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TENNIS

Serena Williams pulls out of Swedish Open

World number one and six-time Wimbledon champion Serena Williams has spoken about how an elbow injury forced her to pull out of the Swedish Open in Båstad at the last minute.

Serena Williams pulls out of Swedish Open
Serena Williams and Victoria Azarenka hug following their Wimbledon quarter-final match. Photo: Bob Martin/AELTC

The 33-year-old tennis star had been set to play Klara Koukalova in the second round at Båstad in southern Sweden, having defeated Ysaline Bonaventure of Belgium 6-2, 6-1 in her opener on Wednesday at the claycout event she won in 2013.

“I was having some pain in my right elbow,” Williams said.

“I felt a little bit in my match [on Wednesday] and then it got better, but [on Thursday] morning I really couldn't hit serves, and if I'm not able to hit serves that could definitely be a problem.”

“So I talked to my coach about it and we were like, 'Let's see what the doctor says, and see what everyone else says, and go from there'. The main thing is that we don't want it to get worse, we obviously want it to heal.”

“Unfortunately I haven't had time to heal. I've been going, going, going, playing tournaments I love, and coming here has been such a great joy, but unfortunately it's not going to heal if I keep playing.”

The coastal town of Båstad is best known for the tennis tournament, held each summer since 1948. The city has has the most tennis courts in the country and has fostered many internationally successful tennis players.

The town attracts some 20,000 visitors during this time, including Sweden's newest royal couple, Prince Carl Philip and Princess Sofia, who married in a lavish ceremony last month. The pair first laid eyes on each other on a night out in Båstad back in the summer of 2009.

And Williams did seem to enjoy her brief spell in the town, even posting a picture of herself enjoying the Swedish summer on the beach on social media.

 

Beach day in Sweden #SerenaSlam #renasarmy

A photo posted by Serena Williams (@serenawilliams) on Jul 14, 2015 at 7:00am PDT

Williams swept to a sixth Wimbledon title on Saturday, her 21st career major and her third in three Grand Slam events this year.

If she defends her US Open crown in September, she will become the first woman since Steffi Graf in 1988 to complete a calendar Grand Slam.

“I'm going to take some time off, I'm going to get some treatment, and I'm going to continue to do things for it. I'll do what's best for my body and continue from there,” Wiliams told www.wtatour.com.

Elsewhere in Båstad on Thursday there were wins for third seed Barbora Strycova who beat Evgeniya Rodina, 6-4, 6-1; Sweden's Rebecca Peterson seeing off sixth seeded Katerina Siniakova, 7-5, 7-6 (8/6), and Yulia Putintseva defeating French qualifier Alize Lim, 6-0, 1-6, 6-2.

The last match of the day saw seventh seed Johanna Larsson edging Anna-Lena Friedsam, 6-3, 7-5.

SPORT

Björn Borg’s son Leo set to make his Wimbledon debut

Four decades after Swedish tennis legend Björn Borg won a fifth consecutive Wimbledon title, his 16-year-old son Leo Borg is reportedly set to make his debut at the tournament.

Björn Borg's son Leo set to make his Wimbledon debut
Leo Borg's Wimbledon debut is yet to be officially confirmed. Photo: Hanna Franzén/TT

According to reports in British tabloid The Sun and Swedish tabloid Expressen, Borg will be awarded a wildcard to play in the Wimbledon junior event.

“Leo is very grateful about getting a wildcard for the qualifiers to junior Wimbledon,” Björn Borg told Swedish tabloid Aftonbladet.

“It will be an incredible experience and useful practice for the future,” he added.

A spokeswoman for the Wimbledon tournament did not want to confirm the decision, only saying that wildcard announcements and the main draw for the Juniors tournament would be made next week.

If confirmed, Leo Borg’s Wimbledon debut comes 39 years after Björn Borg defeated American rival John McEnroe, winning him his fifth consecutive Wimbledon title.

The iconic match has been called one of the greatest matches of all time and the story was adapted for the screen in the 2017 feature film Borg vs McEnroe, where Leo, bearing a striking resemblance to his fatther, played a younger version of Björn Borg.

During the 1970s and early 1980s Björn Borg won a total of 11 Grand Slam titles, five Wimbledons and six French Opens.


Björn Borg after winning his fifth consecutive Wimbledon title in 1980. Photo: Scanpix/TT

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