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Coming soon to Netflix: “Serena in Paris.”

OK, not quite. But the 23-time Grand Slam singles champion did step out at a pair of shows this week for Paris Fashion Week for the fashion houses Balmain and Off-White.

Serena Williams wore a black, midi dress adorned with a white rose down the front to the Balmain show, which was also attended by singer Cher and actress Ashley Park, who plays the role of Mindy Chen on “Emily in Paris,” and was joined at the Off-White show by models Alessandra Ambrosio and Ashley Graham, recording artists Halle Bailey and Willow Smith, and actress Lisa Rinna, among others.

Serena Williams

Williams got a sneak peek at the brands’ 2024-25 fall and winter collections  at the shows, but she owns a personal connection to the Off-White fashion house in particular — which was founded by Virgil Abloh, a close friend.

Abloh, who passed away in 2021 after a battle with cancer, collaborated with Williams’ longtime apparel sponsor Nike to design her match clothes for the 2018 US Open and the 2019 French Open. He also designed her a pair of custom Nike Air Force 1s for the 2019 Met Gala.

In February of 2022, Williams walked the runway in the designer’s honor at Paris Fashion Week. She paid tribute to her late friend again on Instagram by posting “#VirgilForever” to go along with snapshots of the outfit she wore for this year’s show — a black, bodycon dress with cutouts along the sides, and a black-and-white varsity letter jacket.

Serena Williams

At Off-White show, Williams joked with The People Gallery — an influential fashion TikTok account run by Brookyln-based stylist Maurice Kamara that boasts 1 million followers — that her “high-school boyfriend” gifted her the accent piece, and offered a style tip to fashion mavens everywhere.

“My style tip [is] be yourself. Own who you are, be OK with that,” she said. “If you want to be different, it’s OK to be different. Just be you.”

The Italian advanced to the semifinals in Rotterdam with a 7-6 (4), 1-1 retirement victory over Milos Raonic.

Jannik Sinner has advanced to the semifinals of Rotterdam after a 7-6 (4), 1-1 retirement victory over an injured Milos Raonic.

And despite the abbreviated finish to the match, it was a milestone victory for Sinner: the 200th tour-level win of his career, making him the first man born in the 2000s to hit that number.

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Jannik Sinner

MOST CAREER WINS, MEN BORN IN 2000s (tour-level):
200: Jannik Sinner, ITA [200-74]
189: Felix Auger-Aliassime, CAN [189-127]
160: Carlos Alcaraz, ESP [160-44]
102: Holger Rune, DEN [102-66]
100: Sebastian Korda, USA [100-65]

Auger-Aliassime and Korda were born in 2000, Sinner was born in 2001 and Alcaraz and Rune were both born in 2003.

And there’s more: the 22-year-old Sinner is also just the seventh Italian man in the Open Era to reach 200 career wins.

MOST CAREER WINS, ITALIAN MEN (tour-level, Open Era):
414: Fabio Fognini [414-375]
395: Adriano Panatta [395-247]
386: Andreas Seppi [386-422]
320: Corrado Barazzutti [320-231]
223: Renzo Furlan [223-239]
219: Andrea Gaudenzi [219-231]
200: Jannik Sinner [200-74]

Sinner will now face Dutch No. 1 Tallon Griekspoor in the semifinals of the ATP 500 event on Saturday.

It was actually shaping up to be a close one between Sinner and Raonic on Friday night—Sinner was originally up an early break in the first set but Raonic broke right back, and even brought up double set point with the Italian serving at 4-5, 15-40.

But Sinner saved them both—including one with a big forehand winner—and eventually snuck out the first set on a tie-break.

After a pair of holds in the second set it was all over though as Raonic, who had called for a medical time-out early in the first set, ended up retiring from the match after 65 minutes.

“For sure one of the toughest opponents to play against,” Sinner said of Raonic in his on-court interview. “This is a very unusual challenge you have on court. He serves incredibly well, and I was up a break first set and I missed a couple of things—from the last two rounds I was struggling to find myself a little bit on the court, and today I actually felt like he was playing better than me in the first set. I just tried to stay there somehow, mentally.

“But at the end of the day this is not how you want to win this match. He’s had so many injuries throughout his career, and hopefully he’s going to have a speedy recovery.”

Awaiting Sinner in the semifinals of the ATP 500 indoor event will be Dutch No. 1 Tallon Griekspoor, a 7-5, 7-6 (4) quarterfinal winner earlier in the day against Finland’s Emil Ruusuvuori.

