Su-Wei Hsieh Stuns Johanna Konta At The French Open To Secure Biggest Win Of Her Career - UBITENNIS
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Su-Wei Hsieh Stuns Johanna Konta At The French Open To Secure Biggest Win Of Her Career

Joshua Coase

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Su-Wei Hsieh

Su-Wei Hsieh secured the biggest singles win of her career as she defeated a top 10 player for the first time in the form of Johanna Konta 1-6, 7-6(2), 6-4 in the first round at the French Open.

 

Ranked at 109 in the world, the Chinese Taipei player was on a five match losing streak and the signs looked ominous after losing the first set 6-1, but Hsieh dug deep and staved off five break points in the second set before taking it on a tiebreak. After trading breaks in the final set she held her nerve, staving off four break back points in the final game before ousting the seventh seed.

Hsieh advances to face Taylor Townsend in the second round after the American defeated Miyu Kato in straight sets 6-4, 6-0. There were also opening round victories for fifth seed Elina Svitolina, 21st seed Carla Suarez Navarro, Tsvetana Pironkova and Sorana Cirstea.

Konta was making her third main draw appearance at Roland Garros and despite being ranked at eight in the world had never won a match here. Having gained some confidence from getting a couple of match wins on clay under her belt in Rome, Konta looked very sharp and got off to the perfect start on court Philippe Chatrier. The Brit out-powered her opponent early on, forcing Hsieh into some early errors to hand the break to the seventh seed as she quickly moved 3-0 in front.

Having only won two of the previous 15 points, Hsieh was able to settle her early match nerves somewhat and hold to get her first game on the board. Hsieh gained some confidence and applied pressure on the Brit’s serve at 15-30, but the seventh seed did not buckle and held to keep in front.

After securing a double break, Konta had no trouble closing out a flawless first set having made 70% of her first serves in, winning 93% of those points. The Brit sealed it with an ace to take it 6-1 after 26 minutes.

The signs looked ominous for the player from Chinese Taipei after she squandered two game points in the third game of the second set and found herself break point down. An unorthodox, but very effective drop shot off the backhand side with both hands on the racket was enough to catch Konta off guard and Hsieh was able to recover to hold and stay in front.

Konta kept pushing to try and make the breakthrough and had another chance in the seventh game, but narrowly missed an attempted cross court backhand winner wide on break point before Hsieh moved 4-3 in front.

The seventh seed faced pressure on her own serve in the following game as Hsieh earned her first break points of the match. Konta saved the first with some fierce groundstrokes before becoming rather fortunate after her opponent missed a relatively easy smash put-away to squander the second break point. The Brit remained mentally strong in the important moments and saved a third break point with a backhand down the line winner and then snuffed out a fourth chance before coming through the toughest game of the match to level at 4-4.

Johanna Konta

The wait goes on for a maiden win at Roland Garros for Konta. (Photo: Zimbio.com)

Konta looked to have finally gotten the better of her opponent with her relentless pressure on the groundstrokes as she earned three break points at 0-40, but Hsieh raised her game and did exceptionally well to reel off five points in a row to move 6-5 in front. The next game also proved to be a battle as the Brit suddenly faced a set point. The seventh seed did well to stay calm and strike a forehand winner to stay in the set and then had to face the disappointment of squandering two chances to hold before finally coming through to force a second set tiebreak.

In the tiebreak Konta gained an immediate point against the serve after Hsieh put an attempted lob beyond the baseline, but after a few errors the Brit found herself 4-2 behind at the change of ends. Things got no better for the seventh seed at the other end of the court as Hsieh’s level continued to climb, taking three more points to seal the tiebreak 7-2 and with it level the match at one set all.

