Premier Mandatory in Beijing: Sara Errani fought back from a set down to beat Andrea Petkovic - UBITENNIS
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Premier Mandatory in Beijing: Sara Errani fought back from a set down to beat Andrea Petkovic

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World Number 20 Sara Errani rallied from a set down to overcome number 21 Andrea Petkovic with 3-6 6-3 6-2 after two hours and two minutes in a match marked by a lot of unforced errors and a lot of breaks of serve. With this win Errani has reached the third round of the China Open WTA Premier Mandatory in Beijing after beating Petra Kvitova and Caroline Garcia in the previous two rounds.

 

Errani broke serve on Petkovic’s first service game before holding her serve in the second and the fourth games to take a 3-1 lead but the German reeled off five consecutive games to clinch the first set with 6-3.

Petkovic did not convert a break point in the first game of the second set with two unforced errors but she broke serve to love two games later for 2-1. Errani broke straight back as Petkovic sent her backhand into the net before taking the 3-2 as the German his her forehand wide. Errani got the break in the 8th game before holding her serve to love in the next game. Errani sealed the win in the second set with 6-3 as Petkovic hit her return into the net.

The third set started with three breaks of serve in the first three service games. Errani reeled off four consecutive games from 3-3 in the second set to build a 6-3 1-0 lead with a break of serve in the first game of the third set. Petkovic broke straight back but she dropped her serve again to trail 1-2 as she made two consecutive double faults and sent a forehand wide. Petkovic broke straight back for 2-2 but Errani broke again for 3-2 before holding her serve in the sixth game to take a 4-2 lead. Errani pulled away to 5-2 with a new break and served for the match. In a very long final game Petkovic saved three match points at deuce before Errani sealed the third set with 6-2 after 49 minutes on her fourth match point. The Italian had already beaten the German in the third round of the 2015 Roland Garros with 6-3 6-3.

Errani, who is ranked 19th in the Road to Singapore, has still a small chance to qualify for the WTA Finals but she would need to win the Beijing tournament and defend her position in one of the tournaments after Beijing (Tjanjin, Hong Kong, Linz, Moscow and Luxemburg).

The 28-year-old Italian player will face the winner of the match between Timea Bacsinszky and Carla Suarez Navarro. For the first time in a Premier Mandatory Tournament three Italian players have reached the third round. Tomorrow US Open champion Flavia Pennetta will play against Anastasya Pavlyuchenkova, while Roberta Vinci will face Bethanie Mattek Sands

Number-5 seed Garbine Muguruza is one match away from qualifying for the WTA Finals in Singapore after cruising to 6-2 6-1 over US qualifier Irina Falconi in her opening match in the Chinese capital.

Muguruza, who finished runner-up to Venus Williams last week in Wuhan, built up a 6-2 4-0 lead by reeling off eight consecutive games from 2-2 in the first set en route to closing out the match with 6-2 6-1. If Muguruza wins her next match, she will become the first Spanish player to qualify for the WTA FInals since Aranxta Sanchez Valero in 2001

Muguruza will face Mirjana Lucic Baroni. They are tied 1-1 in their previous two head-to-head matches. In their last match earlier this year Muguruza beat the Croatian player en route to reaching the Wimbledon final. Lucic Baroni beat Muguruza at last year’s US Open.

“I am happy. I tried to keep the level I had in Wuhan and Tokyo. It was hard because I didn’t play for two days and here the conditions are not the same, so I am happy. I didn’t know that I was one win away from Singapore. I knew obviously if I did a great tournament here, I would qualify for the WTA Finals but I didn’t know which round it was. That’s a very good motivation. I want to finish the year in a good year. I want to on holiday and say: “Look. I had a great year. I did everything I could to go off the court feeling that I gave it all my effort”, said Muguruza.

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Rafael Nadal’s Record Breaking Career By The Numbers

UbiTennis celebrates the 34th birthday of the world No.2 with a numerical look at his career so far.

