Jelena Jankovic Set To Enter Unfamiliar Territory With New Coach Canas - UBITENNIS
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Jelena Jankovic Set To Enter Unfamiliar Territory With New Coach Canas

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Jelena Jankovic (zim,bio.com)

This week will be Jelena Jankovic’s 10th appearance at the Qatar Total Open, but this time round things are different.

 

Firstly, the former world No.1 had to battle through three rounds of qualifying for even enter the main draw. Monday saw the Serbian overcome Tsvetana Pironkova in three sets in the final round. The experience was Jankovic’s first taste of playing in a qualifying draw since the 2004 Filderstadt Open, when she reached the quarterfinals as a qualifier at the age of 19.

“It feels great to qualify. First of all I’m really not used to playing qualifying, now I know how hard it is and what it takes to play,” she said in an exclusive interview with Sport 360.

Jankovic’s descent into unfamiliar territory is one that can also be associated with her new coaching partnership with Guillermo Canas, a former top-10 player who reached the quarterfinals at the French Open on three occasions. The 39-year-old Argentine has experience in working with top players. Since his retirement, Canas has mentored Ernests Gulbis, Teymuraz Gabashvili and enjoyed a stint in Kei Nishikori’s team.

This time round it is different for Canas. Jankovic will be the first female player that he has coached on the professional tour and it is unclear to how successful the partnership between the two will be.

“It’s a new partnership, we just started this week, we’ve just been working for a couple of days before this tournament. It’s a brand new relationship, just new ideas, someone new just to kind of change it up. We’ll see how it goes, so far so good,” said Jankovic.
“I was looking for a coach, he was available, and through my agent, we just thought let’s give it a try, let’s see.”

Ironically, it appears that both Jankovic and Canas will be mentoring each other. Speaking to Reem Abulleil, the principle tennis correspondent for Sport 360, Jankovic revealled that she had to explain how the on-court coaching system works. Unlike the men’s tour, the women are allowed to be coached on court if they wished to.

“He’s actually not familiar with that rule (on-court coaching) because in men’s tennis they don’t have that so when I told him we have on court coaching he’s like ‘how does that work, how many times can I get on court?’ She explained.
“He’s getting used to that rule, it’s kind of cool. But I think it takes time to get used to women’s tennis and our rules and the way we kind of work.”

This week Jankovic will be bidding to win only her third main draw match this season. Her first four tournaments of the year saw the Serbian suffer first round losses in Shenzhen, Hobart and Taiwan. The only exception was the Australian Open where she reached the third round for the first time since 2014.

Currently ranked 50th in the world, Jankovic will play Russia’s Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in the first round in Doha on Tuesday.

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Rafael Nadal takes crucial win over Karen Khachanov in Madrid

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Rafael Nadal beat Karen Khachanov 6-3 7-6 after 2 hours and 10 minutes to score his 25th consecutive Davis Cup singles win. Nadal levelled the tie to 1-1 after Andrey Rublev came back to beat Roberto Bautista Agut 3-6 6-3 7-6 (7-0) in the opening rubber match.

 

Nadal earned the break in the fourth game with a backhand down the line winner and saved a break point in the next game with a forehand winner. Khachanov fended off two break points in the fifth game with a forehand winner after taking a 40-0 lead. Nadal closed out the first set with two service winners in the ninth game.

Nadal saved a break point at 3-4 with a service winner in the second set. Khachanov fended off a break point in the ninth game to set up a tie-break. Nadal earned a match point at 5-5. Khachanov saved it before earning a set point. Nadal fended it off before closing out the tie-break, when Khachanov sent a backhand long on the 16th point.

“The format makes things very difficult because every mistake puts you in a position that you don’t want to be. Losing that first match, we were under pressure”,said Nadal.

Marcel Granollers and Feliciano Lopez completed the come-back by scoring the 2-1 point in the decisive doubles match by beating Andrey Rublev and Karen Khachanov 6-4 7-6 (7-5).

“It was a difficult situation for us. We needed this win, otherwise we could be close to being out of the tournament. Now we are in a good position to advance”, said Feliciano Lopez.

