Garbine Muguruza rallies from a set down to edge Agnieszka Radwanska to reach the final in Beijing - UBITENNIS
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Garbine Muguruza rallies from a set down to edge Agnieszka Radwanska to reach the final in Beijing

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Garbine Muguruza scored her fourth consecutive win against Agnieszka Radwanska to reach her second back-to-back final at the Premier Mandatory in Beijing. The Spanish player, who secured her berth for the WTA Finals in Singapore, came back from a set down to edge Radwanska with 4-6 6-3 6-4.

 

Muguruza led 3-2 in their previous head-to-head matches but Radwanska showed very good form in the recent weeks winning in Tokyo against Belinda Bencic.

Radwanska broke serve early in the opening set to open up a 2-0 lead. Muguruza won four consecutive games to take a 4-2 lead in the first set but Radwanska reeled off four consecutive games to clinch the first set with 6-4 after 41 minutes. Aga held her serve in the seventh game for 3-4. Muguruza went down 15-40 but she fought back to force the 8th game to deuce. Muguruza missed a point for 5-3 and made a double fault. Radwanska won the game on the fifth break point opportunity to draw level to 4-all. The Pole broke serve in the final game to take the first set with 6-4

Muguruza got a break to take a 3-1 lead and went up 0-40 on Radwanska’s serve but the Polish player saved the three break point chances to hold her serve. Radwanska broke serve on Muguruza’s next service game to draw level to 3-3. Muguruza broke in the seventh game and held serve in the next game to take a 5-3 lead. In the ninth game Radwanska missed four chances for 4-5 before saving the firs4 set point. Muguruza converted the second set point with a backhand return.

Muguruza built up a 6-3 5-1 lead in the third set. The decider went on serve until the fourth game when the Spanish player converted on her third break point chance. Muguruza got a double break to pull away to 5-1. Radwanska produced a late fight-back recovering one of the two breaks and saving a match point on her serve. Aga won the next three games from 1-5 to claw her way back to 4-5 but Muguruza won the final game to seal her fourth consecutive win against Radwanska after the Polish player missed a point for 5-all. Muguruza will move up to number 4th achieving her career best ranking. She will be bidding to win her biggest title tomorrow againstTimea Bacsinszky. Muguruza won an International level title in Hobart. She finished runner-up at Wimbledon and Wuhan.

“I know Aga is an amazing player, so I knew I had to be concentrated and focused all the time against her and try to be ready in the important moments, which was my goal, said Muguruza

 

 

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‘A Long Time Coming’ – Injury-Stricken Hyeon Chung Ready To End Two-Year Absence

The player who ended Kei Nishikori’s seven-year reign as the No.1 Asian in men’s tennis is ready to start his comeback.

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Hyeon Chung at the 2019 Australian Open (photo Roberto Dell'Olivo)

South Korean trailblazer Hyeon Chung has vowed to give all he has when he returns to the court to play his first Tour match in two years at the Korean Open later this week. 

 

The 26-year-old was tipped to be the next Asian tennis sensation after achieving a series of milestones at a young age, including winning the 2017 Next Gen Finals and reaching the semi-finals of the 2018 Australian Open. Becoming the first and only player from his country to do so. At his best, he has been ranked as high as 19th in the world before injury resulted in him falling down the standings and eventually being forced to take time away from the sport. 

A troublesome back issue has sidelined Chung from action with the rehabilitation process not going entirely to plan. He hasn’t played since losing in the second round of qualifying to Renzo Olivio at the 2020 French Open. 

Chung’s hiatus from tennis is set to end on Wednesday when he plays in the first round of the men’s doubles tournament at Olympic Park Tennis Center in Seoul. He has joined forces with compatriot Kwon Soon-woo who recently scored his first-ever win over a top 20 player by defeating Felix Auger-Aliassime in the Davis Cup. 

“It has been a long time coming,” Yonhap News Agency quoted Chung as saying at a pre-tournament press conference Monday. “I am just happy to be back. I don’t know how well I am going to play, but I’ll give it my best shot.”

The reason why Chung has chosen to start his comeback on home territory is that he feels more ‘mentally and physically relaxed.’ Although for the moment his return to playing singles tournaments isn’t on the cards. 

“This is a part of the path back to my better days. I didn’t want to push myself too hard this week,” he explained. 
“I am usually a calm person. I felt rehab comes with the territory of being a professional athlete. “I was just hoping I could come out of the rehab a stronger person.” He added

It remains to be seen how the former top 20 star will fare when he takes to the court. However, he says his past difficulties have helped him appreciate the sport more. 

“I used to take tennis for granted, but now, I am grateful for a chance to just set my foot on the court,” said Chung. “I’ve been training hard for the past two months or so. I’ve been having so much fun that I even wanted to eat and sleep right on the court.”

In the first round, Chung and Kwon will play Hans Hach and Treat Huey. 

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Should Roger Federer Become A Super Coach? Djokovic And Murray Give Their View

The Swiss Maestro ended his record-breaking career at the Laver Cup on Friday but what is next for him?

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Roger Federer (SUI) celebrates after defeating Cameron Norrie (GBR) in the third round of the Gentlemen's Singles on Centre Court at The Championships 2021. Held at The All England Lawn Tennis Club, Wimbledon. Day 6 Saturday 03/07/2021. Credit: AELTC/Jed Leicester

As Roger Federer enters into the world of retirement after playing on the Tour for 24 years, some are wondering what he might do next. 

