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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Alex De Minaur Ends 10-Match Losing Streak Against Tsitsipas To Reach Mexican Open Semis

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Alex de Minaur - Australian Open 2024 (foto X @ATPTour_ES)

Alex de Minaur has broken new ground in his career by beating Stefanos Tsitsipas for the first time at the Mexican Open. 

The world No.9 entered into his quarter-final clash against the Greek having lost all 10 of their previous meetings on the Tour. Despite this, de Minaur battled back from a set down to win 1-6, 6-3, 6-4, after more than two hours of play. The victory has denied Tsitsipas the chance of returning to the world’s top 10 next week. 

“Today was a very good victory, obviously with an opponent who I had never beaten before, it’s one of those victories that you enjoy a lot.” The Australian said.
“It is normal that the people of Acapulco support Stefanos, he is a great player who has been here for many years, it is normal. Now that he is not here I hope they support me.”

De Minaur is the first defending champion in Alcapulco to reach the semi-final stage since David Ferrer did so back in 2013. Overall, he has 23 semi-finals on the ATP Tour so far in his career. 

“Tennis-wise I am not feeling the most comfortable, but what I will always do is to fight until the end.” He admits.
“I hope to find my best tennis at the end of the week, now there are several who are playing at a very high level in Acapulco and now [I will] prepare for another battle, [with] a lot of desire.”

Awaiting the third seed next will be Great Britain’s Jack Draper who beat Miomir Kecmanović 6-2, 6-2. Draper has only dropped 11 games in his first three matches played this week. It is the fifth time he has reached the last four of a Tour-level event but the first time he has done so at an ATP 500. 

“I feel great, I feel like it was coming. I made two finals in (ATP) 250’s, I feel like I’m progressing as a tennis player all the time, always improving and I think I can go further.” Said Draper who will rise to a ranking high of at least 37th next week.
“I’ve really tried to focus on my practice and its quality and that has shown in my games so I’m very happy with the way I’m playing.
“These players know who I am, I’ve been injured a lot, played a lot. With Alex, I have had strong battles before and it will be tough, I will always want to win the match, I never want to play freely, I want to compete to win and tomorrow it will be the same.” 

De Minaur has won both of his previous meetings against Draper. However, in each of those matches, he has dropped a set. 

In the other section of the draw, Holger Rune is through to the semi-finals for the second year in a row after beating Germany’s Dominik Koepfer 7-6(2), 7-6(0). The Dane is seeking his first-ever title at an ATP 500 at the age of 20. He will next player Casper Ruud who outlasted Ben Shelton 6-7(7), 6-4, 6-4, in a marathon encounter that lasted more than two-and-a-hlaf hours. 

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Daniil Medvedev Says He Is Far From His Best Despite Easing Into Dubai Semis

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Daniil Medvedev believes there is room for improvement in his game after reaching the semi-finals of the Dubai Tennis Championships on Thursday. 

The Russian top seed dropped just five games during his 6-2, 6-3, win over Spain’s Alejandro Davidovich Fokina and was only broken once in the match. He is now on an eight-match winning streak at the Dubai event, which he won 12 months ago. In their head-to-head, Medvedev has extended his perfect record against Fokina to 4-0. 

“Alejandro can play really well,” Medvedev said afterwards. “Sometimes during matches, he can have down moments and then he goes up. I knew that no matter the score I needed to go the last point.’
“It got a bit tighter at one moment in the second set but I managed to stay there, win some more games and it was enough today. “

This week is the first time the former world No.1 is playing on the Tour since his loss to Jannik Sinner in the final of the Australian Open where he boasted a two-set lead against the Italian. Looking to get back on track, he has dropped one set in three matches played so far in Dubai. 

His only blip occurred on Wednesday when he had to come back from a 3-6 deficit to beat Lorenzo Sonego. A day after that rollercoaster victory, Medvedev says an outbreak of illness among his team could have affected him. Nevertheless, he admits he hasn’t reached his best form yet. 

“I don’t know what happened with me yesterday. Some people around me got a small virus so maybe it was that,” he reflected. 
“Some days like this happen but I’m happy that today was better. I’m not at my best shape yet but we have some more matches.”

Russia has a double reason to celebrate with Andrey Rublev also booking his place in the last four after his opponent, Sebastian Korda, retired when losing 4-6, 3-4, due to injury. Rublev will next play an in-form Alexander Bublik who has secured his entry into the world’s top 20 for the first time next week as a result of his latest run. The Kazakh also won his quarter-final match via retirement after Jiri Lehecka called it quits when down 4-6, 1-4. 

Medvedev is bidding to become the first player to win the Dubai title in consecutive years since Roger Federer in 2015. He is already the first top seed at the event to reach the semi-final stage since Novak Djokovic in 2020. 

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Frustrated By Retirement Questions, Andy Murray Admits 2024 Will Likely Be His Last Season

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Andy Murray is set to bring his career to an end later this year after admitting that he will unlikely continue playing beyond this summer. 

The three-time Grand Slam champion has faced numerous questions about his future in the sport and has previously indicated that this year could be his last. However, he has given his clearest indication yet after losing 6-2, 6-4, to Ugo Humbert in the second round of the Dubai tennis championships on Wednesday. 

“I’m likely not going to play past this summer,” said Murray. “I get asked about it after every single match that I play, every single tournament that I play. I’m bored of the question, to be honest. I’m not going to talk more about that between now and whenever the time comes for me to stop. But yeah, I don’t plan on playing much past this summer.”

The comments come during what has been a turbulent time on the tour for the 36-year-old who has publically admitted to being frustrated with some of his results. He has now failed to win back-to-back matches at 12 consecutive tournaments. The last time he did so was almost six months ago at the Canadian Open. 

Murray, who has spent 41 weeks as world No.1, has given no indication as to when his final tournament will be. Although it is unlikely to be Wimbledon after the Brit expressed a desire to play at the Olympic Games if he had a chance to do so. He is the only player to have ever won the men’s singles Olympic title two times in a row. This year’s Games will be held in Paris with the tennis event being staged at Roland Garros, the venue of the French Open. 

“Hopefully I can get the chance to compete at another one,” he recently told Radio 4’s Today programme about playing at the Olympics. 
“There’s no right way of finishing your career and everyone is different so what might be the right way for Federer might not be the right way for [Rafael] Nadal, might not be the right way for [Novak] Djokovic.” He later added. 

Murray has won 46 ATP titles and earned more than $64M in prize money so far in his career. He is one of only five male players to have recorded 500 or more Tour-level wins on a hardcourt in the Open Era. 

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