Both players held their opening couple of service games before three breaks in a row left Hsieh leading 5-3. Konta held serve to love to force the world number 109 to serve for the match and it looked to be a too tougher task for the player from Chinese Taipei after she faced four break points. Having squandered the first three chances the Brit came agonisingly close to taking the fourth but her attempted drop shot clipped the top of the tape and landed back on her side of the net. The seventh seed desperately tried to stay in the contest and saved a match point, but Hsieh was not to be denied for a second time as she sealed the biggest win of her career 1-6, 7-6(2), 6-4.

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Shintaro Mochizuki reaches the qualifying round of qualifying round at Wimbledon

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Japanese Next Gen star Shintaro Mochizuki came back from one set down to beat French Next Gen player Hugo Gaston 1-6 6-2 6-4 reaching the second round of qualifying at Wimbledon. Mochizuki made his return to the grass court of South-West London. 

 

Mochizuki made history at the All England Club in 2019, when he became the first Japanese player to win a Grand Slam boys’ singles title. The young Asian player is now ranked world number 500 and is making his first professional level appearance at a Grand Slam tournament. 

Mochizuki became the first Japanese player to claim a Grand Slam boys’ singles title when he won the Wimbledon Trophy. 

Mochizuki has been based at the IMG Academy in Bradenton since he was 12. The Japanese player almost chose baseball over tennis before moving from Japan to Florida. His father was a tennis coach and Shintaro started holding a raquet at the age of 1. He considered quitiing tennis at the age of 9 and pursuing baseball instead. His tennis idoli s Roger Federer, who won his first Grand Slam title 34 days after Mochizuki was born. 

“I did not think I was going to get a wild card for qualies this year, because it’s 2021 and I won in 2019. I was really when I heard I got the wild card and I was super excited”, said Mochizuki. 

US Next Gen player Brandon Nakashima cruised past Aleksandar Vukic 6-1 6-1. Vukic pushed Denis Shapovalov to two tie-breaks at last week’s cinch Championships. 

Tomas Machac battled past Tommy Robredo 7-5 4-6 10-8. Machac is currently 10th in the ATP Race to Milan. 

Bernard Tomic rallied from one set down to beat Blaz Kavic Kavic 4-6 6-4 6-3. 

Maxime Cressy edged past Thanasi Kokkinakis 7-6 (7-5) 7-6 (7-3). 

Former world number 10 Ernests Gulbis overcame Dmitry Popko 6-3 5-7 6-4.

Viktor Troicki fought past Christopher Eubanks 6-4 6-7 (6-8) 7-5. 

Zdenek Kolar eased past Martin Klizan 6-1 6-2. Klizan was the final match of his career. 

Roman Safiulin eased past Ivo Karlovic 6-4 6-2. This year’s Buenos Aires finalist Francisco Cerundolo saw off Felipe Meligeni Rodrigues Alves 6-4 6-2. 

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Novak Djokovic Confirmed For Olympics But Del Potro Pulls Out After Medical Advice

The Serbian will be bidding to win gold in Tokyo later this year for the first time in his career.

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This year’s Olympic tennis tournament has been given a boost after officials confirmed world No.1 Novak Djokovic will be playing at the Games.

 

The 19-time Grand Slam champion had been contemplating whether to play at the event or not amid ongoing COVID-19 conditions. Djokovic previously said he would reconsider travelling to Tokyo if fans weren’t allowed to attend. Since that comment, organisers have given the green light for up to 10,000 domestic fans to attend Olympic venues. Although foreign fans are banned from attending this year due to the pandemic.

Amid questions over Djokovic’s participation, the Serbian Tennis Federation has told Sportski Zurnal that he has pledged to play. It will be the fourth time the 34-year-old has represented his country in the Olympics. So far in his career, Djokovic has only won one medal which was bronze back in 2008. He also finished fourth in 2012.

“Novak has confirmed his desire to participate in the Olympic Games and we have already sent a list with his name on it to the Olympic Committee of Serbia. It will be forwarded from there,” the Tennis federation told Sportski Zurnal.

