Caroline Wozniacki Crushes Alexandra Dulgheru In Auckland - UBITENNIS
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Caroline Wozniacki Crushes Alexandra Dulgheru In Auckland

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Caroline Wozniacki in action at the 2016 ASB Classic (image via Zimbio.com)

Caroline Wozniacki spent less than an hour on the court during her dominating 6-1, 6-0, triumph over world No.69 Alexandra Dulgheru.

 

The third seed refused to let her Romanian opponent generate any sort of rhythm throughout the brief encounter. Wozniacki was in devastating form from the start of the match as she clinched eight consecutive points to ease to a 2-0 lead. Dulgheru did at times produced good tennis, but they were too inconsistent against the world No.17. Things got worse for the Romanian after she produced three consecutive double faults to hand Wozniacki her second break to lead the set 5-1.  The Dane then raced to 40-0 in the following game to give herself three set points, taking the opening set on her third.

The impressive performance from Wozniacki continued in the second set as she broke Dulgheru three more times to help her seal the win after 52 minutes. The only minor blip that occurred for the Dane was at the very end when she faced a duo of break points after some successful free hitting from her rival. Despite going behind 15-40, the third seed battled back to take the second set 6-0.

Wozniacki’s serve was in top order during her straight sets victory. The former world No.1 won 83% of her first serves (20/24) and 69% of her second (9/13). She also produced 11 forehand and six backhand winners. Following the win, an delighted Wozniacki spoke about his win.

“I started off strongly and played aggressively… it was a good performance, I was really excited about it,” Wozniacki said.
“It gives me a lot of confidence, no matter how well I do in this tournament now.”

In the last four Wozniacki will play Sloane Stephens. The world No.30 experienced a tricky opening set before fighting her way part British qualifier Naomi Broady 7-6(6), 6-3. Despite the straight sets win, Stephens admitted in her press conference that Broady was a tough opponent for her.

I was playing a tough opponent, she’s tricky to play obviously because she has a really big serve. So I was happy to get the win, but it was definitely a tricky match.” She said.

The semifinal match will be a tough encounter for Stephens, who currently has a 0-5 head-to-head against Wozniacki.

In the first match of the day, Austrian qualifier Tamira Peszek stunned world No.85 Kirsten Flipkens 6-4, 6-7(3), 6-3, to reach her first WTA semifinal since 2012. The 25-year-old lead the match 6-1, 4-1, before Flipkens staged a triumphant comeback in the second set. Despite her opponents resurgence, Paszek managed to close out the match after almost three hours.

I’m delighted that I was strong enough mentally to focus and deal with the setbacks and actually close out the match.” The Austrian said.

Peszek is a former two-time Wimbledon quarter-finalist (2011 and 2012) but has recently been playing in lower level tournaments after falling down the rankings to 172 in the world.  In the semifinals in Auckland she will play world No.50 Julia Goerges. The German booked her place in the last four after edging out Japan’s Nao Hibino 6-7(3), 6-2, 6-4.

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(VIDEO EXCLUSIVE) Why Rafael Nadal Faces His Biggest Test Yet

Tennis Hall of Famer Steve Flink joins UbiTennis to reflect on the highs and lows of day 8 of Wimbledon.

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Will the upcoming quarter-final be Rafael Nadal’s hardest match yet? How will Nick Kyrgios’ shoulder recover?

 

The second Monday at Wimbledon was one full of intrigue in the men’s draw. Whilst on the women’s side, Simona Halep was in impressive form against Paula Badosa but tennis commentator Flink explains why he thinks her upcoming clash with Amanda Anisimova will be tougher.

Alongside Ubitennis CEO Ubaldo Scanagatta, Flink also looks at Jannik Sinner’s chances of causing a huge upset against reigning champion Novak Djokovic. 

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WIMBLEDON: Rafael Nadal Coy Over New Injury Speculation

After the foot problems in Paris, there is a strong possibility the Spaniard could be experiencing another injury issue.

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image via twitter.com/atp

There are fresh concerns surrounding Rafael Nadal after he declined to go into the reason why he was wearing abdominal taping during his fourth round match at Wimbledon. 

 

The 22-time Grand Slam winner was seen wearing some kind of protection in the abdominal area after changing his t-shirt during one of the breaks. In recent weeks Nadal has been dealing with physical issues due to a long-term foot condition he has. At the French Open he revealed that he had to undergo injections in order for him to continue playing en route to winning the tournament for a 14th time.

Playing 21st seed Botic van de Zandschulp, Nadal battled his way to a 6-4, 6-2, 7-6(6), win. Speaking to reporters after his latest win at The All England Club, the Spaniard sidestepped a question about a potential abdominal problem he could be experiencing. 

“I am a little bit tired of talking about my body. It’s not that I don’t want to answer your question, but at the same time sometimes I am tired of myself, all the issues that I am having. I prefer to not talk about that now,” he replied.
“I am in the middle of the tournament and I have to keep going. All respect for the rest of the opponents. I am just trying my best every single day. For the moment I am healthy enough to keep going and fight for the things that I want.”

