Anastasya Pavlyuchenkova upsets US Open champion Flavia Pennetta in Beijing - UBITENNIS
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Anastasya Pavlyuchenkova upsets US Open champion Flavia Pennetta in Beijing

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World Number 32 Anastasya Pavlyuchenkova rallied from a set down to edge this year’s US Open champion Flavia Pennetta with 3-6 6-4 6-3 after two hours. The first set went on serve until the fifth game when Pavlyuchenkova broke for 3-2 but Pennetta broke back en route to winning four consecutive games. The Italian clinched the first set with 6-3 with an ace after 36 minutes. The Italian star won 76 percent of her first serve points and hit 4 aces.

 

Pavlyuchenkova played a solid second set winning 86 percent of her first serve points. In the 8th game Pennetta fought back from 15-40 to save two break points with four consecutive points but two games later Pavlyuchenkova broke to love en route to closing out the 42-minute second set with 6-4

Pavlyuchenkova went up a break to love to race out to a 3-0 lead. Pennetta did not give up and broke back for 2-3. The Russian player broke serve to love in the sixth game. Pennetta held her serve in the 8th game for 3-5 but Pavlyuchenkova sealed the win on the first match point in the ninth game after 42 minutes. Pavlyuchenkova won for the first time in her career against Pennetta who won their previous two head-to-head matches in the Roland Garros in 2008 and in Cincinnati in 2011

Timea Bacsinszky overcame a second-set loss to edge past Carla Suarez Navarro with 6-4 4-6 7-5 setting up a quarter final against Sara Errani. The Swiss player went up a set and a break but she lost six consecutive games to drop the second set. She bounced back building a 4-2 lead in the third set with a break of serve but Suarez Navarro broke back to draw level to 5-5. Bacsinszky won the final two games to clinch the third set with 7-5.

Bacsinszky enjoyed a great spring winning two back-to-back tournaments in Monterrey and Acapulco before reaching the semifinals at the Roland Garros. She went on to reach the quarter finals at Wimbledon but lost her last four matches before the China Open.

The Lausanne player beat her quarter final rival Errani in three sets with 6-0 4-6 7-6 in their only previous head-to-head match in Monterrey earlier this year.

Bethanie Mattek Sands overcame this year’s US Open finalist Roberta Vinci 6-1 3-6 6-2. The US player raced out to a 3-0 lead with a break of serve. Vinci held her serve to win her first game for 1-3.. Mattek Sands played a great tennis producing a series of inside-in forehands and stop-volleys and cruised to winning the first set with 6-1. Vinci held her serve in the first game of the second set before converting the second of her three break points to take a 2-0 lead. Mattek Sands broke back but dropped her serve to go down 1-3. Vinci held her service game to pull away to 5-1. Mattek Sands recovered one of the breaks for 3-5 but Vinci sealed the second set on her first set point with her forehand after 36 minutes.

Mattek Sands went up a break in the 20-point fourth game of the third set on her third break point opportunity. Mattek Sands saved five break point chances in the third set and broke serve in the 8th game on the third match point after 1 hour and 43 minutes

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Injured Roger Federer Says The ‘Worst Is Behind Him’ As He Targets Comeback In 2022

The 40-year-old has provided an update on his current health during a sponsorship event in Zurich.

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Roger Federer (SUI) - Credit: AELTC/Jed Leicester

Roger Federer says he is getting better every day with his focus being on returning to the Tour in the new year at the age of 40.

 

The 20-time Grand Slam champion hasn’t played a match since suffering a quarterfinal loss to Hubert Hurkacz at Wimbledon. A few weeks after that match, the Swiss Maestro underwent another procedure on his knee following advice from his medical team. Federer also underwent two surgeries last year with the second one being conducted after the first failed to produce the desired results.

In a social media post, the former world No.1 admitted that he faces a lengthy absence from the Tour due to his latest surgery and the subsequent recovery time which will be required. However, it appears that everything is heading in the right direction with Federer maintaining a positive outlook on the future.

“I’m doing very well, the rehab is progressing step by step,” he told reporters in Zurich at a sponsorship meeting with Mercedes-Benz. “The worst is behind me, I’m looking forward to everything that comes my way.”

Due to his knee, Federer could only play five tournaments this year before being sidelined by injury again. Overall he achieved a total of nine wins against five losses. Besides Wimbledon, he also reached the fourth round of the French Open before withdrawing from the tournament and the quarter-finals in Doha.

“When you come back after an injury, every day is a better day. So it’s an exciting time, I went through it last year, so it’s not a mental problem at all,” he explains.

This week players are heading to Boston for the Laver Cup which is a team competition co-founded by Federer’s Team8 management company. The three-day event sees players from Europe take on others from the rest of the world in a concept similar to that of Golf’s Ryder Cup. In 2019 the event was granted ATP Tour status to make it part of their calendar. However, ranking points are not on offer for those participating.

Sidelined from the Laver Cup this year, Federer is targeting a place in the event next year where it will be held at the O2 Arena in London. The same venue which hosted the ATP Finals for more than a decade before it moved to Italy.

It is one of my goals that I really get into it again to come back and hopefully be able to play in places like the o2 arena in London.” Federer stated.

In the meantime, Federer says he wants to return to “fitness training and the tennis court” as soon as possible. However, it is still not fully clear as to when he will be able to do so.

