Sharapova survives a third 3-setter for a 3rd straight French Open Final - UBITENNIS
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Sharapova survives a third 3-setter for a 3rd straight French Open Final

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TENNIS FRENCH OPEN – No one ever discounts Maria Sharapova’s tenacity. In fact, one can say that she has taken her tenacity to the third power. For the third straight match, Sharapova came back from dropping the opening set. In doing so, she has moved into her third consecutive French Open final. This time around, her opponent was be the young Canadian starlet, Eugenie Bouchard and Sharapova won the match 4-6 7-5 6-2. Cordell Hackshaw

 

Interviews, Results, OOP, Draws from the Roland Garros

No one ever discounts Maria Sharapova’s tenacity but one can hardly overlook the fact that this year’s French Open is showing her to be taking that doggedness to another degree. In fact, one can say that she has taken her tenacity to the third power. For the third straight match, Sharapova (7) came back from dropping the opening set to win in three sets. In doing so, she has moved into her third consecutive French Open final. This time around, her opponent was be the young Canadian starlet, Eugenie Bouchard (18) and Sharapova won the match 4-6 7-5 6-2 in about two and a half hours. Sharapova spoke of her comebacks; “You put so much effort, you and your team, to get to this position. If some things are not working out…when you lose the first set or a few games or you’re down a break, that’s not the end of the match. That’s the type of philosophy that I play with.”

As in the two previous matches, Sharapova’s opponent broke her first. Bouchard broke Maria in the 3rd game and consolidated the break with a hold to go up 3-1. Sharapova had an easy hold to keep the gap close and then gave herself chances to break Bouchard’s serve. However, Bouchard showed herself ready for the challenge as she saved two break points to stay ahead 4-2. Sharapova would break Bouchard to level it at 4-4 and served for a 5-4 lead but her serving inconsistencies continued as she soon down triple break points. She was able to save one of them but a brilliant backhand crosscourt winner saw Bouchard now with the 5-4 lead, serving for set. It was whilst serving for this set that Bouchard exhibited signs that she is something special and a future contender for major titles. She stood toe to toe with Sharapova, saving break point to hold onto her serve and take the 1st set 6-4.

Sharapova is not one to go down without a fight and rarely does she lose to young upstarts. She was firing on all cylinders at the start of the 2nd set. Bouchard on the hand came out rather panicky as though she were the one trailing in the match. Sharapova quickly held serve and broke Bouchard who was leaking errors all over the place. She was even missing simple put aways. However, she would settle down to break Sharapova in the 3rd game and led 40-0 to get even at 2-2. Bouchard fell apart once again and became inconsistent on her shots. Sharapova continued her assault to get back into this match as lead 5-2 and force Bouchard to serve to stay in the set.

Bouchard held serve and then became super offensive against Sharapova who was serving for the set at 5-3. Bouchard would deny Sharapova set points in this 9th game and broke the Russian. Bouchard held serve to get to 5-5. Sharapova calm as ever, took the 11th game with relative ease and forced Bouchard once again to serve to stay in the set. It was at this moment that Sharapova really showed her true grit. Whilst serving yet again to stay in the set, Bouchard found herself down 15-40 and though one of the set points was saved, Sharapova would not let another go by as she took the set 7-5.

As in her two previous matches, Sharapova dropped the 1st set, gave her opponents legitimate chances to take her out in straights and when they failed to do so, she took the 2nd set for herself, and became almost unplayable in the 3rd set. Sharapova virtually ran away with it against Bouchard as she led 5-2 and for good measure broke Bouchard again to take the match 4-6 7-5 6-2. Bouchard would not even see a break point on the Sharapova serve in the 3rd set. “I don’t feel that I played my best tennis today, but to be in the semifinals of a Grand Slam and winning a match where I felt my opponent played extremely well, exceptional tennis and I didn’t feel that I was playing my best, I fought, I scrambled, and I found a way to win. I’m happy and proud about that,” Sharapova said after the match.

Bouchard had this to say about her performance in the match: “[I]t was a tough battle, which is what I expected…[T]he whole match I didn’t play as well as I have played earlier in the tournament…I think I might have maybe backed off a little bit on my shots in the second and third…I just maybe wasn’t finishing well in the second and third as much.” Bouchard had looks, chances and great opportunities to take this match but failed to execute at these key moments. The Canadian committed 48 errors for the match, 35 of which were in the last two sets. Her service game was not reliable as she barely got cheap points off it. She was only winning 59% on the first serve and 41% on the second. Sharapova on the other hand despite being very inconsistent and double faulting at inopportune times, was winning 75% of her first serve points and 41% on her second. Sharapova will face Simona Halep (4) in the final on Saturday, a player she recently beat in another 3-set comeback last month in Madrid. The Russian is looking for her 2nd French title in three years as well as her 5th major title overall. With her efforts here in Paris over the past two weeks, very few doubt that she would achieve this career milestone, even if she is a set and two breaks down.

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Caroline Wozniacki To Face Serena Williams In Farewell Match

Details have been released about a special event that will take place in honour of the former world No.1.

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After announcing her retirement from tennis at the start of next year, Caroline Wozniacki has confirmed that she will play one final match in her home country before hanging up her racket for good.

 

Danish media have reported that the 2018 Australian Open champion will play at the Royal Arena in Copenhagen next May. A multi-purpose arena that can hold a capacity of up to 12,500 people for sporting events. Described by the promoters as Wozniacki’s ‘final match’ on Danish soil, she will play against rival and friend Serena Williams.

