American Shelby Rogers may have been looking for some inspiration when she watched a 41-year-old video of compatriot Vitas Gerolites ahead of her third round match against world number one Ash Barty on Saturday.
“And this is a lesson for all of you. No one has beaten the Vitas Gerolites 17 times in a row,” the former world number three told reporters after beating Jimmy Connors in the January 1980 Masters semifinals.
It was the Gerolites’ first win against Connors after losing 16 matches in a row against their American counterpart.
Rogers was due to play Australian Barty on Saturday for the sixth time in his career as he lost all four previous meetings, including four in the 2021 season.
Things went the same way when the 28-year-old trailed 5-2 in the decisive third set but then went on to force a tiebreak and beat the two-time big winner in an incredible comeback. Wrote a script from Australia.
“I was watching a video of Vitas Gerolites this morning when he said, ‘No one beats me 17 times in a row.’ I was only six years old, so Rogers laughed after his match on the court Said in the interview.
Rogers is currently ranked 43rd in the world and his progress has been hampered several times this season by the fast Australian, who has won five singles titles in 2021.
But the American decided to make things a little different at Arthur Ashe Stadium on Saturday and made a profit.
“I think I have to thank him,” Rogers, the only American left in the US Open women’s draw, told reporters before another round of laughter.
“I think I do a little bit of journaling, taking notes on players, scouting things like that. Half of my book is on Ash right now, you know. It’s the same thing. It’s from a ball. Does not lose
“I think the biggest thing I’ve learned from him is that for some reason he’s No. 1. He was going to take what I had tonight to kill him. I gave my all and won. That’s it. “