Ekaterina Makarova Finds Her Australian Open Form, Upsets No. 6 Dominika Cibulkova To Make Round of 16 - UBITENNIS
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Ekaterina Makarova Finds Her Australian Open Form, Upsets No. 6 Dominika Cibulkova To Make Round of 16

No. 30 seed Ekaterina Makarova pulled off the upset over World No. 6 Dominika Cibulkova after marathon 2 hours and 53 minutes, winning 6-2 6-7(3) 6-3.



Cibulkova and Makarova have very different playing styles, almost contrasting, making it an exciting match-up. The Slovakian was leading the head-to-head 3-0, all matches on hard court, strengthening her claim as a favorite for the match. However, that all went out the window the moment the match started. Makarova was looking sharp out of the gate, got two break and jumped to a 4-1 lead. Cibulkova broke back to 2-4, and had the look in her eyes that tells you she will fight for this set. However, Makarova wasn’t too struck with Cibulkova’s rise in level, and kept playing her game. After getting another break, Makarova served the set out to love after just 37 minutes.

Makarova went up 4-0 after two breaks in the second set. It seemed all over, but that glimmer in Cibulkova’s eyes told you this wasn’t over yet. Cibulkova went on a “Pome!”-ful streak and won 5 games in a row. 6th seed was surprisingly solid on her serve, giving Makarova only one break point in her 3 service games. Cibulkova went up 5-4, and had 3 set points saved by Makarova, who still kept it together. After two clean games from both players, second set went to a tiebreak. Cibulkova was dominant and won the tiebreak 7-3. After an incredible hour and 15 minutes, this match went to a final set.

The Russian took the lead 2-0 as usual, but this time Cibulkova broke back almost immediately and it was 2-2. The remainder of the set was incredibly high level, it could have easily been a semifinal. At 3-3, Cibulkova had 3 break points to take the lead which would have probably given her the match. However, she confirmed the Slovak hockey-based proverb which translates to: “If you don’t score when you’ve got the chance, you will surely concede.” This happened as Cibulkova was serving at 3-4. Despite having the 40-30 lead, she lost the next 3 points and Makarova was serving for the match. Makarova didn’t succumb to the nerves, and after Cibulkova missed a forehand in the net at 40-30, she was the winner after nearly 3 hours of incredible women’s tennis. The Russian had an on-court interview as is the custom, where she was asked about the greatest moments of her career:

“It was our dream from kids and for me, to be honest, it was much more for me to win gold for Russia than to win a Grand Slam but we won the Grand Slam also in doubles,” Makarova said. “Now I really want to win the singes, of course.”

“It was an amazing match, an amazing fight,” Makarova said. “I got tight a little bit at 4-0 in the second set but this is my favourite Grand Slam and I really want to still play here.”

30th seed Makarova has reached quarterfinals in Australian Open in 2012 and 2013, both times losing to Sharapova. She is now just one match away from repeating her maximum, and in her way will stand 9th seed Johanna Konta. However, if the Russian will play like she did today, she definitely won’t be without a chance.

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Emma Raducanu Confident Of Full Fitness Ahead Of Grass Swing



Emma Raducanu - Cincinnati 2022 (foto Twitter @cincytennis)

Emma Raducanu has no regrets about her decision to skip the French Open and now believes she is in a ‘really fit place’ ahead of Wimbledon. 

The former US Open champion opted to end her clay season earlier than other players to focus on fitness and training with her coach. Raducanu stated earlier this year that her primary focus in 2024 is on her health after undergoing a series of wrist and ankle surgeries last year which sidelined her for months. 

Raducanu will return to action this week at the Nottingham Open, which is the event where she made her WTA main draw debut back in 2021. Despite her lack of match play in recent weeks, the Brit is feeling good and relishing her return to the grass.

“Body-wise, physical-wise, I feel really healthy,” she said on Monday.
“I’ve done amazing work with my trainer over the last few months, since surgery. I’m in a really fit place. I’m healthy and just looking forward to starting playing.”

