Donna Vekic Bounces Back To Win The Aegon Open With Victory Over Johanna Konta - UBITENNIS
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Donna Vekic Bounces Back To Win The Aegon Open With Victory Over Johanna Konta



Donna Vekic

Donna Vekic celebrated winning her first WTA grass court title and the second of her career overall after she came back from a set down to stun top seed and British hope Johanna Konta 2-6, 7-6(3), 7-5 at the Aegon Open in Nottingham.


The 20-year-old was closer to the Brit than the scoreline suggests in the first set and managed to turn game points into conversions in the second which helped her get over the disappointment of missing out on three set points during the set to take it on a tiebreak. Vekic broke immediately in the final set but the world number eight came back midway through to make it anybody’s title to win at five games all. It was at that point which the Croat raised her level to new heights which Konta was unable to reach and as a result she sealed victory and lifted the Elena Baltacha Trophy for the first time.

It was Konta who was victorious in the only previous meeting between the two players on the hard courts in Cincinnati last year, with the Brit winning comfortably 6-2, 6-3. Heading into the final Konta was yet to drop a set and came through against Magdalena Rybarikova 6-2, 7-5 in her semifinal. Vekic came through in far tougher circumstances in a two hours and 48 minutes battle with fifth seed Lucie Safarova 7-6(5), 3-6, 7-6(4), which stood her in good stead in the latter stages of the final on Sunday.

Konta looked as though she meant business from the start and made a real statement as she broke Vekic to love in the opening game of the match. The Brit’s run was halted slightly when under pressure at 30-30 in the next game but she came through unscathed to make the perfect start.

The top seed had the chance to extend her lead in the fifth game with two break opportunities, but it was the 20-year-old who came through the long tough battle to keep her first set hopes alive. That hold looked to be crucial as Vekic set herself up for two break back points but she missed the first with a wide forehand before Konta hit an ace before holding to stay in front.

The world number eight regained her form that she had shown at the start of the match to break her opponent once again and played an emasculate service game to close it out. The Brit hit an ace and three unreturned serves to hold to love and seal the first set 6-2 after 37 minutes.

Konta had a couple of opportunities to take full control of the final with break points in the third game but was unable to capitalise and it proved costly. Vekic began to outhit the Brit when she was able to return her serve into play and that allowed her to break the top seed for the first time in the match to take a 3-1 lead.

The world number eight had the opportunity to break back immediately following a double fault from the Croat, which was saved, but another double fault from the 20-year-old gifted her opponent a way back into the set.

Play continued to go with serve, but the top seed came under pressure down set point in the 10th game. Konta was able to save it and survive by saving another two in the 12th game following unforced errors from Vekic to force a tiebreak.

There was nothing to split the two in the breaker at 3-3, but it was the 20-year-old who broke away with some excellent serving under the circumstances to take control and win the tiebreak by seven points to three. That was the first set which top seed had lost in the entire tournament.

With the momentum behind her Vekic continued to play aggressively and really take Konta’s time away. The world number 70 crushed three forehand winners in a row to break the Brit in the opening game of the final set to take the lead in the final for the first time.

Vekic maintained her advantage up until the sixth game when the Brit forced the Croat into making errors to bring up two break back points. The top seed only need the one chance and proceeded to hold to love to move 4-3 in front.

Aside from the blip in the sixth game Vekic was most impressive on serve, continuing to hold comfortably to pile the pressure back on the top seed. The 20-year-old held to love in the 10th game and earned two break points on the Konta serve. The world number eight saved the first but could not prevent her opponent from taking the second as she closed in on victory.

When serving for the title Vekic watched her lead move from 30-0 to 30-30, but the 20-year-old held her nerve to win her first WTA title in three years in two hours and 29 minutes.

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Danil Medvedev sets up all-Russian semifinal against Karen Khachanov in Miami



Danil Medvedev edged US qualifier Christopher Eubanks 6-3 7-5 in a rain disrupted match to reach the semifinals at the Miami Open for the first time. 


