Caroline Wozniacki suffers another heartbreak with 1st round defeat - UBITENNIS
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Caroline Wozniacki suffers another heartbreak with 1st round defeat

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TENNIS FERNCH OPEN – To be Caroline Wozniacki right now must be a very difficult prospect. She was publicly dumped by her famous ex-fiancé, Irish professional golfer Rory McIlroy last week and she was just ousted in the 1st round of the French Open by Yanina Wickmayer. Cordell Hackshaw

Interviews, Results, OOP, Draws from the Roland Garros

To be Caroline Wozniacki right now must be a very difficult prospect. She was publicly dumped by her famous ex-fiancé, Irish professional golfer Rory McIlroy last week. His official statement on the matter was jarring and almost a proverbial slap in the face for the Danish tennis star. Adding insult to injury, McIlroy won the prestigious BMW PGA Championships making headlines this weekend whilst Wozniacki, the 13th seed, was just ousted in the 1st round of the French Open in spectacular fashion. Much would be made of the Dane’s defeat especially as she literally wore her heartache on her sleeve. Her outfit for the match was coincidentally the Irish colours; green, white and orange. However, like her recent relationship, she found no luck with the Irish. Yanina Wickmayer of Belgium knocked her out 7-5 4-6 6-2 in just over two hours.

Despite the fact that Wozniacki owns a 6-1 lifetime record against Wickmayer, this was bound to be a very difficult match. Wozniacki is also nursing a knee injury to go along with her bruised heart. Nonetheless, the Dane did start the match well. She knows the Wickmayer game and so steered towards the Belgian’s weak backhand. Wozniacki soon had triple break points. She converted on the 3rd one and jumped out to an early 2-0 lead. However, Wickmayer showed that she learned a few times from her “new coach” fellow Belgian, retired 4-time major winner Kim Clijsters who has had great success against Wozniacki. Wickmayer broke back and got to 2-2. Wozniacki broke her once more and matters mostly flip-flopped between the two players for most of the set. Wozniacki does not have any big weapons but she is a great defensive player as well as patient. Her opponent possesses a huge forehand but was prone to misfire on that shot as she became increasingly impatient and erratic. This allowed Wozniacki to serve for the set at 6-5. However, Wickmayer broke again to force the tiebreaker where she quickly raced to a 6-3 lead and closed it out on her serve 7-6(5).

Wickmayer became a different player in the 2nd set as she took more calculated risk and appeared to be more confident on her backhand which was under constant scrutiny. They remained on serve till the 10th game when Wozniacki increased the pressure on Wickmayer who was serving to stay in the set 4-5. Wozniacki converted her first set point 6-4 to take matters to a 3rd set. In the 3rd set, Wickmayer finally found the right balance of controlled aggression and wrest control of the match. Wozniacki was serving poorly as she barely won points on her serve; 8/22 for the set. Wickmayer quickly broke her to open the set and was soon ahead 4-2. She broke Wozniacki for the 3rd time in the set for 5-2 and served it out 7-6 4-6 6-2 for a place in the 2nd round.

After the match, Wozniacki stated that she will not answer any questions regarding her personal life in the press conference. She offered up this explanation for her performance instead “I just tried to prepare the best that I could, and really tried to focus on my match and on what I had to do out there … [I]t doesn’t make it easier that I haven’t been able to play really that many matches because I have been injured … I felt a little bit rusty out there, and, you know, it wasn’t really a pretty match.” Wickmayer faces Silvia Soler-Espinoza of Spain in the 2nd round. Wozniacki will now have an early start for preparation for Wimbledon.

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Stefanos Tsitsipas Saves Two Match Points To Extend Winning Streak In Barcelona

Stefanos Tsitsipas survived a scare to reach the Barcelona semi-finals.

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Stefanos Tsitsipas saved two match points to defeat Facundo Diaz Acosta 4-6 6-3 7-6(8) in Barcelona.

The former finalist saved two match points against the inspired Argentinian as Tsitsipas reached the semi-finals.

It means Tsitsipas is 9-0 in the clay court season and has the chance to set up a potential rematch with Casper Ruud in the final.

The duo met in last week’s Monte-Carlo final where Tsitsipas claimed his third title in Monaco.

Speaking after the match Tsitsipas admitted it was difficult to sustain his level, “I was coming close [to losing] at certain moments in the match. It seemed like a mountain,” Tsitsipas stated to the ATP website.

“I reminded myself that I have a headband that I wear here that has a mountain and that I need to climb it, so it kept me going. It was difficult. It was extremely difficult to sustain the same level throughout the entire match and I think he played incredible.

“I think he left everything out there. He is a good clay-court player. He has a title on the ATP Tour for a reason and today it was a level he was able to bring out on the court that made it quite obvious.

