Dominika Cibulkova is one of several WTA and ATP players spending their preseason in Dubai as they prepare their assault on 2018.
Sport360 attended one of Cibulkova’s practices at Jumeirah Beach Hotel earlier this month. After spending an intense 90 minutes hitting forehands and backhands on court, she headed straight to the gym and did multiple sets of the video above for 30 minutes.
“We changed my training a little bit. I used to do these kind of things at the end of the day but we tried to change it because my physio and my fitness coach they talked a little bit and changed some things. Right now I did (went to the gym) after my first morning session on the court, and then in the afternoon I just have serve and return and some easy runs,” she told Sport360.
For more from Sport360's Preseason Watch, click here.
The ninth-ranked Wawrinka has not played a match since Wimbledon last July and has been recovering from double knee surgery.
“Unfortunately I won’t be able to play in Abu Dhabi this year as I’m not ready yet to compete at this level,” said Wawrinka. “Together with my team, I’m working hard and we will do everything to be ready in time for the Australian Open. I’m sad that I won’t be able to play in front of the great fans at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship but I need to be patient and give my body the time it needs. I wish everyone a great event and hope to be back in Abu Dhabi in 2018.”
Raonic has played just six matches since Wimbledon, with his last appearance being a second round retirement in Tokyo in October. He missed the US Open to recover from wrist surgery then suffered a calf strain in Japan.
— MWTC (@MubadalaTennis) December 20, 2017
Rublev, who had a breakthrough 2017 that saw him reach the quarter-finals of the US Open, will replace Raonic in the draw and open his Abu Dhabi campaign against Dominic Thiem (19:00 UAE time) on Thursday, December 28, while Anderson takes Wawrinka’s spot and faces Carreno Busta on the same opening day (17:00 UAE time).
The winner of Anderson-Carreno Busta faces Nadal in the semi-finals on Friday, December 29 (17:00) while the winner of Thiem-Rublev takes on Djokovic at 19:00.
Anderson, who will be making his second Abu Dhabi appearance, said: “I am looking forward to playing in Abu Dhabi and getting ready for the new season and the year’s first Grand Slam. The competition is going to be intense and I’m looking to pick up on where I left off last year.”
Sport360 is offering a competition where a child, aged 6-12, can win a spot as the bag carrier for either Thiem or Rublev on day one of the MWTC, along with two tickets – one of which must be used by the entrant.
Serena Williams says she has struggled with her baby daughter’s teething pain even as she tweeted a photo hinting she might be working on a comeback to defend her Australian Open title.
The 23-time Grand Slam singles champion and former world number one drew sympathetic replies to Sunday tweets about baby daughter Alexis Olympia’s teething issues, complete with a photo, then posted another picture Monday of an empty Tennis court looking set up for the start of a workout.
The next Australian Open begins on January 15 at Melbourne, which would be barely beyond four months after Williams gave birth to her daughter on September 1.
Teething- aka the devil – is so hard. Poor Alexis Olympia has been so uncomfortable. She cried so much (she never cries) I had to hold her until she fell asleep. I’ve tried amber beads… cold towels…. chew on mommies fingers…. homeopathic water (lol on that one) but nothing is working. It’s breaking my heart. I almost need my mom to come and hold me to sleep cause I’m so stressed. Help? Anyone??
Williams began her latest tweets on Sunday with a plea for help on how to ease the torment of teething.
“Teething- aka the devil – is so hard,” tweeted Williams. “Poor Alexis Olympia has been so uncomfortable. She cried so much (she never cries) I had to hold her until she fell asleep. I’ve tried amber beads… cold towels…. chew on mommies fingers…. homeopathic water (lol on that one) but……
“Nothing is working. It’s breaking my heart. I almost need my mom to come and hold me to sleep cause I’m so stressed. Help? Anyone??”
Among the advices she received — “try a wet washcloth for the baby let her chew it.”
On Monday, there was no mention of teething but a photo of the open court, a racquet bag leaning on a stool with towels and a bicycle nearby serving notice that Williams might have found a cure for herself with the next Grand Slam tournament only four weeks away.
Williams has said she intended to defend the crown she won earlier this year while unknowingly pregnant but has not confirmed any firm plans to play in Melbourne since the birth of her daughter.
Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley had said he was confident Williams would be competing in Melbourne. Her name was on the entry list released earlier this month.