Women’s game needed ‘new face’ at top: Mugu­ruza

The Myanmar Times - - Sport -

FRENCH Open win­ner Gar­bine Mugu­ruza said yes­ter­day that it was about time women’s ten­nis had a “new face” at the top, af­ter An­gelique Ker­ber broke Ser­ena Wil­liams’ 186-week dom­i­nance atop the rank­ings.

“I’m happy that we have a new face in the world num­ber one, not be­cause I have a pref­er­ence, but just be­cause I think it’s good some­times,” the cur­rent world num­ber three told re­porters in Wuhan, China.

Ker­ber be­came num­ber one when Karolina Pliskova dis­patched Wil­liams in the semi-fi­nal of the US Open ear­lier this month.

The Ger­man beat Pliskova in the fi­nal to claim her sec­ond slam of the year af­ter vic­tory at the Aus­tralian Open in Jan­uary, where she beat Wil­liams in the fi­nal.

Mugu­ruza also de­feated Wil­liams to win her first Grand Slam ti­tle at Roland Gar­ros in June.

World num­ber five Si­mona Halep said that see­ing Wil­liams slip from the num­ber one pedestal – where she had sat since Fe­bru­ary 2013 – had given other play­ers a con­fi­dence boost.

“It’s much eas­ier to be­lieve in your­self when you see that Ser­ena is not there any­more, like, win­ning every tour­na­ment, be­ing num­ber one in the world for years,” said the 24-year-old.

Halep ended 2015 as world num­ber two and now has re­newed hope she can win her first Grand Slam ti­tle.

“I feel that ev­ery­thing, it’s open now. I feel that ev­ery­one has a chance to win a big tour­na­ment, to reach the num­ber one,” said the Ro­ma­nian.

World num­ber eight Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain said Wil­liams’ slip had left the “door open” to other play­ers.

“Ser­ena is good, I think she’s in an­other level. But from the last year and also this year, Ser­ena is not the same,” she said.

Mugu­ruza said that the key for Ker­ber this year has been her con­sis­tency, which many play­ers on tour, in­clud­ing the Spa­niard her­self, strug­gle to match.

“I think in the woman’s ten­nis, it’s hard to find peo­ple that [are] al­ways con­stant ... Most of the girls are very ag­gres­sive. Some days they play good, some days they play bad,” said Mugu­ruza.

“But I think Ker­ber is an ex­am­ple this year that she was very all the time there. Every tour­na­ment, she’s in the last rounds. That’s why she be­came num­ber one.”

Mugu­ruza lost in third round at the Olympics to gold medal­list Monica Puig. She also had an early exit – in the sec­ond round – at the US Open.

But the Spa­niard en­joys a strong record in China, win­ning in Bei­jing last year and reach­ing the fi­nal at Wuhan only to hand Venus Wil­liams the crown when an an­kle in­jury forced her to re­tire mid-match.

“I don’t re­ally know the se­cret. I just go out there and try to con­cen­trate and [stay] calm be­cause some­times its hard,” she added.

Mugu­ruza, Halep and Navarro all have first round byes at Wuhan and are not sched­uled to play un­til to­mor­row. –

Photo: EPA

An­gelique Ker­ber of Ger­many cel­e­brates af­ter de­feat­ing Karolina Pliskova in the women’s fi­nal of the US Open Ten­nis Cham­pi­onships in New York on Septem­ber 10.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Myanmar

© PressReader. All rights reserved.