Shedding more light on her health, Raducanu says she has full confidence in her wrists and believes they are in top condition. Making her feel more at ease when playing matches on the Tour. 

“I think my wrists are actually in a better position than they ever were. So there’s zero doubt or apprehension whether I’m hitting the ball or designing my schedule,” she explained.
“It’s more about being proactive and not wanting to put yourself in any unnecessary situations. I don’t need to rush and try to win the French Open, it wasn’t my goal this year.
“I had to prioritise where I wanted to target and it was just a good block for me to get some physical work done.”

Raducanu has played seven WTA events so far this season with her best run being to the quarter-finals of the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart, where she was beaten by world No.1 Iga Swiatek. The 21-year-old is currently ranked 209th in the world. 

At the Nottingham Open, she will play her first match on Tuesday against Japanese qualifier Ena Shibahara. 

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Russian World No.78 Elina Avanesyan To Switch Nationalities



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A week after losing her fourth round match at the French Open, a government minister has confirmed that Elina Avanesyan is in the process of changing the nationality of who she plays for. 

The 21-year-old is switching her aligence from Russia to Armenia, according to Armenia’s deputy Minister of International Affairs and communication. Karen Giloyan has told the news agency Armenpress that Avanesyan will soon be representing his country. However, the tennis player has yet to comment on the matter.  Avanesyan was born in Russia but has Armenian parents.

“Elina Avanesyan will compete under the Armenian flag, but there is nothing official yet. We are waiting for her to get the citizenship of the Republic of Armenia so that everything will be official,” Giloyan told Armenpress.

Such a development would be a massive coup for the Armenian tennis federation which currently doesn’t have a player ranked inside the top 500 on either the men’s or women’s Tour. The country has a population of less than 3M. Perhaps their best-known player is Sargis Sargsian who reached the top 40 back in 2004. Others on the Tour also have Armenian heritage but don’t represent the country such as Karen Khachanov.  

Avanesyan is currently ranked 78th in the world, which is 18 places below her career high. This season, she has scored high-profile wins over Maria Sakkari at the Australian Open, Ons Jabeur in Charleston and Qinwen Zhang at the French Open. 

She has yet to play in the final of a WTA tournament.

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Iga Looks To Be In A league All to Herself At Paris

Iga Swiatek claimed her fourth Roland Garros title in Paris.



(@Eurosport - Twitter)

Just call her Iga. No other identification is needed.

As the years go by, Iga’s notoriety is sure to grow.

She’s probably already earned a spot in tennis’ Hall of Fame.

Yes, Iga Swiatek is a name to remember. A hero in her native Poland, a superstar in the world of sports.


Iga just added to her stardom Saturday with an impressive 6-2, 6-1 victory over little-known Italian Jasmine Paolini to win her third straight French Open title. This was Paolini’s chance to make a name for herself, but she didn’t have the game to make it happen.

Iga was just too good. She made it look too easy.

Paolini could hit some great ground strokes, but when she looked up a bigger shot was on its way back. Iga doesn’t look like a power hitter, but she is.


The 23-year-old Polish Wonder finished the first set winning five straight games, then started the second set winning five more games in succession. The 28-year-old Paolini didn’t seem to have a clue on how to upend Swiatek.

It took just 78 minutes for Iga to win her fifth Grand Slam title.

She’s a lot like her French Open hero, Rafa Nadal.

She takes every match seriously.


No wonder Iga owns a 35-2 record at Roland Garos. Or that she has won 21 straight matches. Or that she owns a 5-0 record in Grand Slam finals.

She only dominated opponents, except for Naomi Osaka in the second round. Swiatek escaped a match point in that one and didn’t look back.

Iga’s game should be just as superb on the green grass of upcoming Wimbledon.

James Beck was the 2003 winner of the USTA National Media Award  for print media. A 1995 MBA graduate of The Citadel, he can be reached at Jamesbecktennis@gmail.com.

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