Sloane Stephens and Sam Stosur both upset in Wimbledon 1st Round - UBITENNIS
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Sloane Stephens and Sam Stosur both upset in Wimbledon 1st Round



TENNIS WIMBLEDON 2014 – Both Sam Stosur and Sloane Stephens probably came into 2014 Wimbledon Championships feeling very confident about their game. They both got to the 4th round of the French Open a few weeks ago and the grass courts of Wimbledon do favour their style of play. However, Stosur was ousted by Belgian’s Yanina Wickmayer 3-6 4-6 and Stephens by Russian Maria Kirilenko 2-6 6-7. Cordell Hackshaw

Results, Order of Play, Draws and Interviews from The Championships

Both Sam Stosur (17) and Sloane Stephens (18) probably came into 2014 Wimbledon Championships feeling very confident about their game. They both got to the 4th round of the French Open a few weeks ago and the grass courts of Wimbledon do favour their style of play. However, watching their matches today, one would have figured that Stosur and Stephens were playing their first match on grass as they both looked so unsure of themselves. They were outplayed and outwitted by their opponents and in the end sent packing in straight sets to provide the tournament with its first upsets on Day 1. Stosur was ousted by Belgian’s Yanina Wickmayer 3-6 4-6 and Stephens by Russian Maria Kirilenko 2-6 6-7.

Wickmayer started the match by breaking her Australian opponent and held serve for 2-0. Stosur then picked up her play. She was serving up aces whenever in trouble, 13 for the entire match, and going for her big forehand. However, whenever pushed to the backhand side, she found herself in danger as Wickmayer kept pressuring it relentlessly. Wickmayer was able to stay ahead for 5-3 by escaping a tricky 8th game. Continuing her aggressive style of play, Wickmayer secured two more break points on the Stosur serve for set points in the 9th game. Stosur’s backhand was again under pressure and Wickmayer with her a more formidable backhand was able to break to take the set 6-3 in half an hour.

Wickmayer raced to a 5-2 lead after she broke Stosur in the 6th game. Stosur favoured running around the backhand for a huge forehand return whenever she had the chance on the Wickmayer serve. However, this left the court wide open on the forehand side and Wickmayer made her pay for this as she hit all short balls into the open court. Stosur now serving to stay in the match, held serve at love and forced Wickmayer to serve for the match. Wickmayer found herself down triple break points. She saved one with an ace but a scorching forehand return from Stosur got things back on serve 4-5. Stosur, again serving to stay in the match, could not hold on to the momentum as she opened with a double fault. She was now facing two match points and though she saved one, she could not save the other. Wickmayer with an amazing forehand crosscourt winner, knocked out the 17th seed Stosur 6-3 6-4 in 69 minutes.

In 2012, Kirilenko made it to the quarterfinals of Wimbledon, one of her best efforts in a major. She quickly followed that up with a 4th place in the singles and bronze medal in doubles at the London Olympics, which was held at Wimbledon. However, since then, the former top-10 Russian has been plagued with injury and now ranked 109th in the world. Perhaps Stephens, ranked 18th in the world, was looking Kirilenko’s current status and not considering that she was facing a formidable opponent as she started the match very flat. The American failed to convert a break point chance in the 3rd game of the match and then saw Kirilenko raced ahead 5-2 in the 1st set. Stephens found herself being outmatched by Kirilenko’s big forehand and making careless errors at key moments in the match. Kirilenko, with the momentum largely on her side, broke Stephens again to the take the set 6-2 in 35 minutes.

In the 2nd set, Stephens looked more alert for the match. She broke Kirilenko in the 3rd game of the set and led 3-1. She maintained the lead to 4-2 but Kirilenko hungry for more Wimbledon success continued going for her forehand and broke Stephens for 4-4. Kirilenko then held serve for 5-4 to have Stephens serve to stay in the match. Stephens up 40-0, lost concentration once again and saw her game points disappeared for deuce. Stephens sensing the end close at hand, held her serve with a clutch forehand down the line. Kirilenko held serve for 6-5 and again pressured Stephens to hold serve. Stephens fought off five match points in this 12th game to push the match in a 2nd set tiebreaker. Stephens then captured the momentum in the breaker up 6-4. However, Kirilenko would not be denied as she capitalized on Stephens errors on these big point to take it 6-2 7-6(6) in just over an hour and a half.

Wickmayer and Stosur were near dead even in almost all categories. They both got 61% of 1st serves in and won over 70% of those points. They each had 25 winners and very close on errors; Stosur had 9 errors and Wickmayer 8. However, the main difference was the 2nd serves as Wickmayer won 13/20 of those points and Stosur 7/20. This in turn saw Wickmayer able to break Stosur four times and only being broken once in the match. Kirilenko, on the other hand, had a wonderful serving day as she got an impressive 85% of her 1st serves in and winning 73% of those points and 60% on her 2nd serves. She had 27 winners to 14 errors compared to Stephens who had 25 winners and 18 errors. Stephens got 70% of her 1st serves in but was only winning 63% of them and 46% on her 2nd serves. Kirilenko would be hoping to carry this fine form into the 2nd round where she will far Shuai Peng for a place in the 3rd round. Wickmayer will play Ana Konjuh of Croatia in the 2nd round.

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Emma Raducanu Confident Of Full Fitness Ahead Of Grass Swing



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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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.



(@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 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.


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.


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

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