Yanina Wickmayer and Nicole Gibbs Will Meet in Final at Carlsbad - UBITENNIS
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Yanina Wickmayer and Nicole Gibbs Will Meet in Final at Carlsbad

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In the last WTA tournament of 2015, Yanina Wickmayer and Nicole Gibbs advanced to the final at the Carlsbad Classic, a 125K series event. The top seed Wickmayer of Belgium made the most of her wildcard beating Maria Sakkari of Greece in straight sets: 6-4, 6-2. Wickmayer who won the Tokyo title in September, is seeking her fifth career title. Gibbs, the fifth seed, defeated fellow American Jennifer Brady, also in straight sets: 6-0, 6-4. The twenty-two-old Gibbs is chasing her first WTA level title.

The Belgian got off to a shaky start dropping her serve in the third game, but was able to get the break back immediately. Indeed, the first set was marked by five breaks of serve. Wickmayer’s service points won were slightly higher than Sakkari’s (54% versus 47%, respectively). Wickmayer, currently ranked 49, improved her level of play in the second set. She did not face a break of serve and capitalized on both of her break chances. Sakkari continued to win less than half of her service points while Wickmayer won 73% of her service points in the second set (despite a first serve percentage of just 55%). Sakkari is at her highest ranking of 182 and has seven ITF titles to her credit.

Gibbs, a Stanford graduate, cruised through the first set in only 28 minutes in the second semifinal match. She won 65% of her service points, while Brady won a paltry 32%.  Gibbs jumped to quick lead in the second set, going up 3-0 before Brady got on the scoreboard with a break of Gibbs’ serve in the fourth game and then converted another break in the eighth game to get back on serve, 4-4. Gibbs closed out the match giving up only one point in the final two games.

Gibbs, twenty-two years old, is currently ranked 122. She has won four ITF titles in her career and reached the third round at the 2014 U.S. Open, beating Caroline Garcia and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova to get there. The twenty-year-old Brady is ranked 232 and has won two ITF titles.
Wickmayer and Gibbs have not faced each other previously at the WTA level.

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“I Thought The Ship Had Sailed’ – Nick Kyrgios Reaches Maiden Wimbledon Semis

The 27-year-old reacts to achieving a new milestone in his career.

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Nick Kyrgios (AUS) - Credit: AELTC/Jonathan Nackstrand

Nick Kyrgios has achieved his best-ever result at a Grand Slam tournament after beating Cristian Garin in straight sets in the quarter-finals at Wimbledon. 

 

Kyrgios, who was playing in the last eight of the tournament for the first time since 2014, rallied to a 6-4, 6-3, 7-5(5) win over his Chilean rival. Becoming the first player from his country to reach the last four of the men’s draw since Lleyton Hewitt did so back in 2005.  


”I felt I was playing on the back foot a lot. He’s a hell of a player,” Kyrgios said afterward. “He’s obviously very confident. Hell of a tournament for him to make the quarter-finals. I got lucky on a couple of break points here and there. It could have been him standing here (giving the winner’s interview).”

In what was a largely controlled match from Kyrgios, he produced a total of 17 aces alongside 35 winners against 29 unforced errors. There were the occasional outbursts and criticism of the lines officials but it was by nowhere as controversial as his previous encounters against Stefanos Tsitspas in the third round and Paul Jubb in the first.

The breakthrough comes during what has been a turbulent career. Kyrgios has been a player involved in many controversies and was at one stage issued with a suspended ban from the Tour due to unsportsmanlike conduct. However, his talent was never doubted but many were unsure if he could be consistent enough to have a deep run at a major event. He once was at a pub until 4 am on the same day he was due to play Rafael Nadal at Wimbledon.

“It was an amazing atmosphere out here (on court one). I never thought I will be in the semifinal of a grand slam. I thought my ship had sailed.” He admits. 
“I didn’t go about things earlier in my career great and I may have wasted (time).’
‘I’m really proud of the way I’ve come back out here with my team and with that performance.”

As one of the few top 100 players who travel without a coach, Kyrgios paid tribute to those around him. 

“I don’t have a coach I would never put that burden on someone,” he jokes.
“Each and every one of my team plays an important role. I feel like nobody knows my tennis better than I do. I’ve been playing this sport since I was seven and to be in the semi-final of a slam I am pretty happy.”  

Kyrgios is the lowest-ranked Wimbledon semi-finalist since 2008.

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Simona Halep Beats Erractic Anisimova To Reach Wimbledon Semis

The former world No.1 dropped six games against her opponent who produced a series of costly errors.

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Simona Halep has stormed into the last four at Wimbledon after producing a comprehensive win over Amanda Anisimova. 

