Delighted Roberta Vinci Battles Past Jelena Jankovic In Brisbane - UBITENNIS
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Delighted Roberta Vinci Battles Past Jelena Jankovic In Brisbane

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Roberta Vinci in action against Jelena Jankovic at the 2016 Brisbane International. (image via Matt Robers/Zimbio.com)

Roberta Vinci endured a tough opening match in Brisbane against Serbia’s Jelena Jankovic as she recovered from a set down to win 3-6, 6-2, 6-4.

 

The eighth seed started the match unconvincingly as she struggled at times to get a first serve in. Throughout the opening set the Italian managed to get just 45% of her first serves in. The low first serve percentage played into the hands of Jankovic, who was able to attack the slower second serve. This resulted in the Serbian breaking Vinci three times during the opening set to take it after only 30 minutes.

Vinci could of been in danger of losing the match when she faced a break point in the first game of the second set. This time, she successfully fended off Jankovic before breaking the Serbian for the first time in the match a couple games later. Leading the set 4-2, both players then encountered a marathon game which consisted of seven deuces. As Jankovic served, it was Vinci’s turn to apply the pressure on her opponent. After failing to convert five break points in the marathon game, Vinci finally broke with her sixth to extend her lead in the set as a decider approached.

At the most crucial time in the match, Vinci was finally able to find her first serve, increasing from 47% in set two to 59% in the decider. The increase in the percentage aided her to fend off four break points during three of her service games. The crucial break in occurred during the fifth game of the final set. A poor service game from the Serbian, consisting of three consecutive unforced errors, handed Vinci the break to lead for the first time in the match. The poor game from Jankovic was fatal to her chances in the match as Vinci held her service to take the win after two hours and 17 minutes on the Brisbane court.

Vinci will now play in the second round of the tournament for the fourth time in her career, facing former Australian Open runner-up Dominika Cibulkova. Following her win, a  delighted Vinci labelled her first round win as the best start the season in her entire career.

“It was a tough match against a great player, I probably won only one or two times against her in the past. It was a good match for both of us, a great way to start the season. Every year in Australia, I don’t play so good, so this time something has changed. This is probably my best first match of the year ever”. She said.

At 32-year-old Vinci is becoming a Veteran on the tour, however, she isn’t allowing her age  to be a factor in her game.

I’m not young, but I’m feeling good. And now I’m focusing on 2016. Serena is 34, also Flavia won US Open last year. There are examples.”  Vinci said after her triumph.

Elsewhere at the tournament Carla Suarez Navarro dropped just three games during her 6-1, 6-2, win against Croatian world No.65 Ajla Tomljanović. In the second round, the Spanish sixth seed will play home favorite Sam Stosur after she defeated Jana Čepelová 6-4, 3-6,6-3. The Australian trailed 0-3 in the final set to the qualifier before winning six out of the next seven games to move to the second round.

Swiss teenager Belinda Bencic produced an impressive display in her 6-1, 6-2, win over Italian world No.20 Sara Errani. Bencic dominated throughout the match, winning 68% of the match points (56/82). In the next round, she will play American qualifier Samantha Crawford after she defeated Australian wildcard Priscilla Hon (6-4, 6-4) in her first round match.

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Roger Federer admits that the time to retire is getting closer

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Twenty-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer has admitted in an interview to German newspaper Zeit that he is getting closer to retirement from professional tennis, but he still motivated to return to the court and pursue new goals.

 

Federer has not played a match since losing to Novak Djokovic in the Australian Open semifinal last January. The Swiss legend will be sidelined for the rest of the 2020 season after undergoing two knee surgeries. Federer said that he will miss playing in front of his fans once he retires from tennis.

“In principle I only was concerned with my health, but now I miss the feeling of playing in a full stadium. I know that the time to retire is getting closer and closer and I think I will miss the circuit very much. I must be patient and keep working. It would be easy to have retired at this juncture, but I want to continue giving myself the opportunity to enjoy tennis. I will take some time to get back in good shape”, said Federer.