Sinner has won both previous meetings with Griekspoor, both of those coming last year, a 7-5, 7-6 (5) victory exactly a year ago in the Rotterdam semifinals, and then a 7-6 (3), 6-1 triumph in the Davis Cup quarterfinals at the end of the year.

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There is no denying, when it comes to Coco Gauff‘s skill on the court! Aside from her incredible talent, she is also well-known for her outspokenness on a variety of issues.

The 19-year-old boldly voices her support for causes near and dear to her heart, from social justice to morality, and she gains respect for her dedication to changing the game both on and off the court.

Just like that, a few years ago, there was a time when she stood up and demanded change in black life’s concerns. Recently, an American broadcaster, a popular face of ESPN, shared her take on one of the poignant moments involving tennis while talking about an American tennis sensation’s speech concerning the same topic.

Coco Gauff Discusses Moment Of Prayer After US Open Win

 

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Gauff is a bright example of how sports can go beyond their confines to inspire change and promote meaningful conversation at a time when players are increasingly using their platform for advocacy. Recently, when the ESPN analyst was asked to talk about the memorable moments that she had covering women’s tennis, she opened up about the time when she went to Gauff’s hometown after she stood up for black lives matter.
She said, “Coco Gauff, I went down after she made the national scene, and going down to her house in Delray, meeting her grandmother, during the unrest that summer after George Floyd, that we heard Coco speak up. And I was just so proud of her. When I met her grandmother I was like, ‘Oh, of course, this is why she did it.’ “
She highlighted how, after hearing the 19-year-old speak up, she was not only impressed with the way she took a stand nationally. But at the same time, she also figures out who motivated her to be when she met her grandmother, in her hometown. It won’t be long to say that the US Open champion has not only impressed people with her tennis skills but also with her stand on various topics.
However, do you know that it was her grandmother who motivated her to be the vocalist that she is today? Back in 2020, after making her point clear, Gauff revealed why she decided to speak up and use the platform that she had.

READ: Coco Gauff, Serena Williams and Emma Raducanu picked by Chelsea womens players as favorite female athletes outside football

After an unarmed George Floyd was killed in jail, it was one of the biggest issues of the time. Back in 2020, it was her even 19-year-old who spoke out for justice, and that was one of the things she had to take forward from her grandmother. In one of the past interviews, she talked about how her grandmother inspired her to be a soloist and use her platform for the best.

She said, “She’s the sole, or one of the main, reasons why I use my platform the way that I do and why I feel so comfortable speaking out. For those who don’t know, She was the first black person to go to what was then called Seacrest High School. That happened, like, six months after Ruby Bridges did her integration.”

Not only that, but she also highlighted how her grandmother always reminded her that she is a person first, then an athlete, and how saying a speech is easier for her than putting out a tweet with less effect.

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There wasn’t even time to get over the defeat suffered in the semifinals at the Australian Open before Novak Djokovic was asked a question about the Roland Garros 2024.

The Serb was eliminated for the first time in his career in the semifinals at the Australian Open from Jannik Sinner, showing himself as vulnerable as ever in Melbourne.

Projecting himself to the Roland Garros, which will be played from 26 May to 9 June 2024, Djokovic has indicated Rafael Nadal as the favorite for the final victory, in the event that he plays the tournament without problems.

Novak Djokovic

“The Roland Garros is really a long way away. We need to see how the tennis players will play in the coming months, in particular during the clay season. It is a completely different surface from the others and is played in different conditions. Some play better on clay and are favoured, it is a surface that adapts to a certain type of tennis player.Nadal remains the number one favorite should he play the tournament.

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Regardless of the fact that he hasn’t played much, we’re talking about the Roland Garros. Of course there are Carlos Alcaraz and Jannik Sinner. The top five or ten players in the world can be considered the favorites to win the final. There are still many months to go, we’ll see how the situation evolves,” explained Nole.

Djokovic is the reigning champion in Paris and will do everything to defend the title, especially since this could bring him a simply extraordinary record. We are talking about something that has never happened in the history of tennis and which, to be honest, will hardly be able to be replicated.

A record – a dream – that Djokovic is pursuing day after day. The fact that he took a break to recharge his energies after Melbourne is no coincidence. The Serb will want to arrive at the French Open in top physical and psychological shape.

Because Djokovic will be able to win the 4th Roland Garros title of his career, in Paris. A milestone that would make him the only tennis player in the history of men’s singles to have won all 4 Majors at least 4 times. A goal that only Steffi Graff was capable of.

Djokovic has won the Australian Open 10 times, the Roland Garros 3 times, Wimbledon 7 times and the US Open 4 times.

