Sara Errani overcomes Madison Brengle to reach the semifinals in Dubai - UBITENNIS
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Sara Errani overcomes Madison Brengle to reach the semifinals in Dubai

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Sara Errani bounced back from a set down and a third-set deficit to overcome a marathon match against Madison Brengle 4-6 6-1 6-4 at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Tournament.

 

Errani, who played the final in Dubai against Petra Kvitova in 2013, won a hard-fought match after earning 39 break points but managed to scrape through to secure her spot in the semifinal where she will face the winner of match between Coco Vandeweghe and Elina Svitolina.

Errani converted on 10 of her 22 break point chances, while Brengle broke seven times.

In the first set Errani won four consecutive games from 0-1 down to take a 4-1 lead thanks to a double break. Brengle rallied from 0-30 down to get both breaks back clawing her way back into the match. The US player broke again when Errani was serving to stay in the set and won her fifth consecutive game to close out the first set 6-4.

Errani converted her fourth break point chance at deuce at the start of the second set. Brengle bounced back from 15-30 to earn four break-back point chances in a very long second game which went to deuce. Errani saved them to hold her serve for 2-0. The Italian player broke serve for the third time in the second set to race out to a 5-0 lead.  Brengle got one of the three breaks back on the set point but Errani did not make the same mistake of letting Brengle back into the set and broke for the fourth time in the second set to take the second set 6-1.

Brengle recovered from 0-40 by winning three consecutive points to break serve at deuce after a very long first game. Errani broke straight back to draw level to 1-1. Brengle broke serve twice more in the third game and in the fifth game to build up a 4-1 lead. Errani bounced back by winning four consecutive games to win a dramatic match by 6-4 in two hours and 22 minutes.

Errani had already beaten Brengle in three sets in Toronto last year.

“ It was very windy. She did not miss a ball. It’s not easy to play against her. At the beginning there was a lot of wind. Just to be in the semifinal for me is an amazing result. I will try to play to do my best in my next match. It was difficult for me to play the ball. I could have lost easily. I just kept fighting. ”, said Errani.

Caroline Garcia beat Andrea Petkovic 6-3 6-4 to reach her first WTA Premier-level of her career.

Garcia didn’t face a break point in the first set. The French player broke serve in a very long third game to take a 2-1 lead and in the ninth game to close out the opening set in 37 minutes. She did not face any break points on her serve during the first set.

Garcia broke serve on the third break point to take a 2-0 lead. Petkovic broke straight back in the third game. They went on serve until the 10th game when Perkovic was serving to stay in the match at 4-5. Garcia clinched another break in the final game to close out the match by 6-4 after one hour and 31 minutes when Petkovic hit a backhand wide. Garcia hit 23 winners to Petkovic’s 6.

Garcia took a re-match against Petkovic who had beaten the French player twice last year in Eastbourne and at the US Open in 2015.

Garcia will play against either Ana Ivanovic or Barbora Strykova in the semifinals.

 “You always have to fight very hard against Andrea. She is a big fighter always trying to come back in the match. The conditions were very difficult. It was very windy, sometimes more than yesterday. I always have to be ready for the ball. Sometimes it was not very good tennis. It was not very rhythmic but you have to stay focused and just keep your tactics on”, said Garcia.

The Dubai Tournament has become the first in WTA Tour history to see all eight seeds lose in the first round. It’s the fourth time in WTA history that no seeds reached the quarter finals. This has added to the unpredictability of this tournament which is held in tricky weather conditions. The top four seeds Simona Halep, Garbine Muguruza, Carla Suarez Navarro and Petra Kvitova were all knocked out on a rain-disrupted Wednesday after getting a first-round bye. The other four seeds Belinda Bencic, Karolina Pliskova, Roberta Vinci and Svetlana Kuznetsova lost in the first round.

 

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Karolina Pliskova Splits From Coach With A Possible Replacement Already In The Pipeline

The Czech made the surprise announcement on social media as she enters negotiations with an unnamed individual.

