Angelique Kerber Dismisses No.1 Ranking As Search For Consistency Continues - UBITENNIS
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Angelique Kerber Dismisses No.1 Ranking As Search For Consistency Continues

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Angelique Kerber (zimbio.com)

Germany’s Angelique Kerber is refusing to get carried away with her rise back to the top of the world rankings following a lackluster start to the year.

 

The two-time grand slam champion reclaimed the world No.1 position following Serena Williams’ withdrawal from Indian Wells and Miami due to injury. Kerber’s rise comes after what has been a difficult start to the year. Out of six tournaments, the 29-year-old has only managed to reach the semifinals at one (Dubai). Her latest disappointment occurred at BNP Paribas Open when she lost  to Elena Vesnina in the third round. Vesnina went on to win the title.

“I was not playing my best tennis against her.” She admitted during an interview with the WTA. “I think that I can still improve my tennis and try to show it here (in Miami).”

Eager to get her game back on track, Kerber is remaining in a positive mood for the start of the Miami Open. Headlining the women’s draw, the German is refusing to succumb to the pressure of living up to her world No.1 ranking.

“I am number one again but this is not what is really important for me. What is important is that I go out and play good matches, that is why I am here,” Kerber told reporters on Tuesday according to Sport 24.
“I think I have got used already to pressure. This is not a problem at all. Of course it is a new challenge, a completely new year for me, so I think it’s not so easy but in the end, it is just the beginning of the year, I am feeling good and practising good and I still think I can have a good year,” she said.

Kerber, who received a first round bye, will start her Miami campaign against world No.66 Ying-Ying Duan. Duan defeated Laura Siegemund in her opening match. Later in the draw, the world No.1 could face a daunting third round clash against Russian 31st seed Daria Kasatkina. Kerber has already lost to Kasatkina twice this year.

Despite being the highest ranked woman on the tour, Kerber is yet to defeat a top-20 player this season. She has already lost twice to Elina Svitolina (No.10) and once to Vesnina (No.13). According to the rankings, her biggest win was over world No.36 Ana Konjuh at the Dubai Tennis Championships last month.

Kerber’s 2017 season so far

Brisbane – Quarter-finalist (lost to Elina Svitolina)
Sydney – Round 2 (lost to Daria Kasatkina)
Australian Open – Round 4 (lost to Coco Vandeweghe)
Doha – Round 2 (lost to Daria Kasatkina)
Dubai Open – semifinalist (lost to Elina Svitolina)
BNP Paribas Open/Indian Wells – Round 3 (lost to Elena Vesnina)

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Indian Wells voted as the best WTA Premier Mandatory Tournament of the 2019 season

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The tournament awards are broken down into four categories, according to the four different levels of WTA Tournaments.

 

The BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells has been voted as the winner of the Tournament of the Year Award in the WTA Premier Mandatory category for the sixth consecutive year and the 11th time overall.

Dubai was voted as the winner in the WTA Premier 5 Category. There were two ties in the WTA Premier category and in the WTA International categories.

St. Petersburg won the WTA Premier Award fo the second consecutive year, while Stuttgart received this award for the 10th time.

Auckland won the WTA International category Award for the fourth time, while Acapulco received this accolade for the 12th time.

Petra Kvitova received the Karen Krantzcke Sportmanship Award for the seventh straight year and the eighth time overall. The list of past winners of this Award features Kim Clijsters, Elena Dementieva, Ana Ivanovic, Lindsay Davenport, Chris Evert and Evonne Goolagong-Cawley. The Karen Krantzcke Sportmaship Award is presented to the player, who observes the rules of fair play, shows respect for others and is gracious on and off the court.

“Receiving this award for the eighth consecutive year makes me very proud and means so much for me. Being recognized by my colleagues for sportsmanship and fair play is an honour as I always pride myself on treating my opponents with respect. I hope to inspire the future generations to love the sport of tennis as much as I do”, said Kvitova.

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Carla Suarez Navarro Set For One Last Season As A Player

The former top 10 player has outlined her retirement plans for 2020 as she embarks upon a farewell tour.

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Next year will be the final time tennis fans will see Carla Suarez Navarro on the tour after the Spaniard announced her retirement on Tuesday.