Medvedev has reached the semifinals at a fifth consecutive ATP tournament after winning three consecutive titles in Rotterdam, Doha and Dubai and reaching the final in Indian Wells. Medvedev has won 22 of his past 23 matches. 

Medvedev saved break points in the fourth game. The match was delayed by rain for half an hour. As the match resumed Medvedev reeled off the next four games to close out the first set 6-3.

Medvedev broke serve in the sixth game to take a 4-2 lead. Eubanks broke straight back for 3-4. Medvedev broke again in the 12th game as Eubanks mishit a return on the third match point. 

“I did not play my best tennis before the rain delay. The rain helped go out and have more energy. It helped me and I only played better and better, apart from one bad game on my serve, but it happens”, said Medvedev. 

Medvedev set up a semifinal clash against his compatrion Karen Khachanov, who edged past Francisco Cerundolo 6-3 6-2. Khachanov reached his first ATP Masters semifinal since 2019. 

Cerundolo earned the first break of the match in the fifth game of the first set, but Medvedev broke straight back in the sixth game to draw level to 3-3. Khachanov broke for the second time in the eighth game to close out the first set 6-3. 

Khachanov broke twice in the first and fifth games to win the second set 6-2. Cerundolo won just four of 18 points and made 22 unforced errors. Khachanov hit 22 winners to Cerundolo’s 19.

Cerundolo entered this match with a 8-1 record at the Miami Open after reaching the semifinal in last year’s edition. 

Khachanov has moved up to 11th in the ATP Live Ranking and will return to the top 10 if he wins the title. He reached the semifinal at the Australian Open last September. 

“At the end of the day it was a question of finding rhythm. At the beginning, it was pretty windy and I could not where the wind was coming through. I then started to hit through the ball more and I felt better and better. After I broke him back I felt I was on a good rise and felt that I could not miss. That is good feeling to have during a match”, said Khachanov. 

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World Tennis Conference 3: The high-level training for tennis coaches is back



The third edition of the world conference for tennis coaches, organized by GPTCA and Segal Institute, with ATP as institutional sponsor, will be held from 30th of March to 2nd of April. Many big names in the world of tennis are among the speakers, including Toni Nadal, Sergi Bruguera, Brad Gilbert, Gilles Cervara, Magnus Norman and Vincenzo Santopadre. And also Ubitennis.


Published by on 21 March  2023, translated by Massimo Volpati

A well-established high-level training for tennis coaches, teachers and instructors. We are talking about the World Tennis Conference (WTC), the online conference for tennis coaches from all over the world, now at its third edition, which will be held from 30th March to 2nd April 2023. The organization is managed by GPTCA – Global Professional Tennis Coach Association, the world association of tennis coaches recognized by ATP which deals with the training and updating of tennis coaches at an international level, and by SI – Segal Institute, an organization that provides advice and services in the field of tennis. The high quality of the event is confirmed by the presence, for the third consecutive year, of ATP as institutional sponsor, which together with GPTCA certifies the conference as a professional development event for coaches.

World Tennis Conference is designed for tennis coaches from all over the world with the aim of providing, in four intense days of training in e-learning mode, the most exhaustive possible picture of the knowledge, skills and competences that a tennis coach should develop. This edition will feature for the first time the  “NextGen Tennis Coaches programme”. This is an initiative that wants to support the entry of young people into the coaching profession world. This year twelve young coaches, aged not over 30, will be offered a free participation in the event.

The names of the speakers featured at WTC 2023 well illustrate the commitment of GPTCA and Segal Institute to making the conference a key reference event for the training of professional tennis coaches. In fact, 68 speakers – mainly tennis coaches, physical trainers, mental coaches and top-level sports scientists – will take the floor on the virtual stage of WTC.