“The time has come when I stop my career and I am very much looking forward to playing my very last home game in front of such a large audience. It will be something very special and a day I really look forward to.” Wozniacki told tv2.dk.
“The end point of my career cannot be better than at home and against tennis’ greatest female player ever. It’s going to be a magnificent night I’ll never forget, I’m sure.” She added.

Wozniacki has played Williams 11 times on the WTA Tour, but has only won one of their meetings. Which was at the 2012 Miami Open. It is not the first time the two have played an exhibition match against each other. In 2016 Williams won their encounter in Madison Square Garden, New York. Meanwhile, last year Wozniacki also played Williams’ sister Venus in Denmark to mark her triumph at the Australian Open.

The 29-year-old will be hoping that the upcoming showdown will be the perfect send off as she exits the sport. During her career, Wozniacki has won 30 WTA titles and spent 71 weeks as world No.1. She has also won 432 hard court matches, which is more than any other non-American player on the women’s tour.

“I want to thank everyone for the incredible support they have shown me throughout my career and I hope that as many people as possible want to come and give me perfect send off. I would be very grateful for that.” She said.

The farewell match will take place on May 18th, which is exactly a week before the start of the French Open for Williams.

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Indian Wells voted as the best WTA Premier Mandatory Tournament of the 2019 season

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The tournament awards are broken down into four categories, according to the four different levels of WTA Tournaments.

 

The BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells has been voted as the winner of the Tournament of the Year Award in the WTA Premier Mandatory category for the sixth consecutive year and the 11th time overall.

Dubai was voted as the winner in the WTA Premier 5 Category. There were two ties in the WTA Premier category and in the WTA International categories.

St. Petersburg won the WTA Premier Award fo the second consecutive year, while Stuttgart received this award for the 10th time.

Auckland won the WTA International category Award for the fourth time, while Acapulco received this accolade for the 12th time.

Petra Kvitova received the Karen Krantzcke Sportmanship Award for the seventh straight year and the eighth time overall. The list of past winners of this Award features Kim Clijsters, Elena Dementieva, Ana Ivanovic, Lindsay Davenport, Chris Evert and Evonne Goolagong-Cawley. The Karen Krantzcke Sportmaship Award is presented to the player, who observes the rules of fair play, shows respect for others and is gracious on and off the court.

“Receiving this award for the eighth consecutive year makes me very proud and means so much for me. Being recognized by my colleagues for sportsmanship and fair play is an honour as I always pride myself on treating my opponents with respect. I hope to inspire the future generations to love the sport of tennis as much as I do”, said Kvitova.

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Carla Suarez Navarro Set For One Last Season As A Player

The former top 10 player has outlined her retirement plans for 2020 as she embarks upon a farewell tour.

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Next year will be the final time tennis fans will see Carla Suarez Navarro on the tour after the Spaniard announced her retirement on Tuesday.

 

The former world No.6 confirmed her future plans during a press conference in Barcelona. She will play one full season in 2020 before walking away from the sport after playing for more than 10 years on the WTA Tour. Suarez Navarro is currently the second highest ranked female tennis player from Spain after Garbine Muguruza and is currently 55th in the world.

“The 2020 season will be my last year in the professional tennis circuit,” wtatennis.com quoted the 31-year-old as saying. “The sport has been a fundamental part of my life – it has given me immense joy and I cannot be more grateful for all the experiences that it has allowed me to live. At this time, I notice that the time has come to complete a beautiful chapter and begin to enjoy other areas of life. Tennis will always be in me.”

Known for her one-handed backhand shot, which is a rare occurrence in the women’s game, Suarez Navarro has enjoyed a successful career since her breakthrough in 2008. The year when she reached the quarter-finals of the French Open as a qualifier. During her career, she claimed two WTA titles with the biggest being at the 2016 Qatar Open. She also finished runner-up at nine other tournaments.

“Tennis right now has a very high demand. To be high in the ranking you need absolute consistency, a world-class level of physical conditioning and a 24-hour daily psychological commitment. I have been in high competition for more than 15 years and have lived through these realities since the beginning of my adolescence. These are lessons that have formed me as a person and that will serve me for a lifetime,” Suárez Navarro explained.
“I want to enjoy one last season with the same professionalism as always. I am going to do a quality preparation, my whole team is going to travel with me from the month of January and I plan to compete until the end of the season. My desire is clear: to be proud of this last effort when I reach the end of the road.”

Suarez Navarro has also enjoyed success in the doubles where she peaked at a high of 11th back in 2015. Her trio of trophies was won alongside Muguruza between 2014-2015. The duo also reached the semi-finals of the 2014 French Open.

Representing her country, the three-time Olympian has also featured in 15 Fed Cup ties. Including Spain’s clash with Belgium earlier this year when she won all three of her matches (two singles and one doubles). Overall, she has a win-loss record of 16-11 in the competition.

Despite knowing that next year will be her last as a player, the Spaniard has big ambitions for 2020. Including a fourth consecutive appearance at the Olympic Games.

“My goals are going to be as high as ever,” she stated. “I want to try to finish the year in the Top 10 because I know what it takes to be there. I am very excited to participate in another Olympic Games and, as always, I will have the Grand Slams in mind. Although it is the last season of my career, my mentality will be exactly the same: work, humility and ambition.”

Suarez Navarro will start her final season at the ASB Classic in Auckland.

Four facts about Suarez Navarro’s career

  1. Her career prize money currently stands at $11,580,886. The third highest of all time for a Spanish woman.
  2. Has won 509 matches so far in her career against 336 loses.
  3. Between 2013-2016 Suarez Navarro finished each season in the top 20 for both singles and doubles.
  4. She has played in 43 grand slam tournaments and hasn’t missed the main draw of a major event since losing in the second round of qualifying at the 2011 Wimbledon Championships.

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