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He is known as the king of clay with the second highest grand slam tally in the history of men’s tennis. Rafael Nadal is undoubtedly one of the greatest players in the history of the sport and to celebrate his birthday here is a by-the-numbers look at his career.

 

1 – He is the first and only man to have won five grand slam titles after turning 30.

3 – The number of Davis Cup finals Nadal has played in where Spain has won the title. He triumphed in 2009, 2008 and 2019. He was also part of the winning team in 2008 but played in the two rounds leading up to the final that year.

4 – The age he started playing tennis after being introduced to the sport by his uncle and former long-time coach Toni Nadal.

5 – The number of times he has finished a season ranked No.1. Only Pete Sampras has finished more seasons at the top of the rankings with six. Nadal also holds the record for oldest year-end No.1 player at 33 which he achieved last year.

9 – The age Nadal switched from a double-handed forehand to a single, according to his ATP bio.

12 – Nadal’s historic number of French Open titles. He is the only player – man or woman – to have won the same grand slam 12 times in history.

15 – He has qualified for the ATP Finals 15 season’s in a row between 2005-2019. However, in six of those years he hasn’t been able to play in the event due to injury.

16 – The number of consecutive seasons where he has won 30 or more matches which is the longest streak among active players

16 – Nadal has won at least one title 16 seasons in a row (2004-2019) in what is an Open Era record.

19 – The total number of Grand Slam titles won. Besides 12 French Open trophies, he has also won the US Open four times, Wimbledon twice and the Australian Open once.

22 – His winning streak against Russian players on the Tour. The last person from the country to beat him was Nikolay Davydenko at the 2011 Doha Open.

35 – The record number of Masters 1000 titles won by the Spaniard. His win-loss in the series currently stands at 384-79 and he has won more matches than any other player.

59 – How many ATP titles he has won on the clay in what is an Open Era record. The second highest is 49 trophies won by Argentina’s Guillermo Vilas.

85 – The percentage of service games Nadal has won on the clay throughout his entire career on the ATP Tour (as of 3/6/2020).

118-2 – Nadal’s impressive winning record when it comes to playing best-of-five matches on clay. His only losses were at the French Open to Robin Soderling in 2009 and Novak Djokovic in 2015. A full breakdown can be read here.

171 – Number of victories recorded over top 10 players, including 20 wins over a reigning No.1.

209 – The number of weeks Nadal has spent as world No.1. It is the sixth longest period in the history of men’s tennis in the Open era. He is the only Spanish man to have held the top spot for more than 10 weeks.

209 – 1 – Nadal’s almost perfect record when it comes to winning matches after taking the first two sets in a grand slam. The only time he lost was to Italy’s Fabio Fognini in the third round of the 2015 US Open.

778 weeks – The number of consecutive weeks Nadal has spent in the top 10. Incredibly 71% of that period (549 weeks) he has been in the top two. Only Jimmy Connors has spent a longer period in the top 10, which was 789 weeks between August 1973 and October 1988.

990 – Number of wins on the ATP Tour. Only Ivan Lendl (1068), Roger Federer (1242) and Jimmy Connors (1274) have won more.

2010 – The year he featured in Shakira’s music video as her love interest. The song Gypsy turned out to be a massive hit and was the ninth best selling single in Spain that year.

120,955,904 – How much prize money he has made so far in his career (in American dollars). The only tennis players to have earned more than him is Djokovic and Roger Federer.

Happy Birthday Rafa!

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Rafa’s Dirty Dozen And More

UbiTennis takes a closer look at Nadal’s extraordinary record on the clay!

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That Rafael Nadal is the greatest of all time on clay is undeniable – even Borg’s own mother must have come to terms with it by now. 

 

No one, man or woman, has ever managed to win the same Slam 12 times. No one, except for him, who managed the feat in Paris, ça va sans dire.

Without the pandemic, the Spaniard could have celebrated his birthday, as usual, in his home away from home (a home with a roof now, and retractable too), and perhaps he could have taken another step forward, tasting that Slam-tally supremacy (albeit shared) he’s been chasing his entire life. Who knows whether fate will give him other chances – only time will tell.

