Wimbledon Ladies Draw: Serena looking for the "Serena Slam" in London - UBITENNIS
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Wimbledon Ladies Draw: Serena looking for the “Serena Slam” in London

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Serena Williams (1) is in the top half of the draw and could meet Maria Sharapova (4) in the semifinals. Serena could face her sister Venus in the 4th round. In the bottom half Petra Kvitova (2) could meet Simona Halep (3). Diego Sampaolo

 

Serena will be looking to win her sixth Wimbledon title and her third major of the year after winning the Australian and French Open titles. She is also en route to winning her 4th major in a row for what she has dubbed the “Serena Slam.” In the past two editions of Wimbledon, Serena has not managed to reach the quarterfinals. Last year she lost to Alizé Cornet in the 3rd round.

She will start her campaign against Margarita Gasparyan before possible clashes against either Timea Babos or Petra Cetkovska in the 2nd round and either Caroline Garcia (32) or Heather Watson in the 3rd round, her sister Venus in the fourth round, Ana Ivanovic (5) in the quarterfinal and Sharapova in the semifinal. Sharapova has not beaten Serena since 2004 and is 2-17 lifetime, including 16 straight losses.  

Ivanovic should have a easy start against Yi Fan Xu before a possible match against Tsvetana Pironkova. A possible big third round match could feature Viktoria Azarenka (23) and Carla Suarez Navarro (9). This section of the draw features the all-Italian match between Sara Errani (19) and Francesca Schiavone and the winner could meet another Italian Roberta Vinci who will start against Aleksandra Krunic.

Sharapova won Wimbledon in 2004 as a 17-year-old player, reached her last final at the All-England Club in 2011 but has not advanced past the fourth round since then. The Russian super star will open against Joanna Konta from Great Britain who reached the quarterfinal this week in Eastbourne. Sharapova could take on Andrea Petkovic in the 4th round. The German could meet Italian Flavia Pennetta who will play against Zarina Diyas in the first round.

2015 Roland Garros finalist Lucie Safarova (6) looms in the background as a possible quarterfinalist for Sharapova. Safarova recently beated the Russian en route to the French final. The Czech No. 2 will play American Allison Riske in the first round, possibly Kaia Kanepi in the second round, Barbora Strycova (27) in the 3rd round and in the 4th round yet another Czech Karolina Pliskova (12) who recently made it to the finals of Birmingham grass court event.

Caroline Wozniacki (5) will open against Saisai Zheng before a possible third round match against Camila Giorgi (31) who recently won her first title on grass in s’Hertogenbosch. Wozniacki’s possible rival in the quarterfinal could be Halep who will open against Jana Cepelova in the first round before meeting Svetlana Kuznetsova in the third round and former Wimbledon finalist Sabine Lisicki in the fourth round. Angelique Kerber (10) who won three tournaments in Charleston, Stuttgart and Birmingham, could meet Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in the 2nd round and Garbine Muguruza (20) in the 3rd round.

Kvitova, winner at Wimbledon in 2011 and 2014, will play her first match against Dutchwoman Kikki Bertens in the fourth quarter of the draw. The Czech player could also meet Jelena Jankovic (28) in the 3rd round and Agniezska Radwanska (13) in the 4th round. However, Radwanska would have to get past Elina Svitolina (17) in the 3rd round. Kvitova is also on collision course for a possible quarterfinal encounter against either this year’s Australian Open semifinalist Ekaterina Makarova (8) or last year’s Wimbledon finalist Eugenie Bouchard (12) who was forced to withdraw from Eastbourne earlier this week.

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Ukraine’s Elina Svitolina Announces Pregnancy

Tennis’ power couple are set to become parents later this year.

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Former world No.3 Elina Svitoliva has announced that she is expecting a baby girl in October on social media.

 

The 27-year-old made the announcement on Sunday morning with a picture of her and her husband, French tennis star Gael Monfils. Known by some as the sports ‘power couple,’ the two tied the knot last July in Geneva ahead of the Tokyo Olympic Games after first going public about their relationship in 2019. They even have their own Instagram account called ‘g.e.m.s. life’ which has more than 139,000 followers.

“With a heart full of love and happiness, we are delighted to announce that we are expecting a baby girl in October,” the couple wrote on Twitter.

Svitolina hadn’t played on the Tour since losing to Heather Watson at the Miami Open in March after deciding to take time away from the sport due to events happening in her home country. Russia launched a military operation against Ukraine earlier this year which has claimed thousands of lives. Svitolina is one of the sport’s most outspoken players regarding the conflict. She has previously spoken out against the decision to ban Russian and Belarussian athletes from Wimbledon by arguing that they should be allowed to participate if they condemn the actions of their home countries.

We don’t want them banned completely,” Svitolina told BBC Radio 5 Live Breakfast.
“If players don’t speak out against the Russian government then it is the right thing to ban them.”