By sharing their experiences and skills, they will highlight the fundamental aspects required for obtaining excellent tennis performances. Just to mention but a few: famous coaches such as Toni Nadal and Alberto Castellani, Grand Slam champions such as Sergi Bruguera and Pat Cash, as well as former top ten players such as Brad Gilbert, Jimmy Arias, Magnus Norman, Rainer Schuttler and Tommy Haas.

And speaking about current top players coaches, as well as Toni Nadal (who currently is following Auger-Aliassime), WTC 2023 will host Sergi Bruguera (since last year with Zverev), Vincenzo Santopadre (Berrettini’s lifelong coach),  Gilles Cervara, Daniil Medvedev’s coach, Frederic Fontang, head coach of Aliassime, and Michael Russell, Taylor Fritz’s coach. And last but not least, when it comes to excellent performances, the physical trainer of Novak Djokovic: Marco Panichi.

The conference aims to train coaches at 360 degrees, thus also dealing with the skills a coach should develop outside the canonical technical, tactical, physical and mental areas, in order to be able to support his player even more effectively and better organize his manifold activities. Hence the focus on relations with media and  external communication, Topics which, were already discussed during the first edition.

This time also Ubitennis will take part in the virtual stage of WTC. In fact, the Live Panel “Communications Training” will see among the Special Speakers our Director Ubaldo Scanagatta, with his decades of experience as a journalist, reporter and correspondent at over 160 Grand Slams, but also former director of the ATP tournament in Florence, from 1974 to 1979, and our collaborator Ilvio Vidovich, member of the Scientific Committee and press officer of ISMC  (International Sports Mental Coach Association).

The event will take place on the CoachTube e-learning platform. Further information is available on the event website

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Draw of the Davis Cup Finals Group Stage announced in Malaga



The Draw of the Davis Cup Finals Group Stage took place in Malaga on Wednesday afternoon. 


The International Tennis Federation (ITF) has confirmed the host nations for the 2023 Davis Cup Finals Group Stage. 

The Unipol Arena in Bologna (Italy) and the Pabellon Municipal Fuente de San Luis in Valencia will return as host venues after staging successful events in 2022. 

Host team Italy will take on defending champions Canada, who won the Davis Cup Trophy for the first time in history beating Australia. The Group A will also feature Sweden and Chile. 

Italy features a potential strong team that includes Jannik Sinner, who reaches the Indian Wells and Miami Open semifinals and the Rotterdam final this year, and 2021 Wimbledon finalist Matteo Berrettini. 

Felix Auger Aliassime and Denis Shapovalov helped Canada beat Australia in the final in Malaga last November. 

“In 2022 our unbelievable run in Malaga was a dream come true, and I am extremely proud of what the team and our country managed to accomplish. As we get set the launch our title defence, we expect the pressure to be on us, and we can’t wait to prove to the world that we truly belong at the top. Back-to-back champions has a nice ring to it, and we will do everything we can to keep the Davis Cup in Canada”, said Canadian Davis Cup captain Frank Dancevic.  

Spain will fight for a spot in the knock-out stage against Serbia, Czech Republic and South Korea in Group C in Valencia. The draw set up a possible match-up between the top two players Carlos Alcaraz and Novak Djokovic, who won the US Open in 2022 and the Australian Open in 2023. Spain beat Serbia in last year’s group stage, when neither Rafa Nadal nor Novak Djokovic took part

Manchester will host Davis Cup matches for the first time since July 1994, when Great Britain took on Romania at the Northern Lawn Tennis Club. The O2 Arena in Manchester will host the Group B which features Great Britain, last year’s finalists Australia, France and Switzerland. 

Croatia will be Group Stage host nation. The venue will be announced soon. Two-time Davis Cup champion Croatia will play against the USA, the Netherlands and Finland. The Finals Group Stage takes place on 12-17 September 2023. The top two teams from each group will reach the Final 8 knock-out stage at the Palacio de Deportes José Maria Martin Carpena in Malaga. On 21-26 November 2023.

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