Serena Williams after loss: ‘It’s like dating a guy that you know sucks’

“I’m putting myself in a bad spot,” Williams told reporters. “It’s like dating a guy you know sucks. That’s literally what I keep doing here. It’s like I have to get rid of this guy. It just doesn’t have any. meaning. It’s frustrating. ”

Williams has had her fair share of stunning comebacks in a remarkable 20-plus-year career, but the American is more used to shutting down her opponents in a fairly routine manner.

That hasn’t happened, however, since tennis resumed last month amid the coronavirus pandemic and hasn’t happened on Tuesday as Williams fell 5-7 7-6 (5) 6-1 to one of tennis’s brightest young stars, 13th-seed Maria Sakkari.

The result came just a week before the US Open, when Williams will once again try to win a record-breaking 24th Grand Slam title.

Williams’ five appearances since his return to tour have been at most three sets. She was upset during a quarterfinal third set tie-break in Lexington, Ky. By Shelby Rogers last week and needed another third set tie-break on Monday to defeat 72nd Arantxa Rus.

Williams won the opener against Rus, as she did against Rogers, before being mistaken for a decider and blurting out a 5-2 advantage. Williams, who turns 39 next month, finally needed three hours to move on.

His fight against Greece Sakkari should have ended in straight sets. Williams built a 5-3 lead in the second, before another swing.

After Sakkari won the second set tiebreak, Williams – who received a time violation warning in the first – gently tossed his racquet over his shoulder.

No excuses

She admitted to having cramps late in the game and faced a staggering 16 break points in the third, though she saved seven match points to delay the loss.

Her prolonged fight with Rus wasn’t much of a factor against Sakkari, she insisted.

“There was no excuse,” she said. “Yes, it was difficult, but I had so many chances to win, and I have to understand this one, like how to start winning these matches again.

“I just have to start learning how to earn big points. It was literally a point since January. A point that I could have won so many more matches, literally. So if I could just focus on how to win that point would be better. “

She admitted that her state of mind heading into the US Open could be better.

“It’s hard to play like I played and stay positive,” Williams said. “And playing nine hours a week is too much. I usually don’t play like that. It’s brand new to me.”

Williams won’t need to travel to Flushing Meadows since the Western and Southern Open, typically held in Cincinnati, takes place on the grounds of the US Open to create an extended tennis bubble.

Novak Djokovic remains in the Western and Southern Open draw, after a tough win over Ricardas Berankis with a softer victory over the Grand Slam quarter-final Tennys Sandgren 6-2 6-4 to pass to an unblemished 20-0 in 2020.
Sandgren almost toppled Roger Federer at the Australian Open in January but, except at the end of the second set, didn’t really bother the Serbian.

Djokovic fans will be relieved to learn that a lingering neck injury that required medical time out on Monday is healing quickly.

The neck feels better

“I am pleasantly surprised with how I recovered and felt today, just overall physically but also with the neck in particular, because it was a bit worrying,” said Djokovic, the favorite on heavier US Open in either singles draw. .

“Four or five days ago I struggled a lot. I wasn’t sure how it was going to react after a first game. But it went really well. I’m as close to a neck as possible. painless. “

Djokovic will then face the German Jan-Lennard Struff.

World No.1 rival of his junior days, Andy Murray, was knocked out at the hands of another big server, Milos Raonic, 6-2 6-2 in a rematch of the 2016 Wimbledon final.

Three-time Grand Slam winner, Murray temporarily switched to football during his post-match press conference when he discussed Lionel Messi.

He would love to see Messi, arguably the greatest footballer of all time, join the Premier League after the Argentine’s days at Barcelona seem numbered.

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“Be great for the league, of course,” said the man with the surgically repaired hips. “Maybe get the chance to go watch it live a few more times. I watched him a bit when he was a lot younger.

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