Internazionali d'Italia 2014: Serena reaffirms her clay court dominance in Rome - UBITENNIS
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Internazionali d'Italia 2014: Serena reaffirms her clay court dominance in Rome

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TENNIS – Sara Errani had no illusion that she could beat Serena Williams in the final of the Internazionali d’Italia 2014 since she had never beaten her in any of their 6 previous meetings. Nonetheless, at the end of the match when the American won 6-3 6-0, the Italian was in still in tears apologizing profusely to her home crowd for her poor showing. Cordell Hackshaw

Interviews, results, order of play, draws of the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome 

Sara Errani (10) had no illusion that she could beat Serena Williams (1) in the final of the Internazionali d’Italia 2014 since she had never beaten her in any of their 6 previous meetings. Nonetheless, at the end of the match when the American won 6-3 6-0, the Italian was in still in tears apologizing profusely to her home crowd for her poor showing. Despite all this, it goes without saying that whatever doubts there were about Williams defending her French Open title, they were all quieted with her empathic performance here this week. Williams picked up her 60th career titles, third here in Roma (2002, 2013-2014) and has the most clay-court titles of active female players on tour.

Williams raced out to a quick 3-0 lead in the first set. There was not much for the Italian crowd to cheer about but Errani soon gave them cause to shout for her. Williams began making careless errors and failed to convert on break point for a 4-0 lead. Williams would commit 16 errors in the 1st set alone. Errani put her trademark defensive skills and converted on her 3rd break point to get back on serve 3-4. Like most great champions, they come up with their best stuff when faced with adversity. Williams quickly broke back at love and was to serve for the set 5-3. At this point, it appeared as though Errani pulled a muscle in her thigh and called out the trainer. A 5-minute break of play for Errani to be treated did little stop Williams from closing out the set 6-3.

In the 2nd set, Errani capitulated as it was clear that she could not run after shots with injury. Williams on the other hand was a study of concentration and textbook tennis. She dropped only two points on serve with 15 winners and converted on all three of the break points she earned. It was a matter of formality as Williams closed out the match 6-3 6-0. Williams is now 53-2 on clay since 2012. Errani should not be discouraged by this performance as she has had a fabulous week beating two top 10 players on her way to the final and getting to the doubles finals with partner Roberta Vinci. It is strange that we are seeing huge hitters like Williams and Maria Sharapova being so dominant on clay but right now, they are the best players on the surface for the past 3 years. It is going to be an interesting French Open and tennis fans eagerly await the start on May 25.

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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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