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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Anastasya Pavlyuchenkova is ready to play in November if the season is extended

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Anastasya Pavlyuchenkova said that she would be ready to play in November and December, if the season is extended once the WTA circuit resumes after the long suspension due to the coronavirus pandemic.

 

The season may be extended to November to make up for the events, which were called off due to Covid-19.

Pavlyuchenkova opened her 2020 season with early defeats against Petra Kvitova in the first round in Brisbane and Ashleigh Barty in the second round in Adelaide. The Russian player produced a major upset when she beat Karolina Pliskova in the third round at the Australian Open, scoring her first win in seven head-to-head matches over the former world number 1 player. She came back from a set down to beat Angelique Kerber reaching the sixth Grand Slam quarter final of her career. In the quarter final Pavlyuchenkova lost to former Roland Garros and Wimbledon champion Garbine Muguruza. She recently split with 53-year-old French coach Sam Sumyk.

Pavlyuchenkova is a former world number 1 player and won two junior Grand Slam titles at the Australian Open and at the US Open in 2006. She lifted twelve singles titles and five doubles titles on the WTA Tour.

“If it is necessary to play in December, I will be ready. In any case it is necessary to change to change this calendar where we play without stopping from January to November. We have announced a resumption date but there is no agreement. Everything can change. It does not look like as an offseason at all as some say because the only thing that I can do is to motivate myself physically and hit the ball because I am lucky that I have a court not far from home. Some people can’t even do all that”, said Pavlyuchenkova to TennisActu Website.

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Tour Suspension A ‘Dire And Bleak’ Situation For Players, Warns Johanna Konta

The world No.14 also comments on the decision to move the French Open to September.

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British No.1 Johanna Konta admits that any system put into place to financially support players in the wake of the tour suspension will only have a ‘minimal’ effect.

 

Tennis is currently at a standstill due to the Covid-19 pandemic with doubts cast over when play will resume again. As a consequence, many players are looking into alternative ways to generate an income. Unlike team sports where athletes have a contract, those in the world of tennis are essentially self-employed. Meaning they will only earn money in the sport if they play at tournaments. Although the top players have the luxury of endorsements to also support them.

Weighing in on the situation, Konta has described it as ‘fire and bleak.’ She is one out of 90 female players to have made more than $100,000 in prize money this year before the tour was suspended. Her current earnings for the season stands at $105,703.

“The reality is that there is no tennis player earning any money right now; all the tennis players have taken a 100 per cent salary cut,” Konta told The Evening Standard.
“Everyone is trying to find the best way possible to stand by a team and support the people you work with and feel close to while not bankrupting yourself.
“[A support system] is being worked on right now, but the reality is that even if it is possible – and let’s hope it is – it’s going to be very minimal.
“It’s a very bleak and dire situation especially for the lower ranked players.”

In light of the financial concerns, world No.371 Sofia Shapatava recently set up an online petition on change.org calling for support from the ITF, WTA and ATP. More than 1300 people have signed the petition.

“I started the petition to help tennis players to be heard by ITF, after I talked to many of the people I know and about their plans for the next three months, I realised that some people won’t even be able to have food,” Shapatava told the AFP News Agency.
“My problem is that my sport will die as it is, it will die, because players who are ranked lower then 150th in the world will not be able to play.”

In comparison to Konta, Georgian player Shapatava has made $2,896 so far this season. That works out as 0.09% of what prize money leader Sofia Kenin has made ($3,012,043). Kenin is one of four players to earn more than a million in 2020 on the women’s tour. The other are Garbine Muguruza, Simona Halep and Ash Barty.

The WTA have said they are looking into the possibility of extending this year’s calendar is order to provide players with more earning opportunities when the sport resumes.

French open approach disappointing

Konta has also criticised the French Tennis Federation (FFT) over their management of the French Open. Officials at the FFT recently announced that the major would be delayed until September due to the Covid-19 outbreak. A move that caught many off guard, including some governing bodies. Konta reached the semi-finals of the French Open last year after previously losing in the first round four times in a row.

“It’s a really sad situation and it’s very disappointing for them to release their decision in the way that they did,” she said.
“It’s not the act itself, but the manner which was disappointing to everybody in the tennis community. It’s left a sour taste in a lot of people’s mouths.”

Lionel Maltés is the economic director of the FFT. He has defended their approach to the situation by saying the organisation had no choice but to act. Arguing that their (the FFT) first priority is French tennis. The controversy surrounding the date change is that it will take place a week after the US Open ends. Leaving players with little chance to prepare for the switch of surfaces.

“The decision was not made overnight, it was far from an outburst. We had been clear for some time that it was going to be impossible to play the tournament on the established dates and we knew we had to do something.” Maltés recently told French newspaper L’Equipe.
“There was no hint of conversation collective with the other Grand Slams so we did the only thing we had to do for French tennis. Don’t doubt that Wimbledon and US Open would have made the same decision if they could. In fact, other tournaments have backed us up by saying they understood us and that if they had been in our position, they would have done the same.
“We were aware that we would be highly criticized for this, but the safeguard of French tennis is above all,” he added.

The French Open was scheduled to run from 24 May to 7 June. Officials are now hoping that the tournament will start on September 20th.

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Naomi Osaka Vows To Be ‘Stronger Than Ever’ In 2021 Following Suspension Of The Olympics

The former world No.1 has given her reaction to decision to delay the four-year sporting event due to the covid-19 pandemic.

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Two-time grand slam champion Naomi Osaka has said she is ‘disappointed’ but supports the decision to delay this year’s Summer Olympic Games.

 

Earlier in the week it was confirmed that the Tokyo games will now take place during the next year with a date to be confirmed. Making it the first time the Olympics have been suspended until the following year in its 124-year history. Although the games have been cancelled three times before during the first and second world wars.

Osaka had been one of the athletes authorities have used to promote the event. Featuring in a promotional campaign that also included a video. The 22-year-old is the first Asian player in history to become world No.1 in tennis. Despite the delay, she has committed to playing in the event next year.

“Everyone knows how much the Olympics means to me and how proud I will be to participate in my home country,” Osaka wrote on Twitter.
“Of course, I am disappointed that it won’t happen this year but we’ll all be ready to stronger ever in 2021! I support Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s brave decision and the IOC 100%. Sport will eventually unite us again and be there for us always, but that time not now,” she added.

The world No.10 has called for the world to unite in the fight against the coronavirus. There have been more than 660,000 cases of the virus worldwide, according to John Hopkins University. The disease is particularly dangerous to the elderly and those with underlying health conditions.

“This is the time for people from all countries, backgrounds and races to rally together to save as many lives as we can. To me, that is the Olympic spirit. To the people of Japan: stay strong, hang in there, and let’s the show the world our beautiful country when time is right in 2021,” said Osaka.

Osaka pledged full allegiance to Japan in 2019 after having dual citizenship in according to a national law. She was born and is currently based in America, but has a Japanese mother and Haitian father.

Prior to the suspension of the WTA Tour, Osaka has started her 2020 with a win-loss record of 5-3 (including Fed Cup). She reached the semifinals of the Brisbane International before losing to Karolina Pliskova. Then at the Australian Open, she was knocked out in the third round by Coco Gauff.

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