Novak Djokovic

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The former German legend won the Australian Open 4 times, the Roland Garros 6 times, Wimbledon 7 times and the US Open 5 times. One of the last great records that still stand will therefore be put to the test by Djokovic, in the sparkling Parisian Fortnights.

In what will be an extremely intense period for the Serbian, who will also be able to aspire to other sensational records, considering the Wimbledon and Paris Olympics, which could once again shake the foundations of tennis history.

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Venus Williams took to Instagram to recount one of the most special wins of her career as the seven-time Grand Slam champion still remembers extremely well her first WTA title after being diagnosed with an autoimmune disease. 

After struggling with fatigue and painful joints for seven years without a clear reason, Williams – now 43 years old – was diagnosed with Sjogren’s syndrome in 2011. Sjogren’s syndrome, an autoimmune disease, usually reflects in dry eyes and mouth but can also impact other parts of the body. Fatigue and pain in joints are also pretty common in people battling Sjogren’s syndrome.

Following her diagnosis in 2011, Williams stepped away from pro tennis to address the issue. After giving a walkover to Sabine Lisicki in the 2011 US Open second round, Williams didn’t play again until 2012 March when she competed in Miami.

Venus Williams

In her first nine comeback tournaments, Williams had a couple of notable runs but they didn’t result in any titles. Then in her last tournament of the season in 2012 October, Williams defeated Monica Niculescu 6-2 6-3 in the Luxembourg Open final to win her 44th WTA title and her first since 2010 February.

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On Instagram Story, Williams posted a photo of her Luxembourg trophy and captioned it: “My first singles win after coming back from nearly a year layoff after being diagnosed with an autoimmune disease. The racquet actually broke off and it just got fixed.”

Williams on what led to her Sjogren’s syndrome diagnosis

As mentioned above, Williams was struggling with fatigue and exhaustion for several years. During that period, Williams visited the doctor several times but would never get the clear answer until 2011, when she finally got to know what was causing her fatigue.

“I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease called Sjogren’s syndrome,” Williams said in a conversation with Erin Andrews at BIO2022.

Venus Williams opens Cincinnati Open with first win over top-20 opponent in  four years, at the age of 43 | Tennis News | Sky Sports

“Before that, I just would, I felt like I could never get into shape and it made me feel lazy. Because all I have ever done is work hard and it was difficult to work hard and I still worked but I didn’t want to work because I felt so bad.

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“I would periodically go to the doctor and say I don’t feel well, I can’t, I’m constantly exhausted. That went on for about seven years before I got too sick.”

While being diagnosed with an autoimmune disease that can’t be cured certainly wasn’t easy for Williams, it was still a relief in a way that at least she finally knew what she was dealing it. Over the years, Williams has several times addressed her battle with Sjogren’s syndrome in her YouTube blogs.

“Everyone’s life is affected in different ways with autoimmune diseases,” Williams said in a video uploaded on her YouTube account in 2022 June.

“For me, it really obviously affected my work and my profession. I wasn’t able to play tennis anymore, and I was out of the game for maybe nine months.

“I also had challenges playing my best tennis, so of course that was frustrating especially when you have a high expectation of yourself.”

Williams cannot wear lenses because of her disease

For a person dealing with sight problems, Sjogren’s syndrome absolutely won’t help. When explaining how Sjogren’s syndrome impacts one’s life, Williams revealed wearing contact lenses is a real struggle and almost impossible for her because her eyes are “too dry.”

“Those extra special friends that come along with it are dry eyes and dry mouth. It’s very difficult for me to wear contact lenses. My eyes are just too dry to wear those,” Williams said in a YouTube blog from 2022.

“It can be very uncomfortable to the point where you would get mouth sores so as you can see an extreme level of Sjogren’s Syndrome or extreme flare-up, or extreme symptoms can start to really affect your life.”

Without Venus, There Is No Serena | The New Yorker

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Meanwhile, Williams is currently out of action but she is not retired. After suffering a leg injury during her Wimbledon first-round match, Williams appeared in three tournaments during the North American hard court swing but it was clear that she was limited and far from her best. Following a 6-1 6-1 loss to Greetje Minnen in the US Open first round – in a match where Williams was evidently struggling with an issue – the American decided to take a break so she could properly address her knee injury.

Williams, a former world No. 1, decided against playing any tournaments at the start of the season. Instead, Williams is hoping to play again in Indian Wells and Miami next month.

Over the last few years, Williams hasn’t had much luck with injuries but she is refusing to quit and wants to go out on her own terms. When Williams to returns to action, there is no doubt that one of her priorities will be staying healthy for a longer period.

