Wimbledon, Nadal rallied from a set and a break down to edge Lukas Rosol - UBITENNIS
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Wimbledon, Nadal rallied from a set and a break down to edge Lukas Rosol

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TENNIS WIMBLEDON CHAMPIONSHIP – Rafa Nadal battled past his 2012 Wimbledon conqueror Lukas Rosol in four sets with 4-6 7-6 (8-6) 6-4 6-4 after fighting back from a set and a break down. They met for the third time in their careers. They tie 1-1 in their previous head-to-head matches but Rosol famously upset the twice Wimbledon champion in their second-round match at the All-England Club in 2012. Earlier this year Nadal beat Rosol in straight sets in Doha. Diego Sampaolo

 

Nadal won the first game to love when Rosol hit a shot into the net. Rosol drew level to 1-1 with a powerful forehand. The first set went on serve until the ninth game when Rosol was the first to break serve for 5-4. Rosol went up 0-30 on Nadal’s serve with a winner down the line. Nadal won a chalenge to avaoid facing three break points but a double fault at 15-30 handed Rosol two break points. Nadal saved them with a couple of forehands but he dropped serve on the third break point. Rosol went up a break 5-4 and served for the first set. Rosol was on fire and held serve to love for 6-4 to take a one-set lead.

Nadal was on the verge of another shock defeat againsr the World Number 65 when the Czech player broke serve to love in the fifth game to take a 3-2 lead before consolidating the break in the next game for 4-2. Down a set and a break Nadal hit two aces to hold the game to 15 for 3-4. Rosol hit a shot down the line into the net to gift Nadal three vital break points. Nadal got the break with his return to draw level to 4-4 keeping his hopes alive. Nadal went up 40-0 but Rosol fought back with his return to 40-30 but the nine-time Roland Garros champion held serve to edge ahead 5-4 in the second set. Rosol who was close to serving for the set, was now serving to stay in it. Rosol held serve to draw level to 5-all  Nadal held serve to go up 6-5 but Rosol forced the second set to the tie-break. Nadal clinched a tight tie-break 8-6 to draw lvel on sets. Nadal got a mini-break at 3-all but Rosol hit a winner down the line before earning a set point with an ace. Nadal rallied from a 3-5 deficit in the second-set tie-break and hit a forehand down the line when he was serving at 5-6. Nadal clinched a hard-fought 57-minute second set when Rosol made a double fault.

Nadal won all three tie-breaks he played against Rosol during his career

“If I lost that set point in the second set, if that forehand down the line went out, maybe I would be sitting here with a loss. But that’s the sport. That forehand was the perfect forehand for that moment. Even if I was losing, I was fighting for every ball. I was fighting mentally and physically. Every match is so difficult here. I played a bad game at 4-4 and I lost the first set. Until that moment, I was playing better than him but I didn’t have my chances on the return. It is a very important victory for me. I finished the match at a very high level. To be in the third round here after three years is very positive news for me.”, said Nadal.

“When I was a set down and I got broken in the second, I was not thinking about the match two years ago. I am thinking what I have to do to win the next point in that match. Today is another story. I needed to find the solution. Finally I did. That’s the most important thing. I played with fantastic energy during the final three sets. I was returning great in the last three sets. I was able to have more breaks. Rosol can be dangerous for everyone, if he plays well. The players who are able to serve and hit the ball that quick, with his forehand and his backhand, especially on this kind of surface, will be dangerous for everyone”.

The tie-break was crucial for this match. Rosol held serve  Nadal was on fire after winning the breaker but Rosol bounced back and managed to hold serve. Nadal held serve with his serve for 1-1 and earned two break points but Rosol managed to save them. Rosol had to fend off another break point but Nadal finally got the break to take the 2-1 lead when Rosol hit his forehand into the net. The World Number 2 consolidated the break to love. Rosol did not give up and won an important game to close the gap to 2-3. In the eighth game Nadal held serve with an ace to go up 5-3. Rosol cruised to a 40-0 in the ninth game with a drop volley at the net. Nadal fought back but he steered a shot from Rosol into the net. Nadal served for the set and held serve to love in the next game to go up 2-1 on sets.