Continuing to stay coy about his form and health, Nadal offered an alternative perspective when asked if he was nearing his best level once again. He has dropped just two sets in four matches played so far at Wimbledon which is his first grass-court event since 2019. 

“It’s always the same here. It’s not about how close I am to the level or not. I don’t know that. I can’t predict what can happen.” He said.
“But the positive thing is the first two matches haven’t been good. Then two days ago I played at a high level for the first time. And today most of the matches, again, at a very positive level.”

The straight sets scoreline failed to tell the true story of Nadal’s roller-coaster win on Center Court. Taking on Zandschulp, a player who burst onto the main scene last year by reaching the US Open quarter-finals as a qualifier, the 22-time major champion engaged in a match of two halves. Nadal looked on the verge of an easy victory after breaking once in the first set, twice in the second and storming to a 5-2 in the third. However, the Dutchman refused to go down without a fight by displaying his best tennis of the match to draw level. 

Now engaged in his first real test, Nadal was under intense pressure to close it out in three. If he didn’t there would have been an inevitable delay for the roof to come on due to poor light. If that occurred, there would be less than two hours of play left before the 11pm curfew began.

Nevertheless, Nadal didn’t need the roof as he squeezed through the tiebreaker. After squandering three consecutive match points, he prevailed on his fourth with the help of a lob that triggered Zandschulp to smash the ball out. 

Nadal is through to his 47th major quarter-final and is only the third man in the Open Era to do so at Wimbledon after celebrating his 36th birthday. In total, he has won 309 main draw matches at Grand Slam tournaments.

In the last eight, the Spaniard has a shot of revenge when he takes on Taylor Fritz who ended his 20-match winning streak earlier this year in Indian Wells. During that match, Nadal had a rib injury and he had beaten the American earlier that month in Mexico. 

“That last match (in Indian Wells) was zero because I had a stress fracture on my rib, and it was difficult to learn many things because the pain was terrible playing that match.” He said. 

As for Fritz, he believes their upcoming clash will be at a higher standard given the form both players are currently in. Fritz is currently on a eight-match winning streak after recently claiming the Eastbourne Open title. 

“It’s going to be a lot different match obviously. Indian Wells was kind of crazy with both of us being extremely beaten up before the final. This time I think we’ll get healthier versions of both of us, we’ll see.” Fritz previewed.

The question for nadal, is how healthy is the current version of him really is? Only time will tell. 

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Nick Kyrgios Was Once Forced To Leave Pub On Same Day As Major Wimbledon Match

The Australian looks back on the ‘dark times’ of his career and explains how he is feeling now.

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

After reaching his first Wimbledon quarter-final in eight years, Nick Kyrgios spoke openly about what has been a roller-coaster career. 

 

A former top 20 player, Kyrgios has been caught up in various controversies. At this year’s grass-court major, he has already been fined $14,000 for unsportsmanlike conduct and has been accused of being a bully by rival Stefanos Tsitsipas. The two engaged in a tense third round encounter on Saturday.

Although with the exception of an injury scare, there was no drama during Kyrgios’ latest five-set win over Brandon Nakashima. As for the shoulder issue, he played down its significance shortly after.

“At this time in the event, I don’t think anyone is feeling 100%. Obviously Rafa, you see him dealing with something niggling all the time. I just don’t think there’s anyone feeling 100%.” He said.
“Mentally I feel like I just deal with these things a lot better now.”

Whilst he remains a divisive character on the Tour, Kyrgios knows better than anybody about how far he has come along compared to the past. At his lowest, he was handed a provisional suspension from the ATP Tour for unsportsmanlike conduct. 

Although there is another side to the issues with the tennis star previously speaking out about his own mental health battle. His love for the sport has gone up and down over time as he cites one example of his own ‘dark times’ dating back to the 2019 Wimbledon Championships.

“There was a time where I was having to be forced out of a pub at 4 a.m. to play Nadal in the second round,” he reflected. “My agent had to come get me out of a pub at 4 a.m. before I played my match on Center Court Wimbledon. I’ve come a long way, that’s for sure.”

Kyrgios lost to Nadal in four sets with the lost two being close tiebreakers. 

So how has he managed to turn it all around? Kyrgios believes it would not have been possible if it wasn’t for the support of his own team.

“I’ve got an incredible support crew. My physio is one of my best friends. My best friend is my agent. I’ve got the best girlfriend in the world. I’ve just got so many people around me, they just support me. I feel like I can reflect on all those dark times when I pushed them all away.” He said.
“Now to sit here in the quarterfinals of Wimbledon, feeling good, feeling composed, feeling mature, having that around me, I’m extremely blessed. I feel like I’m just comfortable in my own skin.”

Kyrgios now has a chance to reach the semi-finals of a major for the first time in his career at the age of 27. Awaiting him in the next round will be Chile’s Cristian Garin. 

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