Garbine Muguruza edged past Timea Bacsinszcy to take her biggest WTA title in Beijing - UBITENNIS
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Garbine Muguruza edged past Timea Bacsinszcy to take her biggest WTA title in Beijing

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This year’s Wimbledon finalist Garbine Muguruza edged past Timea Bacsinszcy with 7-5 6-4 to lift the biggest title of her career at the China Open in Beijing, a Premier Mandatory Tournament. Thanks to the win in the Chinese capital Muguruza will move to World Number 4 setting a new career-high, and is just one point far from world number 2. Muguruza, who has just turned 22, has become the youngest player to win a Premier Mandatory-level tournament since 21-year-old Petra Kvitova won the WTA Finals in Istanbul in 2011

 

Bacsinszky went down a break in the opening game. In the second game Muguruza dropped her serve after making a double fault and hitting a forehand long.

Bacsinszky broke serve to take a 3-1 lead but dropped serve in the next game when she made a double fault and three backhand errors. Muguruza fended off three break points but dropped her serve on the fourth opportunity.

Bacsinszky held her serve to 15 and raced out to 5-2 but Muguruza fought back reeling off five games in a row to win the first set with 7-5.

Bacsinszky went up a break at the start of the second set but Muguruza rallied from 0-2 down before getting the decisive break in the ninth game to take the 5-4 lead.

Muguruza played her second back-to-back final after losing to Venus Willams in Wuhan last week. The defeat in the China Open final put an end to Bacsinszky’s dream to reach the WTA Finals in Singapore.

“To be able to come and win the tournament after losing in the final in Wuhan last week is a great achievement. It’s amazing and I can’ wait to come back and defend my title next year”, said Muguruza

By reaching her biggest final Bacsinszcy has reached the top-10 for the first time in her career, a remarkable achievement as she suffered from a serious foot injury in 2011 and she took a break from tennis in 2012. She worked in restaurants and bars. In May 2013 she received an email stating that she was eligible to compete in the French Open qualifying round. She lost her first match but she found again the passion for tennis. She hired Dimitri Zavialoff, the former coach of Stan Wawrinka. At the 2014 Wuhan Open she beat Maria Sharapova in the third round.

She started the 2015 season with a final in Shenzhen where she lost to Simona Halep in her first WTA title match since 2010. She then reached the third round at the Australian Open before winning two back-to-back titles in Acapulco and Monterrey. She reached the quarter finals at the WTA Premier Mandatory in Indian Wells in Indian Wells where she lost against Serena Williams. At the Roland Garros she beat Petra Kvitova to get through to the fourth round where she lost against Serena Williams after leading by a set and a break. The Swiss player reached the quarter finals at Wimbledon and moved up to world number 13. She had a difficult US hard-court season losing in the first round in four consecutive tournaments in Toronto Cincinnati, New Haven and New York but returned to her best shape during the Asian Swing where she reached the China Open final where she beat three former top ten players Carla Suarez Navarro, Sara Errani and Ana Ivanovic.

During the post-match interview Bacsinszcy took the opportunity to thank her coach Dimitri Zavialoff.

“I want to dedicate this tournament to someone. I came from really far away. I almost retired two years ago and this man, my coach Dimitri. Thank you for helping me every day. You brought Stan to the top 10 and now youhave brought me to top 10. Thank you for every day”, said Bacsinszky.  

 

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Alexander Zverev Insists Tennis Is In Good Hands After Generational Breakthrough In Shanghai

Alexander Zverev has praised his fellow next generation stars ahead of a bright future for tennis.

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Alexander Zverev (@atptour - Twitter)

Alexander Zverev has insisted that Tennis’ future looks good after a generational breakthrough in Shanghai. 

 

Last week saw a breakthrough in the next generation as all four semi-finalists in Shanghai were under the age of 24 years old.

It was the youngest semi-final line-up at a Masters 1000 for 12 years as both Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic fell at the quarter-final stage.

Speaking after his loss to 23 year-old Daniil Medvedev, Alexander Zverev thinks that Tennis’ future looks good without the ‘big three’, “The difference now this year than the last few years was I was the only young guy kind of up there,” Zverev admitted in his press conference in Shanghai.

“Now I see the other young guys. I see maybe still difference in, you know, how we act on court, how we behave on court, compared to the older guys. So before I didn’t pay attention to it because I was kind of the only one and the rest of it was fine.

“So I hope we, as young guys, we kind of understand that, we learn that, and, you know, then I think tennis will be just as interesting as it is now. And, you know, the Roger Federer fans or Rafa Nadal fans will fall in love with new players.

