A 2014 WTA shot guide: Part 4 (Move your feet, keep your head) - UBITENNIS
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A 2014 WTA shot guide: Part 4 (Move your feet, keep your head)



TENNIS WTA SHOT GUIDE – It is offseason time, so Ubitennis is having a look at the past year and rating the WTA players for their abilities in each of the fundamentals of tennis.


Season is officially over now. Fed Cup has been won, the Finals have given their verdict and the ranking has finally been decided.

Yes, 2014 is over for tennis fans, but in a little more than a month, the next season will start and, as usual, every player will be immediately tested for all the hard work they will have put in these weeks away from international competitions.

But before this will happen, we thought it would be interesting to redact a guide to the best ground strokes and fundamentals that shone during the past season, as to set a standard for the next one and check who will improve or decline in each section.

  • Footwork

In a game where you run a lot and most of the power of shots is given through legs, the footwork is key to being in a good position for hitting at the best of your chances. Natural talent and hard work can make it seem a rare gift, but it is an aspect which is often overlooked.

1) Simona Halep: the short girl from Constanta gives somewhat of a reminiscence of Justine Henin in the way she moves around the court. It is hard to catch her on the wrong foot, she is light and fast, as much as you start wondering if her feet do touch the ground.

Camila Giorgi Eastboburne 17 June 2014 by Giulio Gasparin

Camila Giorgi Eastboburne 17 June 2014 by Giulio Gasparin

2) Camila Giorgi: the Italian’s foot-speed is different from the Romanian’s, it is not as delicate, but it is as effective. It appears to be more of a full-legs movement but she is just as fast. Do not get distracted by her massive power the next time you watch her playing and you will see an incredibly nervous but powerful dance.

3) Agnieszka Radwanska: the Pole’s best quality is the ability to read the opponents’ intentions and so anticipate their shorts, but she could not do much if her feet were not as light and fast as they are.

4) Alizé Cornet: the French best ranked player is one of the best movers on tour. Her complicated and mixed game is depending on her speed on court, but her ability to move as well on grass show how good her footwork is.

Caroline Wozniacki, Eastbourne 2014 by Giulio Gasparin

Caroline Wozniacki, Eastbourne 2014 by Giulio Gasparin

5) Caroline Wozniacki: the Dane’s defence, contrary to the girls that precede her, is based on the actual speed on court, rather than anticipation. However, this does not diminish the quality of her footwork.

Honourable mention: Serena Williams, when she is fit and focused, her feet fare as fast as nobody else with the same muscled structure.

  • Mental toughness

One can be born with an amazing mental attitude or have developed it though the years. However it came to be, there is no doubt that having an ice-cold mind is as important as a big forehand or massive serve.

1) Maria Sharapova: she can look in despair, she can seem on the verge of losing as many times as it is hard to count, but she almost always comes out victorious. There are not as many players that can win as much despite facing an inspired opponent or a bad day.

2) Eugenie Bouchard: finding a great run at the Australian Open when you are still a young player puts you under enormous pressure. She dealt with it stunningly and always found her best game when it most mattered. The only two flops were at her home tournament and at the WTA Championships, but these do not diminish her merits in this department.

Serena Williams by Art Seitz

Serena Williams by Art Seitz

3) Serena Williams: knowing to be one of the greatest players ever puts you under immense pressure, especially if you are on a quest for more slam titles. Her season was pretty much a disaster under this section until the US Open, but her ability to set everything aside in New York and later confirm it in Singapore made her rise in the ranking.

4) Caroline Wozniacki: she left the Roland Garros with one win in two months, a minor injury and a broken heart. In all honesty, it takes quite some guts to bounce back the way she did.

4- ex aequo) Simona Halep: she rose from nowhere last year and many thought it was likely she would slip back to anonymity once the confidence was gone. She reached a career high at number two and the final of the WTA Championships, that is quite something.

Sara Errani Stuttgart 2014

Sara Errani Stuttgart 2014

5) Sara Errani: yes, she should be sixth, but we she deserved more than an honourable mention. If you are that short, with a genetic shoulder problem that does not allow you serving with any power, it takes a lot of mental strength to keep fighting season after season, match after match like she does.

5- ex aequo) Andrea Petkovic: coming back from injuries is not easy, coming back over and over again is harder, but achieving your best results at the nth comeback is simply remarkable.

To be continued next week, with the overall top 5s!

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Bianca Andreescu Reunites With Former Coach Ahead Of New Season 

How will the Grand Slam champion fair on the Tour with her latest mentor?




Former US Open champion Bianca Andreescu has brought a familiar face back into her team as she bids to return to her best form in 2023. 


Andreescu, who is currently ranked 45th in the WTA rankings, has appointed Christophe Lambert as her latest coach. Lambert had been working as the performance director at Tennis New Zealand and resigned from that position to work with the former US Open champion. He had also previously worked for Tennis Canada and during that time he was a private coach for Andreescu in 2016. 

“Bianca asked me to coach her and I accepted the job. It was an offer I couldn’t refuse,” Lambert told sport.co.nz. 

Lambert, who has also spent time working with the Chinese Davis Cup team and for the British LTA, has stayed in contact with Andreescu ever since coaching her six years ago. 

“It wasn’t like every week or every month. It’s always good to have people calling you when you are up, but when she was down I was checking on her and giving her my opinion.” He said. 

