TENNIS WTA WUHAN – Petra Kvitova beat Eugenie Bouchard 6-3 6-4 in the final of the WTA Premier 5 Tournament in Wuhan to become the fourth player to book the ticket for the WTA Finals in Singapore. Diego Sampaolo
The first edition of the edition of the WTA Premier 5 Tournament in Wuhan, the home city of retired Chinese star Li Na featured a re-match between this year’s Wimbledon finalists Petra Kvitova and Eugenie Bouchard.
Last July Kvitova lifted her second Wimbledon title by defeating the Canadian rising star 6-3 6-0 in just 55 minutes. This time the Czech player won again in straight sets with 6-3 6-4 clinching her third title after Wimbledon and New Haven.
Kvitova won her third head-to-head match against Bouchard playing a perfect match on serve.
Kvitova got the decisive in the second game of the first set as Bouchard committed two unforced errors followed by a double fault and clinched the first set with 6-3. In the first set Kvitova hit 12 winners to 7 unforced errors in the opening set. Bouchard produced six winners to 8 unforced errors
Kvitova got a early break in the second set. At 3-2 Kvitova Bouchard earned two break point chances for 15-40 following a double fault by Kvitova. The Czech player saved the first break point chance when sent a backhand return into the net and the second with a forehand winner.
In the seventh game Kvitova got a double break for 5-2 and served for the match. She faced some stiff opposition in the next game of the second set when she got a match point but missed a backhand into the net.
Bouchard earned six break points before saving a match point and getting a break to force the match to the tenth game. At 5-4 Kvitova served for the match to wrap it up in 1 hour and 20 minutes
Kvitova hit 30 winners to 18 unforced errors and converted three of her five break point chances, while Bouchard produced 12 winners to 16 unforced errors and converted only one of her eight break points.
Kvitova has reached the WTA Finals for the fourth time in a row becoming the fourth player to book a berth for the end-of-season tournament after Serena Williams, Maria Sharapova and Simona Halep. After winning the end-of-season title in her magic 2011 season, she failed to get through the round robin and reached the semifinal last year in the three editions which were held in Istanbul.
“I had a great week in Wuhan. From the beginning my season was very tough. If somebody had told me that I would win Wimbledon and still be fighting for Singapore, I am not sure I would have believed them. But I have had a great second part of the season. It all started a little bit at the French Open and from then on I just kept on improving. It was really difficult to take the loss in the first round at the Australian Open but I kept working hard.”
Kvitova played a great tournament in which she swept aside Caroline Garcia (the revelation of the week) with 6-3 6-4 in the quarter final before beating Ukrainian unseeded player Elina Svitolina with 6-3 7-5 in the semifinal.
Svitolina produced a major upset in the quarter final when sh knocked out Angelique Kerber with a 6-4 7-6 win in the quarter final
Bouchard, who reached the semifinal at the Australian Open and at the Roland Garros and the final at Wimbledon, will move up to Number 8 in the WTA Ranking.
In Wuhan Bouchard confirmed her status as one of the biggest revelations of this year with two outstanding wins over Alizé Cornet with 6-3 7-5 in the quarter final and this year’s US Open finalist Caroline Wozniacki with 6-2 6-3 in the semifinal. Earlier this week Wozniacki fought back from a set down to overcome Swiss surprise Timea Bacsinszky in three sets with 4-6 6-2 6-3 in the quarter final. Bacsinkiy scored the biggest of her career when she upset Maria Sharapova on Wednesday.
The Swiss player was the major surprise of the week together with French players Alizé Cornet and Caroline Garcia.
Cornet overcame Serena Williams when the US star had to withdraw late in the first set because of a viral illness. Garcia scored two back-to-back wins over Venus Williams and Agnieszka Radwanska.
Flavia Pennetta and Martina Hingis won their first WTA doubles title as a team with a 6-4 5-7 12-10 win over Caroline Garcia and Cara Black.
