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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Canada Daily Preview: Semifinal Saturday Features Ruud/Hurkacz and Pegula/Halep

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Simona Halep on Friday in Toronto (twitter.com/NBOtoronto)

The singles and doubles semifinals will be played on Saturday in Canada.  In Montreal, a new men’s singles champion will be crowned, and Hubi Hurkacz is the only semifinalist to have previously won a Masters 1000 event (Miami, 2021).  Hurkacz is also in the doubles semifinals, so it will be a busy day for Hubi.  In singles, he faces a finalist from this year in Miami, Casper Ruud.

 

In Toronto, Simona Halep is the only former champion remaining, and is two wins away from her third title at this event.  On Saturday, she plays Jessica Pegula, who is into the semifinals in Canada for the second straight year.  Like Hurkacz, Pegula is also in the doubles semifinals.  She’s teaming with Coco Gauff, who will become the new doubles No.1 if they win the title.

Each day, this preview will analyze the two most intriguing matchups, while highlighting other notable matches on the schedule.  Saturday’s play gets underway at 12:00pm local time in Montreal and 1:00pm in Toronto.


Hubert Hurkacz (8) vs. Casper Ruud (4) – Not Before 3:00pm on Court Central in Montreal

Hurkacz ended the winning streak of Nick Kyrgios on Friday, taking him out in three sets for the second time this season.  But Ruud was even more impressive on Friday, bouncing back from a marathon victory on Thursday over Roberto Bautista Agut to overwhelm Canada’s Felix Auger-Aliassime, dropping only three games.  Predominantly known as a clay court player, Casper is also establishing himself as a considerable threat on hard courts.  That’s especially true in North America, where Ruud has claimed 16 of his last 19 matches.  But Hubi’s success on this surface remains superior, as does his serving prowess.  While Ruud prevailed in their only previous encounter, just a few months ago at Roland Garros, Hurkacz is the favorite on a hard court.


Jessica Pegula (7) vs. Simona Halep (15) – 1:00pm on Centre Court in Toronto

Halep has been dominant through four rounds this week, advancing without the loss of a set.  Simona has quietly put together a strong record of 36-10 this season, though she’s yet to achieve a big result, with only one title at the 250 level at the start of the year.  Pegula only dropped one set this week, to defending champion Camila Giorgi.  And similar to Halep, she’s accumulated a solid record this year (29-14) without winning a title.  This will be the first career meeting between these two players.  Considering Halep is now 25-6 lifetime at this event, and the way in which she has easily prevailed all week, her superior movement and defense should be enough to reach her fourth final in Canada.


Other Notable Matches on Saturday:

Pablo Carreno Busta vs. Dan Evans – Carreno Busta has played superbly this week, eliminating the likes of Jannik Sinner and Matteo Berrettini without losing a set to this stage.  Dan Evans has survived two grueling three-setters in as many days.  This is their first career meeting.

Beatriz Haddad Maia vs. Karolina Pliskova (14) – Haddad Maia has earned three big wins across the last three days over Iga Swiatek, Belinda Bencic, and Leylah Fernandez.  Pliskova is looking to reach the Canada final for the second straight year.  They have split two previous encounters, both on hard courts.


Saturday’s full Order of Play is here.

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Another Defeat For Iga Swiatek – Should Her Fans Start To Worry?

Iga Swiatek unexpectedly lost to Beatrice Haddad Maia in the quarter-finals of the National Bank Open in Toronto. This was the third defeat of the WTA world No.1 in a month and a half. Is there anything to worry about?

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Iga Swiatek - Roland Garros 2022 (photo Roberto Dell'Olivo)

Article written by Dominik Senkowski (@dsenkowski07)

 

It was an extremely close match played in difficult conditions. Swiatek lost to Beatrice Hadad Maia 4:6, 6:3, 5:7 in Toronto.

The Polish woman admitted that she could not deal with the strong wind, saying during her press conference “I think without the wind I would manage. But it was pretty crazy out there.”

Haddad Miai, who is the first Brazilian to reach the last eight of a WTA 1000 event, revealed that she also had problems with the weather.

”We have no influence on the weather, we have to deal with it somehow. I think mentally I managed to overcome it,” she said.

Three failures

This was the third defeat for Swiatek in a month and a half. She had been undefeated since February, winning six tournaments in a row, including a Roland Garros. After that, however, she did not reach the semi-finals even once. In Wimbledon she was eliminated in the third round by Alize Cornet and then in Warsaw in the quarter-finals by Caroline Garcia. Now she did not make it past Beatrice Hadad Maia in Toronto. Do fans of the Polish woman have anything to worry about?