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Venus Williams has announced that she is temporarily pausing the operations at her signature clothing and fashion brand, EleVen. The American legend has clarified that the brand will be back in the future.

Williams, who has an associate degree in fashion design from the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale, founded EleVen in 2007, along with sports retailer Steve & Barry’s, which has since gone out of business. Williams has served as one of the brand’s chief designers.

EleVen has dressed several WTA stars over the years, including Varvara Lepchenko, Nadia Petrova and Arina Rodionova. It has also partnered with renowned brands like K-Swiss and Lacoste.

Venus Williams determined to return despite 'overwhelming' injury set back  | The Independent

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In an email to retailers, Venus Williams stated that she has taken the tough decision to wind down operations at EleVen to refine “strategies and enhance the overall brand experience.” She thanked the fans for their unwavering support and assured them that EleVen would return soon.

“We’ve decided to temporarily pause our operations as we take a moment to refine our strategies and enhance the overall brand experience. This decision wasn’t easy, but it’s a crucial step towards ensuring that we come back stronger and better than ever,” Venus Williams wrote.

“I want to express my heartfelt gratitude for your unwavering support and loyalty to the EleVen brand. Your commitment means the world to us. This pause is not a farewell but a see you soon. We are dedicated to embodying our credo, “Be your best self,” and this break will allow us to do just that….”

“Your support has inspired me personally, and I’m excited to come back and continue the journey together,” the email concluded.

EleVen will clear all its remaining stock from the warehouses and will soon become unavailable in retail stores. However, fans can expect Venus Williams to don EleVen merchandise at her future tournaments.

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Bianca Andreescu gave a nod to tennis legends Serena Williams and Billie Jean King as she wished her social media followers a belated Happy National Girls and Women in Sports Day on Thursday (February 8).

Andreescu, 23, first shot to fame in 2019, when she won the US Open and two WTA 1000 tournaments in Indian Wells and Toronto. The Canadian, however, has come undone in the following years due to a wide array of injuries.

Despite being outside the women’s top 100, the former World No. 4 is still making a concerted effort to re-enter the higher echelons of tennis. On Thursday, she took to Instagram to give her flowers to retired legends like Serena Williams and Billie Jean King, insisting that they shaped her success thus far.

NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 7, 2019: Finalist Serena Williams (L) And 2019 US Open  Champion Bianca Andreescu Of Canada During Trophy Presentation At Billie  Jean King National Tennis Center In New York

“Happy National Girls and Women in Sports Day,” Bianca Andreescu said in an Instagram story on Thursday. “I’m so grateful for the girls and women in sports who have helped shape my career, like Billie Jean King and Serena Williams. Without them, I would not be here today.”

She also expressed gratitude towards some current top female athletes like reigning US Open champion Coco Gauff and Olympic skier Eileen Gu for inspiring women and girls into taking sports.

“And for the next generation of amazing women in sports who are raising the bar like Eileen Gu and Coco Gauff, it is so amazing to see,” she added.

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Bianca Andreescu has been out of action since last year’s Canadian Open due to a stress fracture in her back. She had a rough season last year, losing 16 of her 31 tour matches until she got injured in August.

Andreescu looked set for her return to the women’s top 30 in 2023, but now she finds herself ranked outside the top 100. Nonetheless, the former US Open champion has more than enough potential to become a top player again, provided she doesn’t have a bout with any more injuries.

Bianca Andreescu wants to 'surpass Serena' and be the best | CTV News

Last December, the 23-year-old disclosed that she was eyeing the Sunshine Double for a possible return to the WTA Tour. She also claimed that she was looking forward to the 2024 season while speaking briefly about her back injury.

“Right now I’m looking at (returning) after the Australia Open or the American Tour, so Indian Wells… maybe,” Bianca Andreescu said (via SportStar). “We’re very close but right now I am still dealing with my back injury.”

“It is getting better every single day and I am doing everything I can to get there as fast as possible but these things take time. I’m feeling very confident for 2024.”

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Some members of Chelsea FC’s women’s team picked Coco Gauff, Serena Williams, and Emma Raducanu as their favorite female athletes outside football.

The exercise was conducted on the occasion of USA’s National Girls and Women in Sports Day. The annual observance day dates back to 1987, when it was brought to life by then-US President Ronald Reagan after he signed Proclamation 5606.

Since 1987, it has been celebrated on one of the days in the first week of February. To celebrate the day, community-based events, activities, and award ceremonies are organized, which often feature female athletes of renown.

The Chelsea FC women’s team players who named their picks were Americans Catarina Macario and Mia Fishel, Canada’s Ashley Lawrence, and England’s Aggie Beever-Jones.

