Aug 12, 2016

Serena Williams eliminated from Olympics

Image via Zimbio

Top ranked women’s tennis player and defending Olympic champion Serena Williams was added to the list of upsets at the Rio Olympics this week after losing to unheralded Elina Svitolina of Ukraine in the third round of the tournament. With the tennis betting odds favorite on the women’s side eliminated, the Olympic Gold is up for grabs.

The loss by Williams comes a day after she and her sister, Venus, were eliminated from the doubles competition. Prior to the loss, The Williams sisters had been undefeated in Olympic doubles play, dating back to their first Olympics in 2000.

Against Svitolina, Williams was her own worst enemy, shanking all sorts of shots and committing 37 unforced errors and 17 forced errors. Things were so bad for the top ranked female player, she double faulted five times.

By the end of the match, Svitolina won 63 points, but only nine of them were from clean winners, the others were from Williams’ errors.

Williams, who won the Gold medal in singles and doubles at the London Olympics, goes home empty handed this time. Svitolina, who is ranked 22nd in the world, had never played in an Olympics before, and has been to the quarterfinals of a Grand Slam only once in her career.

However, the Ukrainian, who had lost her previous four matches against Williams, final defeated the 22-time Grand Slam winner.

Even though a lot of attention will be paid to the fact that Williams committed a lot of errors, Svitolina did what she had to do to defeat one of the most dominant female tennis player of all time. The Ukrainian was fearless, and used her groundstrokes to keep Williams where she wanted her.

Svitolina also did a great job of keeping her emotions in check after making big plays during the match, which was instrumental to her success.

Williams has been down in a few matches over the years, and has made a habit of finding a way to overcome her bad play and turn things around during a match. Svitolina’s emotional restraint helped her in the sense that she didn’t provide Williams with any added motivation by celebrating too much after winning points.

While the loss to Svitolina might have been surprising to some fans and even Williams herself, it is something that was eventually going to happen given how much Williams has played with fire recently.

During the Australian and French Opens, Williams found herself behind a few of her opponents because of unforced errors and other mental mistakes, but she was able to advance to the finals. However, it was obvious she wasn’t as confident in her game as she was in 2015, when she dominated her opponents on the way to winning three out of four Grand Slams.

When she played in the finals, Williams lost to opponents that she normally wouldn’t have had problems with because they were able to make her pay for her mistakes, which was what Svitolina did to her this week.

With Williams out of the picture, Svitolina has to be considered one of the favorites to win the Olympics since she just defeated the toughest player in the tournament. However, if she lets the win get to her head, she might be the next player heading home.

Aug 11, 2016

Novak Djokovic appears to have lost his edge at the worst possible time

Image via Zimbio

Top-ranked male tennis player Novak Djokovic recently lost his opening match at the Rio Olympics as well as his first round doubles match, prompting many insiders to wonder what is going on in the mind of the world’s best tennis player. With Djokovic out of the Olympics, Andy Murray is now the tennis betting odds favorite to win the Gold medal at the Olympics.

During his singles loss, Djokovic was outplayed by Juan Martin del Potro, the 2009 winner of the U.S. Open. Despite the fact that he was unranked, del Potro has defeated Djokovic in the past, but the victory over Djokovic in Rio has to be among his top career achievements.

After the match, Djokovic called the loss one of the toughest in his career during an emotional press conference. While some people are speculating that the loss is what moved Djokovic to tears, what they fail to realize is that Djokovic was likely thinking long-term when he let his emotions get the best of him.

At 29-years-old, Djokovic might have missed his last chance to win the Olympic Gold. By the time the next summer games comes around, he will be 32, which will be the back end of his career, making it harder to compete with the younger players.

Djokovic, who won the Australian and French Opens this year, is likely suffering from some mental fatigue right now. Shortly after crashing out in Rio, he announced his plans to skip the Cincinnati Masters.

The move to skip the Masters is baffling to some people, who believe playing in it will help Djokovic get over the disappointment in Rio, and help him get his game back on track. The experts also believe playing in the Cincinnati Masters will provide Djokovic a great opportunity to prepare for a possible showdown with Milos Raonic at the U.S. Open.

However, since Djokovic decided not to participate in the Cincinnati Masters, it means he would go into the U.S. Open having played only one competitive game in the span of a month.

Djokovic remains in Rio to support Serbian basketball team during a men's round Group A basketball match between his home country and France. (Image via Zimbio)

While it might not make sense to those of us watching from the sidelines, Djokovic’s decision to skip the Masters isn’t something he would have made lightly. He could be nursing an undisclosed injury or just needs some time for his body to heal. He might also just want to get a little rest and relaxation before the U.S. Open begins.

One of the reasons people are so surprised about Djokovic’s loss in Rio is the fact that he is one of the most focused players on tour, but he appears to lack focus at the moment. Some believe the fact that he finally achieved his career Grand Slam when he won the French Open earlier this year, took away some of the edge he has been playing with for years.

At Wimbledon, Djokovic said all the right things, but his play wasn’t up to his usual standards, which is why it wasn’t very surprising that he lost.

With the time he has between now and the U.S. Open, Djokovic needs to figure out what is holding him back and resolve the issue if he wants to win the U.S. Open for the second consecutive year and the third time in his career.

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