“I got a little bit tense on my serve, I won’t lie. I think I started decelerating a lot, but once I got a hold of that I was conscious of that, it went back to where it belonged and helped me a lot in the tie-breaker because if I didn’t figure it out, I don’t know. It was very mental in general. I really had to go to uncomfortable places mentally and go over the limit at some point.”

Tsitsipas is currently seven in the world in the live rankings as the Greek is looking to claim his first title in Barcelona.

Next up for the Greek will be either Dusan Lajovic or Arthur Fils while Tomas Martin Etcheverry takes on Casper Ruud in the other semi-final.

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Elena Rybakina Looking To Adapt To Clay, Reaches Stuttgart Semi-Finals

Elena Rybakina has admitted it takes time to adapt to clay as she prepares for the semi-finals in Stuttgart.

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Elena Rybakina is into the semi-finals in Stuttgart after a 6-3 5-7 6-3 win over Jasmine Paolini.

After surviving a three set match against Veronika Kudermetova in her first round, Rybakina continued to struggle on the clay against the Italian.

However the former Wimbledon champion produced some big tennis in vital moments in order to reach the last four in Germany.

Although she has had success in the past on the clay, Rybakina knows that it will take time for her to adapt on the surface.

Speaking after her win over Kudermetova Rybakina explained the reasons why it is difficult to have immediate success on clay, “Well, I always believed that I can play good on clay. My first win on the WTA was on clay,” Rybakina was quoted by tennis365 as saying.

“It’s just the season is quite short, and of course me, for example, I need a bit more time to get used, to adapt, to play some matches. But overall I think that I can play well on all the surfaces. Last year it was a great tournament in Rome, and then the French Open, I actually feel also well there.

“I like the courts. It’s just I was unlucky with sickness, so I think I’m doing pretty well for now. I like a faster surface, and I think in Madrid it’s quite fast. For now I was not successful there, but I think that’s a great tournament for me.

“Rome was nice. As I said, French Open, I like the courts. It’s just the question of good preparation and being healthy. And then it all depends on you and of course on the opponent.”

Last year Rybakina claimed the title in Rome and was one of the favourites for Roland Garros.

However the Kazakh had to withdraw in the third round due to illness which hampered her progress throughout the season.

Now Rybakina will look to make amends for that as she is into the semi-finals in Stuttgart where she will play either defending champion Iga Swiatek or Emma Raducanu.

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Rafael Nadal Takes Positives From Barcelona Exit Against Alex De Minaur

Rafael Nadal exited the tournament in Barcelona in the second round to Alex De Minaur.

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Rafael Nadal believes that he can be competitive for Roland Garros despite his 7-5 6-1 defeat to Alex De Minaur in Barcelona.

The 12-time champion suffered a straight sets defeat to the in-form Australian in the second round.

There was a valiant comeback from Nadal in the opening set as he recovered from a break down to get back onto level terms.

However De Minaur was too strong for Nadal as the world number eleven won nine of the last ten games to set up a third round meeting with Daniel Altmaier or Arthur Fils.

After the match Nadal congratulated De Minaur on the victory and analysed his own performance, “I mean Alex is a great player but honestly no, in terms of tennis today he’s in better shape than me so he is playing at a really high level since the beginning of the season, I think he made a really important step forward in his level of tennis,” Nadal told reporters in Barcelona.

“So just happy for him and congratulate him for the level he played today. And I think I was able to show myself most important to show the world and show myself when I was really trying and showed a high percentage of intensity, my level was there to compete.

“And I didn’t practice a lot so that encourages me to keep going and tells me that if I spend the day on the tour and keep practicing with the players on this surface, I really hope and really believe that I can keep being competitive and my body will allow me to push the way that I know.”

The defeat to De Minaur was Nadal’s third match all season having struggled with injury with the Spaniard hinting this could be his last time playing in Barcelona.

Despite the loss Nadal admits he feels happier and more comfortable than he did a couple of weeks ago, “I feel much more comfortable and much more happier today than one week and a half ago,” Nadal explained.

“I managed to play two matches, playing against great players and I mean when I was able to play I was not very far without a doubt. And I feel myself that if I’m able to keep practicing days on the tour and if my body allows me to spend hours on court and have the practices the way that I need.”

Now the next goal for Nadal is to try to reclaim his Roland Garros title, a tournament he has won on 14 different occasions.

As for Roland Garros Nadal just hopes he can be competitive for the second Grand Slam of the season as he intensifies his preparations over the next few weeks, “I hope to be competitive, that’s the truth and I hope and believe that I can be competitive in a few weeks,” Nadal stated.

“That’s the way I need to perceive today and my final goal is to give myself a chance to be realistically competing at Roland Garros. In my tennis career I was able to compete at the highest level at every single tournament, trying to win tournaments and I was not able to do it today.

“But I hope to be ready in a few weeks.”

Before Roland Garros, Nadal will hope to play in Madrid which starts on the 25th of April.

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