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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Simona Halep Provides Injury Update On Knee Ahead Of US Open

The return of Simona Halep looks a long way away from happening as a knee injury continues to bother the Romanian.

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Simona Halep has provided an update on her knee injury as she faces a race against time to be fit for the US Open.

The former Roland Garros and Wimbledon champion’s comeback has not gone according to plan so far as she returned from a doping ban in Miami earlier this year.

However playing time has been limited for the Romanian as her second tournament of the year ended in a first round retirement at a Challenger event in Paris.

As a result of her retirement Halep was forced to miss Roland Garros and Wimbledon as she looked to recover from a knee injury.

The injury is more serious than meets the eye though as Halep provided an update on her knee injury and revealed it’s an injury that has been occurring for the last few months, “I wanted to provide a little health update since I have been away from the court lately. It is not the best news, but I wanted to share all the same,” Halep revealed on Instagram.

“For a few months now, I have been struggling with a knee injury. It’s an injury I have never had before and it has been a tough one to manage, with the pain persisting. It has been a very difficult period (almost two years) mentally and emotionally for me and struggling physically on top of that definitely doesn’t help.

“I have decided to take the time needed to recover properly, rather than training and playing through pain. My instinct has always been to try to come back as soon as possible, but I am not a machine, I am a human being and I need time to recover from everything I have gone through.

“I’ll keep you posted and, as always, want to thank you for your permanent support. I hope to be back on court very soon.”

Halep now faces a race against time to be fit for the US Open which starts on the 26th of August.

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Alexander Zverev Commits To Olympics, Speaks About Miscommunication Between Olympics And ATP

Alexander Zverev is preparing for his Olympic title defence.

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Alexander Zverev has spoken out on the miscommunication between the Olympics and the ATP tour with tennis’ top stars set to miss some big events on the tour.

The German is getting ready to defend his Olympic title that he won in Tokyo as Zverev heads to Paris.

After narrowly missing out on Roland Garros glory, Zverev now has an opportunity at redemption as he aims for a second consecutive gold medal at the Olympics.

However there is a dilemma for big players this year as the same week as the tennis event at the Olympics at the ATP 500 event in Washington.

This is an event that Zverev usually plays but will have to miss it due to playing in Paris.

Speaking out on the miscommunication, Zverev said it’s no secret that the ATP are not best friends on the Olympics but has committed to the historic event, “The ITF or the Olympics are not best friends with the ATP, that’s not a secret,” Zverev was quoted by Tennis Infinity as saying.

Everybody continues their own tour. Yes, the Olympics is one of the, if not the, most important events we have in sports. So, the best players in the world are always going to play the Olympics over anything else, over points and over prize money.

All the top players went to Wimbledon a few years back, despite having no points on the line. It’s about prestige, it’s not about points or money. It’s about winning these kinds of titles and having medals for your country.

That’s what it’s about. I would never choose to play a 500 event over the Olympics. There are no thoughts on that, and I think Washington is going to be quite an interesting 500 event, I would say.

The ATP 500 event in Washington will be headlined by Grigor Dimitrov, Ben Shelton, Karen Khachanov and Frances Tiafoe as they are among those that have chosen ranking points over the Olympic experience.

As for Zverev he is continuing his Olympic preparations in Hamburg where he will face Pedro Martinez in the semi-finals.

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Rafael Nadal Reveals Delight At Setting Up Ajdukovic Semi-Final After Four Hour Victory

Rafael Nadal has revealed his delight at reaching the Bastad semi-finals after a four hour victory over Mariano Navone.

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(ubitennis/Francesca Micheli)

Rafael Nadal has revealed his delight at reaching the semi-finals in Bastad after a four hour victory over Mariano Navone.

The 22-time Grand Slam champion prevailed in a marathon 6-7(2) 7-5 7-5 victory to reach his first semi-final since Wimbledon 2022.

The Spaniard converted ten of his 21 break point opportunities as he reached the semi-finals.

After the match Nadal revealed his delight at reaching the last four and prevailed Navone for his resilient display, “I lost for some moments my concentration, but I was able to hold physically until the end,” Nadal told the ATP website.

“That is so important for me. Let’s see how I am tomorrow, but today I am alive and in the semi-finals, so that’s very important. There were a lot of changing dynamics in every single set. For moments, he was in control. For moments, I was in control. But at the end, no one was in control! That’s true, and I had a good chance in the second with 3-0. Then I was very close to losing the match in the second set.

“In the third [I was ahead] again with 5-2, but he’s a great fighter and he played a great match. I wish him all the very best for the rest of the season.”

Nadal will now play Duje Ajdukovic in the semi-finals as he aims to continue his eight match winning streak in Bastad with this being his first appearance at the tournament since winning the title in 2005.

The other semi-final will be Nuno Borges against Thiago Agustin Tirante with both players reaching their maiden ATP tour semi-final.

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