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Old Jan 23rd, 2013, 02:25 AM   #230
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Re: Australian Open Draws and Results [2013]

Benedetti Falls in Third Set as Kendall Attacks

It was one of the most confusing scenes in FWTT Australian Open history. Which makes sense after one of the more odd weeks in recent memory. Italian Giuseppina Benedetti and Czech Ella Felivitch had exchanged two ugly, sloppy, and uninspired sets of tennis. Finally their games came together and the third set was a true battle of the wits, with both players digging in and finally finding the court consistently. The two traded in unforced errors for winners, going back and forth without a break of serve until they reached 6 all.

Then something odd happened...the umpire called for a third set tiebreaker. Anyone who knows the rules of the Australian Open knows that there is no third set tiebreaker, the match continues until one player has a two game advantage. The even stranger thing was that both Felivitch and Benedetti lined up and began playing the tiebreaker, albeit with slightly confused looks on their faces. A big serve by Felivitch, ranked 5th in the world, gave her a 1-0 lead. Benedetti dug in after missing a first serve and evened the tiebreaker after an unforced error by her opponent, due to a remarkable scrambling shot by the Italian.

Here's where it gets really weird. As Benedetti went through her long ritual of drying her arms and bouncing the ball before serving, a large man emerged from the crowd and began running towards Benedetti. Giusa let out a screech and began manically running the opposite way. Fortunately, extra security provided by the Australian tournament directors ran out and tackled the man before he was able to catch up to Benedetti. But the damage had been done. Benedetti was completely frazzled, serving up an ugly double fault and losing the final five points after that with erratic shots.

Who was this man you ask? In case you haven't heard, Giuseppina Benedetti called out tour veteran and leader Ruflina Taliamanosoko earlier in the week and the two exchanged in a back and forth of sorts. Numerous other players in the locker room put in their opinions causing what tournament directors called a "bitch fest". Reports of both verbal and physical fights as well as destruction of property have been reported to the media over the last couple days. The most famous commenter, though, was American Anna Kendall, who threatened Benedetti stating that she would "kill her". After the threat Benedetti, encouraged by friends Miranda Bothavska and Xhaka Saikikmbondwe asked for heightened security measures during her matches.

The man who was arrested is believed to be Anna Kendall's boyfriend or "boy toy". His name, however, has not officially been released to the public, nor has word of any charges being filed against him.

Benedetti was clearly distraught with the situation and upset with the loss and declined an interview. She did send the following press release:

"I think it was a shame that Ella and I were unable to finish our match out in peace. We were both playing very well in the third set, and although the incident clearly affected me, Ella is to be commended because she certainly put herself in the position to win the match. I wish her the best of luck as the tournament continues."

"As for the attacker, I must say this: It is a shocking and depressing day when you cannot feel safe at your workplace, and the tennis court is our workplace. I am deeply distraught and concerned for my safety. While I want nothing more than to beat the ugly off of Ruflina's face in doubles, I have not officially decided if I will play or not, due, obviously, to safety issues. If I do choose to play I pray that the Australian directors will have the place loaded with police, on the court and undercover. "

"I know that Anna Kendall asked that man to hurt me, possibly even kill me. I think it is pathetic that she can't fight me on her own. If she wants to hurt me so bad, then I say we sell tickets and fight here on Rod Laver Arena after the tournament. I will beat the shit out of that whore. Thank you for all the support."
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