During his career, Federer has won 103 ATP titles and has earned more than $130M in prize money.

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Stefanos Tsitsipas To Get COVID-19 Shot After Saying He Would Only Do So If It Was Mandatory

The Greek said earlier this year that he ‘sees no reason’ why his age group should be vaccinated but has now changed his mind.

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World No.3 Stefanos Tsitsipas appears to have changed his views concerning the COVID-19 vaccination after telling Greek TV that he will have his first shot later this year.

 

In August the French Open finalist told reporters that he would only have the vaccine if it was mandatory for players to do so on the Tour. Speaking to reporters at the Cincinnati Masters, Tsitsipas said he saw ‘no reason’ why people in his age group should be vaccinated and voiced some concerns over the possible side effects. He also said that young people catching and passing the virus between each other is a ‘good thing’ as it builds up their immunity.

No-one has made it a mandatory thing to be vaccinated. At some point I will have to, I’m pretty sure about it, but so far it hasn’t been mandatory to compete, so I haven’t done it, no,” he said.
“I’m young, under 25 category, for me the vaccine has not been tested enough, it is new. It has some side effects.
“I personally know some people who have had them. I’m not against it, I just see no reason for someone in my age group to need to be vaccinated.”

Tsitsipas’ remarks prompted backlash back in his home country with a series of top figures criticising him, including a spokesman for the Greek government who said the tennis star lacked the knowledge to make such a statement.

Questioned about his COVID-19 stance by Antenna TV on Monday, the 23-year-old stated that he has never been against anybody who had the vaccination before adding that his knowledge on the subject is not the best.

“I personally have never promoted vaccination and to clarify something I have never been against vaccination. I support anyone who wants to go for vaccination. I am not a doctor, I am a tennis player and my opinion may not be the best. “It has to do with medicine. If they ask me about tennis, I’m better at it.” He said.

Tsitsipas added that him being vaccinated later this year will ‘definitely happen’ because he sees ‘no other possibility’ in order to have a relatively normal social life.

It (the COVID-19 pandemic) has bothered everyone, not just me. We have to look at it with a good eye, to be together in it,” Tsitsipas concluded.

Elsewhere in his interview with Antenna TV, Tsitsipas once again denied allegations that he deliberately takes long breaks during matches in order to upset the momentum of his rivals. During the US Open he was criticised by Andy Murray for taking a lengthy toilet break during their clash in the first round. Alexander Zverev and other players have also spoken about the Greek on this topic. It is understood that the ATP plans to implement a time limit concerning how long a player is allowed to leave the court.

Finally, Tsitsipas says he hopes to be on the Tour for a long time and ‘wishes’ he can follow in the footsteps of Roger Federer who is still playing at the age of 40.

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WTA Luxembourg Open Axed Over Disagreements Between Tour And Organisers

One of Europe’s most well known indoor women’s events has come to an end with the tournament director criticising the management of the WTA.

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Image via Tennis Frontier

Just minutes after Clara Tauson defeated Jelena Ostapenko 6-3, 4-6, 6-4, to win the Luxembourg Open, organisers put out a social media post confirming the WTA 250 event will be scrapped.

 

In an unexpected move the tournament director has accused the WTA of making organisers of her event feel ‘uncomfortable’ with their rules that has prevented them from running the event how they would have liked to. Danielle Maas has revealled to newspaper Tageblatt that their decision to permanently end the tournament was made before the start of this year’s draw. Ending what has been a 25-year stint as a WTA event which has been won by players such as Kim Clijsters, Victoria Azarenka, Venus Williams and Caroline Woniacki.

We will no longer organize a WTA tournament. That’s a big change. But we no longer feel comfortable working with the WTA. The quality of the tournament as we imagine it, the family aspect and everything around it is no longer given. That’s why we made the decision to quit WTA after 25 years. We are happy to close this chapter, which gave us no more joy,” said Maas.

According to Maas, the breakdown in their partnership with the WTA is linked to rules which limits their goal of being a tournament which stands for ‘family values, closeness to the players and a good atmosphere.’ It is claimed that a Gala last Sunday, marking the 25th anniversary of the tournament, wasn’t attended by any representative from the governing body of women’s tennis and players were banned from going. It is unclear as to why the players weren’t allowed to attend.

It took a lot of nerve to organize this week the way the WTA wanted. Working together was very difficult. The rules of the WTA and their approach have changed a lot since 2019,” Maas commented.
“This (the Gala) shows that there was no longer any great enthusiasm from her side (the WTA) to continue working with us.”
“The WTA chapter now closes. For us, however, it does not close with one laughing and one crying eye, but only with one laughing eye. We’ll close this door, but we’ll open a new one next year.”

Organizers are now planning to stage an exhibition-style event next year which will likely take place in October. Details about how this will work with the WTA Tour also taking place at the same time are unclear. However, it has been confirmed that a partner of the Luxemberg Open, global marketing and entertainment company OCTAGON INC, has agreed to continue their collaboration for another two years.

In the final of this year’s Luxembourg Open, Tauson became the seventh player this season to win multiple titles on the women’s Tour after also previously triumphing in Chicago. She is one of four players born in 2002 that are currently ranked in the world’s top 100. As a result of her latest win, she is set to rise to a ranking high of 52nd on Monday.

There has been no public comment from the WTA in response to Maas’ comments.

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