Bits & Pieces from the World of Tennis: 7th of July 2014 - UBITENNIS
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Bits & Pieces from the World of Tennis: 7th of July 2014

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TENNIS BITS & PIECES – Victoria Duval has been diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Li Na splits with her coach. The Bryan brothers are stuck at 98. Miami Open changes sponsor. Nole is now qualified for the ATP Finals and who is playing where this week. Joshua Bosco

 

Victoria Duval

Victoria Duval, 18 year old American who makes her debut in the Top 100 today after reaching the second round of Wimbledon as a qualifier, released a statement through her management company on Friday saying she had been diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

The player revealed she received the news after her first round of qualifying at the grass-court Slam but decided against withdrawing. She went on to qualify for the first time at Wimbledon and also win a first round match against Sorana Cirstea, before losing to Swiss rising star Belinda Bencic in straight sets.

Fortunately it looks like the cancer was caught in its early stages and the prognosis is for a full recovery within a couple of months, according to IMG. The American youngster is the third player to have been diagnosed with the disease in the last four years, after Alisa Kleybanova in 2011 and Ross Hutchins in 2013. Both players then made a successful return to the courts, so we hope for a safe and speedy recovery for Duval.

Li Na splits with coach

On Thursday it was announced that World No. 2 Li Na and coach Carlos Rodriguez had parted ways after nearly two years of collaboration.

The official reason behind the split is that Rodriguez is no longer able to travel around the world with the player as he needs to spend more time at his Beijing-based tennis academy.

Li Na will now try and regain her form and confidence in time for the US Open, which starts on August 25th, after two shocking defeats at Roland Garros (1st round) and Wimbledon (3rd round).

Bryans stuck at 98

The Bryan brothers were denied a 16th Grand Slam title and 99th overall title together on Saturday when they were defeated by unseeded Vasek Pospisil and Jack Sock, who were playing together for the first time in their career.

The American doubles legends, who are now 3-4 in Wimbledon finals, will have to win at the US Open in order to keep alive their nine year streak of winning at least one Grand Slam tournament per season.

Sony leaves Miami Open

According to reports, electronics giant Sony has decided against the renewal of its agreement as main sponsors for the Miami Masters. Even though the tech firm is considering staying connected with the Masters and Mandatory Premier event in other ways, the tournament will go by the name Miami Open until it finds a new title sponsor.

It also looks like clothing line Fila opted out of its sponsorship because the tournament is asking $900,000, three times more than their previous agreement.

Djokovic qualifies for ATP World Tour Finals

After reaching the final at Wimbledon, Novak Djokovic has become the second player to qualify for the World Tour Finals which will take place at the O2 Arena in London in November. Djokovic joins Nadal who qualified after winning his ninth Roland Garros title last month.

After reaching his ninth final at Wimbledon Roger Federer is 1230 points shy of automatic qualification, while Stan Wawrinka is safely in fourth position and Berdych in fifth. It remains to be seen who will take the last three spots with less than 600 points separating sixth placed Grigor Dimitrov and eleventh placed Milos Raonic with Murray, Nishikori, Ferrer and Gulbis sitting in the middle.

Who’s playing where

While many top players are resting after Wimbledon, some of them are eager to get back on court and will divide themselves between ATP tournaments in Bastad, Newport and Stuttgart.

Carlos Berlocq will travel to Bastad to try and defend his 2013 title at the Swedish Open, but will face tough competition from the likes of David Ferrer, Tommy Robredo, Fernando Verdasco, Jerzy Janowicz and Jeremy Chardy.

Defending champion Nicolas Mahut will play at the 2014 Hall of Fame Tennis Championship in Newport and the Frenchman will be joined by John Isner, Ivo Karlovic, Lleyton Hewitt, Donald Young and Wimbledon doubles champion Jack Sock. Marcos Baghdatis and Sam Querrey have withdrawn before the start of the tournament.

Fabio Fognini will be both defending champion and top seed at the 2014 MercedesCup in Stuttgart, where he will play alongside Mikhail Youzhny, Roberto Bautista Agut, Feliciano Lopez, Philipp Kohlschreiber and Santiago Giraldo. Marcel Granollers and Denis Istomin have withdrawn before the start.

