Kerber Ends Vinci's Run, Moves Closer to no.1 - UBITENNIS
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Kerber Ends Vinci’s Run, Moves Closer to no.1

Roberta Vinci could resist Kerber only one set, but eventually gave way to her stronger opponent. The German is not two wins away from overtaking Serena Williams and take no.1 ranking spot

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There was no repeat this year of Roberta Vinci’s 2015 extraordinary run to the final. The Italian n.8 seed was defeated in straight set on Tuesday morning on Arthur Ashe Stadium by n.2 Angelique Kerber, who had beaten her in two of their previous four meetings and who, by reaching the semifinals, is keeping intact her chances to clinch the n.1 spot in the WTA ranking at the end of this tournament.

 

Started under a low and cloudy New York sky (the roof had been closed most of the morning but it was decided to play the match outdoor just a few minutes before the noon start) the first set saw Vinci go up a break three times, including one on 5-4 when she served for the first set. She got to 30-30 and then lost a 16-shot rally with a forehand sailing long before missing a slice backhand on break point to concede the 5-5. That was the beginning of a 9-game streak for Kerber, who after closing the first set by 7-5 in 54 minutes with a break to love, breezed through the second set in just 24 minutes dropping just 10 points, half of which when the match was already secured.

Vinci had been able to offer strenuous resistance in the first set despite playing with a tendinitis at her left Achilles tendon, and injury she has been fighting since the Rio Olympics. During this tournament she has not trained for more than 45 minutes at a time, and the day before this quarterfinal she was only able to play for 15 minutes without barely running at all. However, her slice backhand directed to Kerber’s forehand was enough to create enough hesitation in the German to break her three times. However, every time she broke, she immediately conceded the break back on the following game, never managing to create some space between herself and her opponent. A very unusual end of the set saw Vinci being called a foot-fault on second serve on the first set point at 5-6 0-40. “I was very angry at myself – said Vinci to the Italian press after the match – because that is totally my fault. The serve is a shot that depends entirely on you, and I did not pay enough attention to the position of my feet. If they called a foot-fault, I must have done it”.

Vinci will now drop seven places in the WTA ranking on Monday, not having been able to defend the final from 2015. However, given her precarious health conditions at the beginning of the tournament, she said it was “almost a miracle” to have reached the quarterfinals. At the end of the 2015 season, Vinci hinted that this would be her last year on tour, but after the end of her US Open campaign she refused to answer questions regarding her future, saying that no decision has been taken yet. “I will get to the end of the season – said the Italian – and see what my heart tells me”.

Kerber is now just two matches away from becoming world no.1 and she remember her first Grand Slam quarterfinal five years ago in 2011 when she defeated Flavia Pennetta. “Yeah, I think [my game and my mindset have] changed a little bit. For me, I’m going out on Arthur Ashe, on the stadium, and playing against top player, as well. I have I think right now more confidence to going out there. I’m not thinking about quarters, semis, or whatever. I’m just going there to playing a good match and to win the match. I know that I can beat everybody, and this is what gives me also a lot of confidence and motivation for going out there and playing with a lot of emotion”.

She will face Wozniacki or Sevastova in the semifinals to advance to her third Grand Slam final of the year, after winning at the Australian Open in January and losing to Serena Williams in Wimbledon last July.

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Serena Williams Confident In Bid For Grand Slam History Claims Patrick Mouratoglou

Patrick Mouratoglou says that Serena Williams is confident of another grand slam victory despite recent setbacks.

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Serena Williams and Patrick Mouratoglou (@BBCSport - Twitter)

Serena Williams’ coach Patrick Mouratoglou has claimed that the American is confident in her bid for more grand slam history. 

 

Despite the American not winning a set in her last four grand slam finals, Serena’s coach Patrick Mouratoglou has claimed that she is still confident in winning another grand slam again.

Serena’s last grand slam win was at the Australian Open in 2017 before taking a break from the sport to become a mother.

Although it has been a struggle, Mouratoglou believes time is on the 37 year old’s side, “I think time is working for her,” the Frenchman told Sky Sports.

“I think she was much better at the US Open than she was at Wimbledon and Wimbledon better than Roland Garros. 

“She is getting back in shape and the more in shape she will be the more dangerous she will be. I think she has started to play really good tennis.”

Losses to Angelique Kerber, Naomi Osaka, Simona Halep and Bianca Andreescu have exposed Serena’s lack of confidence and how nervous she is in the grand slam finals.

However Mouratoglou believes that Serena’s historic moment will come sooner rather than later, “It is one match for history and the pressure is quite high,” he said.

“I am not in her mind but I can figure she is playing one match for history. This is the highest pressure anyone can have in life and on the other side of the court she plays girls who have zero pressure because it is their first final.

“They are going to play many [Grand Slams], they are young, they are excited, enthusiastic so they play without pressure and that makes a big difference. But at some point she will figure out how to deal with that.”