Spain will secure a spot in the quarter final if they beat Croatia on Wednesday.

Canada beats the USA 2-0

 Canada beats the USA 2-0 to become the first team to secure their spot in the quarter finals. Vasek Pospisil edged past Reilly Opelka 7-6 (7-5) 7-6 (9-7). Denis Shapovalov beat Taylor Fritz 7-6 (8-6) 6-3. Canada beat the USA for the first time after 15 defeats in their previous rubber matches. The two neighbouring teams have met for the first time since 1965.

Australia cruises through to 3-0 over Colombia

Australia beat Colombia 3-0 to take the lead in the Group D. Nick Kyrgios beat Alejandro Gonzales 6-4 6-4. Alex De Minaur secured the winning point in the second singles match with a 6-4 6-3 win over Daniel Elahi Galan. John Peers and Jordan Thompson fended off match points to beat Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah 6-3 3-6 7-6 (8-6).

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Argentina beats Chile 3-0 in South American clash

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Argentina beat Chile 3-0 in the South American tie at the Rakuten Davis Cup Final at the Caja Magica in Madrid.

 

Guido Pella and Diego Schwartzman claimed singles win to give Argentina a 2-0 lead over Chile

Pella won 83 % of his first serve points to beat Nicolas Jerry 6-4 6-3 in 75 minutes in the opening match of the Group C on Centre Court.

Pella faced only one break and broke serve three times. The Argentine got the first break in the second game to build up a 5-2 lead before Jarry broke back in the ninth game. Pella broke serve in the 10th game, as Jarry netted a forehand.

Both players went on serve in the first seven games of the second set. Pella broke serve at 4-3, as Jarry made a double fault. Pella closed out the match with a service winner.

“It was unbelievable because it was a very tough match for me. I was very nervous during the entire match. Madrid is a difficult city if you are nervous to play because there is a little bit of altitude, so I was struggling a bit but I fought for every ball and that was the key to get the win”, said Pella.

Schwartzman cruised past Christian Garin 6-2 6-2 in 73 minutes in the second singles match to give Argentina a 2-0 lead. Schwartzman broke three times to claim the opening set 6-2 after half an hour. The Argentine raced out to a 5-0 lead with a double break. Garin pulled one break back in the seventh game. Scwartzman hit a backhand winner at 5-2 to seal the second set with another break.

“It’s the end of the season but I played one of the best matches for sure of the year, maybe in my career. I think Guido helped me a lot to be more confident in this match and I played unreal tennis”, said Schwartzman.

 

Maximo Gonzales and Leonardo Mayer beat Nicolas Jarry and Hans Podlipnik gave Argentina a 3-0 point with a 6-3 7-5 in the doubles match with two breaks in fourth and eighth games of the first set and eleventh games of the second set.

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Russia opens the Davis Cup campaign with a 3-0 win over Croazia

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Russia beat defending champions from Croatia 3-0 thanks to the two singles wins of Andrey Rublev and Karen Khachanov on Centre Court of the Caja Magica in Madrid.

 

Rublev cruised past Borna Gojo 6-3 6-3 in the opening match before Karen Khachanov came back from one set down to beat Borna Coric 6-7 (4-7) 6-4 6-4.

Khachanov and Rublev returned to the court to beat specialists Ivan Dodig and Nikola Mektic 7-6 (7-3) 6-4 to give Russia a 3-0 win.

“It was important to start well. I had some opportunities and took them. I am really happy we won this tie”, said Khachanov.

Belgium (two-time finalists) beat Colombia 2-1 on Court 3. In the opening match Davis Cup specialist Steve Darcis cruised past Santiago Giraldo 6-3 6-2. David Goffin came back from one set down to beat Daniel Elahi Galan 3-6 6-3 6-3. Last week’s ATP Finals semifinalists Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah won the doubles match for the Colombian team beating Sander Gillie and Joran Vliegen 6-7 (5-7) 6-4 7-6 (7-3).

“The challenge was to fight against myself. It was not easy. Sometimes you have to fight. I am happy the way I fought. I did not give up. That’s the most important thing because I am playing for my country”,said Goffin.

 

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