The majority of top women will also take a break before the difficult American swing, but some of them are willing to play a couple of clay-court tournaments in Europe before flying over to the US.

In Bad Gastein, Austria, we will see defending champion Yvonne Meusburger take on seven other Top 50 players: Sara Errani, Carla Suarez Navarro, Andrea Petkovic, Elina Svitolina, Camila Giorgi, Karolina Pliskova and Flavia Pennetta, the top seed, who received a wildcard for the tournament. Wimbledon semifinalist Lucie Safarova withdrew before the start of the International event.

Today sees the start of the first edition of the BRD Bucharest Open, an International tournament which replaces the Hungarian Grand Prix in Budapest. Local girl Simona Halep is the top seed but she’ll have to battle past some difficult players like Roberta Vinci, Klara Koukalova, Karin Knapp, Annika Beck and Anna Schmiedlova to become the first champion of this Romanian tournament. Vania King and Barbora Zahlavova-Strycova are among the players who withdrew before the start.

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Ons Jabeur upsets Karolina Pliskova to reach the quarter final in Doha

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Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur knocked out Karolina Pliskova 6-4 3-6 6-3 after 1 hour and 47 minutes to reach the quarter final at the Qatar Total Open in Doha. Jabeur scored the biggest win of her career by ranking.

 

Jabeur reached her first Grand Slam quarter final at the Australian Open last January before losing to eventual champion Sofia Kenin. Last week Jabeur lost to Simona Halep in Dubai. She reached the third round in Doha without dropping a set.

Jabeur had not beaten a top 10 player since 2018, when she defeated Sloane Stephens en route to reaching the final at the Kremlin Cup in Moscow.

Jabeur broke Pliskova in the opening game of the match and did not face a break point on her serve before serving out the first set at love.

Pliskova earned her only break in the fourth game of the second set to take a 3-1 lead and held on her serve to win the second set 6-3 forcing the match to the third set.

Jabeur got her first break after six deuces in a marathon sixth game to take a 4-2 lead in the decisive set. Pliskova broke straight back for 3-4. Jabeur broke for the second time at 15 to take a 5-3 lead and sealed the win on her second match point.

Muguruza beats Yastremska

This year’s Australian Open Garbine Muguruza beat Ukrainian teenager Dayana Yastremska 6-2 6-4 in 70 metres. Muguruza has reached teh quarter finals or better at all five tournaments she has played in 2020 under the guidance of her new coach Conchita Martinez.

Muguruza earned two breaks in the fifth and seventh games and served out the first set 6-2 on her first opportunity. Muguruza broke serve in the fourth game of the second set to take a 3-1 lead. Yastremska broke back in the sixth game to take a 3-3 lead. Both players traded four consecutive breaks. Muguruza served out the win on her first match point, as Yastremska hit her backhand past the baseline.

The two-time Grand Slam champion will face 2019 Roland Garros champion Ashleigh Barty, who advanced to the quarter finals after Elena Rybakina was forced to withdraw from the match due to an abductor injury.

Bencic reaches the quarter finals after straight-set win over Putintseva

Belinda Bencic beat Yulia Putintseva 6-4 6-3 after 1 to advance to her third quarter final of the year after Adelaide and St. Petersburg. The Swiss player earned an early break to take a 2-0 lead. Putintseva broke straight back in the third game. Bencic got her second break to open up a 4-1 lead. Putintseva broke back for the second time in the ninth game at 30 to claw her way back to 4-5. Bencic closed out the first set with a break on her second opportunity in the 10th game on the fourth deuce.

Bencic converted her second break point at deuce to open up a 3-0 lead. Putintseva saved two double break points to hold her serve at deuce.

Putintseva earned two break-back points but Bencic held on her serve after five deuces. Bencic served out the win on her first match point in the ninth game.

