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Vaidisova: No glaring distractions in Australian Open match against Williams

Vaidisova: No glaring distractions in Australian Open match against Williams

Australian Open organizers saw no glaring problem after a fan of Serena Williams was reportedly caught reflecting the sun off his watch into the eyes of Nicole Vaidisova during the semifinal.
The host broadcaster showed vision of a man, sitting in Williams' players box, moving his watch around at various times and reflecting glare onto the court.
Nicole Vaidisova, who lost 7-6 (5), 6-4, said she didn't notice anything that would have distracted her from the match.
The issue was raised by respected television commentator John Barrett, who noted flashes of glare coming off the watch face of a man sitting in front of Williams' mother, Oracene.
"It is an extraordinary coincidence that whenever Vaidisova is serving, that youngster seems to be getting (the sunlight) into the eyes of Vaidisova," Barrett said.
Vaidisova was asked at a post-match news conference if she was affected by sun glare at any stage during the match.
"No, didn't notice anything," she said. "It was sunny, of course. But, no, not really crazy that I noticed."
Williams deadpanned laughter when asked to respond to the allegation, then frowned.
"That's the most outrageous thing I've ever heard," said Williams, a seven-time Grand Slam winner who is making a comeback from an injury-plagued 2006. "As if anyone would do that on purpose."
Despite media reports, Tennis Australia spokesman John Lindsay said officials had not asked for a copy of the television footage for review, and that there were no plans to investigate the incident.
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ASIAN RIVALS: It's one-all in the Taiwan vs. China battle in women's doubles.
Unseeded Chan Yung-Jan and Chuang Chia Jung of Taiwan beat defending champions Yan Zi and Zheng Jie 6-3, 6-4 on Thursday to reach the final of the Australian Open, and avenge a loss to the Chinese pair in the Asian Games final last November.
"It was a surprise to be in the final," said Chan, who at 17 is emerging as an Asian star after cracking the top 100 last year, two years after turning professional. "It is very, very exciting."
Chan said she and Chuang learned from their Asian Games loss to Yan and Zheng, who won 47 of their 60 matches together last year, including the Australian Open and Wimbledon, and were the top-seeded pair here.
"That was the first time, so we didn't know how they played," Chan said. "This time we knew on important points where they were going to play and what they wanted to do. We tried to relax and just have fun."
The Chinese pair had two break points in the second set, but could not convert them. With the Taiwanese serving for the match at 5-4, the Chinese pair could not manage a point in the last game.
"We're disappointed in our performance," said Zheng. "Those two guys played so good."
Chan and Chuang face Cara Black of Zimbabwe and South Africa's Liezel Huber in Friday's final.
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DOUBLING-UP: The Bryans will be there, naturally. And it'll be tour veterans Max Mirnyi and Jonas Bjorkman who face the defending champions in the men's doubles final at the Australian Open.
Sweden's Bjorkman, and Mirnyi, of Belarus, beat the Bryans to win the 2006 French Open. The twin brothers did collect a career Grand Slam, though, after winning Wimbledon to give them one title at each of the majors.
Bjorkman, 34, and Mirnyi, 29, seeded second here, will try to do it again on Saturday after defeating No. 4 Paul Hanley of Australia and Kevin Ullyett of Zimbabwe 2-6, 7-5, 7-6 (8).
The Bryans advanced to their 10th Grand Slam final and fourth straight in Melbourne, defeating Canadian Daniel Nestor and Mark Knowles of the Bahamas 2-6, 6-3, 7-5.
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SEED KILLER: Serena Williams has climbed 77 places in the rankings in just two tournaments this year, and guaranteed herself a spot in the top 20 by reaching the final of the Australian Open. She'll go to 14 if she wins Saturday.
Williams plummeted to 140, her worst ranking in almost a decade, in 2006 during an injury-plagued season in which she played just four tournaments, before climbing back to end the year at 95.
Three weeks ago, Williams lost in the quarterfinals of the Hobart International before starting play unseeded and ranked 81st at the Australian Open, where she beat four seeded players to reach the final against top-seeded Maria Sharapova.
Williams' win Thursday against Nicole Vaidisova gives her enough points to come in at 18th when the WTA Tour rankings are updated on Monday, and four higher if she beats Sharapova, who already has enough points to take the No. 1 spot from Justine Henin.
Williams, a seven-time Grand Slam winner who spent six years in the top 10 before her injury problems started in 2005, let out a celebratory whoop Thursday when asked about cracking the top 20 again.
"I can't believe it," she said. "That's awesome. That was so fast."
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PEEPING TOM: A Japanese man was sentenced Thursday to six months in prison for secretly taking photographs up a woman's skirt at the Australian Open last week.
Takuya Muto pleaded guilty in Melbourne Magistrates' Court to stalking, illegally using an optical device and offensive behavior.
Investigators also found he had secretly recorded women showering at a local backpackers' hotel.
The 34-year-old Muto, a business student whose hometown was not immediately released, sobbed as his sentence was read out.
Magistrate Peter Couzens sentenced Muto to six months in jail, but suspended four months of the sentence for two years, meaning Muto will only have to serve two months unless he re-offends. He could also be deported from Australia.


Updated : 2021-07-25 18:47 GMT+08:00