 Federer talked about his close relationship to his friend and rival Rafael Nadal. The Spanish player leads 24-16 in his 40 head-to-head matches against his Swiss rival. However, Federer beat Nadal in seven of his past eight clashes. They last met at Wimbledon in 2019 when Federer prevailed in four sets 7-6 1-6 6-3 6-4. In 2019 they also met in the Roland Garros semifinal where Nadal won in straight sets.

“When I met him, he surprised me because he was very shy off the court and you saw him compete and the aggressiveness with which he played was incredible. There was a lot of rivalry between us and sometimes it was not easy. We had great duels, but we always had respected each other and knew that we we were references for many people and represented our beloved sport. Our families get along very well, we always congratulate each other on the triumphs”, said Federer.

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Dayana Yastremska Labels Controversial Twitter Photo A ‘Misunderstanding’

The world No.25 has been forced to delete photos from her social media accounts after a gesture to support anti-racism backfired.

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Ukrainian Tennis star Dayana Yastremska has been forced to remove a photo from social media and issue a statement after she was accused of being racially insensitive.

 

The 20-year-old tennis star attracted criticism on Thursday after uploading a photo of herself in different poses with the phrase ‘equality’ assigned to it. However, the images were controversial as they show Yastremska as half white and half back. Black facing, which is where a non-black person darker their skins to represent the race, has recently been under the spotlight in the wake of the Black Live Matter movement. Some episodes from TV shows such as The Mighty Boosh, Little Britain and The League of Gentlemen have been removed from online platforms due to the black facing of characters.

Screen shot of Yastremska’s now deleted Twitter photo

In the aftermath of posting the photo, two-time Grand Slam champion Naomi Osaka commented on Instagram ‘Girl I know you didn’t just do blackface,’ with a skull emoji. Osaka, who has a Japanese mother and Haitian father, has spoken publicly about her support for the Black Live Matter movement. Yastremska responded to the comment with a prayer emoji.

Yastremska removed her photos from Twitter and Instagram soon after she received backlash online, however, she insists that she never meant to cause any offence. Posting a statement on Twitter, the world No.25 apologize to those who she offended. Although she insists that her photo has been ‘misunderstood’ and she doesn’t consider it to be a ‘black face.’

“Earlier today I posted pictures that I thought would spread a message of equality. It clearly did not and has been misunderstood,” she wrote on Twitter yesterday.
“I have been warned about the negative impact but I did not — and still don’t — consider it a ‘black face’.
“I did not intend to caricature but to share my feelings about the current situation: we should all be treated as equal.
“I am so disappointed my message has been corrupted. I sincerely apologise to all the people I have offended.”

Former Wimbledon junior finalist Yastremska has won three WTA titles so far in her career and has earned more than $1.8 million in prize money. In January she reached a ranking high of 21st.

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Andrey Rublev, Dominic Thiem and Roberto Bautista Agut secure their spot in the semifinals at Thiem’s 7 tournament

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Andrey Rublev edged Casper Ruud 6-2 3-6 10-4 at the Thiem’s 7 tournament in Kitzbuhel. After losing the first set Ruud came back to win the second set forcing the match to the third set. Rublev won the super tie-break when Ruud made a double fault on the match point. Rublev needed a win from Dominic Thiem against Jan Lennard Struff to secure his spot in the semifinal.

 

Thiem beat Struff 6-4 7-6 (7-3) to score his third consecutive win at this tournament after defeating Casper Ruud and Andrey Rublev in the first two days.

The first set went on serve until the 10th game, when Thiem converted on his first break point at 5-4 to clinch the first set in 30 minutes. In the second set Thiem did not convert two break points at 3-2 and another chance at 4-3. It came down to the tie-break. Thiem earned a mini-break to take a 2-1 lead and held on his serve to create three match point at 6-3. The home player converted on his first chance, as Struff’s backhand sailed long. Thiem set up a semifinal clash against Roberto Bautista Agut.

The Spanish player converted five of his six break points and won 73% of the rallies of the rallies in his service game in his 6-0 6-1 win over Dennis Novak to get the second point in his round robin group and secure his spot in the semifinals in the Group B.

Bautista Agut won 5 of the 7 games of the match before Novak earned his only game of the match by holding his first service game in the second set. Bautista Agut won five consecutive games to win the second set 6-1.

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