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Stefanos Tsitsipas moves through to the quarter final with straight set win over Alexander Bublik in Dubai

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Stefanos Tsitsipas defeated Alexander Bublik 7-6 (7-1) 6-4 in 1 hour and 36 minutes to reach the quarter finals at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships. Tsitsipas beat Bublik for the second time this month one week after scoring a win against the Kazakh player in the semifinal in Marseille.

 

Bublik saved two set points at 5-6 15-40 with a serve and volley and an unreturned serve. Tsitsipas cruised through to a 7-1 win in the first set after 54 minutes.

Tsitsipas saved four break points at 3-4 in the second set and earned a break at love in the ninth game to take a 5-4 lead. The Greek player sealed the win with a backhand slice winner.

Tsitsipas will face Jan Lennard Struff, who eased past Nikoloz Basilashvili 6-1 6-0 in just 39 minutes.

Andrey Rublev edged past Filip Krajinovic 7-6 (7-3) 6-0 after 1 hour and 41 minutes. Rublev came back from 1-4 down by breaking back in the eighth game at 3-4. The young Russian player saved a set point with a forehand passing shot, as Krajinovic was serving at 5-3 40-30. Both players traded breaks in the 11th and 12th games to set up a tie-break. Rublev sealed the tie-break with his fifth ace and and cruised through to a 6-0 lead with three consecutive breaks, as Krajinovic won just 10 points. Rublev took a re-match against Krajnovic, who won their previous head-to-head match in Rotterdam two weeks ago.

“He had so many chances, two breaks and serving with one set point. There was no key. I was just lucky and broke back. It was not in these conditions. I knew it wasn’t going to be easy as i lost to him two weeks ago in Rotterdam”, said Rublev.

Rublev set up a quarter final match against Daniel Evans, who fended off three match points in the tie-break of the third set to beat Pierre Hugues Herbert 7-5 3-6 7-6 (9-7) in 2 hours and 47 minutes.

Gael Monfils cruised past Yasutaka Uchiyama 6-1 6-2. Monfils earned a double break in the second and fourth games to win the first set 6-1. After a trade of breaks in the third and fourth games Monfils won four consecutive games with two breaks in the fifth and seventh games.

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Novak Djokovic sets up quarter final against Karen Khachanov in Dubai

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Novak Djokovic cruised past Phillip Kohlschreiber 6-3 6-1 in just 59 minutes to advance to the quarter final at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Tournament. Djokovic beat Kohlschreiber for the 12th time in their 14 head-to-head matches.

 

Kohlschreiber, who beat Djokovic in straight sets one year ago in Indian Wells, won 11 points in 8 service games and never created a break point.

Djokovic converted four of his seven break points to reach the quarter final in Dubai for the 11th time in his career. He hit 23 winners to 10 unforced errors.

Djokovic earned his only break on his second opportunity with a forehand winner to take a 3-2 lead. He backed up the break with a hold of love with another forehand winner and closed out the first set 6-3 with a hold in the ninth game after 30 minutes, as Kohlschreiber hit a backhand crosscourt wide. The Serb reeled off five consecutive games from 5-3 in the first set.

Djokovic held serve with a backhand down the line winner at the start of the second set and held with a service winner. The 2020 Australian Open champion went up a double break with his backhand to build up a 3-0 lead and sealed the win with a return winner, as he was returning at 5-1. Djokovic has extended his unbeaten streak to 15 consecutive matches this year.

“It was a great performance. I enjoyed the way I played, coming out with the right focus and tactics. Knowing Phillip beat me 12 months ago in Indian Wells, I needed to approach this match very seriously regardless of his raning number 80. He is one of the most experienced players on the tour and likes to play on the big stage, so he doesn’t like falter too much”, said Djokovic.

Djokovic set up a quarter final against Karen Khachanov, who beat Dennis Novak 6-3 6-4 in 74 minutes. Djokovic leads 2-1 in his three head-to-head matches against Khachanov.

“I have had some interesting battles with him. He is a great guy, a very powerful player. He is one of the guys who is a pretender to be a top 5 player. He is very dedicated, so I will be as sharp as I have been in the past two matches and start well”, said Djokovic.

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