By BRUCE MATTHEWS, Associated Press
MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — The timing of Jessica Pegula’s run to the Australian Open quarterfinals even hosted another sporting passion of hers.
Pegula was able to plan his preparation by watching the Buffalo Bills in an NFL Divisional Playoff game in Kansas City.
The Bills, owned by Pegula’s parents, play the Chiefs mid-morning local time in Melbourne, and she will sit down with her sister to watch it on TV.
“It’ll be easy. I’m just going to wake up tomorrow, watch the game and then practice afterwards,” the 27-year-old said. “My sister is here, but the rest of my family is in Kansas City. is cool to see them in another big situation and then me in a big situation today.
“It’s a cool thing to look forward to. It’s fun to get the fans involved because there’s not a lot of tennis in Buffalo. It’s good that everyone is excited about my win and excited about the game. .”
Pegula even signed the on-court television camera lens after his third-round singles win with a note that read, “Bills you’re next.”
Tennis Australia has backed the decision by police and security officers to require a spectator to remove a shirt bearing a message of support for Chinese player Peng Shuai.
A video emerged on Sunday morning of a woman being intercepted in Melbourne Park wearing the shirt with an image of Peng on the front and the message “Where is Peng Shuai?” on the back.
“Our entry requirements do not allow commercial or political clothing, banners or signs,” Tennis Australia said in a statement.
“Peng Shuai’s safety is our main concern. We continue to work with the WTA and the global tennis community to clarify his situation and will do everything we can to ensure his well-being.
A GoFundMe page seeking help distributing Peng Shuai jerseys at the Australian Open had raised thousands of dollars in 24 hours over the weekend.
Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley has dismissed reports that nine-time champion Novak Djokovic is preparing to sue the Australian government.
Tiley, also chief executive of Tennis Australia, accused Djokovic of being deported on the eve of the tournament after his visa was canceled because he was not vaccinated against coronavirus.
Tiley has held talks with the tournament’s host television broadcaster and the national broadcaster, the ABC, but he has not spoken with mainstream media covering the championships.
Djokovic lost a legal challenge after an 11-day saga that began when his medical exemption from Australia’s strict COVID-19 quarantine requirements was rejected by the Australian Border Force when he flew to Melbourne.
American Maxime Cressy is a throwback to a bygone era in tennis with a powerful serve and volley style that propelled him into the fourth round of the Australian Open.
That daunting presence will need to be perfectly calibrated for the supreme test against US Open champion Daniil Medvedev whose skill and, in particular, stability carried him to Grand Slam glory.
But Cressy, who couldn’t even earn a spot on the UCLA tennis team in his freshman year, plans to live or die by his offensive verve against the Russian second seed after beating a impressive 28 aces in the third round.
“Yes, my mindset is to go there and that’s my game,” said the 24-year-old. “I feel like on a good day it’s very hard to beat that style of play for both serves. The more I do it the more natural it feels and I feel like with that style game, it is very difficult for opponents to have no control.
“I’ve been developing this style of play for three, four years and it’s paying off, especially on good days, it’s very, very effective.”
Cressy avoids being distracted by referring to a notebook when seated at the side switch.
“It’s one of my routines to be in the present in those kinds of conditions with crowds and stuff, the mind can wander very easily,” Cressy said. “So I try not to look at what the opponent is doing because, especially when I’m very effective on my serve and my volley, they try different things to get into my head and, if I focus on them , it disrupts my game.”
The eccentric Medvedev gave the impression that he would be intrigued to take on an enemy rushing the net in their showcourt duel.
“I think it’s possible to be a top player like this. But no matter what you do, slice, serve and steal, or return well, if you want to be on top, on top, you have to make it almost perfect because other guys will try to break you and your style,” he mentioned.
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