There is another statistical nugget though, more subtle and neglected, that asserts, with even greater emphasis, his might and his undisputed dominance on the surface. Said nugget is that, over a 15-year span, Rafa has played 120 3-out-of-5 matches, including those at the Bois de Boulogne, the old Davis Cup (we miss you so!), a few Masters Series finals, and more.

Well, his record in these matches is the following: 118 wins and 2 losses. 118-2.

In my opinion, this is the most impressive achievement in the history of the game BC (Before Covid), and thus deserves to be handed down to posterity as my personal birthday gift.

To all fans, have a nice read!

2004

  1. Davis SF Clement (65) W 64 61 62
  2. Davis F Roddick (2) W 67(6) 62 76(6) 62

2005

  1. Montecarlo F Coria (9) W 63 61 06 75
  2. Barcellona F Ferrero (58) W 61 76(4) 63
  3. Roma F Coria (11) W 64 36 63 46 76(6)
  4. RG R128 Burgsmuller (96) W 61 76(4) 61
  5. RG R64 Malisse (46) W 62 62 64
  6. RG R32 Gasquet (31) W 64 63 62
  7. RG R16 Grosjean (24) W 64 36 60 63
  8. RG QF Ferrer (21) W 75 62 60
  9. RG SF Federer (1) W 63 46 64 63
  10. RG F Puerta (37) W 67(6) 63 61 75
  11. Stoccarda F Gaudio (13) W 63 63 64
  12. Davis P.O. Bracciali (92) W 63 62 61
  13. Davis P.O. Seppi (78) W 61 62 57 64

2006

  1. Montecarlo F Federer (1) W 62 67(2) 63 76(5)
  2. Barcellona F Robredo (15) W 64 64 60
  3. Roma F Federer (1) W 67(0) 76(5) 64 26 76(5)
  4. RG R128 Soderling (50) W 62 75 61
  5. RG R64 Kim (116) W 62 61 64
  6. RG R32 Mathieu (32) W 57 64 64 64
  7. RG R16 Hewitt (14) W 62 57 64 62
  8. RG QF Djokovic (63) W 64 64 RET
  9. RG SF Ljubicic (4) W 64 62 76(7)
  10. RG F Federer (1) W 16 61 64 76(4)
  11. Davis P.O. Seppi (69) W 60 64 63
  12. Davis P.O. Volandri (38) W 36 75 63 63

2007

  1. RG R128 Del Potro (59) W 75 63 62
  2. RG R64 Cipolla (227) W 62 61 64
  3. RG R32 Montanes (50) W 61 63 62
  4. RG R16 Hewitt (16) W 63 61 76(5)
  5. RG QF Moya (26) W 64 63 60
  6. RG SF Djokovic (6) W 75 64 62
  7. RG F Federer (1) W 63 46 63 64

2008

  1. RG R128 Bellucci (76) W 75 63 61
  2. RG R64 Devilder (148) W 64 60 61
  3. RG R32 Nieminen (26) W 61 63 61
  4. RG R16 Verdasco (23) W 61 60 62
  5. RG QF Almagro (20) W 61 61 61
  6. RG SF Djokovic (3) W 64 62 76(3)
  7. RG F Federer (1) W 61 63 60
  8. Davis SF Querrey (39) W 67(5) 64 63 64
  9. Davis SF Roddick (8) W 64 60 64

2009

  1. Davis 1st RD Tipsarevic (47) W 61 60 62
  2. Davis 1st RD Djokovic (3) W 64 64 61
  3. RG R128 M. Daniel (97) W 75 64 63
  4. RG R64 Gabashvili (72) W 61 64 62
  5. RG R32 Hewitt (48) W 61 63 61
  6. RG R16 Soderling (25) L 26 76(2) 46 67(2)
  7. Davis F Berdych (20) W 75 60 62

