Wimbledon: Bouchard ends Cornet’s magical run - UBITENNIS
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Wimbledon: Bouchard ends Cornet’s magical run

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TENNIS WIMBLEDON 2014 – Eugenie Bouchard knocked out Cornet in the Round of 16 to make it to her first Wimbledon quarterfinals 7-65 7-5 in almost 2-hour battle. This win puts Bouchard into her third successive major quarterfinals; the only player on the WTA tour to do so this year. Cordell Hackshaw

 

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

Last Saturday, after beating world’s number one Serena Williams, Alizé Cornet (25) was asked about her upcoming match against Eugenie Bouchard (13). Cornet responded by saying, “I will think about it tomorrow, think maybe about a different tactic to have against her. But right now I really want to enjoy my win.” Perhaps in hindsight, she would have thought differently about this answer or perhaps began a plan of attack sooner. Bouchard knocked out Cornet in the Round of 16 to make it to her first Wimbledon quarterfinals 7-65 7-5 in almost 2-hour battle. This win puts Bouchard into her third successive major quarterfinals; the only player on the WTA tour to do so this year.

It was clear from the onset of this match that Cornet and Bouchard were in top gear. They were not going to hold back one bit. They both had to save break points in their opening service game. They remained on serve until the 5th game when rain interrupted play. The players had to leave Centre Court in order to close the roof. They returned to court some 30 minutes later and continued to hold serve to 6-6. In the decisive tiebreak, Cornet won the first point but Bouchard won the next 4 points maintaining her aggressive style of play; 4-1. In an attempt to further extend this lead, Bouchard dropped the next two points on her serve and Cornet won her two points on her serve to lead 5-4. Cornet had the chance to go up 6-4 but played a poor drop shot that never went over the net. Bouchard scored an ace to go up 6-5. The pressure was now on Cornet to win the next point but she cracked and Bouchard took the set 7-65.

Cornet looked spent after that set but remained altogether optimistic in the 2nd set. She broke Bouchard in the 5th game and consolidated for a 4-2 lead. Bouchard was over hitting and constantly looking for openings to go for the winner but she was not getting a look on the Cornet’s serve. Bouchard later explained, “She has good wheels. So I had to really try and finish off the point.” Now, Cornet was serving for the 2nd set 5-4. In Cornet’s previous match against Williams, she had trouble closing out the 2nd and 3rd sets but in those sets, she had a double break advantage. However, this time around, she was only up on Bouchard by one break.

Bouchard recognized that the moment was now for a break and soon broke when Cornet’s forehand missed the mark. “I had full belief and confidence in myself that, you know, I wasn’t out. The second set wasn’t over yet. I just tried to focus on my serve at 5-3. I played some good points at 5-4 … I was able to step up on the important moments,” Bouchard said after the match. Within a few minutes, Cornet went from serving for the set at 5-4 to now serving to stay in the match down 5-6. Bouchard continued to apply the pressure on the Cornet forehand and it soon paid dividend. Another errant forehand went long and Bouchard took the match 7-65 7-5 and moved into the quarterfinals, her first at Wimbledon.

I’m proud that I really, really fought till the end. She’s a good fighter, too. We were really just battling,” Bouchard later stated. It was a high quality match and both players definitely showing the better parts of their games. They had a healthy service percentage. The areas of real noticeable differences were the winners to errors ratios as well as the net approaches. Bouchard stood closer to the baseline than Williams did against Cornet. Therefore, Cornet was not able to go for as many drop shots and acute angles as she had done in the previous round. Consider that against Williams, she won 14/16 net points and won two sets but against Bouchard, she won 11/16 net points and did not win any of the sets. Bouchard was only able to win 12/20 net points. However, Bouchard style of play had her ending the match with 28 winners and 24 errors compared to Cornet with 20 winners and 14 errors. Bouchard will face the winner of the Maria Sharapova (5) v Angelique Kerber (9) match for a place in the semifinals. Bouchard incidentally, is the only player on the WTA tour to have made it to the final four for the first two majors. She most certainly would be looking for the three-peat.

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French Open Finalist Marketa Vondrousova Undergoes Surgery

It is a premature end to what has been a breakthrough season for the Czech.

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Czech rising star Marketa Vondrousova will miss the rest of the season after undergoing an operation on her left wrist.

 

The 20-year-old made the announcement on her Instagram account where she uploaded a picture of herself after undergoing the procedure. Vondrousova hasn’t played a match on the tour since Wimbledon, where she first sustained the injury. According to Czech media, she received treatment at the same facility which Petra Kvitova attended following a knife attack that severely injured her playing hand.

“For two months I tried to treat my wrist conservatively and tried everything possible. Unfortunately, nothing led to a significant improvement. That is why I decided on this solution, which should relieve me of my pain for good,” Vondrousova said is a statement issued by her team.
“Unfortunately for me, 2019 ended earlier than I wanted. I can’t wait to play back on the courts without pain anymore, she added.

The premature end draws the curtain on what has been a breakthrough season for Vondrousova. At the French Open she defeated Petra Martic and Johanna Konta en route to the final. Becoming the youngest player to do so at the tournament since Ana Ivanovic back in 2007. She was denied the title by Ash Barty, who prevailed in straight sets.

