Agnieszka Radwanska Bests Petra Kvitova for WTA Finals Title - UBITENNIS
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Agnieszka Radwanska Bests Petra Kvitova for WTA Finals Title



Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland celebrates a point against Garbine Muguruza of Spain during the singles semifinal at the WTA tennis finals in Singapore on Saturday, Oct. 31, 2015.  (AP Photo/Joseph Nair)


In an unlikely pairing for the WTA Finals Singapore trophy, Agnieszka Radwanska outlasted Petra Kvitova in a gripping three set match: 6-2, 4-6, 6-3. This is the biggest title for the 26 year old from Poland in her career. Until today, her most significant wins were Premier Mandatories at Beijing in 2011 and Miami in 2012. She is the first player to win the WTA Finals after going 1-2 in the round-robin stage. Aga advanced to the final by defeating Garbiñe Muguruza for the first time in 2015. The fifth seed was on a hot streak recently having won two tournaments (Tokyo and Tianjin) and made it to the semifinals the China Open coming into Singapore.

Since reaching the quarterfinals at the US Open, the 25 year-old Kvitova has played in only two tournaments, losing in the first round at the China Open and third round at Wuhan. Kvitova also had been 1-2 in the round-robin stage of the event but rallied to upset Maria Sharapova in the semifinals. With this confidence booster and a 6-2 head-to-head edge over Radwanska, Kvitova seemed poised to earn her second WTA Finals crown. In addition to the 2011 WTA Finals title, she also has two Grand Slams (Wimbledon 2011 and 2014) to her credit.

However, Kvitova was very shaky in the first set donating the first game to Radwanska with a double fault and three groundstroke unforced errors. Over the next five games, Radwanska kept the ball in play with good anticipation and smart shot selection and waited for the Czech to make errors to go up 5-1. There would be no dramatic come-back in this set for the fourth seed, as Radwanska went on to take the opener 6-2 in just 33 minutes. The Pole had only one unforced error in the entire set compared to sixteen for Kvitova. Radwanska made 80% of her first serves, won 73% of her service points and did not face a breakpoint in the first set. In contrast, Kvitova only won half of her service points.

The second set started in similar fashion. Kvitova dropped the first game again as Radwanska ran down everything Kvitova threw at her and countered with a wide variety of skillful shots. The unforced errors for Kvitova continued to mount in the first four games of the set. Although she added two more errors in the fifth game, she started to dictate play with an ace and two forehand winners. The Czech went on to win the next two games, breaking Radwanska at love then holding at love to get have a lead for the first time in the match, 4-3. Kvitova broke Radwanska again in the tenth game to take the set, 6-4. Kvitova forced the action in this set, winning the point eleven of the thirteen times she came to net. Also, she improved her efficiency with twenty winners versus fourteen unforced errors. Radwanska’s first serve percentage decreased to 63 and Kvitova took better advantage of Radwanska’s weak second serve.

In the third set, the unforced errors crept back into Kvitova’s game. Despite this, she saved a breakpoint to hold the first game and was able to break Radwanska to go up 2-0. Radwanska started to make a few unforced errors and got away from her trademark slices and spins. Radwanska got back on form in the third game with two winners including a crowd pleasing tricky, angled shot. She was additionally aided by a Kvitova double fault and an unforced forehand error to break and get back on serve. After an Aga hold at love, the players traded breaks in games five and six. The Pole went on to win the final three games playing nearly error free tennis while the errors mounted again for Kvitova. The Czech committed twenty-three errors in the decider compared to only four for Radwanska.

Although, she competed well, Kvitova has been recovering from a bout with mononucleosis. In addition, she seemed to have been hampered by a right thigh injury. Radwanska’s right thigh was also taped, but she has said her leg is tired from playing so much tennis.

This title will boost Radwanska to a year-end world ranking of 5. Kvitova will end the year at 6.

After the match, Radwanska said, “It is an incredible day for me especially that a few weeks ago I didn’t know that I had any chance to be here … this is the biggest day in my life.”

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Carlos Alcaraz Relishing Prospect Of Playing Peak Djokovic In Future



Carlos Alcaraz at the Miami Open, photo by Vanni Gibertin

After an injury-stricken start to the 2023 season, Carlos Alcaraz has regained his position as one of the most explosive and formidable players in the world of men’s tennis. 


The 19-year-old has won 17 out of 18 matches played so far this season, winning titles at the Argentina Open and earlier this month in Indian Wells. Currently on a nine-match winning streak, the Spaniard recently returned to the world No.1 position and must win the Miami Masters to maintain the top spot heading into the clay swing. 

Alcaraz’s recent dominance is taking place during the absence of Novak Djokovic who is currently unable to enter America due to being unvaccinated against COVID-19. As a result, the two haven’t locked horns on the Tour since last year’s Madrid Open when Alcaraz prevailed in a three-set epic.

There is no doubt that the Serbian will be keen to avenge that defeat in the future but who would win in a match if both players were playing at their very best? 

“I have to play against Novak when he is 100%, I would say in Madrid he played really, really well. So it was close.” Alcaraz said following his 6-3, 6-3, win over Tommy Paul in Miami on Tuesday. 
“I agree with him. When he’s 100%, probably he’s one of or is the best player in the world.’
“What Novak has achieved, the level of Novak for example in Australia was unbelievable, really high. I really want to play against Novak when he’s 100% and I’m sure I’m going to enjoy it.”

The world No.1 is already the youngest player to defeat both Djokovic and Rafael Nadal at the same tournament, as well as the first to do so at a clay event.

