Young Talents and Reality Checks: Bencic First Big Loss - UBITENNIS
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Young Talents and Reality Checks: Bencic First Big Loss

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TENNIS – In 1997 Martina Hingis won three Grand Slams title and in the same year a girl that is now expected to take her legacy was born: Belinda Bencic. Giulio Gasparin

 

Aged 17, the Swiss has already reached the third round of a slam in Wimbledon and this week has reached her highest ranking at number 62.

Countless articles has already been written on the promising future of the 2013 Roland Garros and Wimbledon junior champion, but what happened last night in her opening match of Istanbul was something hardly anyone could predict.

She was set to face the former world number one and first seed Caroline Wozniacki, in a match that many experts had seen as a chance for a big win for the Swiss, as the days of the prime Wozniacki seemed long gone.

On the contrary, the Dane came out on top of her abilities and with a sensational performance obliterated the little resistance that Bencic could put up.

In 39 minutes, Wozniacki closed the match with a double bagel, a 6-0 6-0 that represent the first ever received by the talented Swiss.

What does that mean? Probably nothing more than the easiest conclusion: Bencic is young and though her talent is undeniable, she does not posses the experience of the former world number one, who played a brilliant match.

Surely it is hard to take it so easily, but many of the current stars of the WTA have suffered brutal beat-downs during their young days.

The same Caroline Wozniacki should know it as in 2008, when still 17, she was left with a single game by Maria Sharapova in Doha.

Sharapova had to face a couple of sever losses in her early days too: in 2002, aged 15, she played her first ever WTA event in Indian Wells, where in round two lost to Monica Seles 6-0 6-2. But the most remarkable loss in her career remains, again in Indian Wells, the only loss she suffered by the hands on Lindsey Davenport, who annihilated her in the semifinals 6-0 6-0.

It was 2005 and, contrary to Bencic yesterday, she had already won her first major at Wimbledon.

Another future world number one had to prove herself after a “bagel and breadstick” loss in her early years on tour: Dinara Safina made her slam debut on the hard courts of Flushing Meadows, when she was left with no games won by the eventual champion Serena Williams 6-0 6-1.

A 19-year-old Simona Halep also faced a big defeat by the hands of Sam Stosur at Roland Garros, when she lost 6-0 6-2. Three years later, Halep reached her first slam and Roland Garros final challenging Sharapova till the very end.

All these players, who were and still are part of the best of this game, happened to face a reality check in the first years as pros, when the experience of great champions was simply too big for them to handle.

In some cases, it did not even take great champions on the other side of the net, like Agnieszka Radwanska probably would argue, as she was defeated by a good player, but not a big talent, like Martina Muller 6-1 6-0 in the qualifications of Paris indoor in 2007.

A similar example goes for Ana Ivanovic, when, still 16, lost 6-1 6-1 to Sofia Arvidsson in Luxemburg.

So what does that mean for Bencic? As simple as that, Wozniacki played better, a lot better, but this does not change anything for her future hopes of becoming a star of this sport.

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Caroline Wozniacki To Face Serena Williams In Farewell Match

Details have been released about a special event that will take place in honour of the former world No.1.

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After announcing her retirement from tennis at the start of next year, Caroline Wozniacki has confirmed that she will play one final match in her home country before hanging up her racket for good.

 

Danish media have reported that the 2018 Australian Open champion will play at the Royal Arena in Copenhagen next May. A multi-purpose arena that can hold a capacity of up to 12,500 people for sporting events. Described by the promoters as Wozniacki’s ‘final match’ on Danish soil, she will play against rival and friend Serena Williams.

“The time has come when I stop my career and I am very much looking forward to playing my very last home game in front of such a large audience. It will be something very special and a day I really look forward to.” Wozniacki told tv2.dk.
“The end point of my career cannot be better than at home and against tennis’ greatest female player ever. It’s going to be a magnificent night I’ll never forget, I’m sure.” She added.

Wozniacki has played Williams 11 times on the WTA Tour, but has only won one of their meetings. Which was at the 2012 Miami Open. It is not the first time the two have played an exhibition match against each other. In 2016 Williams won their encounter in Madison Square Garden, New York. Meanwhile, last year Wozniacki also played Williams’ sister Venus in Denmark to mark her triumph at the Australian Open.

The 29-year-old will be hoping that the upcoming showdown will be the perfect send off as she exits the sport. During her career, Wozniacki has won 30 WTA titles and spent 71 weeks as world No.1. She has also won 432 hard court matches, which is more than any other non-American player on the women’s tour.

“I want to thank everyone for the incredible support they have shown me throughout my career and I hope that as many people as possible want to come and give me perfect send off. I would be very grateful for that.” She said.

