Petra Kvitova pulls out of the Kremlin Cup - UBITENNIS
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Petra Kvitova pulls out of the Kremlin Cup

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Petra Kvitova

World No.5 Petra Kvitova has withdrawn from next week’s Kremlin Cup in Moscow due to a right hamstring injury.

 

The withdrawal came shortly after it was confirmed that she has qualified for the WTA Finals in Singapore. Kvitova, who won the prestigious title in 2011, will play in the WTA Finals for the fifth consecutive year. She is one of four players who have already qualified for the finals, which will begin on October 26th. Joining the Czech will be Maria Sharapova, Garbine Muguruza and Simona Halep.

The Czech has endured a troublesome 2015 after suffering from mononucleosis (mono) which has forced her to withdraw from numerous tournaments including Indian Wells and Miami. Mono is a common illness on the tennis tour that has affected a wide range of players including Roger Federer, Heather Watson and Andy Roddick. The illness resulted in the retirement of Mario Antic from the sport and Robin Soderling hasn’t played on the tour since 2011 due to the after effects.

Despite the setback, Kvitova has so far won three titles this year is Sydney, Madrid and New Haven. Her best Grand Slam performance in 2015 was at the US Open where she reached the quarterfinals before losing to Flavia Pennetta.

Kvitova is the third withdrawal of the Kremlin Cup after Italy’s Karin Knapp and Russia’s Ekaterina Makarova.  The top seed for the tournament will be Agnieszka Radwańska who will be bidding for her second WTA Title of the year after Tokyo. Other entrants include Lucie Safarova, Caroline Wozniacki, Angelique Kerber and Carla Suarez Navarro.

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Gael Monfils Withdraws From US Open Due To Foot Injury

Gael Monfils will miss his third consecutive grand slam after another injury setback.

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Gael Monfils (@JCPGATA - Twitter)

Gael Monfils’ injury-hit season continues as he withdraws from the US Open due to a foot injury.

 

The Frenchman started the season in fine fashion as he reached the Australian Open quarter-finals and also won a title in Adelaide beating Karen Khachanov in the final.

However since the Australian Open, Monfils has only played five tournaments and has been struggling with injuries and consistency.

Th 35 year-old has only managed six victories since January and just when Monfils’ return to the tour looked successful in Montreal, the Frenchman suffered a foot injury against Jack Draper in their last 16 match.

After returning to Europe for scans it now turns out that Monfils will miss further weeks on the tour and will be unavailable for the US Open in a couple of weeks.

Speaking on Twitter the Frenchman revealed he will have to undergo further treatment, “Dear all, following the latest medical exams that I took upon returning in Europe, I will sadly not be able to play at the US Open this year,” Monfils told his fans on the social media website.

“I am forced to undergo a new period of treatment before being able to resume tournaments. I will keep you informed as soon as I can with regards to my next tournament.”

The news means that Monfils will miss his third grand slam in a row after being ruled out of Roland Garros and Wimbledon earlier in the year as the Frenchman will look to be refreshed for the end of the season.

Monfils’ best result at the US Open was reaching the semi-finals in 2016 where he lost to Novak Djokovic in four sets.

The 35 year-old will aim to be back at the Masters 1000 event in Paris in November while the US Open will take place without Monfils on the 29th of August.

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Daniil Medvedev Hopes ‘To Raise His Level’ After Opening Win In Cincinnati

The former champion branded his first match as ‘tricky’ after losing a lead during the second set.

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Daniil Medvedev - (foto Roberto Dell'Olivo)

Top seed Daniil Medvedev admits there are areas of his game he would like to improve after coming through a testing first round encounter at the Western and Southern Open. 

 

The reigning US Open champion ousted Botic van de Zandschulp 6-4, 7-5, in what was a mixed encounter for the Russian. After breaking at the start of the match, Medvedev eased his way to a 6-4 lead in under 40 minutes. However, it was far from straightforward in the second set with the world No.1 failing to maintain a break advantage. Trailing 4-5, he then had to save three set points before fighting back by winning three games in a row to secure victory. 

“The second set was not that clean,” Medvedev admitted afterwards. “The first set was great. Everything was working. I had three games where I had break points but managed to break in the first game, which was enough.”

Hitting a total of 17 winners against 17 unforced errors, Medvedev benefitted from some lacklustre play coming from his opponent. World No.24 Zandschulp produced a costly 38 unforced errors and struggled with his serve. Producing a total of 11 double faults and winning just 41% of his second service points. 