Alcaraz hasn’t lost a set on the Tour since losing in the final of the Rio Open to Cameron Norrie last month. At the Miami Masters, he has produced comprehensive victories over Facundo Bagnis, Dusan Lajovic and Paul. Should he defend his title in Miami, he would become the first player outside of the Big Three to do so since Andre Agassi back in 2003. 

As for his current fitness, Alcaraz has insisted that his recent woes are behind him. He was forced to miss the Australian Open due to a leg injury and more recently sustained a minor hamstring problem. Furthermore, an abdominal issue ruled him out of the ATP Finals last November. 

“Right now I feel healthy, in every way and (I’m) not thinking about my leg,” he said. 
“All I’m thinking about is to play at my high level at my 100%.”

Awaiting Alcaraz in the quarter-finals of Miami will be Taylor Fritz in what will be the first-ever Tour meeting between the two players. Fritz, who defeated Holger Rune in his third round match, currently has a win-loss record of 16-29 against top-10 opposition. 

“I’m really excited about it. I think that a lot of people are really excited for that too,” Fritz said of their upcoming clash. “We have never played each other. I think it’s an interesting matchup and I think it would be a lot of fun to play him.”
“Obviously he’s been playing great lately and he had some injuries but obviously hasn’t missed a beat. He’s been just on fire.”

Alcaraz’s clash with Fritz will take place on Wednesday in Miami. 

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Rafael Nadal’s Monte Carlo Participation Still In Doubt Despite Claim By Organisers



Rafael Nadal of Team Spain during practice ahead of the 2023 United Cup at Sydney Olympic Park Tennis Centre in Sydney on Wednesday, December 28, 2022. MANDATORY PHOTO CREDIT Tennis Australia/ ATP, PETER STAPLES

The return of Rafael Nadal to professional tennis is still up in the air after the 22-time Grand Slam champion played down a recent social media post confirming that he will be playing at the Monte Carlo Masters. 


Nadal hasn’t played a match since his second round loss to Mackenzie Mcdonald at the Australian Open in January due to a hip injury. His absence from the Tour has resulted in him falling out of the world’s top 10 for the first time since 2005. It is the latest setback for the former world No.1 who was hampered by a flare-up of his long-term foot condition, Mueller-Weiss Syndrome, last year. 

Recently the social media channels of the Monte Carlo Masters have claimed that Nadal is highly likely to be playing in their event which will begin on April 8th. In one Twitter post published last Thursday, organizers wrote “we’re eager to welcome the legend Rafael Nadal. He is definitely able to win his 12th trophy in Monte Carlo despite his last injury.” 

Meanwhile, tournament director David Massey has also claimed that the 35-year-old is keen to play in the Masters 1000 tournament. 

“Rafa was the first registered player,” Massey said in a statement.“He really wants to play in the Monte Carlo Masters and is giving himself every opportunity to participate in the tournament that he likes so much.”

However, Nadal has since confirmed that no decision has been made about if he will be ready to play at the event. During an interview with Marca, the Spaniard admits that he still doesn’t know when he will be able to play tennis again. Although Nadal’s goal is to be fully fit in time for his title defence at the French Open later this year.

“I do not know who revealed this information. but obviously if it was true I would confirm it to you but unfortunately I can not confirm it,” said Nadal.
“I follow my programme and I do not know when I will play again, that’s the truth. I am in a phase of increasing work. If I knew when I was going to come back I would say so, but I don’t know.
“I cannot confirm that I will play in Monte Carlo, things are being seen day by day. I prefer to say things when I really know them.”

Nadal has won the Monte Carlo Masters a record 11 times but his last triumph at the tournament was back in 2018. 

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Andy Murray Disbands Tennis Section Of Own Management Agency, Joins IMG



Andy Murray (GBR) Credit: AELTC/Edward Whitaker

Three-time Grand Slam champion Andy Murray has joined the prestigious American-based management agency IMG which he says will represent him for the rest of his career and beyond.


The surprise move comes after a decade of Murray’s activities being managed in-house by 77 Sports Management which is a company he co-founded with Matt Gentry. In a major shake-up for the organisation, their tennis division has been disbanded permanently which could have a big impact on some British players. Harriet Dart, Paul Jubb, Katie Swan and Aidan McHugh have all been represented by 77 Sports Management in the past. It is understood that anybody affected by the closure will receive support to find alternative management.

No reason has been publicly disclosed as to why 77 Sports has decided to no longer explore the tennis market. However, it has paved the way for Murray to explore new opportunities for him in the future with IMG. In a statement, the former world No.1 said he hoped the new partnership will help him explore ‘the wider business world.”

“I’m looking forward to working with IMG not just for the remainder of my playing career, but with an eye on the future and opportunities both in tennis and in the wider business world,” Murray is quoted as saying by The Times

IMG was founded in 1960 and has been owned by Endeavor since 2013. Over the years the company has established itself as one of the leading agencies in the world of tennis with it at some point collaborating with the likes of Li Na, Novak Djokovic, Emma Raducanu, both of the Williams sisters, Carlos Alcaraz and more. They have also acquired ownership of both the Miami Open and Madrid Open which they oversee the running of.

“Andy has built a legacy in tennis that has not only shaped the sport but also defined its place in culture. We’re thrilled to have him join the IMG family and work together to expand his reach and influence across multiple businesses,” IMG Tennis’ Max Eisenbud said. 

Murray is the only British player in the Open Era to have reached world No.1 and has won 46 Tour titles so far in his career. His prize money earnings currently stand at more than $63.5M which is the fourth-highest in the history of the ATP Tour after the Big Three. 

However, in recent years the 35-year-old has been hindered by injury issues and now plays on the Tour with a metal rod inserted into his hip joint. He is currently ranked 52nd in the world and has won eight out of 13 matches played so far this year. 

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