2010

  1. RG R128 Mina (655) W 62 62 62
  2. RG R64 Zeballos (44) W 62 62 63
  3. RG R32 Hewitt (33) W 63 64 63
  4. RG R16 Bellucci (29) W 62 75 64
  5. RG QF Almagro (21) W 76(2) 76(3) 64
  6. RG SF Melzer (27) W 62 63 76(6)
  7. RG F Soderling (7) W 64 62 64

2011

  1. RG R128 Isner (39) W 64 67(2) 67(2) 62 64
  2. RG R64 Andujar (48) W 75 63 76(4)
  3. RG R32 Veic (227) W 61 63 60
  4. RG R16 Ljubicic (37) W 75 63 63
  5. RG QF Soderling (5) W 64 61 76(3)
  6. RG SF Murray (4) W 64 75 64
  7. RG F Federer (3) W 75 76(3) 57 61
  8. Davis SF Gasquet (15) W 63 60 61
  9. Davis SF Tsonga (10) W 60 62 64
  10. Davis F Monaco (26) W 61 61 62
  11. Davis F Del Potro (11) W 16 64 61 76(0)

2012

  1. RG R128 Bolelli (111) W 62 62 61
  2. RG R64 Istomin (43) W 62 62 60
  3. RG R32 Schwank (192) W 61 63 64
  4. RG R16 Monaco (15) W 62 60 60
  5. RG QF Almagro (13) W 76(4) 62 63
  6. RG SF Ferrer (6) W 62 62 61
  7. RG F Djokovic (1) W 64 63 26 75

2013 

  1. RG R128 Brands (59) W 46 76(4) 64 63
  2. RG R64 Klizan (35) W 46 63 63 63
  3. RG R32 Fognini (29) W 76(5) 64 64
  4. RG R16 Nishikori (15) W 64 61 63
  5. RG QF Wawrinka (10) W 62 63 61
  6. RG SF Djokovic (1) W 64 36 61 67(3) 97
  7. RG F Ferrer (5) W 63 62 63
  8. Davis P.O. Stakhovsky (92) W 60 64 64

2014 

  1. RG R128 Ginepri (279) W 60 63 60
  2. RG R64 Thiem (57) W 62 62 63
  3. RG R32 L. Mayer (65) W 62 75 62
  4. RG R16 Lajovic (83) W 61 62 61
  5. RG QF Ferrer (5) W 46 64 60 61
  6. RG SF Murray (8) W 63 62 61
  7. RG F Djokovic (2) W 36 75 62 64

2015 

  1. RG R128 Halys (296) W 63 63 64
  2. RG R64 Almagro (154) W 64 63 61
  3. RG R32 Kuznetsov (120) W 61 63 62
  4. RG R16 Sock (37) W 63 61 57 62
  5. RG QF Djokovic (1) L 57 36 16

2016 

  1. RG R128 Groth (100) W 61 61 61
  2. RG R64 Bagnis (99) W 63 60 63

2017

  1. RG R128 Paire (45) W 61 64 61
  2. RG R64 Haase (46) W 61 64 63
  3. RG R32 Basilashvili (63) W 60 61 60
  4. RG R16 Bautista Agut (18) W 61 62 62
  5. RG QF Carreno Busta (21) W 62 20 RET
  6. RG SF Thiem (7) W 63 64 60
  7. RG F Wawrinka (3) W 62 63 61

2018

  1. Davis QF Kohlschreiber (34) W 62 62 63
  2. Davis QF A. Zverev (4) W 61 64 64
  3. RG R128 Bolelli (129) W 64 63 76(9)
  4. RG R64 Pella (78) W 62 61 61
  5. RG R32 Gasquet (32) W 63 62 62
  6. RG R16 Marterer (70) W 63 62 76(4)
  7. RG QF Schwartzman (12) W 46 63 62 62
  8. RG SF Del Potro (6) W 64 61 62
  9. RG F Thiem (8) W 64 63 62

2019 

  1. RG R128 Hanfnann (180) W 62 61 63
  2. RG R64 Maden (114) W 61 62 64
  3. RG R32 Goffin (29) W 61 63 46 63
  4. RG R16 Londero (78) W 62 63 63
  5. RG QF Nishikori (7) W 61 61 63
  6. RG SF Federer (3) W 63 64 62
  7. RG F Thiem (4) W 63 57 61 61