The farewell match will take place on May 18th, which is exactly a week before the start of the French Open for Williams.

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Indian Wells voted as the best WTA Premier Mandatory Tournament of the 2019 season

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The tournament awards are broken down into four categories, according to the four different levels of WTA Tournaments.

 

The BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells has been voted as the winner of the Tournament of the Year Award in the WTA Premier Mandatory category for the sixth consecutive year and the 11th time overall.

Dubai was voted as the winner in the WTA Premier 5 Category. There were two ties in the WTA Premier category and in the WTA International categories.

St. Petersburg won the WTA Premier Award fo the second consecutive year, while Stuttgart received this award for the 10th time.

Auckland won the WTA International category Award for the fourth time, while Acapulco received this accolade for the 12th time.

Petra Kvitova received the Karen Krantzcke Sportmanship Award for the seventh straight year and the eighth time overall. The list of past winners of this Award features Kim Clijsters, Elena Dementieva, Ana Ivanovic, Lindsay Davenport, Chris Evert and Evonne Goolagong-Cawley. The Karen Krantzcke Sportmaship Award is presented to the player, who observes the rules of fair play, shows respect for others and is gracious on and off the court.

“Receiving this award for the eighth consecutive year makes me very proud and means so much for me. Being recognized by my colleagues for sportsmanship and fair play is an honour as I always pride myself on treating my opponents with respect. I hope to inspire the future generations to love the sport of tennis as much as I do”, said Kvitova.

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Carla Suarez Navarro Set For One Last Season As A Player

The former top 10 player has outlined her retirement plans for 2020 as she embarks upon a farewell tour.

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Next year will be the final time tennis fans will see Carla Suarez Navarro on the tour after the Spaniard announced her retirement on Tuesday.

 

The former world No.6 confirmed her future plans during a press conference in Barcelona. She will play one full season in 2020 before walking away from the sport after playing for more than 10 years on the WTA Tour. Suarez Navarro is currently the second highest ranked female tennis player from Spain after Garbine Muguruza and is currently 55th in the world.

“The 2020 season will be my last year in the professional tennis circuit,” wtatennis.com quoted the 31-year-old as saying. “The sport has been a fundamental part of my life – it has given me immense joy and I cannot be more grateful for all the experiences that it has allowed me to live. At this time, I notice that the time has come to complete a beautiful chapter and begin to enjoy other areas of life. Tennis will always be in me.”

Known for her one-handed backhand shot, which is a rare occurrence in the women’s game, Suarez Navarro has enjoyed a successful career since her breakthrough in 2008. The year when she reached the quarter-finals of the French Open as a qualifier. During her career, she claimed two WTA titles with the biggest being at the 2016 Qatar Open. She also finished runner-up at nine other tournaments.

“Tennis right now has a very high demand. To be high in the ranking you need absolute consistency, a world-class level of physical conditioning and a 24-hour daily psychological commitment. I have been in high competition for more than 15 years and have lived through these realities since the beginning of my adolescence. These are lessons that have formed me as a person and that will serve me for a lifetime,” Suárez Navarro explained.
“I want to enjoy one last season with the same professionalism as always. I am going to do a quality preparation, my whole team is going to travel with me from the month of January and I plan to compete until the end of the season. My desire is clear: to be proud of this last effort when I reach the end of the road.”

Suarez Navarro has also enjoyed success in the doubles where she peaked at a high of 11th back in 2015. Her trio of trophies was won alongside Muguruza between 2014-2015. The duo also reached the semi-finals of the 2014 French Open.

Representing her country, the three-time Olympian has also featured in 15 Fed Cup ties. Including Spain’s clash with Belgium earlier this year when she won all three of her matches (two singles and one doubles). Overall, she has a win-loss record of 16-11 in the competition.

Despite knowing that next year will be her last as a player, the Spaniard has big ambitions for 2020. Including a fourth consecutive appearance at the Olympic Games.

“My goals are going to be as high as ever,” she stated. “I want to try to finish the year in the Top 10 because I know what it takes to be there. I am very excited to participate in another Olympic Games and, as always, I will have the Grand Slams in mind. Although it is the last season of my career, my mentality will be exactly the same: work, humility and ambition.”

Suarez Navarro will start her final season at the ASB Classic in Auckland.

Four facts about Suarez Navarro’s career

  1. Her career prize money currently stands at $11,580,886. The third highest of all time for a Spanish woman.
  2. Has won 509 matches so far in her career against 336 loses.
  3. Between 2013-2016 Suarez Navarro finished each season in the top 20 for both singles and doubles.
  4. She has played in 43 grand slam tournaments and hasn’t missed the main draw of a major event since losing in the second round of qualifying at the 2011 Wimbledon Championships.

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