Andreescu had been working with Dutch coach Sven Groeneveld for over a year before they decided to end their collaboration in October. Groeneveld has a wealth of experience in the sport after working with a series of top names, including Maria Sharapova. 

This season the former world No.4 has won 20 out of 33 matches played with her best performance being a run to the final of the Bad Homburg Open in Germany. However, her record against top 10 opposition was 2-5.

“I’m just taking it day by day, and it’s a great way to end off the year as well, just bringing back all the emotions that fire a lot in me,” Andreescu recently told reporters in Glasgow at the Billie Jean King Cup. “I think I’m going to have a great preseason. Next year I really think I can crack the top 10 again.”

Andreescu, who has been hampered by injury issues in recent years, hasn’t won a singles title of any sort since 2019. 

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Four-Time Grand Slam Winner Naomi Osaka Named In FTX Lawsuit 

The former world No.1 took an equity stake in the failed business earlier this year. 




Naomi Osaka is among a series of high-profile individuals who have been accused of using their celebrity status to promote FTX’s failed business model in a lawsuit filed against the cryptocurrency exchange. 


The BBC has reported that over one million people and businesses could be owed money following the collapse of FTX, according to bankruptcy filings. A week ago FTX collapsed into bankruptcy with its former boss Sam Bankman-Fried stepping down as CEO. A massive development in the financial for what was one of the largest crypto exchanges in the world that had the naming rights to a Formula One racing team as well as a sports arena in Miami.

According to the Associated Press, the company is being investigated by state and federal prosecutors over allegations it ‘invested depositors’ funds in ventures without their approval.’ In a lawsuit filed on Tuesday, it argues that celebrity backers of FTX such as Osaka should be held just as accountable as Bankman-Fried as they brought ‘instant credibility’ to the company. 

“Part of the scheme employed by the FTX Entities involved utilizing some of the biggest names in sports and entertainment — like these Defendants — to raise funds and drive American consumers to invest … pouring billions of dollars into the deceptive FTX platform to keep the whole scheme afloat,” the lawsuit said.

Osaka took an equity stake in FTX in March where she would be receiving compensation in Crypto. Signing what was described as a ‘long-term partnership’ to become a global ambassador, the tennis star aimed to draw attention to women joining the platform and she played a role in directing its content.

“We have seen the statistics about how few women are part of crypto by comparison, which kind of mirrors the inequality we see in other financial markets,” Osaka said earlier this year.

Osaka, who has won 14 out of 23 matches played this season, has not made any public statement regarding the lawsuit. NFL quarterback Tom Brady, comedian Larry David and basketball team the Golden State Warriors are also defendants in the lawsuit.

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WTA Targets New Multi-Year Deal For Its Premier Event If Agreement With China Fails

Will the WTA Finals return to Shenzhen in 2023?



WTA CEO Steve Simon

The WTA say they are not willing to compromise their principles concerning the possibility of hosting tournaments in China next year amid uncertainty over the future of their season-ending event. 


Steve Simon, who is the CEO of the women’s Tour, says he is hopeful that a resolution can be found with the country but has vowed now to back down on its stance. Last year the WTA suspended tournaments in China over concerns about the safety of former player Peng Shuai who accused a former government official of sexually assaulting her. 

Shuai disappeared shortly after posting her statement on social media before returning a few weeks later with photos and videos of her being posted online by journalists linked to the government-controlled media. There are concerns that the former doubles Grand Slam champion, who has not left her country since making those allegations, is being censored by the government. The WTA wants an investigation to be conducted into the matter. 

“We’ve made a strong stand, and we stand behind that stance, and we’re not going to compromise our principles,” Simon said during an interview with The New York Times. “Clearly when we did it, we understood eyes wide open what it could mean.”
“We’re still in the same place. If they come forward with something else we should look at, of course we are open to it. But we haven’t seen it so far. I’m hopeful we do find a resolution. That’s the goal, to find the right resolution. What’s the truth? Then we can move forward.” He added. 

Simon said he is confident that Shuai is safe in Beijing but he has not been able to make any direct contact with her, despite trying to on multiple occasions. A letter reportedly written by Shuai to the WTA was posted online in 2021 saying that she wishes to be left alone. However, many have doubted the authenticity of that letter with some fearing that she wrote it under duress. 

One of the biggest impacts of the fallout has involved the prestigious WTA Finals, which is a round-robin tournament featuring the eight best-performing players over the past 12 months. In 2018 a lucrative deal was agreed that paved the way for the event to be held in Shenzhen for 10 years. However, the event was cancelled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic before the next two additions were moved elsewhere.

Whilst the WTA is optimistic about a return to Shenzhen in 2023, there are also backup plans in the works. Simon confirmed that it is no longer feasible for the WTA Finals to be held in a location for just one year. So it is likely that the tournament would be held in a city for two or more years in a row if it doesn’t return to China next season. 

“We’re not going to continue to do these one-year decisions,” he said. “It’s not sustainable. If it looks like we can’t go back to China or aren’t ready to go back, then I do think we will carve out a multiyear situation, because we need to for the business.”

The case involving Shuai isn’t the only barrier for the WTA. China’s zero-covid policy has made hosting international events in the region unfeasible and the ATP cancelled all of their events in the tournament this year due to the situation. 

This year’s WTA Finals has a prize money offering of $5M which is more than half of what was on offer at the 2019 tournament in Shenzhen ($14M). 

Simon didn’t provide any deadline for when an agreement must be reached with China must be reached before the WTA considers moving their event elsewhere once again. 

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