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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Simona Halep Ends Six-Year Collaboration With Coach Cahill

One of the longest coaching partnerships on the WTA Tour has come to an end.

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Former world No.1 Simona Halep is on the lookout for a new coach after unexpectedly announcing her split from Darren Cahill on Wednesday.

 

The two-time Grand Slam champion has been working with the Australian mentor for most of the time since 2015. There was a brief period where Cahill stepped away from his duties to spend more time with his family before later returning. Under his guidance, the Romanian reached the top of the world rankings and featured in the final of three major tournaments, winning two of those.

“After six wonderful years working together, Darren Cahill and I have decided that it’s time to end our working relationship,” Halep wrote on social media. “Thank you D for everything, for making me a better tennis player and a better person.”

55-year-old Cahill is a former player himself who has also worked with a series of top players prior to Halep. In the past, he has coached both Lleyton Hewitt and Andre Agassi to world No.1 at different stages of their careers. Doubles specialist Horia Tecău reportedly told Romanian TV that it was rumoured Cahill received an annual salary in the region of one million euros during his time with Halep. Although this has not been verified.

The announcement comes a week after Halep married Macedonian businessman Toni Iuruc. One of those who attended the event was Illie Nastase who was one of the world’s best tennis players during the 1970s, winning both the French Open and US Open.

I didn’t know anything about Simona’s intention to break up with Darren Cahill. It took me a little by surprise. But Simona Halep has proven she knows what she’s doing. As I did not know, I do not see what I could comment. But there is no question of collaborating (with her),” Nastase told playsport.ro.
I didn’t talk to her about this or to anyone else in her entourage… I think only Simona knows who her future coach will be. I trust her choices.”

So far in 2021 Halep has achieved a win-loss record of 15-7 during what has been a rollercoaster season. An Achilles injury forced her to miss both the French Open and Wimbledon, as well as the Tokyo Olympics. Since returning to the Tour from her injury she has won back-to-back matches in one out of three tournaments played. Reaching the fourth round of the US Open.

There has been no official word on who may replace Cahill as Halep’s coach.

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Venus Williams Explains Met Gala Photo With Maria Sharapova

The former world No.1 says she and her sister Serena have ‘respect and love’ for Sharapova.

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Venus Williams, Maria Sharapova and Serena Williams at the 20201 Met Gala (image via Instagram)

Seven-time Grand Slam champion Venus Williams says there are no hard feelings between her, her sister Serena and Maria Sharapova after the trio took a photo together at the Met Gala.

 

The former world No.1s was seen smiling and laughing together at the New York fundraising event with both of the Williams sisters uploading a photo of them all on their Instagram story. Prompting surprise from some fans considering the at times icy rivalry between Serena and Sharapova that dates back to the 2004 Wimbledon Championships.

In her 2017 autobiography, Unstoppable: My Life So Far, Sharapova mentioned Serena’s name more than 100 times. She says the American hated her for beating her at Wimbledon that year and that the two were ‘not friends.’

“What I heard when I came in to the locker room was Serena Williams bawling,” Sharapova wrote.
“Guttural sobs. I got out as quickly as I could, but she knew I was there.
“I think Serena hated me for being the skinny kid who beat her, against all odds … I think she hated me for seeing her at her lowest moment.
“But mostly I think she hated me for hearing her cry. She’s never forgiven me for it.”

Responding to the claims, Serena hit back at the book in 2018 by describing it as ‘hearsay’ and said she never had any ‘negative feelings’ towards Sharapova. The two clashed on the Tour no fewer than 22 times with Serena winning 20 of those meetings.

“So I don’t have any negative feelings towards her, which again, was a little disappointing to see in that hearsay book,” Williams commented back in 2018. “So I have always, you know, and especially having a daughter, like, I feel like negativity is taught. One of the things I always say, I feel like women, especially, should bring each other up.”

