2014 French Open: The draw sets up a possible quarter final clash between Serena and Masha - UBITENNIS
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2014 French Open: The draw sets up a possible quarter final clash between Serena and Masha

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TENNIS 2014 FRENCH OPEN – The Draw for the Women’s singles tournament has put two of the favourites in the same quarter, Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova. Other possible quarter finals are: Radwanska vs Kerber, Kvitova vs Halep and Jankovic vs Li Na. Paul Sassoon

 

Interviews, Results, OOP, Draws from the 2014 Roland Garros

Rafael Nadal was the man who made the draw and his hand put Maria Sharapova in a collision course with Serena Williams, but not in the semifinals or in the finals, but as early as the quarter finals. Also Radwanska and Kerber are in the top half of the draw. In the bottom half Li Na is the top seed and could face Jankovic in the quarter finals. Petra Kvitova and Simona Halep are the other two seeds that could reach the quarter finals in the bottom half of the draw

Women’s singles draw

First quarter of the draw: S. Williams – Maria Sharapova

Serena and Maria will probably meet in the quarter finals for a clash that is worthy of the final itself. Unfortunately for the organisers Nadal’s draw set them in the same quarter thus taking away the opportunity of seeing the two dominant forces on clay court to meet in the final. Defending champion and world number 1 will make her debut against French Wild Card Alizé Lim. Next on her path she could find two young talents like Muguruza and Bencic in the third round. But there is a chance of seeing a clash with her sister Venus for the first time in a while should the elder Williams sister beat Bencic. On paper Lisicki could be waiting for Serena in the last 16.The German’s biggest threat to get to the second week is Italy’s Roberta Vinci. The path tot he quarter final seems easier (on paper) for the Russian. She will debut against a qualifier, Kanepi will probably be her opponent in the third round and either Cibulkova or Stosur in the last 16.

 

Second quarter of the draw: Radwanska – Kerber

World number 3 Agnieszka Radwanska has a difficult start to the tournament against Zhang who reached the quarter finals in Rome last week. If she can get past this difficult first round she shouldn’t have much trouble to reach the last 16 when she could play against either Alize Cornet or Carla Suarez Navarro. Also the German has a difficult path to the quarter final and could easily be one of the seeds that does not make it to the last 8. After a debut against Piter she could face Pennetta in the last 16 of Eugenie Bouchard, both tough opposition for Angelique Kerber.

 

Third quarter of the draw: Kvitova – Halep

As for the previous quarter discussed, this one sees Kvitova and Halep favoured by their ranking, but they could both fall before the last 8 easily, especially for the Czech. In the last 16 Kvitova could play Ivanovic and the Serb has shown that she is in form reaching the final in Rome last week end. But before a clash with the former French Open Champion, Kvitova will have to get past Kuznetsova and young Italian Camila Giorgi. Ivanovic has Caroline Garcia as the biggest threat to her arriving to the last 16 and it’s also the most interesting first round match on paper. Halep skipped the Rome event so there is some doubt over her form. In the first round she will be immediately tested against Kleybanova, but then the only other threat could come from Sloan Stephens even if the American has not lived up to expectations this year.

 

Fourth quarter of the draw: Jankovic – Li Na

Jelena Jankovic has a simple draw until the last 16 on paper. The Serb’s only threat could come from Sorana Cirstea, but in the last 16 she could meet Sara Errani. The Italian will have to beat Keys on her debut and then Flipkens, but the Belgian does not play her best on clay. The second seed has a difficult draw to get to the clash with either Jankovic or Errani. She will debut against Mladenovic and then in the third round she could face Andrea Petkovic followed by Wozniacki in the last 16. Li Na can beat all of her opponents on paper, but they could test her and cause the Chinese former champion to waste valuable energy along the way.

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Tereza Martincova and Belinda Bencic reach the quarter final in Ostrava

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Czech wildcard Tereza Martincova upset Roland Garros Anastasya Pavlyuchenkova 7-6 (7-5) 7-6 (8-6) after 2 hours and 19 minutes to advance to the quarter finals at the J&T Banka Ostrava Open. 

 

Martincova claimed her third top 20 win of her career and reached her second quarter final on home soil this season after finishing fourth in Prague. 

Pavlyuchenkova earned the first break to take a 4-3 lead and served for the first set in the 10th game, but she never reached a set point. The Russian player came just two points away from winning the first set at 5-4 30-15, but Martincova won four consecutive points before winning the tie-break 7-5. 

Martincova dropped just eight points in the first six games of the second set. The Czech player fended off two break points to consolidate her lead for 2-0. She raced out to a 7-6 (7-5) 5-1 lead, but Pavlyuchenkova saved two match points to hold serve forcing Martincova to serve for the match. Martincova dropped four consecutive points. Pavlyuchenkova got another break, when Martincova was serving for the match for the third time at 6-5. Martincova went up a 4-1 lead in the tie-break, but Pavlyuchenkova drew level to 4-4 before saving a third match point. Martincova won the final two points to claim the tie-break 8-6. 