Yet to win a title, Vondrousova has managed to remain consistent on the tour by reaching the quarter-finals or better at six consecutive tournaments between February and June. Including the final of the Budapest Open. During that time, she managed to score two wins over Simona Halep. The highest ranked player she has defeated so far in her career.

Vondrousova is currently ranked 22nd in the world. She ends the season with a win-loss record of 29-9.

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‘Relaxed’ Su-Wei Hsieh Saves Match Point To Oust Muguruza In Osaka

Su-Wei Hsieh saved match point to eliminate Garbine Muguruza from the premier-level tournament in Osaka.

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Su-Wei Hsieh (@Wimbledon - Twitter)

Su-Wei Hsieh was in a relaxed mood as she saved match point to edge out Garbine Muguruza 3-6 7-6(1) 6-1 in Osaka. 

 

The Wimbledon doubles champion claimed her second straight win over the Spaniard having saved match point in the contest.

After winning a tight second set, Hsieh cruised through the deciding set to secure a spot in the second round against Elise Mertens.

Even though this final part of the season can prove quite tiring, Hsieh is approaching in a more relaxed manner, “I know that anything can happen because this is almost the end of the year,” Hsieh said to the press after the win.

“I just want to be more relaxed, going more to my game. Sometimes I lose a little bit of rhythm at the beginning, so I just need to play more games to get the rhythm.

“In the second set, I felt a little bit more rhythm, and more stable myself, my personal style. It helped me a lot to get into the match and to get more game.”

As for Muguruza, this loss would have hurt her confidence a lot having not won a WTA match since June and her ranking slowly falling by the week.

Next for Hsieh will be US Open doubles champion Elise Mertens, where they have split their opening two meetings which came last season.

In other results today there were comfortable wins for Madison Keys and US Open quarter-finalist Donna Vekic over Daria Kasatkina and Caroline Garcia respectively.

Here is the second round line-up, which matches will be played across Wednesday and Thursday:

Naomi Osaka (1) v Viktoriya Tomova – Wednesday

Varvara Flink v Yulia Putintseva – Thursday

Sloane Stephens (3) v Camila Giorgi – Thursday

Su-Wei Hsieh v Elise Mertens (9) – Wednesday

Madison Keys (5) v Zarina Diyas – Wednesday

Nicole Gibbs v Angelique Kerber (4) – Wednesday

Donna Vekic (7) v Misaki Doi – Thursday

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova v Kiki Bertens (2) – Thursday

 

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Despite New WTA Guidelines, Could Kim Clijsters’ Return Be Marred By Aberration?

Kim Clijsters will not have any restriction in the number of wildcards she receives. But she also deserves more in her upcoming third stint on the Tour

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Kim Clijsters, 2010 US Open, US Open
Photo Credit: WTA Tennis/Getty

By the time, Kim Clijsters makes her return to professional tennis in 2020, around eight years will have passed since her second retirement from the WTA Tour. In this near-about octet of years, there have been several changes on the Tour, especially for those women attempting a return post maternity. But where does the 36-year-old stand amid these alterations?

 

The Belgian was one of the earlier trendsetters – of this decade – to resume her professional activity after becoming a mother for the first time. In 2009, when she returned during the American hard-court summer, the subject never gained as much traction as it did when Williams returned to the game, in 2018 after her pregnancy hiatus in 2017.

Clijsters’ win at the US Open that year – the first for an unseeded player – stifled the mushrooming of any possible avenues of such ranking tweaks back then. Over the next couple of years, as Clijsters ascended in the rankings boosted by her performances, including re-attaining her career-high of no. 1, the topic became moot.

Now, after all these years, in spite of the WTA bringing in modifications to its rules – by way of provision of special ranking to women re-joining the Tour after motherhood, among other factors – Clijsters’ continues to remain an outlying scenario. The obvious reason for this is the lapsing of time of the four-time Major champion’s returning to pro tennis. According to the new rules, a player who is out of the Tour on account of pregnancy must make a comeback within three years after her child’s birth, at most.

Her previous successes and titles ensure Clijsters will never lack for wildcards from tournaments, as per the WTA regulations. However, the question stemming here is should an exception be made for the former world no. 1 vis-à-vis the special ranking while overlooking the passing of years?

When announcing her imminent return to the Pro Tour on the WTA Insider podcast, Clijsters mentioned about challenging herself. “I don’t feel like I want to prove something. I think for me it’s the challenge…,” she said.

“The love for the sport is obviously still there. But the question still is, am I capable of bringing it to a level where I would like it to be at and where I want it to be at before I want to play at a high level of one of the best women’s sports in the world. I don’t feel like I need to prove anything, but I want to challenge myself and I want to be strong again. This is my marathon. This is where I’m saying, ‘OK, let’s try this’.”

Clijsters’ path to trying this while taking it on as a challenge need not come at a cost of her being immediately pushed off the deep end in terms of encountering a higher-seeded opponent. The present state of the WTA would make it for an interesting match-up – whenever it happens – but it would also be akin to defeating the purpose underlining her return, regardless of how confident the 2011 Australian Open champion is with her timing.

The norms, too, could be nudged into further relooking easing them towards a player’s preference in ascertaining her post-childbirth return instead of clubbing them, at large. After all, as significant as Williams’ laurels were to usher in changes, Clijsters’ stunner yet again proves the variety that exists in women’s decision-making.

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