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French Open: Has Serena Williams played her last-ever match at Roland Garros?

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Serena Williams says she is “definitely not thinking about it at all” when asked whether she has played her last match at Roland Garros; she fell to defeat against 21-year-old Kazakh Elena Rybakina and will now concentrate her efforts on trying to win an eighth Wimbledon title this summer

Last Updated: 07/06/21 11:06am

Serena Williams said she is ‘not thinking’ about whether she may have played her last match at Roland Garros on Sunday

Serena Williams shrugged off a question about whether this could have been her last trip to Roland Garros following her shock exit from the Grand Slam on Sunday.

Williams’ wait for a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam singles title goes on after the American was beaten 6-3 7-5 by an inspired Elena Rybakina in the fourth round.

Williams, whose last Grand Slam title came in 2017 at the Australian Open, was unable to find her A game, although she remained philosophical in defeat saying that her expectations coming into the tournament had not been high.

Williams says she is 'so close' to hitting peak condition on the court

Williams says she is ‘so close’ to hitting peak condition on the court

Asked whether she has played her last match at Roland Garros, Williams replied with a smile: “Yeah, I’m definitely not thinking about it at all. I’m definitely thinking just about other things but not about that.”

The 39-year-old had won just one match on clay in the build-up, and she said: “I’m in a much better place than when I got here. (I was) just literally trying to win a match, because it had been a really difficult season for me on the clay.

“I’m so close. There is literally a point here, a point there, that could change the whole course of the match. I’m not winning those points.”

Like Roger Federer, Williams can at least take a good week of match practice into Wimbledon, which is surely her best chance of finally claiming that elusive 24th Grand Slam singles title.

Despite her shortage of matches, Williams is not tempted to play a grass-court event in the build-up and will instead spend time with her family, potentially at home in the United States, before joining the bubble ahead of Wimbledon.

“I’m kind of excited to switch surfaces,” said the world No 8. “Historically I have done pretty well on grass. I have done pretty well on clay, too. Just not this particular season.”

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Rivals.com – Five-star Zach Rice talks this week’s two unofficial visits

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Five-star Zach Rice talks this week’s two unofficial visits

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From skateboarding for fun, Margielyn Didal relishes being an Olympian

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PH skater Margielyn Didal is headed to the Tokyo Olympics. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO/RED BULL

MANILA, Philippines—Margielyn Didal is stepping into the biggest stage of her career when she represents the Philippines in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

But Didal never expected to be an Olympian when she started skateboarding.

Skateboarding had not been a part of the Olympics until Tokyo with the sport making its first appearance in the Summer Games.

“I mean not like till three years ago because skateboarding before was a lifestyle that I do for fun or I can do until I can earn money,” said Didal Friday in a virtual press conference.

It was only in 2016 that skateboarding was approved to be part of the 2020 Olympic program along with baseball, softball, karate, surfing, and sport climbing.

Two years later when skateboarding became an approved Olympic discipline, Didal made history after winning the gold medal in the street event of the Asian Games in Indonesia.

“I’m really happy and excited that this is happening and it’s less than a month away,” said Didal. “We’re preparing for the past three years and I’m just really excited that this is the first time that skateboarding will be in the Olympics.”

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WTC Final: “Don’t change Rishabh Pant” – Graeme Swann’s passionate plea to Indian fans

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Former England off-spinner Graeme Swann has requested Indian fans to not be too critical of Rishabh Pant in the wake of his failure in the World Test Championship (WTC) final against New Zealand.

Rishabh Pant was dismissed for 4 and 41 in his two innings in Southampton against the Black Caps. Both times he perished trying to take on the bowling. He was particularly criticized for his wild hoick against Trent Boult on the last day of the Test.

According to Swann though, Rishabh Pant is a match-winner because of his aggressive stroke play and India will do a disservice to themselves if they ask the dashing wicketkeeper-batsman to tone himself down.

Speaking exclusively to Sportskeeda, Swann opined:

“India have got an absolute superstar in Rishabh Pant going in at 6 or 7. Just go back one Test mach in India’s history. That magnificent century he scored against England (in Ahmedabad) that won them that series. Never forget that. It was a counter-attacking innings, played against the grind, playing against the spin a lot of times. It was a brilliant hundred. Had he got in there and “played the situation” and tried to block it, India would not have won that game. It is as simple as that.”

“He is a match-winner. All I want to say to cricket fans in India – don’t fix what isn’t broken. You have some absolute goldmine ready to be unearthed and used well for 10 years. Don’t change Rishabh Pant. Let him fail. Let him be. He is absolutely worth it,” Swann further added.

Virat Kohli had backed Rishabh Pant after WTC loss

Rishabh Pant had come under fire over his failure to adapt to the challenging conditions in England during the WTC final. Like Swann though, Indian captain Virat Kohli too had thrown his weight behind the young cricketer after India’s defeat to New Zealand.

Speaking at a virtual press conference post the WTC final, Kohli had said about Rishabh Pant:

“Rishabh Pant is definitely going to be a very expressive player, whenever he gets an opportunity. Whenever there is a situation that needs to be understood, he assesses it really well. When things don’t come off, you can say that it was an error of judgment. That’s acceptable; it’s sport. But, we don’t want him to lose his positivity or his optimism in changing the situation for the team. That’s where his USP lies ,and we will definitely continue to back him to play that way, find ways to put pressure on the opposition and score runs, which is his natural game.”

Just 23, Rishabh Pant has featured in 21 Tests and has 1403 runs to his name at an average of 43.84 with three hundreds. He was one of India’s chief heroes in the Test triumph Down Under earlier this year. He took on the Aussie bowlers and came out on top.

Edited by Sankalp Srivastava

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