Three years later and it now seems that all parties have put their disagreements behind them. At the Met Gala they were seen getting on pretty well. Besides posing for a photo together, they were also seen together in the bathroom at the event. A photo taken by pop star Anitta and rapper Saweetie which showed them in the background.

Speaking about the event for the first time, 41-year-old Williams said she wishes Sharapova was still playing before adding that they still ‘respect and love’ each other.

“First of all, Serena and I were talking about Maria the day before,” the 41-year-old explained on Instagram.
“We were like, ‘Damn, I wish Maria was still playing.’
“And we saw her, and we both told her separately, ‘Oh my gosh, we were just talking about you yesterday, we wish you were still on tour.’
“We were so happy to see each other. There was hugs, there was laughing, there were stories, and there was a photo.
“So the backstory is that even though us players compete really hard of the court for years, we still respect and love each other, and love Maria
.”

Williams, Serena and Sharapova have won a total of 35 Grand Slam singles titles between them.

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Emma Raducanu Launches Own Weibo Account With Viral Video

In her first video, the teenage sensation promised to play in China next year.

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Emma Raducanu reacts after winning a Women's Singles semifinal match at the 2021 US Open, Thursday, Sep. 9, 2021 in Flushing, NY. (Darren Carroll/USTA)

British tennis sensation Emma Raducanu is gaining a rapidly growing fan base in China with her first video on the social media account Weibo surpassing one million views in less than two days.

 

The 18-year-old has become one of the most talked about athletes in the world of tennis following her unprecedented run to the US Open title. At the Grand Slam she didn’t drop a single set in 10 matches played to become the first qualifier in history to ever win a major title. Even more remarkable was the fact Raducanu was playing in a Grand Slam main draw for only the second time in her career.

In her native UK bookmakers are already tipping the youngster as a strong contender to win this year’s prestigious BBC Sports personality of the Year award. Although it isn’t just Britain where she is proving to be a hit. Raducanu was actually born in Canada to a Romanian father and Chinese mother who both work in the finance section. The family moved to the UK when Raducanu was two-years-old.

“My mum comes from a Chinese background. They have very good self-belief. It’s not necessarily about telling everyone how good you are, but it’s about believing it within yourself. I really respect that about the culture,” she said.
“She’s always instilled a lot of discipline and respect for other people into me, so I think that having parents like I do, they always push me, they have high expectations so I’ve always tried to live up to that. And I just hope I did them proud this week and I’m going to keep trying to go, keep going.”

Shortly after her US Open win, the world No.23 delivered a message in mandarin which was posted on the tournament’s Weibo account. SportsPro Media reports that the video generated more than 11 million impressions.

Now Raducanu has launched her own Weibo account with a video message to her fans. Shine.cn, which is a website powered by Chinese newspaper Shanghai Daily, said that the British player has promised to play in the country next year. This season’s Asian swing has been cancelled due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Shine also said she spoke with a slight ‘accent from northeast China’ where her mother is from.

According to the latest view count, the video has been watched more than 1.22 million times since it was published. The view count may look impressive but it is by no means a one off. The Guardian newspaper recently reported that two hashtags related to Raducanu on Weibo have been viewed at least 200M times each as a result of her US Open win. These hashtags were ‘18-year-old ethnic Chinese young player wins US open championship‘ and ‘Raducanu.’

Despite her relative inexperience on the Tour, many are tipping Raducanu to become one of the most marketable athletes in the world. Her ability to interact with the Chinese market will play a significant role in those considering the country has invested millions into the sport and hosts a series of prestigious women’s events. However, in the immediate future the teenager says her focus is on the tennis.

“I have a few days’ rest and recovery – I think needed after the last seven weeks,” she told CNBC’s Closing Bell earlier this week.
“But then I am straight back to training and hungry to get better and come back out and play some more tournaments.”

Besides Weibo, Raducanu also has over 583,000 followers on Twitter, 1.9M Instagram followers and 63,000 followers on her official Facebook page.

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