Angelique Kerber Needs to Get Over This Hump, and Fast - UBITENNIS
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Angelique Kerber Needs to Get Over This Hump, and Fast

The results of the 2017 French Open first round shocked the whole tennis world when one of its top players fell to a lower ranked competitor

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World number one seed Angelique Kerber, as reported here on Ubi Tennis, saw her Roland Garros dreams go down the drain after falling to 40th ranked Ekaterina Makarova in straight sets 6-2, 6-2. The two-time Grand Slam champion became the first top seeded woman in the modern era to lose in the opening round of the French Open. Furthermore, the aforementioned match highlighted the glaring disparity between the players was as extensive as the scores suggest.

Angelique Kerber v Ekaterina Makarova Highlights – Women’s Round 1 2017 I Roland-Garros

Angelique Kerber v Ekaterina Makarova Highlights – Women’s Round 1 2017 I Roland-Garros. Relive the best moments from the women’s first round of 2017 French Open opposing Angelique Kerber and Ekaterina Makarova. Ekaterina Makarova won 6/2 – 6/2 Visit Roland Garros’ official website: http://rg.fr/RGweb Subscribe to our channel: http://rg.fr/ytrgin Follow us!

Kerber, who won seven out of the previous 11 matches against Makarova, came into the match as the odds-on favourite. However, as soon as the games started, Kerber seemed to struggle. Facing a fellow left-handed player, Kerber struggled with her opponent’s blistering forehand winners right from the get-go. In addition, it didn’t help her cause that she struggled on the service line, as well as committed too many unforced errors. It’s probably safe to say that Kerber was not the same player the tennis world had witnessed for the duration of 2016.

Angelique Kerber – Press Conference after Round 1 2017 I Roland-Garros

Angelique Kerber – Press Conference after Round 1 2017 I Roland-Garros. Watch Angelique Kerber’s press conference after the match against Ekaterina Makarova at the Roland-Garros 2017 women’s Round 1. Ekaterina Makarova won 6/2 – 6/2. Visit Roland Garros’ official website: http://rg.fr/RGweb Subscribe to our channel: http://rg.fr/ytrgin Follow us!

In the past couple of months, it seems like Angelique Kerber has been lacking the same intensity she had last season, a year that saw her climb up the ranks and battle her way to two Grand Slam titles. During her loss in the opening round of the French Open, the German lacked the power and speed to challenge her Russian opponent. As many might recall, the 29-year-old Kerber withdrew from the Madrid Open earlier this year with a nagging thigh injury. Not long after, she fell in straight sets to qualifier Anna Kontaveit in Rome. Many tennis pundits consider this as much a mental problem as it is physical.

Tennis, just like any other sport, involves the perfect combination of physical attributes and psychological toughness. In other words, injuries are not the only problems; it also has something to do with a player’s mentality going into a match. Sports journalist Ren Gates, who is a regular contributor to tennis resource Play Your Court, cites how Kerber has always been prone to mental lapses in the past. So much so that she was put on the list of potential early upsets to watch out for even though she was just a couple of weeks removed from winning her first ever Australian Open crown. This is where the importance of understanding and treating the mental side of Kerber’s game come into play. Outside factors such as the constant travelling and the intense pressure of being number one, can trigger issues that affect her performance on the court, which is why it should be addressed as soon as possible.

Every player is subject to the same principles of human existence. It is a continuous cycle of ups and downs, triumphs and failures. Though her recent performance is nowhere near close to 2016’s spectacular run, it does not mean she is on her way out. This current tennis season still has a long way to go. There are two more Grand Slam tournaments on the horizon, on top of a bunch of WTA events in between.

For Angelique Kerber, to solidify her status as one of the best tennis players in the world, she has to get over this current hump and find her rhythm soon. All professional athletes at some point in their career are faced with similar challenges, and need a high level of mental fortitude for them to face these adversities head-on. We’ve seen the likes of Roger Federer and Serena Williams mount comebacks, as well as Petra Kvitova’s fairytale return in the past, so there’s certainly no point counting out Kerber just yet despite her blip in form.

Mark Lewis

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Emma Raducanu Confident Of Full Fitness Ahead Of Grass Swing

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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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Image via https://x.com/WTAMeridaOpen/

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.

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(@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 WAS JUST TOO GOOD

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.

WINNING 10 CONSECUTIVE GAMES

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.

SWIATEK OWNS THE RED CLAY

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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