Day 6 Wimbledon 2015: Defending champion Kvitova upset by Jankovic - UBITENNIS
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Day 6 Wimbledon 2015: Defending champion Kvitova upset by Jankovic

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TENNIS – Petra Kvitova (2) will once again not defend her Wimbledon title. The defending champion was unexpectedly sent packing from the tournament in the 3rd round by Jelena Jankovic (28) 3-6 7-5 6-4 in 2 hours. “I cannot stop smiling. I’m really, really happy. I was just happy to be playing and competing on grass. Grass is not my favourite surface and Petra plays so well on it. I think it’s her favourite surface. It shows by winning two Wimbledon titles,” Jankovic said soon after the match. Cordell Hackshaw

 

It might be seen as ironic or sheer coincidence that last year Kvitova played the match of the tournament in the 3rd round when she beat Venus Williams in three tough sets. She was very much ready for that challenge as Williams is a 5-time Wimbledon champion. This year, she was caught unawares in this battle against Jankovic who has never gone past the 4th round here.

Coming into this match, the Czech had only dropped three games and looked to be playing the best tennis in the women’s draw. Jankovic on the other hand, had to play two 3-setters including a 10-8 scoreline in the 3rd set in the first round again Elena Vesnina. At the start of this match, it seemed that Kvitova was on her way to another Wimbledon final as she quickly broke Jankovic for 3-1 and maintained the lead to take the opening set 6-3.

Kvitova carried this momentum into the 2nd set as she again got out to a 3-1 lead. However, she began to miss and miss in ways only Kvitova can do it. When Kvitova misses, she misses badly. When her balls are out, they are way out. Jankovic is hardly the player to be making such unnecessary unforced errors against. The Serb sensed that she had a chance in this match and quickly took it. Jankovic began to clean up her game and hold serve far easier than she did earlier in the match. She made only 2 unforced errors in the 2nd set as Kvitova continued to misfire. Jankovic broke in the 8th game to level the set. As Kvitova served to stay in the set down 5-6, Jankovic broke again to take the set 7-5.

In the 3rd set, Kvitova remained off her game as she never made any inroads into the Jankovic serve. Jankovic appeared to be the one with the bigger serve as she never faced a break point in the set. Kvitova would later state, I’m not really sure what happened out there. I was kind of up in the second set. Suddenly I felt like she’s coming back, playing a little bit aggressive … Suddenly from my side, I didn’t have answer for it. My serve didn’t help me at all this time, as well. I was really struggling with each shot.”

They remained on serve through to the 10th game when Kvitova again had to serve to stay in the set and this time the match as well. She faltered as she made her 21st error, this time on the backhand to give Jankovic a spot in the Round of 16 on Monday. Jankovic has never made it past the 4th round of Wimbledon despite getting to the semifinal or better at all the other three majors.

Jankovic will take on Agnieszka Radwanska (13) who knocked out Casey Dellacqua 6-1 6-4. Radwanska is definitely showing herself to be a contender here. She had yet to drop a yet this tournament and playing the type of tennis that brought her success here at Wimbledon back in 2012 when she made her first major semifinal. Caroline Wozniacki (5) still on the hunt for her first major title, dismantled Camila Giorgi (31) 6-2 6-2. Despite having beaten Wozniacki in their last match up, Giorgi was completely outclassed on this day. Giorgi made 30 unforced errors including 9 double fault compared to only 3 errors from Wozniacki.

If Wozniacki wishes to get to a Wimbledon quarterfinal, she will have to get by the hard hitting Spaniard Garbine Muguruza (20) who knocked out Angelique Kerber (10) 7-6(12) 1-6 6-2. The opening set of this match revealed some spectacular tennis as both women were giving it their all. Kerber won the first 3 games of the match only to lose the next three. Neither player broke the other in the set and forced it to a decisive tiebreaker as Muguruza saved several set points. In the breaker neither player to get the crucial 2 point lead to take it and so it was only on the 26th point that Muguruza won it with a forehand volley winner.

In the 2nd set, Kerber ran away with it, winning 6 straight games after Muguruza held to open it, 6-1 Kerber. In the 3rd set, Muguruza reasserted herself and broke Kerber for a 2-1. She broke again for 5-2 and served it out. Kerber was not having a good serving day in the 3rd set as she won less than 50% of the points on serve. It has always been the case for Kerber that her serve let her down in crucial matches. She has been playing so well this year, winning three premier event titles including Birmingham on grass a couple weeks ago.

Madison Keys (21) is again having another nice run at the majors as she made it to the 2nd week of Wimbledon, a tournament that is well suited for her game and playing style. The American knocked out Tatjana Maria 6-4 6-4. Keys will take on Olga Govortsova, a Belarusian qualifier. Govortsova beat Magdalena Rybarikova 7-6 6-3. Also having another great time at the majors is Timea Bacsinszky (15), recent French Open semifinalist. Bacsinszky knocked out Sabine Lisicki (18) in straight sets 6-3 6-2 in 68 minutes. This result was a bit shocking since Lisicki made the finals here back in 2013. One did not expect such an easy match for the Swiss player but Lisicki had one of her infamous erratic cycle and unable to clean up her play. She had 24 errors to 10 from Bacsinszky. Monica Niculescu will play Bacsinszky in the 4th round as the Romanian beat Kristyna Pliskova 6-3 7-5.

So the Round of 16 are set for this Monday when all 8 matches will be played. They are as followed:
Serena Williams (1) v Venus Williams (16)
Victoria Azarenka (23) v Belinda Bencic (30)
Maria Sharapova (4) v Zarina Diyas
Coco Vandeweghe v Lucie Safarova (6)
Caroline Wozniacki (5) v Garbine Muguruza (20)
Timea Bacsinszky (15) v Monica Niculescu
Olga Govortsova (Q) v Madison Keys (21)
Agnieszka Radwanska (13) v Jelena Jankovic (28)

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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?

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BIANCA ANDREESCU OF CANADA - PHOTO: ALBERTO NEVADO / MMO

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. 

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NAOMI OSAKA OF JAPAN - PHOTO: ALVARO DIAZ / MMO

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?

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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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