Kristina Mladenovic Knocks Out Top Seed Kerber In Stuttgart - UBITENNIS
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Kristina Mladenovic Knocks Out Top Seed Kerber In Stuttgart



Kristina Mladenovic (

France’s Kristina Mladenovic has silenced the German crowd with a comprehensive 6-2, 7-5, win over defending champion Angelique Kerber in the second round of the Stuttgart Open.

The world No.19 dominated proceedings from the onset, breaking Keber in her first service game of the match. Mladenovic’s intensity, featuring five aces and 36 winners, proved too much for Kerber to handle, who has now missed out of the chance of returning back to world No.1.

Steam-rolling her way through the first half of the match, Mladenovic cruised to a 6-2, 3-0, advantage before encountering some fierce resistance. Trying to feed off the support of her local crowd, Kerber Battled back to level the second set 3-3. Suddenly the disparity between the two was no longer apparent as each player battled on. Still, a more consistent Mladenovic managed to prevail in straight sets with the help of a forehand winner down the line on match point.

“I’m just so happy to be back on the clay. It’s my favourite surface.” Mladenovic said during her on-court interview.

Thursday’s shock win gives Mladenovic her ninth win over a top-10 player and her first against Kerber. Previously, she had lost three times to the German, including twice in 2016. Kerber is now 1-8 against top-30 players this season.

“She’s a very great player, very tricky. She is a lefty so it’s unusual (for me), there’s not a lot of lefties on the tour.” Mladenovic said about the world No.2.

Mladenovic, who won the St. Petersburg Open earlier this year, enters the quarter-finals in Stuttgart knowing that there will be no more than two seeded players left in the draw. Simona Halep is already through and Karolina Pliskova is yet to play her second round match.

Awaiting the Frenchwoman in the next round will be two-time French Open quarter-finalist Carla Suarez Navarro. It promises to be another tough encounter, but Mladenovic is confident about shining on her favourite surface.

“I really do enjoy my game on the clay. I’m a strong and powerful player, but I also like all those variations with the slices and drop shots.” She explained.
“It’s kind of challenging to try to install your game, whatever the surface. Hopefully I can keep going like this.”

If Mladenovic wins the title this week, she will become only the third French winner of the Stuttgart Open and first since 1998.

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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

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