Nadal broke serve to love in the first game of the fourth set and consolidated the break by winning the second game to love. Rosol hit a powerful ace to end a 10-point losing streak. Nadal won another game to love with a winner down the line. Rosol won the next game to stay alive for 2-3. Nadal took the sixth game to love to pull away to 4-2. Rosol held serve to 30 to claw his way back to 3-4. Nadal hit a forehand winner into the corner to take a 5-3 lead. Rosol served to stay in the match but he managed to win the ninth game for 5-4.

Nadal faced a serious challenge in the final game of the match when he had to save a break point but he managed to clinch the match at deuce after an ace and a wayward shot from Rosol on the third match point.

Nadal is looking to score the Roland Garros-Wimbledon double three times after winning both Grand Slam tournaments in 2008 and 2010. The only player who managed to win this double three times was Bjorn Borg in 1978, 1979 and 1980

Nadal will face Michail Kukushkin in the third round

Diego Sampaolo

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Simona Halep ‘Happy To Be Back’ Amid Uncertainty Over US Open Plans

The Romanian still has reservations about her future plans after taking her first international flight in five months.

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World No.2 Simona Halep admits the prospect of travelling from Europe to America will be ‘mentally tough’ as she ponders whether or not to play at the US Open.

 

The reigning Wimbledon champion is set to return to competitive tennis in the Czech Republic where she will play her first tournament in five months at the Prague Open. Halep was originally due to make her return in Palermo but withdrew from the event due to ‘travelling anxiety’ despite being assured she wouldn’t have to go through quarantine. Speculation has mounted in recent weeks about if the Romanian would travel to the US Open later this year with the 28-year-old confirming she will make her final decision after Prague.

“I haven’t made the final decision yet,” AFP quoted Halep as telling reporters during a virtual press conference on Sunday.
“The travelling from Europe is a little bit tough with changing flights — we don’t have straight flights — so it’s going to be tough for me personally, mentally,” she told a video conference.
“I don’t want to put myself into that stress. As I said I haven’t decided yet, but the conditions are tough for me at this moment.”

Three members of the top 10 on the women’s Tour have already pulled out of the New York major, which will be played behind closed doors for the first time in history. Ash Barty, Kiki Bertens and Elina Svitolina have all withdrawn from the major due to concerns. In comparison, only one member of the top 10 on the men’s Tour, Rafael Nadal, has withdrawn specifically related to COVID-19 concerns.

Prague is Halep’s first international trip after being in lockdown in Romania since February. A country which reported 1,378 new coronavirus cases and 50 new related deaths on Friday in what was their highest 24-hour figure since the pandemic began.

“I’m a bit nervous but things are very controlled here and very safe so I feel safe,” she said upon arrival in the Czech capital.
“I’m happy to be back, I’m happy to be healthy.”

It will be double duty for Halep in Prague. Besides being the top seed in the singles draw, she will also be playing the doubles alongside local favourite Barbora Strycova. Who reached the semi-final of Wimbledon last year before losing to Serena Williams. It is the first time ever the two are playing alongside each other on the Tour.

“I’m sure we will have fun. I’m sure that she will understand if I miss easy balls at the net, and I hope we’ll enjoy it.” Halep commented on their collaboration.

Halep will start her singles campaign against Slovenia’s Polona Hercog.

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REPORT: Madrid Open To Be Axed Amid COVID-19 Concerns In Latest Setback For Tennis

Hopes of Spain holding their top tennis event in 2020 are over.

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The world of tennis is set to suffer another severe blow with multiple media sources confirming that organisers of Spain’s most prestigious tennis tournament will officially cancel their event on Tuesday. 

