Saturday, February 1, 2020

Babos and Mladenovic win Australian Open

Timea Babos and Kiki Mladenovic, seeded 2nd at the Australian Open, defeated top seeds Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova 6-2, 6-1 yesterday to win the championship. Babos and Mladenovic, who are long-time close friends, won the Open in 2018, and they won the French Open in 2019. The pair also won the WTA Finals last year. The 2020 champions did not drop a set throughout the tournament.


Barbora Krejcikova defended her Australian Open mixed doubles title, playing with partner Nikola Mektic. They defeated Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Jamie Murray5-7, 6-4, 10-1. Last year, the Czech doubles star won the event with Rajeev Ram.

The junior singles trophy went to 9th seed Victoria Jimenez Kasintseva of Andorra. Jimenez Kasintseva defeated Polish player Weronika Baszak. In junior doubles, 4th seeds Alexandra Eala and Priska Madelyn Nugroho won the championship when they defeated Ziva Falkner and Matilda Mutavdzic in the final.

The wheelchair doubles team of Yui Kamiji and Jordanne Whiley (back from maternity leave) upset top seeds Diede De Groot and Aniek Van Koot in straight sets.

The wheelchair singles champion is also Yui Kamiji. Kamiji defeated Van Koot 6-2, 6-2 in the final. The singles draw was shaken up when top seed De Groot went out in the quarterfinals to Zhenzhen Zhu, who was playing in her first major. De Groot is the winner of seven singles majors.

In other wheelchair tennis news, Sabine Ellerbrock has announced her retirement from the sport, and Marjolein Buis has announced her forced retirement from the sport. Buis has Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, which has been taken off the list of eligible handicaps by the ITF and the International Paralympic Committee. The ITF and the IPC  state that the tennis eligible handicaps list must conform with that of other Paralympic sports, or tennis players will be cut out of Paralympic competition.

"They are taking away my job and my passion," Buis commented. "I am happy that I am already 31 years old and have had a wonderful career...."

EDS is a connective tissue disorder that weakens the ligaments and tendons that hold muscles together. And while I understand why this change came about, I can only imagine how it must feel to be told that you aren't "disabled enough" to compete in a wheelchair.

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