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World No.2 Karolina Pliskova has ended her collaboration with Conchita Martinez after working together for more than a year.

 

Pliskova, who has won four WTA titles this season, had been working with the Spaniard since the 2018 US Open. She originally joined the team on a part-time basis before being upgraded to a full-time position in February this year. Martinez is a former player best known for winning the 1994 Wimbledon Championships.

“I decided I will no longer work with Conchita,” Pliskova posted on Instagram. “It was a tough decision, as the season was great. Thank you for all this year, and wish you only the best. Life is a change!”

The decision comes after what has been a solid year on the tour for the 27-year-old. Overall, she has won 51 out of 68 matches played. Recording five wins over top five opponents. In the grand slams she reached the semi-finals of the Australian Open in what was her best ever performance at the tournament. However, she failed to repeat that success at the other three majors. Reaching the third round of the French Open followed by the last 16 in both Wimbledon and the US Open.

“Just a little note to inform you that Karolina and I have decided to take different paths next year.” Martinez wrote in a statement. “It has been an incredible year full of great moments and emotions. I wish Kaja and her team the best for the future.”

It may not be long before the identity of who replaces Martinez is revealed. Michal Hrdlicka, who is Pliskova’s manager and husband, has confirmed to Czech News Agency CTK that discussions are underway with an unnamed individual.

“After the Champions Tournament (WTA Finals), we started negotiations on the engagement of a new coach. Negotiations are underway and we will inform the fans when they are over.” He said.

In her last tournament of 2019, Pliskova reached the semi-finals of the WTA Finals. She was knocked out of the event by top seed Barty who went on to win the title.

Pliskova has finished the year ranked No.2 on the WTA rankings. The highest year-end ranking she has ever achieved so far in her career.

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Top WTA Coach Accused Of False Advertising

Kamau Murray, who was shortlisted for WTA coach of the year in 2018, has been accused by a top 100 player of ‘taking credit for things he has not done.’

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Kamau Murray (image via twitter.com/wta)

American tennis player Taylor Townsend has launched an attack on a tennis coach who guided Sloane Stephens to her first grand slam title at the 2017 US Open.

 

Kamau Murray has been accused of ‘misrepresenting himself’ in the sport by the former world No.1 junior player. The criticism has been sparked by the USPTA Illinois Mini Conference, which will take place on November 17th. In the advertisement it states that Murray is Townsend’s coach. Something she has denies in a lengthy Instagram post.

“Zina Garrison was my primary coach from September 2013-March 2,” she wrote.
“I did not to go public in the past because I had hoped to resolve this matter directly with Kamau Murray. I will no longer remain silent while he (Murray) continues his lies and false advertisement.’
“I did not give Kamau consent to use my name and likeness for his ongoing personal and business monetary gain.”

Townsend, who reached the fourth round of the US Open this year, also took a swipe at Murray over his previous work with Monica Puig. In August the Puerto Rican confirmed that her partnership with the coach has ended after he returned back to working alongside Stephens. Puig told reporters at the US Open that she was informed by ‘people close to her’ that Murray was working with another player in secret. Branding it as a ‘slap in the face.’ Stephens responded to Puig claims by stating that there were ‘two sides to every story.’

“I can no longer remain silent while he continues to deceive professional players, aspiring players, sponsors, and the tennis community by misrepresenting himself and taking credit for things he has not done.” Said Townsend. “Monica Puig is a recent victim of his deception.”

Murray is the founder of the XS Tennis and Education Foundation and has his own tennis facility in Chicago. According to the WTA, he helped guide Townsend to the third round of the 2014 French Open in what was her grand slam debut at the age of 18.