 

The Mutua Madrid Open will be removed from the 2020 calendar following a meeting involving tournament owner Iron Tiriac. Recently doubts have been cast on the event after local health officials called for it to be suspended due to a spike in COVID-19 cases. Although the final decision was up to Tiriac and his team. It had been due to take place between September 12 to 20, following the conclusion of the US Open. 

“We have to be realistic now, we have to accept that health is always the priority. We must not endanger anyone, neither the fans, nor the players, nor the staff, all those who come to Madrid in September,” tournament director Feliciano Lopez told L’Equipe over the weekend. 

Spain has seen their rate of COVID-19 cases rapidly rise since the country ended its lockdown. According to El Pais, the number of cases recorded within 24 hours is eight times the amount compared to 40 days ago. Rising from 334 (June 20) to 2,789 (between July 29 and 30). On Friday July 31st there were 3092 new cases in the country in what is a post-lockdown record.

Held at the Caja Magica, the Madrid Open is a key event for both men and women. It is currently classed as a Masters 1000 for the men and as a Premier Mandatory for the women. Last year each of the singles champions took home €1,202,520 in prize money. It was originally set to be played in May but was postponed due to the pandemic.

The demise of Madrid this year is another setback for what is becoming a rapidly thinning 2020 tennis calendar. Within the past two weeks China has confirmed that they will not be hosting any tournaments this year, Japan’s scrapped it’s premier women’s event and the Italian Open has been advised to not allow any fans to their event this year. 

As a result of the latest development, only two WTA clay-court events will take place after the US Open leading up to Roland Garros. They are both set to get underway on September 21st in Rome and Strasbourg. As for the men, Rome will be their only point of call. 

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Serena Williams leads a high-quality line-up in Lexington

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Twenty-three time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams will be the top seed at the inaugural edition of the Lexington Open from 10th August 2020 on the same week as the Prague Open. The Lexington Open will be the first US tournament of the US hard court season, which will continue with the Western and Southern Open and the US Open, which will be held in the same venue at Flushing Meadows in New York. 

 

Serena was very close to tie Margaret Court’s record of 24 Grand Slam titles, but lost four times in a Major final after giving birth to her daughter Olympia. 

The US legend will play her first match since she hepled the US team beat Latvia in the Fed Cup last March in Everett. There Serena beat Jelena Ostapenko but she was defeated by Anastasija Sevastova. 

Williams will lead a star-studded line-up, which features this year’s Australian Open finalist and former Roland Garros and Wimbledon champion Garbine Muguruza, Aryna Sabalenka, Sloane Stephens, Johanna Konta, Amanda Anisimova and Yulia Putintseva, Ons Jabeur, Victoria Azarenka, Heather Watson and US rising star Cori Gauff. 

Sabalenka won two consecutive editions of the Wuhan tournament in 2018 and 2019, in Shenzhen in 2019, the WTA Elite Trophy in Zhuhai in 2019 and the Doha final in 2020. 

Stephens won her first Grand Slam title at the US Open in 2017 and reached the final at 2018 Roland Garros. She finished runner-up to Elina Svitolina at the 2018 WTA Finals in Singapore. The US player lost to Canadian teenager Leylah Annie Fernandez in Monterrey in her last WTA Tour match before the pandemic. 

Amanda Anisimova won her maiden WTA title in Bogotà in 2019 in her first professional tour tournament on clay. Last year the young US player beat Simona Halep en route to becoming the youngest semifinalist at the French Open since 2006. This year Amanda lost to Serena Williams in the semifinal in Auckland last January. 

Johanna Konta reached the French Open semifinal and the Rome Final in 2019. The British player enjoyed her best year in 2017, when she won the Miami title and reached the Wimbledon semifinal rising to her best ranking at world number 4. 

The Top seed Open will be the first WTA tournament to be played in the United States since the coronavirus pandemic swept across the United States. The Kentucky tournament will feature a 32-player singles draw and a 16-player doubles field. 

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