120 matches by the numbers

  • Total sets played: 391
  • Total sets won: 353 (90,28%)
  • Total sets lost: 38 (9,72%)
  • Total five-setters: 4 (3,33%, all wins, among which one went the distance and two to a deciding tie-breaker)
  • Total tie-breaks played: 33 (8,44%, 24 wins and 9 losses)
  • Total 6-0 bagels: 26 (6,65%, 25 for him and 1 against)
  • Matches played at the French Open: 95 (93 wins e 2 losses)
  • Davis Cup ties: 18 (all wins)
  • Total matches against Top 10 competition: 35 (34 wins and 1 loss)
  • Total matches against number 1-ranked opponents: 9 (8 wins and 1 loss)
  • Number of finals played (excluding the Davis Cup): 19 (all wins)
  • Number of finals played at the French Open: 12 (all wins)

The opponents

  • 8 times: Federer (4 RG F, 2 RG SF, 1 Montecarlo F, 1 Roma F, all wins), Djokovic (2 RG F, 3 RG SF, 2 RG QF, 1 Davis, one loss)
  • 4 times: Ferrer, Hewitt, Soderling (1 loss), Thiem, Almagro
  • 3 times: Gasquet, Del Potro
  • 2 times: Coria, Roddick, Wawrinka, Murray, Ljubicic, Seppi, Bolelli, Bellucci, Monaco, Nishikori
  • 1 time: Verdasco, Fognini, Carreno Busta, Robredo, Berdych, Clement, Ferrero, Burgsmuller, Malisse, Grosjean, Puerta, Gaudio, Bracciali, Kim, Mathieu, Volandri, Cipolla, Montanes, Moya, Devilder, Nieminen, Querrey, Tipsarevic, M. Daniel, Gabashvili, Mina, Zeballos, Melzer, Isner, Andujar, Veic, Tsonga, Istomin, Schwank, Brands, Klizan, Stakhovsky, Ginepri, L. Mayer, Lajovic, Halys, Kuznetsov, Sock, Groth, Bagnis, Paire, Haase, Basilashvili, Bautista Agut, Kohlschreiber, A. Zverev, Pella, Marterer, Schwartzman, Hanfmann, Maden, Goffin, Londero.

 Some final considerations

  • Of the 120 considered matches, 95 took place at the French Open, 18 in the Davis Cup (all wins), and seven were ATP finals (all wins);
  • Of the 95 matches played at the French Open, 91 were wins in three or four sets. The others are his only two losses, one against Soderling in 2009 and one against Djokovic in 2015, and two five-set wins, one against Djokovic in 2013 and one against Isner in 2011;
  • On his way to 12 French Open title, Rafa beat Roger and Nole six times each;
  • Rafa is 12-0 in French Open semifinals (three against Nole, two against Roger) and finals (four against Roger and two against Nole). Therefore, the 12 times he’s reached the semis he’s always won the tournament.

 

FELIZ CUMPLEAÑOS CAMPEÓN!

Article translated  by Tommaso Villa

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Pat Cash Exclusive: Novak Djokovic Is Better Than Nadal and Federer

The 1987 Wimbledon champion talks about his famous climb in the stands, and reminisces on the glory days of the Davis Cup. Also: the match point against Lendl in New York and that Swedish teenager who never missed; what makes the Big Three stand out and how his body would have coped in today’s game; his stance on vaccines, similar to Nole’s.

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UbiTennis brings you one more exclusive interview during the tours’ hiatus, and, as usual, Hall-of-Famer Steve Flink joins the party.