There has been no reply from Murray concerning Townsend’s allegation.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

If you know me, then you know that this is NOT something that I would normally do, but I feel that it’s time to set the record straight about Chicago’s Kamau Murray of XS Tennis Academy. I can no longer remain silent while he continues to deceive professional players, aspiring players, sponsors, and the tennis community by misrepresenting himself and taking credit for things he has not done. @monicaace93 is a recent victim of his deception. I started my tennis with Donald Young SR. and Illona Young, who taught me to play tennis from 4 years old and assisted in me being number 1 in junior in the world. From 2010- August 2013, I trained at the USTA under the instruction of Kathy Rinaldi and briefly Juan Todero. Zina Garrison was my primary coach from September 2013- March 2015. Zina brought Kamau on board as an assistant coach during that time. I did not to go public in the past because I had hoped to resolve this matter directly with Kamau Murray. I will no longer remain silent while he continues his lies and false advertisement. I did not give Kamau consent to use my name and likeness for his ongoing personal and business monetary gain. Kamau is currently stating that he is my coach in promotion of the upcoming USPTA Illinois Mini Conference on November 17, 2019 held at XS Athletic Club. His latest actions have prompted me to expose his past and ongoing pattern of deceit. If you are a fan of mine, please support me and have my back regarding this matter. In doing this, I am clearing my conscience and telling another piece of my story! Thank you so much! I love you guys! 💕

A post shared by TAYLOR TOWNSEND✨❤ (@tay_taytownsend) on

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‘We Try To Fix Each Other’ – Aryna Sabalenka On Turbulent Relationship With Coach

The world No.11 speaks to Ubitennis about the reason why she departed and then reunited with her mentor.

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2019 has been a roller coaster season for Belarus’ Aryna Sabalenka both on and off the court.

 

The 21-year-old has claimed a trio of titles on the WTA Tour with all of those occurring in China. Overall, she has won 39 out of 61 matches played, as well as winning the doubles title at the US Open with Elise Mertens. On the other hand, she has also lost her opening match at seven tournaments this year and failed get back-to-back wins in three out of the four grand slams she played in.

Sabalenka is currently guided on the tour by Russia’s Dmitry Tursunov. A former top 20 player on the ATP Tour who retired from the sport in 2017. They have been working together for more than a year. It looked as if the partnership had come to an end back in August when both announced on social media that they are ending their collaboration. Sabalenka wrote ‘Thank you for everything and all the best in your future.’ However, the two soon changed their minds after.

“After the US Open, I realized that there was a problem, too many things off the court was diverting my attention from the game and this helped me to win something and find certain sensations.” Sabalenka told Ubitennis.com earlier this month in China.
“I realized how stupid it was to give Dmitry the blame for my failures, so I found a way to recover my relationship with him .”

The mixed season experienced by Sabalenka is one she hopes will help her in the long term. She ends 2019 inside the world’s top 20 for the second year in a row. Becoming one of only four players under the age of 21 to do so on the women’s tour.

“I hope that all this can help me start the next season in a more… intelligent, more experienced way.” She explains. “There is a bit of disappointment with what happened in these months, but at the same time I said to myself, ‘ok, you finally understood’. This means you can work on it and move on. Every player spends moments like that and usually always learns something, I hope it can happen to me too.”

Despite still being a relatively newcomer in the world of coaching, Sabalenka isn’t the first player Tursunov has coached. He had previously worked with compatriot Elena Vesnina and guided her to the 2018 Australian Open doubles finals. During that same year, Vesnina also reached the finals of tournaments in Indian Wells and Madrid under his guidance.

There remains a question as to what the future has in store for Tursunov’s latest partnership. Was their brief break a blessing in disguise or is there more trouble ahead for their working relationship?

“I hope to continue working with Dmitry.” Sabalenka stated.
“We tried to ‘fix’ each other a few things and this helped me stay positive. The intention is simply to move forward because our collaboration is very good and working great, I don’t want to lose him as a coach. If things are going so well, why should I look for someone else?’
“We tried to solve all the problems we had and I think we did it quite well.”

Sabalenka closes out her season with three wins over top 10 players. Defeating Kiki Bertens twice and Ash Barty once.

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