Timea Bacsinsky fought back from one set down to edge Sara Errani to reach the semifinal in Beijing - UBITENNIS
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Timea Bacsinsky fought back from one set down to edge Sara Errani to reach the semifinal in Beijing

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Swiss Timea Bacsinszky fought back from losing the first set with a bagel to take an impressive win with 0-6 6-3 7-5 against Sara Errani to reach the semifinals of the China Open Premier Mandatory in Beijing.

Errani, the first Italian player able to reach the quarter finals in each Premier Mandatory Tournament (Indian Wells, Miami, Madrid and Beijing), had to save three break points at the start of the first set but from then she won eight consecutive games to build up a 6-0 2-0 lead. Bacsinszky committed two many unforced errors and won just two points on her serve in the first set.

Errani went up 40-15 on her serve in the third game of the second set earning two points for 6-0 3-0. Bacsinszky won those two points breaking serve in the third game and won her fifth consecutive game to pull away to 5-2. Errani broke back for 3-5 but Bacsinskiy broke again to take the second set with 6-3.

Bacsinszky went up a break at the start of the third set to build up a 3-0 lead. In a roller-coaster match Errani broke back to love. In the 8th game Bacsinszy went up 0-30 but Errani held her serve to draw level to 4-4. Errani went up 0-30 in the 11th game but Bacsinsky held her serve to take the 6-5 lead.

After a double fault from Errani Bacsinszky clinched the final game to take the third set with 7-5 and  reached the first Premier Mandatory semifinal of her career. Bacsinszky now leads 3-1 over Errani.

Bacsinszky has still an outside chance to qualify for the WTA Finals in Singapore. She is currently ranked 14th in the WTA Race to Singapore and needs two wins to keep her hopes alive. The Swiss player arrived in Beijing with five consecutive defeats but she found again her early-season form winning Camila Giorgi 1-6 6-4 6-3, Mariana Duque Marino 7-5 6-2 and Carla Suarez Navarro 6-4 4-6 7-5.

The Lausanne player scored her 40th win of the year  She is one win away from breaking the top-10 for the first time in her career. With this win she keeps her hopes alive of qualifying the WTA Finals in Singapore.

Agnieszka Radwanska cruised past Angelique Kerber with 6-1 6-4 to reach the semifinals and is now two matches away from qualifying to the WTA Finals in Singapore.

Radwanska raced out to 6-1 in the first set in just 26 minutes. Kerber bounced back taking a 3-0 lead in the second set but Radwanska won six of the next seven games to clinch the second set with 6-4. Radwanska hit 11 winners to just 4 unforced errors.

Radwanska, who won in Tokyo two weeks ago, now leads 6-5 in her head-to-head matches against her German rival.

“It has been definitely an up and down season for me especially at the beginning of the season. I wasn’t getting the results I wanted. That was a bit frustrating. I diw much better during the grass court season. I had a couple of good results there and this helped me to be where I am right now. I still have a chance to go to Singapore and I am fighting for that ”, said Radwanska

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Emma Raducanu Hails ‘Special’ Andy Murray

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Emma Raducanu - Cincinnati 2022 (foto Twitter @cincytennis)

Emma Raducanu has warned against writing off Andy Murray as the Brit faces a race against time to be fit for Wimbledon. 

Murray was recently forced to withdraw from his match against Jordan Thompson at Queen’s due to injury and since then has undergone a procedure on his back. The Telegraph has previously reported that the issue was a spinal cyst but this is yet to be officially confirmed. On Sunday rumours started to circulate that Murray would be withdrawing from Wimbledon with the ATP also posting the news on their social media account before deleting the post. This claim has since been denied and an official decision is yet to be made. 

Speaking about Murray ahead of her campaign at this week’s Eastbourne International, Raducanu has warned against making assumptions about his health. 

“I think it’s very easy to jump to conclusions very quickly. I don’t know what’s going on at all but I just wouldn’t believe everything that’s said in the press because a lot of the time it’s not the full story at all.” The London Evening Standard quoted Raducanu as saying. 

Speaking further about Murray, who is likely to retire later this year, the 21-year-old has praised his professionalism and influence within the sport. 

“Watching Andy at Wimbledon is so special,” she said. 
“I just see him operate day to day, how professional he is, how he’s in the gym an hour and a half before practice, how he goes about his thing.
“It’s just nice to have that influence. He sets really good stands and all of us love to have him around. It’s nice to also seehim hitting with the other boys and the other players. I think they all get really inspired when they play with him too.”

Murray has not said what his final tournament will be before he steps away from the sport for good. Earlier this year, he told reporters that he doesn’t plan to play beyond the summer before he suffered an ankle injury and now back problems. Should he play in Wimbledon, it will be his 16th main draw appearance at the tournament which he won in 2013 and 2016. 

Meanwhile, Raducanu will be hoping to continue her recent form heading into Wimbledon. Last week she reached the semi-finals of the Nottingham Open in what was her best result at a WTA event since September 2022. In Eastbourne, she will play Sloane Stephens in her opening match on Tuesday. 

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Novak Djokovic: ‘I’m Not Planning To Retire And Have This Be My Last Wimbledon’

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Image via https://x.com/Wimbledon/

Novak Djokovic says he will only play at Wimbledon if he is fit enough to challenge for the title. 

The 24-time Grand Slam champion flew to London earlier this week as he continues his recovery from a knee injury that he sustained at the French Open. Last month Djokovic tore the medial meniscus in his right knee and subsequently underwent surgery. He has yet to confirm his participation at Wimbledon but his rapid recovery process has been pretty impressive. 

