Wimbledon: Bouchard makes her 3rd straight major semis - UBITENNIS
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Wimbledon: Bouchard makes her 3rd straight major semis

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TENNIS WIMBLEDON 2014 – On the women’s tour in this year, the player who has been most dominant at the majors is not Serena or Sharapova. In fact, she is not even officially in the top 10. This player is Eugenie Bouchard who has made her third successive major semifinals by taking out Angelique Kerber 6-3 6-4. Cordell Hackshaw

 

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

On the women’s tour in this year, the player who has been most dominant at the majors is not Serena Williams or Maria Sharapova. This player does not have a major title nor has she even reached a major final. In fact, she is not even officially in the top 10. This player is Eugenie Bouchard (13) who has made her third successive major semifinals by taking out Angelique Kerber (9) 6-3 6-4. Many had imagined that it would have been near impossible for the Canadian to make it this far at Wimbledon as she potentially had to face former champions Williams and Sharapova to get here. However, both Williams and Sharapova were dismissed earlier in the tournament and Bouchard who took care of business to reach her first Wimbledon semifinal. “I’m excited to be in the semis. But, of course, you know, never satisfied, so definitely want to go a step further, or as far as I can,” Bouchard said after the match.

Bouchard and Kerber remained on serve until the 8th game. Bouchard who had just fought off four break points in her last service game, was up 4-3. Kerber too would fend four break points but it was the 5th one she could not save when her backhand went into the net. Bouchard was now serving for the opening set up 5-3. Kerber, it seemed at this point, had lost the plan of attack as she looked well out of sorts. That physical strength and mental fortitude that saw Kerber past Sharapova yesterday were now waning against Bouchard. It would be another backhand error that gave Bouchard the set 6-3 in 34 minutes.

Kerber’s woes continued well into the 2nd set as Bouchard was finding her range and making the winning shots. Bouchard had 16 winners alone in the 2nd set. Kerber remained erratic and was struggling to hold serve. It was a war of attrition at this point and Bouchard who had Tuesday off, was winning handily. Bouchard broke her in the 3rd and 5th games to go up 4-1. Perhaps sensing the danger of this moment, Kerber found some resolve and broke Bouchard for 2-4. She again had to fight off break points in order to hold but did so for 3-4. Bouchard got back into the serving groove and edged ahead 5-3. Kerber held serve and forced Bouchard to serve it out. Bouchard clearly was showing the signs of pressure as Kerber had two break points to get back on serve. However, some clutch serving from Bouchard would see her to match point. On match point, Bouchard unleashed another big serve and hit the forehand winner for the match. She took care of Kerber 6-3 6-4 in 72 minutes.

After the match, Kerber spoke about the difficulty of coming back today to face Bouchard after the tough match against Sharapova the day before, “I don’t have really time to recover after the match yesterday … I feel everything after the match yesterday … I was fighting till the last point. I was trying. I was still believe that I can maybe change the match and the game … [I]t was tough. She was playing good in the important moments.” Bouchard served relatively well getting in 66% of her 1st serves and winning 81% of those points. She was very aggressive throughout the match winning 12/16 points at net. She had 29 winners to 20 errors compared to Kerber who had 17 winners to 14 errors. In the semifinals, Bouchard will play Simona Halep who dismantled another German Sabine Lisicki 6-4 6-0. Bouchard lost to Halep in their only meeting earlier this year at Indian Wells. Of her game plan, Bouchard stated, “[R]eally just try to go for it and take my chances. You know, leave it all out on the court. It’s the semis, so I’m going to expect the toughest match ever.”

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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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