Serena’s next tournament is scheduled to be the WTA Finals in Shenzhen in late October, should she qualify although there is a good possibility that we won’t be seeing on a tennis court until next year.

Will 2020 be the year that Serena finally figures out how to deal with the pressure of creating more history for herself? Only time will tell.

 

 

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‘Enjoy Staying Relevant’ – Nick Kyrgios Hits Back At Rafter’s Suspension Call

The 24-year-old isn’t happy about what the former world No.1 said.

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Nick Kyrgios has suggested that he hasn’t been suspended from the ATP Tour due to his ability to attract crowds to events in response to comments made by Pat Rafter.

 

The Australian world No.27 is currently under investigation for a series of incidents he committed during the summer. At the Cincinnati Masters he was fined $113,000 for eight violations committed during his match against Russia’s Karen Khachanov. Ranging from unsportsmanlike conduct to walking off the court without permission. Then at the US Open Kyrgios accused the ATP of being ‘corrupt’ before clarifying his statement 24 hours later. Arguing that there are double standards in the game when it comes to some players.

Following those events, the ATP released a statement confirming an investigation. Looking into whether or not Kyrgios breached the Player Major Offence section of the code and if any further action is required. Although there has been no mention of a suspension or any further action since. Something former world No.1 Rafter has openly questioned.

“I don’t understand why it hasn’t happened,” he said during the launch of the ATP Cup.
“There is obviously something else going on behind the scenes. I don’t know.
“On paper it looks like he should be suspended, to me.”

Rafter, who is a two-time US Open champion, admits that his compatriot is a big attraction in men’s tennis despite his behaviour. Although he insisted that Kyrgios’ popularity shouldn’t stop him from being punished if necessary.

“But at what stage do you say the crowd is more important? Or are you trying to uphold a certain standard or protocol for players to adhere to.” He stated.

Kyrgios has responded to the comments by taking aim at Rafter. In a Twitter post, he accused him of trying to ‘stay relevant.’ The 24-year-old also claims that Rafter is known for criticising other Australian players.

“Everywhere I play the stadiums are sold out, and the event makes money with me around? Not surprised rafter has commented on this topic, guy loves hanging fellow aussies out to dry. Enjoy staying relevant champ.” He wrote on Twitter.

New York Times journalist Christopher Clarey has reported that a final decision regarding a possible suspension will likely be made after the Laver Cup. The team tournament is officially part of the ATP calendar, but technically not the same framework. So if a player was banned from the tour, they could still technically play in the Laver Cup anyway.

Kyrgios will play in the Laver Cup later this week.

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Roger Federer To Play Duo Of Tennis Stars In South American Exhibitions

The showdowns will take place during the week after the conclusion of the ATP Finals.

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Roger Federer (@WeAreTennis on Twitter)

20-time grand slam champion Roger Federer will be heading to Argentina in November as part of his South American tour.

 

The world No.3 is set to take on Juan Martin del Potro on November 20th. There has been speculation that the two would play an exhibition match in recent weeks, but it wasn’t confirmed until Tuesday evening when Del Potro released a video. It will be held at The Parque Roca Stadium, which has a capacity of approximately 15,500 people. The venue has held multiple Davis Cup ties over the years.

“I just wanted to tell you I’m so excited to come back to Argentina to play my good friend Juan Martin del Potro at Parque Roca,” Federer said in a video on Del Potro’s Twitter account.

On the tour, the two tennis titans have clashed 25 times since 2007. Federer currently leads their head-to-head 18-7, but lost their most recent meeting in the final of the 2018 BNP Paribas Open. Federer was the person who Del Potro defeated to win his first and so far only grand slam title at the 2009 US Open.

“I will play again in Argentina and, nothing more and nothing less than with one of the best tennis players in history, my friend Roger Federer.” The Argentine said in Spanish on social media.

Del Potro is currently on the comeback from injury. He hasn’t played a match since injuring his right patella at the Fever-Tree Championships in June, which required surgery. It was the second time he has injured his knee within the past year. He is set to return to the tour next month at the Stockholm Open.

Following on from his stint in Buenos Aires, Federer will then play in the Colombian capital of Bogota. In the country, he will face German tennis star Alexander Zverev on November 22nd. A player who he currently has a 3-3 head-to-head record against on the ATP Tour.

The Moviestar Arena Bogotá will be the host of the match. It has held numerous tennis exhibitions, including Federer’s clash with Jo-Wilfried Tsonga back in 2012.

“Getting Roger Federer returning to Colombia is something difficult to achieve. Colombia goes through a great moment in sports and that’s why we decided to call this event.” Organisers IMLA said in a statement.

Federer’s South American tour will take place during the same time as the Davis Cup Finals. An event he recently said he is unlikely to play in 2020.

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