As it currently stands Djokovic is on course to achieve the calendar ‘golden slam.’ A rare achievement where a player wins all four Grand Slam titles, as well as the Olympics, within the same year. In singles competition the only person to have ever achieved this was Stefi Graf back in 1988.

“Everything is possible, and I did put myself in a good position to go for the Golden Slam,” Djokovic said after winning the French Open
“But, you know, I was in this position in 2016 as well. It ended up in a third-round loss in Wimbledon. This year we have only two weeks between the first round of Wimbledon and the finals here, which is not ideal because you go from really two completely different surfaces, trying to make that transition as smooth as possible, as quickly and efficiently as possible.
“So obviously I will enjoy this win and then think about Wimbledon in a few days’ time. I don’t have an issue to say that I’m going for the title in Wimbledon. Of course, I am.”

Del Potro’s comeback delayed again

There is less positive news for Juan Martin del Potro, who was the player who beat Djokovic to win a bronze medal back in 2012. The Argentine hasn’t played a competitive match on the Tour since June 2019 due to a troublesome knee injury. Back in March the former US Open champion said playing at the Olympics again was motivating him during his rehabilitation.

However, since then progress has been slower than what Del Potro would have liked. As a result, he has been advised not to play in the event and continue his recovery.

Delpo won’t be able to play the Olympics Games. The knee rehab is going well according to the doctor’s plan but he suggested Juan Martin to go on with his rehab process and training, and skip Tokyo 2020,” a statement from Del Potro’s communication team reads.

Since 2010, the former world No.3 and two-time Olympic medallist has undergone eight surgeries.One on his right wrist, three on his left wrist and four on his knee. He has won a total of 22 ATP titles so far in his career.

The Olympic Tennis event will start on July 24th at the Ariake Coliseum.

RELATED STORY: Why Are So Many Tennis Players Skipping The Olympics?

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Dayana Yastremska Cleared Of Wrongdoing Over Failed Drugs Tests

The tennis has star had been provisionally suspended from the Tour since 7 January 2021.

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Ukraine’s Dayana Yastremska said she looks forward to ‘returning to her passion’ after getting her doping ban lifted with immediate effect following a hearing.

 

The former world No.21 has been sidelined from the sport with a provisional suspension after testing positive for the banned substance mesterolone which is prohibited under category S1 of the 2020 WADA Prohibited List (Anabolic Agents). The positive test came from a sample which was taken on November 24th that Yastremska argued was linked to cross-contamination. She had appealed for her provisional ban to be lifted earlier this year but was denied.

Following her official hearing on May 21st, the Independent Tribunal under the Tennis Anti-Doping Programme has concluded that the tennis star didn’t deliberately take performance enhancing drugs. In their ruling, the panel says they ‘accept’ how the substance managed to get into Yasstremska’s body. She has previously claimed to have ‘scientific evidence’ of cross contamination.

Ms. Yastremska’s provisional suspension is lifted with immediate effect, and she will not serve any period of Ineligibility for her violation. For the avoidance of doubt, Ms. Yastremska is eligible to resume competition immediately.” The ITF stated.

In a statement, Yastremska says she has struggled over the past six months with the negative comments related to her suspension from the sport. Earlier this year she flew to the Australian Open hoping to compete, but wasn’t allowed to under anti-doping rules.

“I’ve been through a lot in the last 6 months and found it difficult to deal with all the negative comments,” she wrote.
“I want to thank my family, my lawyers, my agent and the entire Top Five Management team for their continued and unwavering support. I would also like to thank my fans for the love and messages that I received during this difficult period.’
“Now I look forward to returning to my passion – tennis. It was taken away from me for too long, I can’t wait to get back on tour.”

The 21-year-old has won three WTA Premier titles so far in her career with her most recent triumph occurring at the 2019 Strasbourg Open. Her best run in a Grand Slam was two years ago at Wimbledon, where she reached the fourth round before losing to Zhang Shuai of China.

Yastremska is currently ranked 37th in the world. She has not given any details about when or where she plans to return to competitive tennis yet.

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