 

This time, our guest is none other than Pat Cash, the 1987 Wimbledon champion. Now 55 years old (his birthday was six days ago), the Aussie’s best results in the other Slams are two finals at his home tournament (in 1987 and 1988, on two different surfaces), a semi-final at the US Open (in 1984), and a fourth round at the French Open (in 1988). Throughout his career, he won seven titles in singles, twelve in doubles, and two Junior Slams (Wimbledon and the US Open, both in 1982 as a 17-year-old). He also reached the fourth spot in the rankings in May of 1988 and was a member of two Davis Cup-winning teams, in 1983 and in 1986. He now coaches an 18-year-old American, Brandon Nakashima, currently ranked 220th in the world, the second-best among those born in 2001.

Minute 01 – Introduction

04 – Pat Cash recalls training in Milan with an unknown Swede: “He didn’t miss a shot for 20 minutes, I got scared because I thought my level wasn’t good enough. Turns out that his name was Mats Wilander.” 

06 – However, Pat actually beat Wilander five times out of nine meetings (four while he was a Top 10 player), so Steve asked him why he felt so comfortable against him. 

11 – “I knew I’d lose that final against him in Melbourne as soon as I opened the ball cans…” Would Wilander agree? 

12 – The other loss in an Australian Open final, the year before against another Swede, Stefan Edberg. “We ran into each other during the night…” 

15 – “It’s sad to walk through Melbourne Park’s hallways and look at the pictures of every Australian Open champion without seeing myself among them…” 

16 – Cash suffered countless injuries – would he have fared better today? “I never thought Nadal would make it past the age of 28…” 

22 – That 1984 US Open semifinal, perhaps the best Super Saturday ever. He lost after failing to convert a match point against Lendl: “I just copied Mac’s tactics!” 

25 – McEnroe himself had something to say to Pat the day after… 

27 – The kerfuffle with a journalist who asked him about waving his middle finger during the Lendl match… 

29 – The 1987 Championships – one set lost against Schapers before steamrolling past Forget, Wilander, Connors and Lendl. 

31 – “I never felt as much as pressure as I did in the Davis Cup…” 

34 – Wimbledon again. “Borg and Connors were the only ones who could win the Championship from the baseline, Lendl and Wilander just didn’t have my serve-and-volley skills.” The post-winning banter of his friends…  

36 – “I had a good psychologist… the grass was replanted for the final, I had never played on such a slippery surface, but it’s important to be able to adapt, and I was more agile than Ivan.” 

38 – His famous climb in the stands on Centre Court, the first ever. 

44 – Davis Cup vs ATP Cup vs Laver Cup. “Agassi and Sampras ruined the Davis Cup. Madrid was the wrong city for the finals, in Australia would have packed the arena!” “The Laver Cup is an exhibition but it somehow got the best available week…” 

58 – The Coronavirus. “My girlfriend and my son had it, I didn’t have any symptoms…” Vaccination or not? 

1:05 –Djokovic, Federer and Nadal. “They’re not normal people! Federer would have been exceptional in every era, while Rafa and Novak…” Federer is the most entertaining to watch, but who is the best? Can you be the best ever if you’re not the best in your time?

1:10  “The Slams are not everything!” The case for Laver and Rosewall. 

1:12 – Tennis and technology. “Nadal took the game to a whole new level with his topspin and endurance. Djokovic has no flaws; he’s even become good at the net!” 

1:13 – Who would he pay to watch among the Fab Four? His favourite player is a certain hot-headed Italian… 

1:14 – Federer’s head-to-head with Rafa, and the Swiss’s incredible streaks in the Slams. “You can’t learn to play like him!” 

1:17 – Who’s the best musician among himself, John McEnroe, Mats Wilander, Yannick Noah? “Noah is a professional, you can’t really compare! However, the real rockstar was Vitas Gerulaitis.” Partying with the Stones… 

1:19 – How’s coaching? Pat tells us about his Academies all over the planet. “My way of thinking about the game is different now, and some of my strokes are better than they were in ’87!” 

1:24 – The differences in coaching men and women. What to tell them after a defeat, and who needs more support. His new protégé, Brandon Nakashima. 

1:30 – The 109 titles won by Connors, as compared to Federer’s and Laver’s. The WCT Finals, and partying with Gerulaitis.

Translated by Tommaso Villa

 

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