 

The 2019 champion survived a last-minute resurgence from her rival to prevail 6-2, 6-4, over the American on the Center court. Halep was able to dictate the play throughout with the use of her aggressive shot-making in a match that resembled their meeting in Bad Homburg just two weeks ago. It is the first time she has reached the last four of a major since the 2020 Australian Open.

It’s great to be back in the semi-finals. I am very emotional right now because it means a lot,” said Halep. 
“I played a tough opponent today who could crush the ball in the end and I didn’t know what to do. I just believe in myself. I believed until the end that I could win.”

The 16th seed hit fewer winners than her rival (11-13) but the most telling factor was the unforced error count. Halep’s tally of six was more than four times less than that of Anisimova (28).

Out of the active players on the WTA Tour, Halep is only the third to reach a fifth Wimbledon quarter-final after both of the Williams sisters. Taking on Anisimova, the Romanian got off to a blistering start by breaking just three games into their clash. Producing some powerful ball-striking Halep forced her rival to commit back-to-back forehand errors which granted her the early break. Two games later the lead was extended further after yet more Anisimova errors moved the former champion to 4-1. She took the opener after exactly 30 minutes of play with the help of a serve down the line Anisimova returned.

It was a case of deja vu in the second set with Halep’s game simply overwhelming her error-stricken opponent who looked growingly lost on the court. Anisimova continuously looked towards her entourage out of frustration. It eventually all got too much for the world No.25 who began to cry during a changeover after going down 1-4 once again. 

Halep’s only struggle in the match occurred when she was tasked with serving it out. With Anisimova hitting more freely and with nothing to lose, suddenly she was the aggressor and retrieved one of the breaks to gradually close her deficit to 4-5.  Prompting a big cheer from the crowd. 

After going through a period where 13 out of 16 points played went to her opponent, Halep eventually held her nerve to clinch victory. 

“I am definitely playing my best tennis (since winning the 2019 Wimbledon title),” she said.
“Last year I struggled a lot and now I am just trying to build my confidence back. My tennis here and all I need to do now is to start to believe in myself.”

Halep is yet to drop a set at Wimbledon after five matches played. 

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(EXCLUSIVE) Kim Clijsters Is ‘Done’ With Professional Tennis And This Is What She Wants To Do Next

The former world No.1 sheds some light on her future during an interview with Ubitennis at The All England club.

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Kim Clijsters (image via twitter.com/wtainsider

It is her love for tennis that has spurred Kim Clijsters to continue playing as a professional player for as long as possible. 

 

The 39-year-old announced her third retirement from the sport earlier this year after her latest comeback. Troubled by injury and having her schedule affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Belgian played only five tournaments between 2020-2022 and lost her opening match at all of them. Although three of those matches went the full distance. 

Clijsters has returned to Wimbledon this year once again but officially as a member of the legends contingent. A group of former players who play in events designated for them.

So what is the future plan for a Clijsters who has rightfully embedded her name in the sport as one of the best in recent years? During her career, she has won 41 WTA titles, spent 19 weeks as world No.1 and is the only player to have defeated the Williams sisters at multiple events (2002 WTA Championships and the 2009 US Open). 

Speaking to Ubitennis at The All England Club, Clijsters hints that she may one day like to return to the Tour but not as a player….

UBITENNIS: How does it feel to be back at Wimbledon?

CLIJSTERS: It feels great. It’s always a special place to come back to. I haven’t been here for a few years and a lot of the infrastructure has changed. For me to be back here and see the legends and players I remember watching when I was younger is so much fun. Once you stop playing there are not a lot of people who understand the life that you have had. Then when you come and see everybody it is so natural. This was my family for years and years. You don’t see it as a family then but as you get older you do. 

UBITENNIS: You recently retired from the sport. Is that you totally done now or is there still a temptation to come back?

CLIJSTERS: I’m done, done, done…. I do like to play legends tennis. I still love tennis and like to play every day if I can but with three kids it is a little complicated. It is still my passion and I love watching the sport. 

UBITENNIS: So now you’re retired, what’s next?

CLIJSTERS: I think I do (want to work in tennis). The passion started for me when I was a little girl and I still believe I can help here and there. Whether it is helping the younger players that are playing at this stage. 
There are definitely things I would like to do but with family life, traveling many weeks a year is complicated. But I do like to stay involved in tennis. 

UBITENNIS: Who would be your dream player to coach?

CLIJSTERS: That is a tough question. maybe a younger player…

UBITENNIS: Emma Raducanu?

CLIJSTERS: Yea, a younger player. Amanda Anisimova and the girls who want to get to that next stage. Those who you have a connection with personality-wise. It’s tough to pick one out of the hat right now but I think that trust and connection on a personal level are really important if you want to get to the next step (as a player). 

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