Pennetta and Hingis, who finished runner-up in Eastbourne and at the US Open doubles final earlier this month, cruised to a 6-4 5-3 lead in the second set but Black and Garcia saved four match points en route to winning the second set with 7-5.
In the third set Garcia and Black earned two match points at 9-8 and 10-9 in the second set but Pennetta and Hingis saved them. Pennetta hit a backhand volley into the corner to save the second match point. The Italian-Swiss team sealed the win with 12—10 with a big serve.
Pennetta and Hingis, who are currently ranked 12th in the Road to Singapore Ranking, will move up just outside the top-eight next week and could have a good chance to qualify for the WTA Finals in the doubles in Singapore.
Dominika Cibulkova announces her retirement from tennis
Dominika Cibulkova has announced her retirement from professional tennis at an event in her home town of Bratislava. The 30-year-old Slovakian player won eight titles on hard-court, grass, and indoor surfaces and achieved her career-high of world number 4 on 20th March 2017.
Cibulkova reached the semifinal at the 2009 Roland Garros, three quarter-finals at Wimbledon (i2011, 2016 and 2018) and the quarter-final at the US Open in 2010. She became the first Slovakian player to reach a Grand Slam final when she finished runner-up to Li Na at the 2014 Australian Open. She achieved the best result of her career in October 2016, when she beat former world number 1 Angelique Kerber at the WTA Finals in Singapore to clinch the Billie Jean King Trophy. That year Dominika won three more titles at Katowice, Eastbourne, and Linz. She also finished runner-up in Acapulco, Madrid, and Wuhan.
“It wasn’t just winning the WTA Finals, but also the road to qualifying, which was really hard. I had to win in Linz just to make it there. While winning Singapore was the biggest moment of my career and life, winning Linz and the way I had to fight to get there, the fact that I was able to do it and belong among the best players in the world”, said Cibulkova in an interview to the WTA Website.
Cibulkova also won four more titles in Moscow 2011, Carlsbad 2012, Stanford 2013 and Acapulco 2014.
She represented the Slovak Republic at two editions of the Olympic Games in Beijing 2008 and London 2012 and has scored a record of 22 wins and 11 defeats in her Fed Cup appearances.
Cibulkova decided Roland Garros would be the final tournament of her career.
“It wasn’t a decision where I woke up and thought: “I don’t want to play anymore”. It was a long process. I was already convinced by the time I played Azarenka in Miami, that this could be my last match. It was strange because I knew, and no one around me except my team knew it would be my last tournament. At that point, I was 100 percent sure. I was not doubting or thinking: maybe yes or no. I knew I wanted to do it like this, for this to be my last tournament. I went home and I was happy with my decision. It’s really hard to make it, but once you do, you more free. I feel like this life has been fulfilled for me, and I want to start a new one. I was already feeling like the tennis life is really tough, with all the traveling and training, giving 100 % every day. I started to get tired of it. In the end, I gave enough and achieved things I never dreamed of reaching in my career ”, said Cibulkova.
Karolina Pliskova Splits From Coach With A Possible Replacement Already In The Pipeline
The Czech made the surprise announcement on social media as she enters negotiations with an unnamed individual.
World No.2 Karolina Pliskova has ended her collaboration with Conchita Martinez after working together for more than a year.
Pliskova, who has won four WTA titles this season, had been working with the Spaniard since the 2018 US Open. She originally joined the team on a part-time basis before being upgraded to a full-time position in February this year. Martinez is a former player best known for winning the 1994 Wimbledon Championships.
“I decided I will no longer work with Conchita,” Pliskova posted on Instagram. “It was a tough decision, as the season was great. Thank you for all this year, and wish you only the best. Life is a change!”
The decision comes after what has been a solid year on the tour for the 27-year-old. Overall, she has won 51 out of 68 matches played. Recording five wins over top five opponents. In the grand slams she reached the semi-finals of the Australian Open in what was her best ever performance at the tournament. However, she failed to repeat that success at the other three majors. Reaching the third round of the French Open followed by the last 16 in both Wimbledon and the US Open.