On Monday, the world No.2 was at the All England Club where he held a hitting session with Argentina’s Federico Coria and reportedly won their practice tiebreaker 8-2. He was seen wearing a protective sleeve over his knee, as well as his right arm. 

“The plan was to try to play Wimbledon, so that’s what I’m doing. That’s why I’ve come to train and see how it goes,” news agency EFE quoted Djokovic as saying afterwards.
“I can’t give many details about the knee, but it’s going well. The rehabilitation is going in the right direction every day. Little by little it’s getting better. That’s what’s giving me hope and desire to keep going. I still have a week ahead of me, enough time. I’m going to do my best to find out how I am before the draw is made.”

There are still four days before the Wimbledon draw takes place at 10am on Friday. Djokovic has yet to win a title this season but has reached the semi-final stages of the Australian Open, Monte Carlo Masters and Geneva Open. The last tournament he won was the 2023 ATP Finals in Turin. 

Given his current injury issues, it might be expected that Djokovic’s expectations for the upcoming Grand Slam will be somewhat different. However, the Serbian is sticking to his high standards. 

“I haven’t come here to go through a few rounds,” he states. 
“I’m going to play if I’m sure. I’m going to take it day by day, based on how I am, how I feel and if I can play at my best.
“If I can’t play, I’ll give someone else that opportunity. I’m only going to play if I’m in a position to go far and fight for the title. I’m not pushing myself to the limit, but I hope that happens in the next few days. I wouldn’t be here without the doctors’ permission.” 

As for his current form on the Tour, the 37-year-old assures that he has no intention of walking away from tennis anytime soon. If he wins Wimbledon one more time, Djokovic will equal Roger Federer’s record for most titles won at the tournament which is eight. 

“I’m not planning to retire and have this be my last Wimbledon, so I want to keep going and this year has been different,with this injury in Paris.” He said.
“It’s bad luck, but it’s part of the sport. It’s the first time I’ve had a major knee injury, so I’m dealing with it day by day, as best I can and together with my team members. I’ve put in a lot of hours in the last two weeks on my rehabilitation. Probably more than if I wasn’t injured.”

Should Djokovic decide to not play at Wimbledon, it will be the first time the tournament has taken place without any of the three Big Three playing since 1998. 

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Gael Monfils beats Thiem in Mallorca Open, who Waves Goodbye

Wins also for Fognini, Ofner, Hijikata.

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Image via https://x.com/MallorcaChamps/

French veteran Gael Monfils beat Dominic Thiem 6-3, 7-6 (7-3) in the first round of the Mallorca Open, in what is likely to the Austrian’s last appearance in Spain as he retires from the sport later this year.

In the last warm-up tournament before Wimbledon next week, 37-year-old Monfils defeated the former US Open champion for the first time in his career, helped by a spectacular serving display where he only lost four points on his first serve, as well as hitting 13 aces and 25 winners.

Both players held serve well in the first set until Thiem threw in three unforced errors to lose the sixth game and hand the Frenchman the advantage, who sailed through in just 25 minutes. The second set was far closer with both men holding serve easily – apart from one game where Thiem recovered from 0-40. In the tie-break the Austrian once again committed unforced errors during critical moments, putting Monfils through to round two to play Roberto Carballes Baena. 

Monfils thanked the crowd after his win: “It was a pleasure to play in front of you guys, thanks for coming out. Today was a good match, I served so good. Definitely it was a good match from my side.”

Meanwhile, at the same tournament where he injured his wrist three years ago, Thiem was presented with a commemorative shield by Toni Nadal in honour of his achievements in the sport. 

“Thank you so much for the trophy, for the recognition, it really means a lot to me,” said Thiem on court. “I love Mallorca, I have been here many times before, twice at the tournament, it’s great. I really look forward to come back in the future, it’s such a nice club to enjoy sports here and to watch the tournament next year. Thank you so much for the support.”

In the first match of the day, Italian Fabio Fognini showed all his experience as he beat lucky loser Gijs Brouwer 7-6 (7-4), 7-6 (7-5), and potentially faces defending champion Christopher Eubanks in the next round.

After a shaky start where he looked in slight discomfort walking between points, Fognini played through in familiar fashion: mixing regulation groundstroke errors along with superb winners. He came through a tough game in the first set when he was 0-40 down but pulled through winning five points in a row and regained confidence thereafter.

The pair traded breaks in the second set but in the tie-break, Fognini took the first mini-break and never looked back. He won the match after a superb rally where he slid at full stretch chasing a wide forehand and slipped, but still won the point when 28-year-old Brouwer missed a drop shot into the net.

Fognini has been on tour for the last 20 years and at the age of 37, his best tennis days are now behind him. When asked how much longer he plans to continue playing, he replied: “I am always happy after a win. It’s my first time here in Mallorca. Let’s see how it goes here and then next week in Wimbledon”

In other results, Sebastian Ofner beat home hope Juame Munar 3-6, 6-4, 7-6 (7-4) in an entertaining match lasting just over two hours. Munar won 79% of points behind first serves in the first set and broke serve twice, but Ofner hit back by improving his service percentages and taking both of his breakpoints to level the match at a set all before squeezing through in the final set tie-break where both players nervously made multiple unforced errors.

Results from other matches:

L. Daderi beat P. Martinez 7-5, 7-5

R. Hijikata beat L. Nardi 6-2, 2-6, 7-5

A Shevchenko beat C. Lestienne 7-5, 7-6

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