Simona Haleptaylor townsendtennisus open First Published: August 30, 2019, 8:01 AM IST New York: Critics said Taylor Townsend was too heavy. She couldn’t win big matches. Her game wasn’t good enough. Now she is being called something else at the US Open: giant killer.The 23-year-old American captured the biggest victory of her career Thursday, defeating Wimbledon champion Simona Halep 2-6, 6-3, 7-6 (4) to reach the third round at Flushing Meadows with her first triumph over a top-10 opponent after 10 prior losses. “This was a huge, monumental moment,” Townsend said. “It was a very defining moment for me to realize that I belong here.”I’ve had a lot of people doubting me being able to break through. It’s just confirmation more for myself that I’m on the right path, doing the right things.”The 116th-ranked qualifier, who matched her deepest Grand Slam run from her debut at the 2014 French Open, broke into tears on the court after the match.”This means a lot. It has been a long journey,” she said, wiping away tears.This is why they play 👏@TaylorTownsend | #USOpen pic.twitter.com/D3NodiEtgv— US Open Tennis (@usopen) August 30, 2019Townsend will next face another Romanian, 106th-ranked Sorana Cirstea.Townsend squandered a match point at Wimbledon and lost to Dutch fourth seed Kiki Bertens in the second round, a loss that literally woke her in the middle of the night.”Just to be able to get over the hump, it’s such an amazing feeling because after Wimbledon, I was devastated after I lost to Bertens after having a match point,” she said.”That woke me up out of my sleep. Oh, dropshot. I put my head down and just worked really hard and just tried to take the positives from it, just continue to press forward.”In 2012, the US Tennis Association asked Townsend, then the world’s top-ranked junior woman, to skip the US Open girls tournament because of her weight and denied her request for a wildcard into the US Open.Townsend paid her way to qualifying, didn’t make the girls field and dropped USTA coaching. She’s now coached by family friend Donald Young Sr.”It’s really hard to deal with that stuff when personal issues are publicized,” Townsend said.”It has been a long road. A lot of haters, a lot of people who weren’t sure. I’ve heard it for a really long time that I was never going to make it, that I wasn’t going to be able to break through or do this or do that.”Especially over this last year, I’ve really embraced that, being able to prove people wrong. I thrive in these kind of conditions and I think it showed today.”NO MAJOR SPONSOR HELPTownsend, who read a book with notes to help her focus during changeovers, has not received the big-money sponsor support as many other rising US talents have, which has limited her to European trips only to Grand Slam events.”I don’t have a whole bunch of sponsors knocking down my door giving me money. A lot of the stuff is coming out of my pocket,” she said.”So I have to be very financially smart with where I go, where I travel, what makes sense because this is a very expensive sport. A lot of people don’t really see that side of it.”I have to go and do things that are financially advantageous. Is it smart to go to Europe for 12 weeks in quallies where you make $900 if you lose first round and your flight was $3,000 to get there? You can do the math.”But it hasn’t taken a plane ticket for Townsend to find herself.”I know who I am. I know what makes me tick. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. You dust yourself off and you keep going,” Townsend said.”I think for some years I was lost, lost in a sea of a lot of stuff. But it’s nice to be able to come up to the surface and float, eventually swim.”And critics roll off her back like water.”The things people say don’t matter,” Townsend said. “It’s about how you feel about yourself, about how you feel going out on that court.” Get the best of News18 delivered to your inbox – subscribe to News18 Daybreak. Follow News18.com on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Telegram, TikTok and on YouTube, and stay in the know with what’s happening in the world around you – in real time.
(AP Photos) Top Stories Wilks said the pair hasn’t responded poorly to the lack of playing time.“Those guys are responding well,” Wilks said. “They haven’t wavered from their approach and how they try to prepare and practice. We’ve got to find ways as coaches to be able to continue to coach and connect with them and get them out there on the field. But their responsibility is to go out there and execute their assignments. So it’s hand-in-hand.” Bucannon saw only one snap on defense on Sunday and 20 on special teams. For Reddick, those numbers were four and 12, respectively.Bucannon’s one defensive snap is down from 25 (34.7 percent) the previous week and 79 (100 percent) in Week 1. Reddick saw 14 defensive snaps (17.7 percent) in Week 1, then three (4.2 percent) in Week 2.Related LinksCardinals defense finding legs but not enough to beat BearsArizona Cardinals name rookie Josh Rosen starting quarterbackBradford’s first-quarter tease gave Cardinals’ Rosen no margin for error“Those guys have got to show me that they deserve the right to be on the field,” Wilks said. “It’s nothing to the standpoint of favorites or taking things personal. I want those guys out there. They’re first-round draft picks. I want them to be on the football field, they have a great skill set. But again, I’m going to play the guys that have shown that they’re ready to play.”Bucannon was selected 27th overall by the Cardinals in 2014 and has started 51 games (60 appearances) since then. Last year, Bucannon played in 12 games and had a pick-six to go with three passes defensed, two forced fumbles and 82 tackles. The Cardinals took Reddick 13th overall in 2017 and has since appeared in 19 NFL games with three starts. He had two forced fumbles in 2017 to go with 2.5 sacks and 32 tackles. 11 Comments Share Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Arizona Cardinals head coach Steve Wilks said he wants to put the best 11 players on the field.There’s impeccable logic in that. But those who watched the Cardinals play the Bears on Sunday — and suffer a 16-14 defeat — may still wonder: Why weren’t first-round picks Deone Bucannon and Haason Reddick on the field more for Arizona’s defense?“I have an open communication policy,” Wilks said when asked about that matter by Bickley & Marotta on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station. “I want guys to be able to come talk to me about certain things, and they do. And I’ll be honest with those guys and tell them, we’re going to play the best 11. And right now, that’s what I’m doing.”