ROLAND GARROS: Cibulkova silenced the French in the 1st round - UBITENNIS
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ROLAND GARROS: Cibulkova silenced the French in the 1st round

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TENNIS ROLAND GARROS – Dominika Cibulkova comes into the 2014 French Open having not won a single match during this year’s European clay court season. Her opponent in round 1 was France’s Virginie Razzano who is infamously known as the only player to knock Serena Williams out of the 1st round of a major. The French crowd was perhaps hoping for another such upset. That was not to be. Cordell Hackshaw

Interviews, Results, OOP, Draws from the Roland Garros

Dominika Cibulkova comes into the 2014 French Open having not won a single match during this year’s European clay court season. She was sent packing at both the Madrid and Roma events in the first round. This lack of clay court confidence was very apparent during the start of her match against France’s Virginie Razzano who is infamously known as the only player to knock Serena Williams out of the 1st round of a major. She did so in spectacular fashion in Paris in 2012. The French crowd was perhaps hoping for another such upset. That was not to be for despite the slow start, the 9th seeded Slovakian dispatched the unseeded Frenchwoman 7-5 6-0.

Razzano was making a good account for herself in the early part of the 1st set. She held serve and was making life difficult for Cibulkova on her serve. Her efforts soon paid off in the 7th game as she broke Cibulkova and served to go up 5-3. However, the Frenchwoman could not consolidate the break and matters were even at 4-4. Razzano was not to be denied the opportunity to serve for the set as she broke again for 5-4. Perhaps sensing danger and the potential for an upset, Cibulkova finally got her head into the game. She reeled off the next three games, breaking Razzano twice in the process to take the 1st set 7-5.

That inability to close out the 1st set may have affected the Frenchwoman because she would not win another game in the match. In the 2nd set, it was all Cibulkova. She was winning 75% of the points on both her first and second serves. She never faced a break point and had 7 winners to 6 errors. Razzano on the other hand won 44% of the points on her 1st serve and a dismal 11% on her 2nd serve. She only produced 2 winners to a whopping 15 errors. The crowd could only mildly applaud as they watch the diminutive Slovakian break down the weaker game of Razzano. In her press conference, Cibulkova described the match; “I knew she’s playing a lot of down lines, she’s serving a lot, she’s serving well… [A]t 54 on her serve …I changed a little bit something on my return. I went a little bit forward. I didn’t give her any time. So there was a change that really pumped me up, you know, and then I won a few games and I started to get more confidence.” Confidence indeed as she won nine straight games. Cibulkova will play Tamira Paszek in the 2nd round. A possible 3rd round encounter with 2010 French Open finalist Sam Stosur looms in the future for her. Stosur beat Cibulkova 6-4 6-0 recently in Madrid.

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Belinda Bencic battles past Marketa Vondrousova to win gold in Tokyo

Belinda Bencic won the gold medal beating Marketa Vondrousova in three sets.

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Belinda Bencic (@WeAreTennis - Twitter)

The Swiss world number 12 won her first-ever gold medal beating the Czech in a tough three-set match.

 

Belinda Bencic is your Tokyo 2020 Olympic gold medalist after beating world number 42 and Czech Marketa Vondrousova in three tight sets 7-5, 2-6, 6-3 in the tournament’s longest match at two hours and 30 minutes hitting 29 winners in the victory.

It was indeed the Swiss who got off to the faster start and after holding serve in the opening service game went right to work looking for the first break of the match setting up the first breakpoint with a stunning backhand winner.

She earned the first break of the match but the lead didn’t last long as the Sokolov, Czech Republic native broke the world number 12 to love to go back on serve.

At 2-2, it was the Czech setting up two more chances to take the lead this time with her powerful forehand and at the second time of asking she took her first lead of the match but just like earlier in the set relinquished it the very next game.

Vondrousova’s next opportunity to try and get a break and hold a lead was at 3-3 but the Flawil, Switzerland native saved both and stayed on serve until 6-5 when Bencic had a set point took it to win the first set.

The Czech wasn’t going to back down and this time she would break in the first game of the second set and managed to turn it into a double break and served out the second set to send it to a deciding third set.

Again, the world number 42 earned a break of serve in the first game of the third set, but the following game took the Swiss three chances, but she broke back on serve at 1-1 with another forehand passing shot winner.

At 2-1, the world number 12 earned three chances to break and took her first lead of the set when Vondrousova served an untimely double fault but responded by breaking her back the very next game to go back on serve.