 

The former world No.6 confirmed her future plans during a press conference in Barcelona. She will play one full season in 2020 before walking away from the sport after playing for more than 10 years on the WTA Tour. Suarez Navarro is currently the second highest ranked female tennis player from Spain after Garbine Muguruza and is currently 55th in the world.

“The 2020 season will be my last year in the professional tennis circuit,” wtatennis.com quoted the 31-year-old as saying. “The sport has been a fundamental part of my life – it has given me immense joy and I cannot be more grateful for all the experiences that it has allowed me to live. At this time, I notice that the time has come to complete a beautiful chapter and begin to enjoy other areas of life. Tennis will always be in me.”

Known for her one-handed backhand shot, which is a rare occurrence in the women’s game, Suarez Navarro has enjoyed a successful career since her breakthrough in 2008. The year when she reached the quarter-finals of the French Open as a qualifier. During her career, she claimed two WTA titles with the biggest being at the 2016 Qatar Open. She also finished runner-up at nine other tournaments.

“Tennis right now has a very high demand. To be high in the ranking you need absolute consistency, a world-class level of physical conditioning and a 24-hour daily psychological commitment. I have been in high competition for more than 15 years and have lived through these realities since the beginning of my adolescence. These are lessons that have formed me as a person and that will serve me for a lifetime,” Suárez Navarro explained.
“I want to enjoy one last season with the same professionalism as always. I am going to do a quality preparation, my whole team is going to travel with me from the month of January and I plan to compete until the end of the season. My desire is clear: to be proud of this last effort when I reach the end of the road.”

Suarez Navarro has also enjoyed success in the doubles where she peaked at a high of 11th back in 2015. Her trio of trophies was won alongside Muguruza between 2014-2015. The duo also reached the semi-finals of the 2014 French Open.

Representing her country, the three-time Olympian has also featured in 15 Fed Cup ties. Including Spain’s clash with Belgium earlier this year when she won all three of her matches (two singles and one doubles). Overall, she has a win-loss record of 16-11 in the competition.

Despite knowing that next year will be her last as a player, the Spaniard has big ambitions for 2020. Including a fourth consecutive appearance at the Olympic Games.

“My goals are going to be as high as ever,” she stated. “I want to try to finish the year in the Top 10 because I know what it takes to be there. I am very excited to participate in another Olympic Games and, as always, I will have the Grand Slams in mind. Although it is the last season of my career, my mentality will be exactly the same: work, humility and ambition.”

Suarez Navarro will start her final season at the ASB Classic in Auckland.

Four facts about Suarez Navarro’s career

  1. Her career prize money currently stands at $11,580,886. The third highest of all time for a Spanish woman.
  2. Has won 509 matches so far in her career against 336 loses.
  3. Between 2013-2016 Suarez Navarro finished each season in the top 20 for both singles and doubles.
  4. She has played in 43 grand slam tournaments and hasn’t missed the main draw of a major event since losing in the second round of qualifying at the 2011 Wimbledon Championships.

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Ash Barty ‘Grateful’ After Winning Top Prize At Newcombe Awards

Ash Barty claimed her third Newcombe medal on a historic night for Australian tennis.

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Ash Barty (@WeAreTennis - Twitter)

World number one Ash Barty feels ‘grateful’ and ‘humbled’ after winning the top prize at the Newcombe awards. 

 

The Australian’s year was capped off in sensational style on Tuesday evening local time as she won the 2019 Newcombe medal.

After becoming world number one this year as well as winning Roland Garros, the WTA Finals and leading Australia to the Fed Cup final, it’s only fitting the 23 year-old won Australian tennis’ top prize.

Speaking after receiving her award, Barty says she feels ‘humbled’ after an extraordinary year, “I’m incredibly grateful and very humbled to be here tonight,” she said after winning her third Newcombe medal triumph.

“This is not about individual athletes, it’s a night of celebration for everyone involved in tennis and everyone that’s a part of our tennis family. Congratulations to everyone else who’s in this room. It takes a village and we are a big tennis family. I’m very humbled to be here tonight.”

Next up for the Australian will be preparing for the new season, which will start in her hometown of Brisbane on the 6th of January.

Other winners saw Barty’s coach, Craig Tyzzer win the coaching excellence while Sam Stosur was awarded the spirit of tennis award after her contribution to Australian tennis that spans two decades.

Wheelchair start, Dylan Alcott also won most outstanding athlete with a disability as it was a night to remember for everyone involved with Australian tennis.

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