Of course, Swiatek as the top seed should have played better against the Brazilian. However, it must be remembered that she is still only 21 years old and has the right to fluctuate in form. Even the best tennis players of recent years – Roger Federer, Serena Serena, Rafael Nadal, and Novak Djokovic – did not win all the games in their best time. Swiatek still has a phenomenal balance of 49 wins to 5 defeats this year. She is the undisputed leader of the WTA rankings and will probably end the year as number one in the world.

There is no doubt that the rivals are more motivated to clash with Iga. In addition, they increasingly believe that they are able to defeat her since Cornet, Garcia and Hadad Maia did it. But still, it all depends on Iga. If she improves her serve, she can be unstoppable again. Recently with Garcia and Hadad Maia, she had problems with the second serve. She must pay more attention to it.

Time for Iga

Time should play in favour of Swiatek. Before Toronto, she played exceptionally on clay courts in Warsaw in a tournament organized by her father Tomasz. Frequent changes of the surface from grass to clay and hard courts in 1.5 months are not easy at such a young age. In Poland Iga said that she had no experience with it, she was just learning. She continues to learn valuable lessons and still can be better. We should remember it.

It seems that in the coming days she will be training on hard courts. She could feel more confident and come stronger as in spring. In Warsaw Iga said that she treats the first tournament before the US Open swing less seriously. She was aware that she needed more playing time to get better results. Her increasing self-esteem makes her behave calmer, even after defeats. That is why she can return to the right path soon.

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Canada Daily Preview: Quarterfinal Friday in Montreal and Toronto

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Canada’s Felix Auger-Aliassime on Thursday in Montreal (twitter.com/OBNmontreal)

Canadian No.1 Felix Auger-Aliassime has thrilled crowds in his home country on back-to-back days in Montreal.  On Friday, he faces Roland Garros finalist Casper Ruud, who outlasted Roberto Bautista Agut on Thursday in a marathon match that went well over three hours.  Other ATP action in Montreal includes Washington champion Nick Kyrgios taking on Halle champ Hubi Hurkacz in a rematch from the Halle semifinals.

 

Coco Gauff has survived two extremely dramatic affairs in as many days, ousting both Elena Rybakina and Aryna Sabalenka in third-set tiebreaks.  In the quarterfinals, she plays a two-time champion of this event, Simona Halep.  Toronto’s matches on Friday also feature Jessica Pegula and Karolina Pliskova, both of whom reached the semifinals or better of this tournament a year ago.

Each day, this preview will analyze the two most intriguing matchups, while highlighting other notable matches on the schedule.  Friday’s play gets underway at 12:00pm local time in Montreal and 1:00pm in Toronto.


Coco Gauff (10) vs. Simona Halep (15) – 1:00pm on Centre Court in Toronto

Between Wednesday and Thursday, Gauff spent exactly six hours on court during the heat of the early afternoon, in two physically and emotionally taxing matches.  By contrast, Halep spent less than half that time on court across those two days, and is yet to drop a set this week.  And their three previous encounters have all been straight-set victories for Simona.  She prevailed on grass three years ago at Wimbledon, on a hard court this year at Indian Wells, and on clay this year in Madrid.  And considering Halep will be the far fresher player on Friday, there’s not much evidence to suggest a different result in her fourth meeting with Coco.


Casper Ruud (4) vs. Felix Auger-Aliassime (6) – Not Before 2:00pm on Court Central in Montreal

What will Ruud have left after a three-set match that lasted nearly three-and-a-half hours?  Auger-Aliassime had a much easier time on Thursday, avenging a loss from less than a week ago in the Los Cabos semifinals over Cam Norrie.  Casper and Felix have split four previous meetings at all levels: two at Challenger events, and two at Masters 1000 events such as this.  Three years ago in Miami on a hard court, Auger-Aliassime won in three sets.  Last year in Madrid on clay, Ruud prevailed in straights.  Accordingly, a hard court would seem to favor Felix, especially considering his superior serving abilities.  Most of Casper’s big results have come on clay, though he did reach the final of Miami earlier this year.  I expected the Canadian to play nervously at this event, as Auger-Aliassime was only 3-3 lifetime here ahead of this week, and had lost four of his last six matches since June.  But Felix has embraced the spotlight of playing in front of a packed Canadian stadium, and should be favored over a depleted Ruud on Friday.


Other Notable Matches on Friday:

Nick Kyrgios vs. Hubert Hurkacz (8) – Between singles and doubles, Kyrgios is 13-0 over the last 10 days.  Hurkacz saved a match point on Thursday, eventually defeating Albert Ramos-Vinolas in a third-set tiebreak.  Earlier this year in Halle when he played Nick, Hubi also prevailed in a third-set tiebreak.

Karolina Pliskova (14) vs. Qinwen Zheng – Both players were victorious after tough three-setters on Thursday: Pliskova over Maria Sakkari and Qinwen over Bianca Andreescu.  This is their first career meeting.


Friday’s full Order of Play is here.

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