Petra Kvitova comes back from a set down to give Czech Republic 1-0 lead in the Fed Cup Final - UBITENNIS
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Petra Kvitova comes back from a set down to give Czech Republic 1-0 lead in the Fed Cup Final



Petra Kvitova fought back from a set down to beat Anastasya Pavlyuchenkova 2-6 6-1 6-1 to give the Czech team the 1-0 lead after the inaugural match of the 2015 Fed Cup Final between Czech Republic and Russia at the O2 Arena in Prague.

Kvitova led 6-3 in her previous head-to-head matches against Pavlyuchenkova but six of their previous meets were decided by the third set. The Czech player won their previous clash earlier this year in Madrid.

Both players held their first two service games after eight unforced errors (five for Kvitova and three for Pavlyuchenkova). Pavlyuchenkova broke serve to love in the third game to take the 2-1 lead. The Russian player got the double break to pull away to 4-1 after a double fault and a missed volley from Kvitova.

Kvitova earned three break points at 1-4 but she failed to convert them. She held her serve for 2-5. Pavlyuchenkova served for the set and clinched the first set with a volley winner after 34 minutes. In the first set Kvitova hit six winners to 15 unforced errors

Pavlyuchenkova saved six break points in the second game of the second set. Kvitova converted her 7th break point chance in the game (the 10th in this match) before consolidating the break for 3-0. Kvitova got the double break to pull away to 4-0 before missing three set points in the sixth game. The Czech player closed out the second set with 6-1 with an ace to the delight of the O2 Arena.

Kvitova started the third set with a break of serve as Pavlyuchenkova made a backhand unforced error and a double fault. Kvitova got the double break in the fifth game to race out to 4-1 with a return winner and the 20th unforced error from Pavlyuchenkova. The Russian player has not earned a single break point since the first set. Kvitova held serve and Pavlyuchenkova served to stay in the match. Kvitova sealed the win as Pavlyuchenkova made two consecutive double faults.

Kvitova clinched the 21st win in 23 Fed Cup matches since 2011.

“It was nerves. When I stepped on the court, I was really nervous and I was tight. My legs felt really heavy and I couldn’t move well. That was the key really. It was difficult to turn it around but at the beginning of the second set I held my serve and then I was able to break her. That game was really the key to the second set and the match”, said Kvitova. 

Players and fans at the O2 Arena in Prague showed their respect for the victims of the tragic events in Paris with a minute of silence.

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Past And Present Stars Back Andy Murray’s Call For Expansion Of South American Swing



Andy Murray’s so-called ‘unpopular opinion’ about tennis in South America is proving to be more popular than he thought. 

On Saturday the former world No.1 and three-time Grand Slam champion published a post on social media calling for the continent to have a designated place in the Tour calendar, including a Masters 1000 tournament. This month events are taking place across South America alongside those happening in Europe and the Middle East. The most prestigious of those are the Rio Open in Brazil and Alcapulco Open in Mexico which are both classed as ATP 500 tournaments. 

A recent report from tennis publication Clay quoted unnamed sources as saying that Argentina is set to lose one of their ATP 250 events next year and the only ATP-Tour event in Chile could be under threat in the future. Hampering efforts to bring world-class tennis to the region. Something Murray fully backs.

“Unpopular opinion, South America should have its own dedicated swing on the tennis tour with its own masters series,” he wrote on X.
“The way the fans support the tournaments there is incredible. Amazing atmospheres and is clearly part of their sporting culture.”

Murray’s post has been met with support from others in the world of tennis who agree with him. Former top 10 player Diego Schwartzman says the governing body of men’s tennis has been showing less support to tennis in his region. Even though the current top 100 include six Argentines, three Chileans and one Brazillian. 

“Let (the) ATP Tour know this Andy! Every year they put (give) us less support. Not just because of how the fans support the tournaments,” Schwartzman wrote.
“Also how many players we have and we had on the top as u know. We deserve more than this from the ATP.”

Nicolás Pereira, who is currently a member of the ATP Players Advisory Council, wrote on X that Murray ‘got that right’ with his comment. Meanwhile, Boris Becker stated that ‘Tennis should go to countries/continents where tennis is booming.’ 

