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Australian Open 2021 semifinalist Jennifer Brady believes quarantine has helped

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Image source: AP

Jennifer Brady of the United States serves compatriot Jessica Pegula during their quarterfinal match at the Australian Open in Melbourne, Australia, Wednesday, February 17

Jennifer Brady was one of 72 Australian Open participants forced into a two-week hard quarantine – without leaving the hotel room at all, for whatever reason – because they were potentially exposed to COVID-19 on charter flights that brought them to country in January.

And Brady is the only one to reach the semifinals of a single in Melbourne Park.

The 25-year-old American believes that the unusual experience may have even helped her perform as well as during the match in the final four on Thursday night against Karolina Muchova from the Czech Republic.

“I was mentally a little fried, to be honest. I think I used those two weeks to restart mentally as well as physically – just give yourself a break, a mind, a body, “said Brady, a 22-year-old from Pennsylvania who plays tennis at a UCLA college.

Either Brady or Mukhova will reach their first Grand Slam final. Brady reached the semifinals of the US Open in September before losing at this stage to eventual champion Naomi Osaka.

The other women’s semifinal in Melbourne Park is 23-time grand champion Serena Williams against three-time Osaka Slam champion.

“I’d say I didn’t really have high expectations of myself to do well,” said Brady, who beat Jessica Pegula 4-6, 6-2, 6-1 in an all-American quarterfinal match between friends and past doubles. partners. “I came out of quarantine and then we were lucky to have a separate tournament for us, who were in a heavy lock. I was lucky to have a few games there before I started here at the Australian Open. “

SERENA CATCHED ROGER

Serena Williams was already leading Roger Federer in counting Grand Slam trophies and Olympic medals.

Now she has caught him in another statistic: most wins in major tournament matches.

Williams’ 6-3, 6-3 victory over Simona Halep in the quarterfinals of the Australian Open was the 362nd time the 39-year-old American won a Grand Slam race. This is exactly the same number reached so far by Federer, who will also turn 40 years later this year.

Federer took part in the Australian Open, which means more than a year has passed since he competed on tour. He underwent two knee surgeries last season.

THE APPLICATION OF KENIN

Last year’s Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin removed her appendix.

The 22-year-old American posted on Twitter that this week she went to a doctor from the tournament with “acute abdominal pain”. She writes that the doctor sent her to a hospital, where she was diagnosed with acute appendicitis after a medical scan.

The operation was on Monday, Kenin writes.

She lost to Kaya Kanepi in straight sets in the second round of her defense at the Australian Open last week. Kenin then entered a lower-level WTA event held at the same venue in Melbourne and was eliminated from his first game on Saturday against Australian teenager Olivia Gadetsky.

DOUBLING

Barbora Krejchikova will prepare for the women’s doubles final of the Australian Open by playing an important match in the mixed race.

And Kreichikova will partner with American Rajeev Ram in the mixed doubles semifinals on Thursday, a day before partnering with Czech Katerina Sinyakova in the women’s doubles final against second-placed Elise Mertens and Arina Sabalenka.

“I feel exhausted and really relieved,” Kreichikova said after spending nearly four hours on the court on Wednesday. “I love playing tennis and it’s been a long day, but I’m so happy,”

Third-placed Kreichikova and Sinyakova needed two hours to win 3-6, 6-2, 6-4 over Daria Yurak and Nina Stoyanovich, who upset top-ranked Hsi Su-Wei and Barbora Stritsova in the first round.

Krejcikova had just two hours off before joining Ram to beat third-placed Mate Pavic and Gabriela Dabrowski 7-6 (3), 6-3 in the doubles quarterfinals.

WINNERS IN DISABLED CROSSES

Joachim Gerard won the men’s singles wheelchair final to become the first Belgian player to win a singles title at a Grand Slam tournament after Kim Clijsters in 2011.

He needed seven points per game to finally reassure Alfie Hewett 6-0, 4-6, 6-4 in a variable final.

Gerard watched the 6-0, 4-0 lead slip away as Hewett reunited, trying to add the singles title to his doubles success with compatriot Gordon Reed the day before.

“When I lost the second set, I said, ‘Well, if I want to win this game, I have to hit my ball harder and make it move more.’ And that’s what I did, “Gerard said.” I’ve been waiting for him for so many years … he means so much to me. “

Dutch toy Diede De Groot let out a scream of delight, believing she had won a third Australian Open title for women in wheelchairs.

Even her opponent Yui Kamiji from Japan went to the network to greet her. That’s until the president’s referee intervened to announce that the extended tiebreak of the third set was not full of De Groot, leading 7-4.

It ended quickly anyway. De Groot scored the next three points to end the victory 6-3, 6-7 (4), 7-6 (4).

“I don’t think anyone there, not my opponent, not the people watching, no one at home, not even myself, knew it was a 10-point tiebreak,” she said. “I really had to focus again and come back. and think I can do it at 7-4, I can do it at 10. “

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