Serena Williams into Wimbledon semifinals, reveals therapy sessions following US Open ‘meltdown’

Serena Williams of the US celebrates winning her quarterfinal match against Alison Riske of the US to go into the semifinals of Wimbledon. (Reuters)
Updated 09 July 2019

Serena Williams into Wimbledon semifinals, reveals therapy sessions following US Open ‘meltdown’

  • 37-year-old Williams two wins away from equalling Margaret Court’s Grand Slam singles title record haul of 24
  • The American superstar was widely vilified for her New York outburst

WIMBLEDON, London: Seven-time champion Serena Williams reached her 12th Wimbledon semifinal on Tuesday with a hard fought 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 victory over unseeded American compatriot Alison Riske.

The 37-year-old Williams, who is two wins away from equalling Margaret Court’s Grand Slam singles title record haul of 24, looked far from convincing as Riske pushed her the whole way over an engrossing two-hour duel.

However, Williams served it out with an ace to seal her 97th win at Wimbledon and avoid the same fate as world number one Ashleigh Barty, who Riske beat on Monday.

“It was really satisfying,” said Williams, whose clay court season was affected by a knee injury.

“I wouldn’t have won that match a couple of weeks ago. I’m glad that I was able to come through. She beat so many great players. She was really so close to taking the win today.”


Meanwhile, Serena Williams revealed Tuesday that she consulted a therapist after her infamous 2018 US Open final meltdown in which her bitter war of words with the umpire overshadowed Naomi Osaka’s maiden Grand Slam victory.

The American superstar was widely vilified for her New York outburst in which she branded the chair umpire a “liar” and “thief.”

She was handed a code violation for coaching,docked a point for smashing her racquet and penalized a game for verbal abuse.

“I couldn’t find peace. I started seeing a therapist,” Williams wrote in a first-person account published in US glossy magazine Harper’s Bazaar.

“I was searching for answers, and although I felt like I was making progress, I still wasn’t ready to pick up a racquet.”

Williams’s essay appeared online and on her own Instagram account in the middle of her Wimbledon quarter-final defeat of Alison Riske on Tuesday.

In it, she says she has apologized to Osaka, the breakout Japanese star who won the US Open final in straight sets.

“I am so proud of you and I am truly sorry. I thought I was doing the right thing in sticking up for myself. But I had no idea the media would pit us against each other,” said the 37-year-old Williams.

“I would love the chance to live that moment over again. I am, was, and will always be happy for you and supportive of you.

“I would never, ever want the light to shine away from another female, specifically another black female athlete.”

Williams said that Osaka, who went on to take the Australian Open title and the world number one spot, had accepted her apology.


Saudi Professional League broadcasts live on Twitter

Updated 12 November 2019

Saudi Professional League broadcasts live on Twitter

  • Video watching of the league’s events and news has generated more than 115 million views

RIYADH: Saudi sports channels, exclusive carriers of the Saudi Professional League 2019/2020, have started broadcasting all league matches on Twitter.

The broadcast via the Twitter platform (@riyadiyatv) will be free and include studio analysis for each match and other relevant information to give viewers the chance to follow the games, including on their smartphones.

The move between the Saudi sports channels and Twitter offers fans the chance to watch Saudi league matches and pursue their passion for sport through mobile applications and smart programs on social media platforms.

The growing public interest in the Saudi Professional League is clear. Video watching of the league’s events and news has generated more than 115 million views and recorded more than 360 million hits on the accounts of Saudi sports channels on Twitter during the first two months of the league.

Sports content is one of the most popular items on Twitter, as evidenced by several surveys about the Kingdom conducted by Toluna, which specializes in consumer insight surveys and analysis.

The most-watched videos on football include highlights of the matches (88 percent), commentary and technical analysis (43 percent). The study also found that (72 percent) of Twitter users in the Kingdom consider the platform one of the main sources of access to online video content.

Twitter will create customized pages in Arabic and English for watching the main matches of the league. Live events will be transmitted directly to sports fans through videos and “Moments,” a collection of tweets, by accessing the page through the “explore” section or at the top of the timeline or by using the “search” feature. Twitter created the first page dedicated to watching the Al-Hilal-Al Nasr derby, held last Sunday at the King Saud University stadium.

Zeinab Abu Alsamh, CEO of commercial and marketing affairs at the Saudi Broadcasting Authority, said that Saudi Arabia was one of the leading countries using the Twitter platform. 

“This important step with the global Twitter platform in broadcasting the matches of the Saudi league will make us reach a wide segment of our followers everywhere in the world, in order to ensure the access of media content to all spectrums of viewers through the widespread Twitter platform,” she said.

Kinda Ibrahim, Twitter director of media partnerships for the Middle East and North Africa, said: “We are delighted to be broadcasting the Saudi Professional League on our platform as we are always striving to bring new and exciting experiences to football fans on Twitter. The Saudi Professional League has a huge following inside and outside the Kingdom, and we seek through a live broadcast to enrich the experience of Saudi football fans.”

Commercial brands will be able to link their products and services to the Saudi Professional League’s premium content and communicate with the public through the Saudi Alwasail media company. Videos of the most important moments of the league will be posted on the Saudi sports channels accounts in promotional tweets, in cooperation with sponsoring brands. These tweets contain brand ads, which automatically appear before videos from Saudi sports channels.

The Saudi Professional League began on Aug. 22 and will continue until May 2020.