Wimbledon: Bouchard beats Halep for her 1st major final - UBITENNIS
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Wimbledon: Bouchard beats Halep for her 1st major final

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TENNIS WIMBLEDON 2014 – Third time is the charm for Eugenie Bouchard as she finally wins her 3rd major semifinal match to get to her 1st major final. She beat Simona Halep in straight sets 7-6 6-2 to face Petra Kvitova in the final of the 2014 Wimbledon. Cordell Hackshaw

 

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

Both Simona Halep (3) and Eugenie Bouchard (13) have the best record in majors this year on the women’s tour at 15-2. These two youngsters have done better at the majors than Serena Williams, Victoria Azarenka, Agnieszka Radwanska and Maria Sharapova as neither Halep nor Bouchard has lost before the quarterfinal stage. Now today, they were facing each other for a place in their first Wimbledon final and distinguish herself solely as the best at majors. Although Halep has made a major final recently at the French Open, it was Bouchard who showed herself more adept to this major pressure, handling all the distractions of the match as she took it 7-65 6-2. “I’m happy to get to my first Grand Slam final. It’s very exciting. It’s what I’ve worked so long … I’m just proud of myself for today’s effort,” Bouchard said.

Bouchard held serve to open the match and Halep responded by winning her first service game. The Romanian went on to break Bouchard when the Canadian’s forehand went long. Halep attempted to consolidate the break to edge ahead 3-1 but Bouchard broke her immediately to level it 2-2. In her attempt to chase down one of Bouchard’s shots, Halep appeared to have turned her ankle and had to be treated by the trainer. She played on with a taped ankle. Both players were making valiant attempts to break the other. Several times, Halep would get a 0-30 lead but could go no further as Bouchard produced some big time serving and got herself out of trouble. Bouchard for her part got break points in the 8th game which if converted would have had her serving for the set 5-4 but Halep too produced the big serves to stay even.

The tiebreaker would be the decider. In the opening points for the tiebreaker, neither player won points on their serve. Up 3-2, Halep about to serve, a spectator fell ill presumably from heat exhaustion and this delayed play for 5 minutes. Upon resumption of play, Halep won her first service point on serve for 4-2. She would be deflated from here on end. Bouchard came up with the necessary goods to win the next 5/6 points. She was now had a set lead 7-65.

Like the first women’s semifinal, the winner of the 1st set took complete charge of the 2nd set and the loser, seemingly capitulated. After 1-1, Halep seemed to have lost her way in the match. She looked passive throughout. She gave up on shots and began making careless errors and double faults at very inopportune times including on break point. “[I]n second set I lost my energy and I couldn’t believe anymore that I can finish the match in the right way for me,” Halep said after the match. Bouchard was soon up 5-1 and she was definitely swinging confidently. The Canadian had three match points on Halep’s serve but failed to convert them. It seemed as though the nerves were getting to her. Serving for the match 5-2, Bouchard would need three more match points in order to finally close out the match 7-6 6-2.

It was a bad day for Halep it seems. Each time she had the momentum, something came up in the match. She later spoke of these instances; the injury, “I felt a big pain in the moment, but then was better with the tape. But still I couldn’t push anymore in my leg. My first serve was really bad after that … [I]t was difficult to continue with another injury.” As for the distraction in the breaker, she mentioned that she lost her concentration at this time and eventually the set. However, Bouchard stayed focus throughout and was definitely the better player of the day. She won 74% of her 1st serve points compared to Halep who was only winning 54%. Despite them both making 23 errors in the match, Bouchard had 20 winners as opposed to Halep with 13. As for her match up against Petra Kvitova in Saturday’s final, Bouchard had this to say, “I think it will be my toughest match yet. I’m looking forward to the challenge … [S]he obviously likes the grass and has some good weapons, so I will be ready for those. I’ll try to impose my own weapons and game against her. I think we’ll both be going at it, which will make for a very good, you know, match.”

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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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