for smashing her racket and later a game for a heated argument during her loss to Naomi Osaka.

On the women's side, Serena Williams has her sights set on a record-tying 24th career Grand Slam.

The American was eight weeks pregnant when she won her 23rd title at Melbourne Park in 2017 and returned to action previous year where she reached finals at Wimbledon and the US Open. "I always have insane big goals but I like to keep them to myself".

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