Bencic took a medical timeout at 4-3 to have the trainer tape up her big toe and the treatment seemed to do wonders for her as she broke the Czech to love the very next game.

With the Swiss serving for the win and the gold medal, she faced some heavy pressure facing two breakpoints but saved both and on her second match point she served out the match and the win.

Earlier Elina Svitolina won the bronze medal beating Elena Rybakina in three sets.

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Novak Djokovic Faces No Regrets Over Olympic Participation After Missing Out On Medal

Novak Djokovic has no regrets about being in Tokyo despite walking away with no Olympic medal for the third consecutive games.

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Novak Djokovic (@BleacherReport - Twitter)

Novak Djokovic has revealed he doesn’t regret competing in Tokyo despite missing out on an Olympic medal.

 

The world number one lost his bronze medal match to Pablo Carreno Busta 6-4 6-7(6) 6-3 in 2 hours and 48 minutes.

A frustrating last 24 hours was capped off with a hard-fought defeat that saw him withdraw from his mixed doubles semi-final due to a left shoulder injury.

As a result Ash Barty and John Peers claimed the bronze medal which sees Djokovic without an Olympic medal for a third consecutive Olympics.

However after the loss to Carreno Busta Djokovic said he has no regrets about competing in Tokyo, “I don’t regret coming to Olympics at all,” Djokovic said to Sasa Ozmo.

“I believe that there are no coincidences in life, everything happens for a reason. I had some heartbreaking losses at Olympics and big tournaments, and I know that those losses have usually made me stronger.

“I do have a regret for not winning a medal for my country, both in singles and mixed. I just didn’t deliver yesterday and today. Level of tennis dropped, also due to exhaustion mentally and physically.

“I know that I will bounce, I will try to keep going for Olympics in Paris, to try to win a medal for my country. I am sorry I disappointed a lit of fans in Serbia, but that’s sport, I gave it all, whatever I had left in the tank, which was not so much.”

After failing to win a medal in Tokyo, Djokovic now has gone three consecutive Olympic games without a medal.

Despite this latest setback Djokovic is still on course to achieve the grand slam ahead of the US Open.

But in his post-match interview the Serb admitted that before he can think about that he has to take care of a few injuries, “I hope that the physical consequences won’t create a problem for me for the US Open,” Djokovic admitted.

“That is something I am not sure about right now, but there are no regrets, you have to give your all for your country. I have withdrawn (from mixed) because of injuries, not only one. I hope that won’t stop me for playing the US Open.”

Djokovic’s next scheduled tournament is in Cincinnati on the 16th of August although it’s possible that the world number one won’t play until the US Open on the 30th of August.

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Rafael Nadal Returns In Washington Ahead Of Historic US Open Bid

Rafael Nadal returns to action next week when he competes at the Citi Open in Washington.

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Rafael Nadal makes his return to the tour in Washington this week ahead of a history-making two weeks in New York.

 

The top seed will enter the Citi Open next week playing his first tournament since losing in the Roland Garros semi-finals to Novak Djokovic.

Nadal leads the field as he prepares for a crucial few weeks coming up with history awaiting at the US Open.

Heading into the tournament at Flushing Meadows, Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer are all level at 20 grand slams.

With Federer still recovering from his knee injury and Djokovic looking exhausted from his Olympic bid, Nadal will look to capitalise on a golden opportunity to get in-front in the race to being the greatest of all time.

In Washington, Nadal will begin his campaign against either Jack Sock or Yoshihito Nishioka.

A potential third round meeting with Lloyd Harris could await while Nadal could face 7th seed and in-form Cameron Norrie in the last eight.

Norrie is coming off of a title in Los Cabos having won the third most matches this season behind Stefanos Tsitsipas and Andrey Rublev.

Also in the Spaniard’s half is Grigor Dimitrov, Nick Kyrgios, Benoit Paire, Taylor Fritz and Dan Evans.

In the bottom half of the draw Felix Auger-Aliassime will face Andreas Seppi or a qualifier in the opening round.

The Canadian is also projected to meet Frances Tiafoe and Reilly Opelka en route to the semi-finals.

The likes of Jannik Sinner, Sebastian Korda and Alex De Minaur are also in Auger-Aliassime’s half of the draw

Play starts on Monday with Nadal’s opening match set to take place on Wednesday night local time.

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