Martincova set up a quarter final match against Maria Sakkari, who beat last week’s Luxembourg finalist Jelena Ostapenko. 

This year’s Olympic champion Belinda Bencic cruised to a 6-2 6-3 win over Sara Sorribes Tormo in just 88 minutes. Bencic claimed her 15th win in her last 18 matches. Bencic broke six times and reeled off eight consecutive games from 2-2 in the first set to cruise through to a a straight-set win. Sorribes Tormo saved a break point to win her first game for 1-4 and pulled one break back in the sixth game, but Bencic sealed the win with her third break in the ninth game. “I think I prepared well for this match tactically, and also mentally, because it’s very tough. You have to win the point many times against her, especially on this surface, where it’s very slow. I am happy that I stayed disciplined for the whole match”, said Bencic. 

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Naomi Osaka Withdraws From Indian Wells, Unclear If She Will Play Again This Year

There is no official word but it looking increasingly likly that the world No.8 might have pulled the plug on her 2021 season.

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Japan’s Naomi Osaka has officially withdrawn from the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells just weeks after saying she will take a break from the sport due to personal reasons.

 

The former world No.1 hadn’t played a match since her loss to Leylah Fernandez in the third round of the US Open. Speaking to reporters in New York, Osaka said she didn’t know when she would play another match on the Tour. Earlier this year she opened up about her mental health struggles after revealing she has been suffering from social anxiety and depression. Osaka also took time away from the sport during the summer after pulling out of the French Open before deciding to skip Wimbledon.

“This is very hard to articulate. Basically I feel like I’m kind of at this point where I’m trying to figure out what I want to do, and I honestly don’t know when I’m going to play my next tennis match. Sorry,” she said following her loss to Fernandez.
“I think I’m going to take a break from playing for a while. How do I go around saying this? I feel like for me recently when I win I don’t feel happy. I feel more like a relief. And then when I lose, I feel very sad. I don’t think that’s normal. I didn’t really want to cry.”

Osaka’s withdrawal from Indian Wells was confirmed by the tournament who published an announcement on social media. Although they didn’t specify what reason she used to withdraw from the tournament which is one of the biggest events outside of the Grand Slams in terms of ranking points and prize money on offer.

It was Indian Wells where Osaka won her first prestigious title back in 2018 after defeating Daria Kasatkina in straight sets. The following year she was the top seed in the draw but lost to Belinda Bencic in the fourth round.

There has been no official comment from Osaka or her team about Indian Wells and if she will play again this season. Although it looks increasingly unlikely. She is in with a chance of qualifying for the WTA Finals in November but even if she does make the cut it is unclear if she will attend the event which has been relocated from China to Mexico.

This year Indian Wells will get underway on October 4th which is more than six months later than usual due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Simona Halep Ends Six-Year Collaboration With Coach Cahill

One of the longest coaching partnerships on the WTA Tour has come to an end.

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Former world No.1 Simona Halep is on the lookout for a new coach after unexpectedly announcing her split from Darren Cahill on Wednesday.

 

The two-time Grand Slam champion has been working with the Australian mentor for most of the time since 2015. There was a brief period where Cahill stepped away from his duties to spend more time with his family before later returning. Under his guidance, the Romanian reached the top of the world rankings and featured in the final of three major tournaments, winning two of those.

“After six wonderful years working together, Darren Cahill and I have decided that it’s time to end our working relationship,” Halep wrote on social media. “Thank you D for everything, for making me a better tennis player and a better person.”

55-year-old Cahill is a former player himself who has also worked with a series of top players prior to Halep. In the past, he has coached both Lleyton Hewitt and Andre Agassi to world No.1 at different stages of their careers. Doubles specialist Horia Tecău reportedly told Romanian TV that it was rumoured Cahill received an annual salary in the region of one million euros during his time with Halep. Although this has not been verified.

The announcement comes a week after Halep married Macedonian businessman Toni Iuruc. One of those who attended the event was Illie Nastase who was one of the world’s best tennis players during the 1970s, winning both the French Open and US Open.

I didn’t know anything about Simona’s intention to break up with Darren Cahill. It took me a little by surprise. But Simona Halep has proven she knows what she’s doing. As I did not know, I do not see what I could comment. But there is no question of collaborating (with her),” Nastase told playsport.ro.
I didn’t talk to her about this or to anyone else in her entourage… I think only Simona knows who her future coach will be. I trust her choices.”

So far in 2021 Halep has achieved a win-loss record of 15-7 during what has been a rollercoaster season. An Achilles injury forced her to miss both the French Open and Wimbledon, as well as the Tokyo Olympics. Since returning to the Tour from her injury she has won back-to-back matches in one out of three tournaments played. Reaching the fourth round of the US Open.

There has been no official word on who may replace Cahill as Halep’s coach.

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