Porsche Tennis Grand Prix: Maria Sharapova wins dream final in Stuttgart - UBITENNIS
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Porsche Tennis Grand Prix: Maria Sharapova wins dream final in Stuttgart

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TENNIS – Maria Sharapova has won the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix for the third time in succession. In a high class final, the superstar from Russia beat Serb Ana Ivanovic 3-6, 6-4, 6-1 in front of a thrilled 4,500 crowd in Stuttgart’s Porsche Arena. She will therefore take home the main prize of a Porsche 911 Targa 4S. From Stuttgart, Simone Kemler

The winner was left speechless. Immediately after clinching the match after two hours three minutes with her first match point for one of the most important wins in her career, Maria Sharapova put her hands to her face and shook here head in disbelief. The spectators, who had seen a thrilling and high class final, rose to their feet to give her a standing ovation. On Centre Court, Maria Sharapova bowed over and over again to her fans. The tennis star had just crowned herself the tennis queen of Stuttgart for the third time. Having won the tournament in 2012 and 2013, Maria Sharapova’s 13th victory in the Porsche Arena gave her her third win in a row at the long-standing Stuttgart event. It was the first time in her successful career that she had a hat-trick of tournament wins. The Porsche Brand Ambassador has now joined the legendary Martina Navratilova who also won three Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in succession – 1986 to 1988.

 

Ivanovic had a brilliant start into the match

Though Maria Sharapova’s win in the dream final appeared relatively comfortable, it did not look like last year’s winner would be able to defend her title. Ana Ivanovic put her under immense pressure with her accurate and powerful shots to win the first set 6-3 and was one point away from going 4-1 up in the second. But then Maria Sharapova showed why she is renowned for her fighting spirit. “It was like the Porsche is too sexy to give up,” she said afterwards. “You know I was down and out in that first match in the tournament against Lucie Safarova early in the week and I came through. I know the situation.”  The four-time Grand Slam champion fought back impressively to win the second set and eventually close out the match 6-1 in the third. “I love the competition,” she said, “Thankfully today I was able to bring out the best that I could on this given day.”

The winner’s trophy was presented to Maria Sharapova after the final by Dr. Wolfgang Porsche, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Porsche AG and Porsche SE. The key for the Porsche 911 Targa 4S was handed over to her by Matthias Müller, Chairman of Porsche AG, who she then drove onto Centre Court. That there was no real loser at the 37th edition of the long-standing Stuttgart was shown by the thunderous applause for Ana Ivanovic that lasted minutes on end. Moved to tears she said, “I didn’t expect that, thanks very much Stuttgart.” For Maria Sharapova, the tournament ended not only with a memorable win but also with a personal success. “After my shoulder injury, Stuttgart was like a little comeback,” she said after her 30th career tournament win which was the first one since last year at the same venue. “Playing here is something very special.”

 

The Doubles Title goes to the Italian Duo Errani/Vinci

The doubles tournament at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix was won by Italians Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci. Playing Cara Black (Zimbabwe) and Sania Mirza (India), the No. 1 seeds won 6-2, 6-3.

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Emma Raducanu Confident Of Full Fitness Ahead Of Grass Swing

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Emma Raducanu - Cincinnati 2022 (foto Twitter @cincytennis)

Emma Raducanu has no regrets about her decision to skip the French Open and now believes she is in a ‘really fit place’ ahead of Wimbledon. 

The former US Open champion opted to end her clay season earlier than other players to focus on fitness and training with her coach. Raducanu stated earlier this year that her primary focus in 2024 is on her health after undergoing a series of wrist and ankle surgeries last year which sidelined her for months. 

Raducanu will return to action this week at the Nottingham Open, which is the event where she made her WTA main draw debut back in 2021. Despite her lack of match play in recent weeks, the Brit is feeling good and relishing her return to the grass.

“Body-wise, physical-wise, I feel really healthy,” she said on Monday.
“I’ve done amazing work with my trainer over the last few months, since surgery. I’m in a really fit place. I’m healthy and just looking forward to starting playing.”