 

The opportunities in front of the 21-time Grand Slam champion are pretty extensive. He remains one of the highest-paid athletes in the world with Forbes magazine valuing his endorsement pay between 2021-2022 at $90M. He is an investor in the start-up shoe brand On which is already valued to be worth millions. Some of his sponsorship deals include Barilla, Credit Suisse Group (ADS), Mercedes-Benz, Rolex, Switzerland Tourism and Uniqlo. 

In a way, Federer could easily decide to do nothing in the future considering he has already made his millions in the sport. One report estimates that the 41-year-old has earned an incredible $1.1BN throughout his career before taxes and agent fees. 

Although, Federer has previously said he has no intention of disappearing from tennis in the future and hopes to remain involved in some capacity. How he plans to do this is unclear but one option could be to enter into the world of coaching. Something other greats of the sport such as John McEnroe, Ivan Lendl and Boris Becker have all done.

“I think that Roger can offer a lot. I mean, it’s logical to expect him to be able to share so many useful and valuable things with anybody, really. I mean, if he ever would consider doing that, I’m sure that he’s going to bring a lot of positive things to the improvement of that player, whether male or female, in every aspect on and off the court, I’m sure,Novak Djokovic replied when asked by reporters about the possibility of Federer becoming a mentor.
“He’s undoubtedly one of the greatest players to play the game the way he played it, with his style and effortlessly. You know, people probably think that he was a god-given talent, but he always talks about the amount of time that he would have to spend working on perfecting the game so it looks easy.
“I respect that, and I know what he has to go through in order to execute the shots that seem easy but are actually very difficult to do.”

Throughout the Laver Cup, Federer was seen speaking with his teammates about match tactics. One of the unique qualities of the competition is that players can exchange advice among themselves whilst playing. Similar to that of on-court coaching on the WTA Tour but in a more casual manner. 

Weighing in on the debate, former world No.1 Andy Murray believes a possible challenge Federer faces if he goes into coaching is teaching those who are not as naturally talented as him. 

“I’m sure if he was to coach one day, which he obviously doesn’t need to, he’d pick players that I’d imagine he’d be motivated to be coaching in the big matches and helping there,” Murray said.
“The one thing that is I think difficult when you are as talented and have as many options as him is to remember that not everybody can do the things that he did. Sometimes he might see a shot and be, like, oh, maybe, you know, he should have played that one.
“He had the ability to play everything and he had so many options at his disposal that that’s the challenging thing also as a coach sometimes. But look, he’s great on the side. He watches a lot of tennis. He loves the game.”

It remains to be seen what Federer will do next after taking a well-deserved break from the sport. He will continue his involvement in the Laver Cup which his Team8 management company co-founded. Although there is one area of tennis he has no intention of going into. 

“Not really keen to go into politics, to be honest, in this way,” Federer said. “Did some of it (he was a member of the ATP Player Council), was good in moments, but also sometimes not the best, you know.
“I need to step away from it and then maybe take a different direction. If I can be of any help, not an official role, I’ll always be there. An official role at the moment, I don’t see that.”

Federer ends his career with an extraordinary 30 Guinness World Records to his name.

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Novak Djokovic ‘Worried’ By Wrist Issue After Laver Cup Defeat

The reigning Wimbledon champion has addressed concerns about his current fitness.

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NOVAK DJOKOVIC OF SERBIA PHOTO: MATEO VILLALBA / MMO

Novak Djokovic is hoping that the discomfort he has been experiencing in his wrist is due to a lack of match play after suffering a straight sets loss at the Laver Cup. 

 

Djokovic fell to Felix Auger-Aliassime on the final day of the three-day event which saw Team World stage a valiant comeback to claim the title for the first time. During the match, he appeared lacklustre on court and it was visible that he had some discomfort in his right wrist. Djokovic was also seen flexing his arm during his doubles match on Saturday but on the same day, he crushed Frances Tiafoe 6-1, 6-3.

“I have been struggling with my right wrist for the last four/five days, to be honest. I have been keeping it under control. The two matches yesterday probably had an effect. Today was not easy. I couldn’t serve as fast or as accurately as I would like to,” the 21-time Grand Slam winner told reporters on Sunday. 
“Could be (due to) not playing almost three months of matches, and then conditions here (at The O2) are such that the balls are really big and slow. You always have to generate a lot of wrist action and speed, which could be the case why I have been feeling soreness in my right wrist.”

The setback comes as the former world No.1 is set to play his first singles tournament since Wimbledon at the Tel Aviv Open later this week. Djokovic missed the entire North American swing as he was unable to enter the region due to being unvaccinated against Covid-19. 

As it currently stands, the Serbian still has every intention of travelling to Israel should his body allow him to do so. It will be the first time he has played a competitive match in the country in his career. 

“I am not worried about my level, but I am a bit about the wrist. I am going to try to take care of it with my physio, to be ready for my first match in Tel Aviv,” journalist Sasa Ozmo quoted Djokovic as saying in his native language.

This year’s Laver Cup marked the end of Roger Federer’s career. A long-time rival of Djokovic’s whom he has beaten in 27 out of their 50 Tour meetings. Despite his departure from the sport, Djokovic states that he has no intention of following the same path anytime soon. 

I don’t feel yet so old, to be honest, for my tennis career to finish,” he said.
“I still feel my body is serving me, is listening to me well. That’s the key I think when you get to 35-plus.”
“I’m not playing as much as I played few years ago. I want to peak at the best tournaments, biggest tournaments in the world, which are Grand Slams and some of the biggest ATP events, playing for my country,” Djokovic later added.
“That’s what gives me the most motivation and inspires me to play the best tennis. I really want to keep going. I don’t have the ending of my career on the horizon at the moment.
“I just want to keep going as long as I feel good and I can compete with the youngsters, that I could be one of the candidates to win Grand Slams.” 

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