Coco Gauff Emma Raducanu

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Brazil-born Macario, who plays as a forward for both Chelsea FC’s women’s team and the USWNT, went first.

“My favorite female athlete outside of soccer is Serena Williams,” she said.

Up next, it was American forward Fishel’s turn.

“My favorite female athlete in the US be Coco (Gauff). She’s the young rising star and she’s killing it”, said Fishel.

Lawrence, a versatile player comfortable across both midfield and defense, also picked Gauff as her favorite.

“My favorite female athlete outside of football is Coco Gauff because she is a tennis player. I love watching tennis and she’s doing amazing things at such a young age, winning Grand Slams, and yeah, she’s just paving the way for future tennis players.”

Beever-Jones was the last one to name her pick.

“My favorite female athlete outside of football is Emma Raducanu.”

MIND BLOWING PRIZE MONEY CONFIRMED FOR 6 KINGS SLAM AS WINNER OF NOVAK DJOKOVIC AND RAFAEL NADAL LED EVENT TO RECEIVE $6,000,000

Set to take place during October, the 6 Kings Slam is the latest Saudi Arabia foray into tennis and will see Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal headline an exhibition tournament in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia with a mind-blowing amount of prize money compared to the normal tour.

Just for appearing alone over the course of the few days, players will receive $1.5million. It also includes Carlos Alcaraz, Jannik Sinner, Daniil Medvedev and Holger Rune as the other top names involved, all but the Dane are former or current Grand Slam champions.

Sinner, Djokovic e Nadal: super torneo d'esibizione in Arabia - Quotidiano  Sportivo

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The winner will receive $6 million as per The Telegraph. It is the next sign of intent from Saudi Arabia who have made big moves in boxing as of late staging some of the biggest fights on bumper cards putting promotional differences aside. This tournament is ran by the same entity and will be part of the so called Riyadh Season after Djokovic and Alcaraz faced off in an exhibition also last Christmas in the Kingdom.

Nadal also recently signed as an ambassador for the Saudi Tennis Federation and is all set to establish a new Rafa Nadal Academy in the country. They will also be hosting the Next Gen ATP Finals in Jeddah until 2027. Further murmurings also consider the WTA Finals likely to head there despite strong protests from tennis legends in Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert. As well as other figures wondering how it will work with laws surrounding women and even homosexuality if Daria Kasatkina for instance qualifies.

But it will also affect the men in this case for this tournament with the Shanghai Masters likely to have at least a few of its top names not play. With dates not confirmed, it could also see the Paris Masters have the same issue.

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There is no denying that Rafael Nadal has etched his position in the tennis realm as one of the ‘GOATs.’

On top of adding a remarkable 22 singles Grand Slam titles to his enviable trophy haul, the Spanish tennis star has also reached the number-one ranking on the ATP Tour. However, the 37-year-old player’s phenomenal legacy in the racket game isn’t the fruit of his labor alone.

Toiling behind the ‘King of the Clay’ have been some great coaches and hitting partners, one of whom recently hailed Nadal for his ‘200% intensity’ on the court. While talking about his experience in an interview with EssentiallySports working with Nadal as his hitting partner, Thomas Drouet recently opened up about how he learned a lot of things from the former world No. 1 player.

Thomas Drouet on how he improved after playing with the Rafael Nadal

A look at Rafael Nadal's 12 French Open final victories after beating  Dominic Thiem - Eurosport

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Thomas Drouet has been associated with some of the big names in the tennis community, including Rafael Nadal, as a hitting partner on multiple occasions. Notably, in an exclusive interview with EssentiallySports, the former tennis player was recently questioned, “Yeah, so as I was asking you, that somewhere in your career, you were also associated with Nadal as a hitting partner on multiple occasions. I mean, how was that experience?”

In his honest response, Drouet said, “It’s okay. To be honest, that’s the only player who put my heart rate here on line. And it was impressive to play with him. Usually I was doing two weeks hitting partner with him. And after when I was going to play tournaments, I was like, wow, it’s so easy. I was improving so much. But really I learned so many things in terms of discipline, how he was giving 200%.”

While asserting that he learned a lot of things from Nadal in terms of discipline, Drouet also brought to light what makes the ATP superstar ‘special.’ He stated, “We were playing three hours and for three hours, it was 200% in terms of fitness, technique, but also focus. So I was like, wow. So this is what you need to become this special because they are special. And I kept this in my mind and I use it in my training coaching also. That’s what I put in my players, that daily discipline.”

What do you think of the Spanish tennis legend’s ‘200% intensity’ on the court? Let us know in the comments section.

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