Shedding more light on her health, Raducanu says she has full confidence in her wrists and believes they are in top condition. Making her feel more at ease when playing matches on the Tour. 

“I think my wrists are actually in a better position than they ever were. So there’s zero doubt or apprehension whether I’m hitting the ball or designing my schedule,” she explained.
“It’s more about being proactive and not wanting to put yourself in any unnecessary situations. I don’t need to rush and try to win the French Open, it wasn’t my goal this year.
“I had to prioritise where I wanted to target and it was just a good block for me to get some physical work done.”

Raducanu has played seven WTA events so far this season with her best run being to the quarter-finals of the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart, where she was beaten by world No.1 Iga Swiatek. The 21-year-old is currently ranked 209th in the world. 

At the Nottingham Open, she will play her first match on Tuesday against Japanese qualifier Ena Shibahara. 

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Russian World No.78 Elina Avanesyan To Switch Nationalities

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Image via https://x.com/WTAMeridaOpen/

A week after losing her fourth round match at the French Open, a government minister has confirmed that Elina Avanesyan is in the process of changing the nationality of who she plays for. 

The 21-year-old is switching her aligence from Russia to Armenia, according to Armenia’s deputy Minister of International Affairs and communication. Karen Giloyan has told the news agency Armenpress that Avanesyan will soon be representing his country. However, the tennis player has yet to comment on the matter.  Avanesyan was born in Russia but has Armenian parents.

“Elina Avanesyan will compete under the Armenian flag, but there is nothing official yet. We are waiting for her to get the citizenship of the Republic of Armenia so that everything will be official,” Giloyan told Armenpress.

Such a development would be a massive coup for the Armenian tennis federation which currently doesn’t have a player ranked inside the top 500 on either the men’s or women’s Tour. The country has a population of less than 3M. Perhaps their best-known player is Sargis Sargsian who reached the top 40 back in 2004. Others on the Tour also have Armenian heritage but don’t represent the country such as Karen Khachanov.  

Avanesyan is currently ranked 78th in the world, which is 18 places below her career high. This season, she has scored high-profile wins over Maria Sakkari at the Australian Open, Ons Jabeur in Charleston and Qinwen Zhang at the French Open. 

She has yet to play in the final of a WTA tournament.

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Iga Looks To Be In A league All to Herself At Paris

Iga Swiatek claimed her fourth Roland Garros title in Paris.

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(@Eurosport - Twitter)

Just call her Iga. No other identification is needed.

As the years go by, Iga’s notoriety is sure to grow.

She’s probably already earned a spot in tennis’ Hall of Fame.

Yes, Iga Swiatek is a name to remember. A hero in her native Poland, a superstar in the world of sports.

IGA WAS JUST TOO GOOD

Iga just added to her stardom Saturday with an impressive 6-2, 6-1 victory over little-known Italian Jasmine Paolini to win her third straight French Open title. This was Paolini’s chance to make a name for herself, but she didn’t have the game to make it happen.

Iga was just too good. She made it look too easy.

Paolini could hit some great ground strokes, but when she looked up a bigger shot was on its way back. Iga doesn’t look like a power hitter, but she is.

WINNING 10 CONSECUTIVE GAMES

The 23-year-old Polish Wonder finished the first set winning five straight games, then started the second set winning five more games in succession. The 28-year-old Paolini didn’t seem to have a clue on how to upend Swiatek.

It took just 78 minutes for Iga to win her fifth Grand Slam title.

She’s a lot like her French Open hero, Rafa Nadal.

She takes every match seriously.

SWIATEK OWNS THE RED CLAY

No wonder Iga owns a 35-2 record at Roland Garos. Or that she has won 21 straight matches. Or that she owns a 5-0 record in Grand Slam finals.

She only dominated opponents, except for Naomi Osaka in the second round. Swiatek escaped a match point in that one and didn’t look back.

Iga’s game should be just as superb on the green grass of upcoming Wimbledon.

James Beck was the 2003 winner of the USTA National Media Award  for print media. A 1995 MBA graduate of The Citadel, he can be reached at Jamesbecktennis@gmail.com.

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