Prior to announcing her pregnancy, Svitolina has achieved a win-loss record of 5-8 on the Tour this season with her best runs being to the third round of the Australian Open and the quarter-finals of a WTA event in Monterrey.

During her career, the Ukrainian has won 16 WTA titles and reached the semi-finals of two Grand Slams during 2019.

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Bianca Andreescu reaches Rome quarterfinals after beating Petra Martic

The Canadian was able to get by her Croatian opponent in straight sets on Thursday afternoon in the Italian capital.

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Photo by Roberto Dell’Olivo

Bianca Andreescu is through to the quaterfinals of the Italian Open being played at the Foro Italico in Rome after beating Petra Martic in 6-4, 6-4 in one hour and 45 minutes.

 

The Toronto native served four aces and won 76% of her first serve points in a match that was pretty straight forward for the world number 90 who makes her first quaterfinal this season.

During the first set both players did a good job holding serve and it was pretty tight until 4-4 when the Canadian was able to convert and served out the first set to take a 1-0 lead.

Andreescu was hungry for the early break in the second set and she got it but the Croat broke right back the following game to level the set at 2-2. She was then put on the defensive as the world number 47 started putting pressure on the Canadian but Andreescu was able to save two breakpoints before being able to hold serve to make it 3-3.

The next game Martic produced a poor service game and the 2019 US Open champ took full advantage, getting the break and that one break was enough for her to serve out the match.

Her reward for reaching the quarterfinals a date with the world number one Iga Swiatek who had no issues beating the Minsk native Victoria Azarenka 6-4, 6-1.

This will be their first ever meeting on the WTA Tour.

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‘She Doesn’t Really Have A Weakness’ – Karolina Pliskova Unsurprised By Swiatek’s Dominance

The Czech also opens up about her difficult start to the year where she has won just two matches.

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Karolina Pliskova (CZE) playing against Liudmila Samsonova (RUS) in the fourth round of the Ladies' Singles on Court 12 at The Championships 2021. Held at The All England Lawn Tennis Club, Wimbledon. Day 7 Monday 05/07/2021. Credit: AELTC/Jon Super

Iga Swiatek’s current streak of 24 match wins might have caught some by surprise by not Karolina Pliskova.

 

The world No.1 is the first player this season to have won four WTA events and is the third youngest to have won 20 or more matches in a row on the Tour since 2000 after both of the Williams sisters. Against seeded players this year, she has a win-loss record of 14-2. The recent dominance by the Pole solidifies her position as the highest ranked player in the world. A position she obtained following the decision by Ash Barty to retire from tennis just weeks after winning the Australian Open.

Pliskova knows all too well what it is like to play Swiatek after she was thrashed by the 20-year-old in Rome last year. The Czech lost 6-0, 6-0, to her younger rival in the final. That was the only time in her career she has played a WTA match without winning a single game.

I’m not surprised at all. She has that kind of game. I think she beats so many players super easy because she doesn’t really give one ball no matter what the score is,” Pliskova said of Swiatek during an interview with Eurosport.
“You can have players, like for example Madison Keys, she can play amazing but then she’s always going to have that one game where she gives you a couple of mistakes. But I think Iga just doesn’t have those games.”

Swiatek is unsurprisingly one of the favourites to clinch the French Open title, which will get underway later this month. She won the Grand Slam back in 2020 but hasn’t reached another major final since then. During the off-season she made a change to her coaching team by pairing up with Tomasz Wiktorowski who is known for his work with Agnieszka Radwanska.

“Of course, she can still play better and worse, but still she doesn’t give any free mistakes. So that’s why it’s super difficult to stay close, and of course, if you feel bad then you’re just going to lose a lot,” Pliskova continued.
“Because especially on clay, I think she moves very well, she doesn’t really have a weakness. And of course now, the confidence, I suppose it cannot be much higher. So that’s I think a big part of the success.”

As Swiatek surges in the sport, Pliskova is hoping to gain some momentum in the near future. After missing the start of the year due to a hand injury, she returned to action in Indian Wells but has enjoyed limited success. Failing to win back-to-back matches in six straight tournaments. Her latest loss was in the second round of the Italian Open to Switzerland’s Jil Teichmann.

The 30-year-old has a wealth of points to defend during the second half of 2022. Last year she reached the final of both Wimbledon and the Canadian Open, as well as a run to the quarter-finals of the US Open.

I think I’m old enough to not always [live] by the results or have the moods, I think I can just separate these things now,” she said.
“I’m doing my best so everything is not just about results and about tennis. I feel happy, I feel okay, and mainly my wrist is fine so I’m feeling fine. I think if I can hold this kind of like, it’s not like I will be super positive, but this kind of mood, it can help me in the second half of the year.”

Pliskova is currently ranked sixth in the world.

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