Anna Kournikova’s countrywoman, Nadia Petrova, will not be able to take part in the upcoming Australian Open because of the demise of her mom.
Petrova’s mother passed away in a road accident a few days back. She was a sportsperson herself. During the 1976 Olympics which had taken place in Montreal, she had won a bronze medal for Russia in the 400 m relay race.
Petrova is not the only Russian player who has withdrawn her name from the Australian Open of late. Maria Kirilenko is the other one who will miss the tournament. However, the reason behind her withdrawal is different. She is actually injured and that’s why, she would not participate in the tournament.
In a press conference yesterday, the members of the organizing committee of the Australian Open confirmed the withdrawal of Petrova and Kirilenko from the tournament.
The organizers said, “Because of the sudden demise of her mother, Nadia Petrova has decided that she would keep herself out of the Australian Open. We want to convey our condolences to her and her family at this tough time.”
Currently, Petrova is not even in top 50 in the official WTA rankings. Her game has certainly gone down a lot in the recent past. She has struggled to win matches against good, quality players.
As far as Petrova’s performance in the Australian Open is concerned, she is yet to win that tournament.
A couple of years back in 2011, she had had her best outing in the Australian Open as she had managed to make it to the semi final round then. But, in the last two seasons, she got knocked out pretty early from the tournament (from the second round in 2012 and from the opening round in 2013).
Anna Kournikova’s countrywoman, Maria Sharapova, has said that there is nothing wrong between her and Serena Williams.
While being in England for the Wimbledon Championships earlier this year, Serena had made a controversial statement about Sharapova’s personal life.
That statement of Serena had not pleased Sharapova at all and the Russian superstar had expressed her unhappiness in a press conference. She had said that Serena should be worrying about her own life rather than making statements about somebody else’s life.
But, in one of her recent interviews, Sharapova has made it clear that both the players have put that incident behind them.
Sharapova said, “I haven’t talked a lot to Serena about that incident, but, there is no heart feeling between the two of us. We have left that incident behind.”
Although, Sharapova and Serena are not the best of friends but Sharapova hailed the American legend for the way she has performed on the tennis court over the years.
Mentioning Serena’s achievements in the game, Sharapova said, “Serena is one of the greats of the game. The kind of tennis that she has played over the years is fantastic. She has already won 17 Grand Slams and she is still going strong even at the age of 32. That’s incredible.”
Sharapova has been out of action since quite a while because of her shoulder injury. This is the second time in her career that she has picked up a major shoulder injury. She is expected to make her comeback in the first half of the next season.
Recently on her Facebook page, Sharapova requested her fans to come and support her in the BNP Paribas Open next year. The Russian superstar will be defending her crown in that tournament which takes place at Indian Wells, California.
Anna Kournikova’s countryman, Mikhail Youzhny, has defeated the Australian superstar Lleyton Hewitt in the 4th round of the ongoing US Open. Youzhny won the match in 5 sets by 6-3, 3-6, 6-7(3), 6-4, 7-5.
This was a great opportunity for Hewitt to make it to the final 8 at Flushing Meadows after a long gap of 7 years. He seemed to be doing that with ease as he was ahead by 5-2 at one point of time in the decider. He was even serving for the set in the 9th game, but, things suddenly fell apart for him towards the end. He lost the last 5 games on the trot and ended up getting knocked out of the tournament.
Talking to the reporters in the post match interview, Hewitt said, “I tried everything I could and that’s all you can do.”
“I think he was the one who played better during crucial moments. He didn’t hand me easy points.”
When asked if he thinks that he would be featuring at Flushing Meadows after a couple of years, Hewitt said, “I don’t have any idea how long I will continue mate.”
On the other hand, Youzhny was delighted with his outing. The Russian said, “It was a tough match. I need to recover from it quickly though as I have to face another great player in the next round.”
“I think I am in a great frame of mind at the moment and I am up there physically too. It’s definitely a good time to hit top form.”
In the quarter final round, Youzhny will take on the no. 1 player in the world Novak Djokovic who made his way into the final 8 with a clinical win over Marcel Granollers of Spain.