John Isner also weighed in on the topic by saying that a Masters 1000 in South America would create an ‘insane atmosphere.’ Masters events have been a prominent fixture on the Tour since 1990 but a tournament of this level has never been held in the region. This season five are being staged in North America, four in Europe and one in Asia. South America has also never staged the ATP Tour Finals. 

Currently, Murray’s post on South America has received more than 5,000 reposts and 43,000 likes.

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Jordan Thomson Upsets Ruud To Claim First ATP Title In Los Cabos



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Jordan Thompson has described his run to his first ATP title as a ‘miracle’ after beating fourth seed Casper Ruud in the final on Sunday. 

The 29-year-old held his nerve to prevail 6-3, 7-6(4), over the three-time Grand Slam finalist. Thompson broke Ruud once during the opening set but experienced more resistance in the second where he had to battle back from a break down and then dropped serve when trying to close the match out at 5-4. Despite the blip, he prevailed in the tiebreaker. Overall, the world No.40 hit 27 winners against eight unforced errors and won 80% of his first service points.

Thompson’s run to his maiden ATP trophy has been a rollercoaster. Before taking on Ruud, he ousted Alexander Zverev in a marathon semi-final encounter that lasted more than three hours. Also in the quarter-finals, he bounced back from a 0-6, 0-3, deficit to beat Alex Michelsen. His other two wins were over Ernesto Escobedo in the first round and Emilio Nava in the second. 

“I really have no idea [how I won],” Thompson said.
“I spent so many hours on the court this week, and in the quarter-final, I could have got double-bagelled – I could have been losing 6-0, 6-0 – and now I’m about to lift the trophy, so I think it’s still a miracle.”

Thompson is the fifth first-time champion on the ATP Tour this season. As a result of his victory, he will rise to a ranking high of No.32 on Monday when the standings are updated. 

“We’ve been putting in some seriously hard work and it’s good to see that it pays off,” he said.
“It’s been a journey. I’m nearly 30 and lifting a trophy, I never thought I’d do that.”

The Australian is the first player ranked outside the top 25 to have beaten Ruud on the Tour this year. Shortly after their clash, he defeated the Norweigan for a second time in the doubles semi-final. Thompson and partner Max Purcell secured a 7-6(1), 6-3, victory over Ruud and William Blumberg. They will play the final later today. 

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Perspective And Fatigue: The Two Sides Of Iga Swiatek’s Dubai Defeat

Iga Swiatek spoke about perspective and fatigue after her semi-final exit in Dubai.



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Iga Swiatek showed two sides to her defeat in Dubai as the world number one surprisingly failed to win the title despite being the favourite in the semi-finals.

Heading into her semi-final in Dubai, Swiatek was heavy favourite to win her second consecutive WTA title after claiming the title in Doha the week before.

However Swiatek was unsuccessful in her bid to reach the final as she lost to Anna Kalinskaya 6-4 6-4.

It was a bitterly disappointing defeat for Swiatek who missed a golden opportunity to establish even more dominance ahead of Indian Wells.

As all champions do Swiatek offered perspective to her defeat as she looks ahead to the rest of the season, “I mean, I’m angry but on the other hand, there aren’t many players that actually survive these kinds of tournaments so I just kind of have to let it go and accept it,” Swiatek was quoted by Tennis Majors.

There was not only perspective offered but also fatigue as expectations and pressure can force simple mistakes from the best players in the world.

The world number one acknowledged Kalinskaya’s performance but did admit her own performance contributed to the defeat, “Today I would say, I mean she [Kalinskaya] played well and for sure she deserves to be in the final, but I feel like it was more about me and my level,” Swiatek told Tennis Majors.

“I wanted to be focused on myself and I wasn’t really able to implement any tactics that I had. Usually, when I tell myself what to do, I can improve my game but today I was so out of power and tired that I just couldn’t. Day by day, it was a little bit worse.”

Swiatek will hope to re-energize herself ahead of the sunshine double in America.

Last year Swiatek lost to eventual champion Elena Rybakina in the semi-finals at Indian Wells before withdrawing from Miami.

The Pole will look to improve last year’s performance when she plays Indian Wells, which starts on the 6th of March.

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