Coco Gauff’s Australian Open ended Sunday after the 18-year-old American prodigy was beaten in straight sets by former French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko in the fourth round.
Ostapenko edged a tight battle 7-5, 6-3 in an 1hr 33min on Margaret Court Arena to reach the quarter-finals at Melbourne Park for the first time.
The Latvian will now face Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina, who blew the women’s draw wide open by knocking out world number one Iga Swiatek a few minutes earlier on Rod Laver Arena.
“I knew she’s such a great player, super young and she’s playing really well but I really had nothing to lose,” said Ostapenko, who won at Roland Garros in 2017 and earned her fifth WTA Tour tile in Dubai last year.
“I just went there and tried to show my best and try to fight for every point and to make it hard for her and I’m really happy with the way I played.”
Ostapenko, whose last Grand Slam quarter-final came at Wimbledon in 2018, has endured some tough injury-hit years since and had never before beaten a player ranked inside the top-10 at the Australian Open.
“I was trying to stay positive all the time,” said Ostapenko. “And I knew I have to play aggressive, even if I miss some balls.
Gauff had not dropped a set on the way to the last 16 and the match was a tight affair, with little to choose between the pair.
But it was the 25-year-old Ostapenko who played the crucial points better, pouncing at the end of each set.
She broke Gauff at 6-5 to take the first, then again at 4-3 in the second.
“At the end, I think I kept her under so much pressure and it brought me a win,” said Ostapenko.
Leading Mexico players snub Davis Cup tie over differences with federation | Tennis News
Mexico’s leading tennis players have decided not to play in next week’s Davis Cup World Group playoff tie against Taiwan due to differences with the Mexican Tennis Federation (FMT).
Led by Santiago Gonzalez, Alejandro Hernandez and Miguel Angel Reyes-Varela, the players said they will not take part in the Feb. 4-5 Group I playoff tie in Metepec, State of Mexico.
“After a difficult deliberation, we have not reached a positive conclusion, so we have decided not to participate in the upcoming series against the Chinese Taipei team,” said the players’ statement, published on social media on Monday.
“The lack of communication, lack of planning and lack of interest show that the situation has not been handled in the right way and that personal interests have taken precedence over sporting ones.
“It is sad that the FMT does not have the minimum standards in dealing and planning with the best national representatives.”
The players said they had already informed the federation of their reasons for not participating in the Davis Cup tie.
The statement was also signed by players Ernesto Escobedo, Lucas Gomez, Hans Hach, Gerardo Lopez, and Manuel Sanchez.
The FMT was not immediately available to comment.
West Ham set up Man United tie by beating Derby | Football News
West Ham United eased into the FA Cup fifth round with a comfortable 2-0 victory away to third-tier Derby County on Monday to set up a meeting with Manchester United.
Derby, fourth in League One, went into the match on the back of 14 matches unbeaten in all competitions but were quickly overrun by the Premier League side, who took the lead in the 10th minute with a close-range volley from Jarrod Bowen.
Bowen went 12 matches without a goal before netting twice against Everton last week and now has three in his last two games.
The forward then crossed for striker Michail Antonio to head in a second goal five minutes after the interval to break his own goal drought stretching back to November.
David Moyes’ side saw out the victory without conceding many chances, recording back-to-back wins for the first time since October, and Bowen said he hoped the win would boost his side, who are 16th in the table, one point above the relegation zone.
“Two wins on the bounce is good for us it’s all about results and momentum and we can use this as a real springboard,” he said.
Midfielder Pablo Fornals added: “Everyone knows it hasn’t been an easy season so every game we can win gives us massive confidence.
“We work hard every day in training to get a chance and then you have to take it. That’s what the players tried to do tonight.”
Valencia sacks coach Gennaro Gattuso for poor results | Football News
Spanish club Valencia sacked coach Gennaro Gattuso on Monday following the team’s poor results.
Valencia said in a statement it reached a mutual agreement with Gattuso to end their contract.
The announcement came after a 1-0 loss at Valladolid in the Spanish league on Sunday. The club has won only one of its last 10 league games, before the World Cup.
The latest defeat dropped Valencia to 14th place, one point above the relegation zone.
Its only two wins this year came in the Copa del Rey, though it was eliminated in the quarterfinals by Athletic Bilbao at home last week. In the Spanish Super Cup, Valencia lost to Real Madrid in a penalty shootout in the semifinals.
The 45-year-old Gattuso arrived last June on a two-year contract.
The former defensive midfielder helped Italy win the 2006 World Cup and AC Milan win two Champions League titles, both as a player. He coached Milan and Napoli in Italy.
Valencia did not announce a replacement for Gattuso.
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