“I’m not saying it has to be me. I’m not saying it has to be anyone in particular. It may be a new superstar that we don’t even know about. But if we kind of learn the good things about those guys, I think this sport of tennis will be in very good hands.”

With the likes of Daniil Medvedev, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Felix Auger-Aliassime challenging Zverev at the top of the next generation pack, we are now in for an exciting next few years ahead at the top of the men’s game.

The next challenge though will be to see if they can translate this potential on the grand slam stage and beat Djokovic, Federer and Nadal when it really matters.

As for Zverev he looks to finish the season strong and book his place at the ATP World Tour Finals, where he won the title last year.

 

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Novak Djokovic And Rafael Nadal To Hold ‘Masterclass’ During Kazakhstan Exhibition

Details about what the two players will be up to during their time in the central Asian country has been released.

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Novak Djokovic will continue his rivalry with Rafael Nadal in just over a week’s time as the two travel to Nur-Sultan (formerly called Astana).

 

On October 24th the duo will lock horns in a charity exhibition match. It will be held at the Barys Arena, which is a multi-purpose indoor venue that is the home of KHL ice hockey team Barys Nur-Sultan. Details of the event have been fairly limited, but the Kazakhstan Olympic federation has outlined what will occur during their time in the country.

On the day of the event, both players will hold a press conference at 12:00 with local media. That will be held at the luxurious Ritz Carlton Hotel in the city. Later in the day the two will then hold what has been dubbed as a ‘tennis Masterclass’ with children at 18:00 before they play their match an hour later.

The timing of the event also has a significant impact in the race for year-end No.1. As neither player will be able to earn any ATP points during that week, Rafael Nadal will return back to the top position. The first time he has done so since November 2018. The exhibition occurred during the same time as tournaments in Vienna and Basel. Both of which have 500 points up for grabs for the winner.

Should he stay healthy and continue to play this season, Nadal has the best chance of finishing the year at the top. The Spaniard has no points to defend until January. Compared to Djokovic, who will be defending his title at the Paris Masters and was runner-up in the 2018 ATP Finals.

“I don’t compete for it. I just do my way. If I am able to be No.1 doing it my way, great. But I always say the same: today is not my main goal.” Nadal said during the US Open.
“Of course, it’s great to be in that fight. But for me personally, it’s not really a fight. I just try to be competitive the weeks that I need to compete, or the weeks that I want to compete.’
“With my age and with my goals, I cannot lose energy or time to follow the No.1. I need to think about my career in a different way.”

In their head-to-head, Djokovic leads his rival 28-26. However, Nadal won their most recent meeting on the clay at the Italian Open.

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Kei Nishikori Seeks ‘New Voice’ As He Splits With Longtime Coach

The world No.9 has made a significant change to his team.

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Kei Nishikori (photo by chryslène caillaud, copyright @Sport Vision)

Japanese No.1 Kei Nishikori has shaken up his team after announcing his decision to split with his coach after spending almost a decade under his guidance.

 

Dante Bottini had been coaching the world No.9 for nine years and has overseen his rise on the tour since December 2010. During that time, Nishikori has won 12 ATP titles, reached the final of the 2014 US Open and has been ranked as high as fourth in the world. However, in recent months Nishikori has only won back-to-back matches in one out of three tournaments played. Doing so at the US Open where he reached the third round.

“After 9 years of working together literally day in and day out, I have decided it is time for a new voice.” Nishikori wrote in a Twitter post. “I am forever grateful for Dante’s contributions to my career and we will obviously remain very close friends. I appreciate so much the last 9 years and our friendship.”

Argentinian-born Bottini is a former player himself, but enjoyed limited success. Peaking at a ranking high of 827th in the singles and 380th in the doubles. He used to play for the University of Florida, where he graduated with a degree in Sports Management.

“They have been an amazing 9 years together with Kei on the road and training every day, but it’s time to say goodbye. I can’t have enough words to describe how good of a person he is.” Bottini said in a statement.
“I don’t have any doubts that he will be competing at a high level and having great success as always. I wish him and his team the very best.” He added.

So far this season the 29-year-old has won 29 out of 43 matches played. Claiming his only title at the start of the year in Brisbane, Australia. In the grand slams he managed to reach the quarter-finals in three out of the four tournaments for the first time in his career. Nishikori also reached the semi-finals of events in Rotterdam and Barcelona.

Nishikori is currently sidelined from the tour due to an elbow injury which forced him to miss the Asian swing. He had been due to play Roger Federer in an exhibition match in Tokyo on Monday but was replaced by John Isner. Nishikori was still at the event and at one staged umpired one of the matches.

There is no information about who will be replacing Bottini.

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