“Just a little note to inform you that Karolina and I have decided to take different paths next year.” Martinez wrote in a statement. “It has been an incredible year full of great moments and emotions. I wish Kaja and her team the best for the future.”
It may not be long before the identity of who replaces Martinez is revealed. Michal Hrdlicka, who is Pliskova’s manager and husband, has confirmed to Czech News Agency CTK that discussions are underway with an unnamed individual.
“After the Champions Tournament (WTA Finals), we started negotiations on the engagement of a new coach. Negotiations are underway and we will inform the fans when they are over.” He said.
In her last tournament of 2019, Pliskova reached the semi-finals of the WTA Finals. She was knocked out of the event by top seed Barty who went on to win the title.
Pliskova has finished the year ranked No.2 on the WTA rankings. The highest year-end ranking she has ever achieved so far in her career.
Top WTA Coach Accused Of False Advertising
Kamau Murray, who was shortlisted for WTA coach of the year in 2018, has been accused by a top 100 player of ‘taking credit for things he has not done.’
American tennis player Taylor Townsend has launched an attack on a tennis coach who guided Sloane Stephens to her first grand slam title at the 2017 US Open.
Kamau Murray has been accused of ‘misrepresenting himself’ in the sport by the former world No.1 junior player. The criticism has been sparked by the USPTA Illinois Mini Conference, which will take place on November 17th. In the advertisement it states that Murray is Townsend’s coach. Something she has denies in a lengthy Instagram post.
“Zina Garrison was my primary coach from September 2013-March 2,” she wrote.
“I did not to go public in the past because I had hoped to resolve this matter directly with Kamau Murray. I will no longer remain silent while he (Murray) continues his lies and false advertisement.’
“I did not give Kamau consent to use my name and likeness for his ongoing personal and business monetary gain.”
Townsend, who reached the fourth round of the US Open this year, also took a swipe at Murray over his previous work with Monica Puig. In August the Puerto Rican confirmed that her partnership with the coach has ended after he returned back to working alongside Stephens. Puig told reporters at the US Open that she was informed by ‘people close to her’ that Murray was working with another player in secret. Branding it as a ‘slap in the face.’ Stephens responded to Puig claims by stating that there were ‘two sides to every story.’
“I can no longer remain silent while he continues to deceive professional players, aspiring players, sponsors, and the tennis community by misrepresenting himself and taking credit for things he has not done.” Said Townsend. “Monica Puig is a recent victim of his deception.”
Murray is the founder of the XS Tennis and Education Foundation and has his own tennis facility in Chicago. According to the WTA, he helped guide Townsend to the third round of the 2014 French Open in what was her grand slam debut at the age of 18.
There has been no reply from Murray concerning Townsend’s allegation.
View this post on Instagram
If you know me, then you know that this is NOT something that I would normally do, but I feel that it’s time to set the record straight about Chicago’s Kamau Murray of XS Tennis Academy. I can no longer remain silent while he continues to deceive professional players, aspiring players, sponsors, and the tennis community by misrepresenting himself and taking credit for things he has not done. @monicaace93 is a recent victim of his deception. I started my tennis with Donald Young SR. and Illona Young, who taught me to play tennis from 4 years old and assisted in me being number 1 in junior in the world. From 2010- August 2013, I trained at the USTA under the instruction of Kathy Rinaldi and briefly Juan Todero. Zina Garrison was my primary coach from September 2013- March 2015. Zina brought Kamau on board as an assistant coach during that time. I did not to go public in the past because I had hoped to resolve this matter directly with Kamau Murray. I will no longer remain silent while he continues his lies and false advertisement. I did not give Kamau consent to use my name and likeness for his ongoing personal and business monetary gain. Kamau is currently stating that he is my coach in promotion of the upcoming USPTA Illinois Mini Conference on November 17, 2019 held at XS Athletic Club. His latest actions have prompted me to expose his past and ongoing pattern of deceit. If you are a fan of mine, please support me and have my back regarding this matter. In doing this, I am clearing my conscience and telling another piece of my story! Thank you so much! I love you guys! 💕
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