“He was not serving especially well today, doing a lot of double faults. So I tried to keep pressure, use my chances,” said Medvedev. “Actually on return, I feel like I did a good job. Two breaks on these fast courts is enough to win and I should have done a little bit better on my serve. But the first match is tricky and I’m happy that I managed to go through, and hopefully I will raise my level in the next matches.”

Tuesday’s victory in Cincinnati has put Medvedev back on track after a roller-coaster past couple of weeks. Earlier this month at the Los Cabos Open he won his 14th Tour title before losing his opening match at the Canadian Masters last week to the formidable Nick Kyrgios. 

The 26-year-old is facing the possibility of losing his No.1 ranking in Cincinnati should he fail to reach the quarter-final stage. If that were to happen, he would only be dethroned from the top if Rafael Nadal wins the title. Nadal is playing his first tournament since taking time away due to an abdominal injury. 

Medvedev will next play either Tommy Paul or Denis Shapovalov. 

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‘It Feels Amazing’ – Emma Raducanu Crushes Soon-To-Be Retired Williams In Cincinnati

After defeating the 23-time Grand Slam champion, Raducanu has named another idol of hers who she would like to play on the Tour next.

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Image via https://twitter.com/CincyTennis

Emma Raducanu says she is fortunate to have been able to cross paths with Serena Williams after dropping just four games against the tennis great at the Western and Southern Open on Tuesday.

 

Raducanu, who is the current US Open champion, eased her way to a 6-4, 6-0, win over the former world No.1 who recently announced that she will be ‘evolving’ away from the sport in the coming weeks. The Brit hit a total of 14 winners against just one unforced error and converted five out of her nine break point opportunities in what was the first Tour meeting between the two. She is the first player to bagel Williams since compatriot Johanna Konta did so at the 2018 San Jose Open.

“I think that a big part of the match was definitely the mental side, to not be intimidated by all her achievements,” Raducanu said during her press conference.
“That was what I was focusing the most on, just like being really, really present and thinking of my game, thinking of what I needed to do.’
“Physically I think that I held up pretty well. Like there were some longer exchanges and I held up well and I scrapped. I made her work. Sometimes I won the point when it mattered.”

The triumph brings Williams’ career at the Western and Southern Open to an end. She is a two-time champion of the tournament after winning back-to-back titles in 2013 and 2014. She was also runner-up in 2012. In total, she has played in the tournament nine times over 14 years.

“Watching her growing up, it was an amazing experience to just play her. I think from the beginning to the end, I maybe looked calm, but I just knew how important every single point was because you let up a little bit and she’s going to be all over you.” Raducanu said in tribute to the American.
“Playing Serena and managing to win, I’m really proud of myself, and it does give me confidence.
I think that at this level when you play anyone it’s a really difficult match. Each of those wins kind of builds confidence regardless of the level you’re playing, every single win counts. But of course, this one more so, because you’re playing like the greatest.” She added.

Raducanu’s triumph occurs during what is a roller-coaster season for the world No.13 who has been hampered by various physical issues. Since lifting the US Open title, she has won 14 out of 31 matches played with ten of those victories occurring in 2022. She is yet to defeat a top 20 player this year.

The next test for the 19-year-old will be Victoria Azarenka who defeated Kaia Kanepi in her first round match. Like Williams, the Belarussian is another player who has inspired Raducanu.

“She is a great champion. I remember more recently when she was playing in the US Open and made the final in 2020 during the bubble. I was studying for my exams. I hadn’t played tennis in like two, or three months, and I was kind of just dreaming that one day I’m going to play on Ashe, and one day I’m going to be at that level and play these great players myself. Everything felt so far away.” Raducanu recounted.
“Last year I have had great exposure to these great players, and every time you get to play them, you get to learn from them as well and what they do really well that has helped them in their careers.”

As for other players, she would like to face on the Tour, Raducanu has one in mind. That is two-time Grand Slam champion Simona Halep who the rising star describes as ‘the most complete player.’ Like Halep, Raducanu also has Romanian roots with her father coming from that country.

“I would love to play Simona, just because I think she is like, for me, all around the most complete player.” She said.
“She moves extremely well. She’s aggressive. She can defend. She makes you work so hard for every point. I think just to be able to feel that would be great.”

The only way Raducanu can play Halep in Cincinnati this week would be if both players reach the final.

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