Magdalena Rybarikova Ousts Alison Riske In Three Set Thriller At The Aegon Open - UBITENNIS
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Magdalena Rybarikova Ousts Alison Riske In Three Set Thriller At The Aegon Open

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Magdalena Rybarikova v Alison Riske

Magdalena Rybarikova came through a tough three set contest to see off fourth seed Alison Riske 6-2, 6-7(5), 7-5 at the Aegon Open in Nottingham to advance to the quarterfinals.

The Slovakian was in full control leading by a set and 5-3 and even had a match point, but a spirited comeback from last year’s runner-up saw the American force a decider. It was Riske who went up a break of serve first in the final set but the recent champion in Surbiton recovered to keep her fine grass court form going.

Prior to this match Rybarikova led their head to head 2-0, but the two had not met since 2014, with the Slovakian picking up wins on the hard courts at New Haven and the Canadian Masters and she kept that form going against her at the Nottingham Tennis Centre in tough conditions.

Both players started out with routine service holds, but it was the fourth seed who suffered the first blip in the sixth game when she fell 0-40 down. The American saved the first two break points but could not prevent Rybarikova from taking the third and soon establishing a 5-2 lead.

Riske was up in her next service game but her opponent was very much in control, dictating play and was able to respond and secure a second break to take the opening set 6-2 after half an hour of play on Centre Court.

The fourth seed reached the final here at the Aegon Open last year but was failing to get into the match after she squandered a break point chance in both of the Slovakian’s opening two service games in the second set.

Those missed chances came back to bite the world number 41 as she was broken in the next game but fortunately was able to break back immediately to keep her hopes alive. It looked to be all over once Rybarikova sealed another break to take a 5-3 lead but the Slovakian was unable to serve out the match as Riske broke back once again.

The fourth seed diced with danger once more down 6-5, 0-30 on her serve but clung on to hold. In the tiebreak she got her reward as she moved into a 6-3 lead. Riske failed to take the first two opportunities but claimed the third after Rybarikova’s backhand went narrowly wide to level the score at one set all.

With the momentum now with the American, Riske had the chance to earn an early break of the world number 117’s serve. Rybarikova responded well and reeled off four points in a row to stave off the threat and level at one game all.

Riske was able to get the break she had been searching for in the fourth game but immediately relinquished her lead after the American put her volley long to gift the break back to the Slovakian. The seventh game looked as though it was going to be routine for the American but she watched her 40-0 lead on serve evaporate and a double fault left her break point down. The fourth seed was able to win that point and save a second break point on her way to securing a pivotal hold in the latter stages of the match.

Rybarikova had suffered the disappointment of watching her lead slip away in the second set and had done well to hang in there in the final set and earned her reward in the eleventh game as she broke Riske’s serve to have the chance to serve for the match once again. On this occasion she was able to get over the line to complete the two and a half hour battle 6-2, 6-7(5), 7-5.

Next up for the world number 117 is American Kristie Ahn in the quarterfinals on Friday in what promises to be another very exciting contest.

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Wrist Injury Threatening To End Holger Rune’s Olympic Dream

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Holger Rune will have a second medical opinion on Monday before deciding if he is fit enough to play at the Olympic Games, according to his team. 

The Danish world No.17 recently retired from his quarter-final match at the Hamburg Open due to a knee injury. The hope at the time was that his withdrawal would be just a precautionary measure ahead of the Olympics. However, he is also dealing with a second issue that appears to be more serious.

According to TV 2 Sport, Rune has been struggling with a wrist issue and underwent a scan on Sunday which his mother Aneke says ‘doesn’t look promising.’ Aneke is also the manager of her son’s career. Rune’s Olympic dreams now rest on the outcome of a second medical expert that he will visit tomorrow who has a better understanding of the sport. 

“Unfortunately, it does not look promising after the first medical opinion after the review of the scan of the wrist,” Aneke Rune told TV 2 Sport.

“We are waiting for two tennis-specific doctors who will give a second opinion tomorrow (Monday). Tennis wrists look different from regular wrists, so we’ll hold out hope for one more day.” 

Rune is one of three Danish players entered into the Olympic tennis event along with Caroline Wozniacki and Clara Tauson. The country has only won one medal in tennis before which was at the 1912 Games when Sofie Castenschiold won silver in the women’s indoor singles event. 

So far this season, the 21-year-old has won 27 matches on the Tour but is yet to claim a title. He reached the final of the Brisbane International and then the semi-finals of three more events. In the Grand Slams, he made it to the fourth round of the French Open and Wimbledon. 

It is not known when a final decision regarding Rune’s participation in Paris will be made.

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Hubert Hurkacz Undergoes ‘Knee Procedure’ Ahead of Olympic Bid

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Poland’s top player on the ATP Tour is not giving up on his dream of winning a medal at the Olympic Games despite recently undergoing a medical procedure.

World No.7 Hubert Hurkacz suffered a knee injury during his second round clash at Wimbledon against France’s Arthur Fils. In the fourth set tiebreak of their clash, Hurkacz dived for a shot but landed badly on his knee and required on-court medical attention. He then played two more points before retiring from the match. 

In a social media post published on Wednesday, the  27-year-old confirmed he underwent a procedure on his knee earlier this week but didn’t provide any further details.  Although Hurkacz has stated his intention to play at the upcoming Olympic Games in Paris, where the tennis event will be held on the clay at Roland Garros. 

“I had a knee procedure this Monday, but I’m feeling better already and my team and are dedicating extensive time each day to the rehab process.” He wrote on Instagram. 

“It’s a dream for every athlete to represent their country at the Olympics, and I want to make sure I am fully fit and ready before making the final decision to step on court. The aim is not only to participate, but to win a medal for my country.”

So far this season Hurkacz has won 34 out of 48 matches played on the Tour. He won the Estoril Open in April and was runner-up to Jannik Sinner in Halle. 

The Olympic tennis event is scheduled to begin a week Saturday on July 27th. Poland is yet to win a medal in the event but expectations are high with women’s No.1 Iga Swiatek also taking part. 

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Krejcikova Comes Alive With Her Serve To Win 12th Grand Slam Title At Wimbledon

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image via x.com/wimbledon

It must have seemed like the whole world was against her when Barbora Krejcikova served for the match for a third time against crowd favorite Jasmine Paolini.

But Krejcikova was only going for her 12th Grand Slam title. She was well prepared.

So, she released her patented way-out-wide serve to the smallish Paolini’s backhand, and the best the Italian could do was get her racket on the ball enough to return the serve far off the court, long and wide.

ARMS UP FOR A CHAMPION

The weight of the world was gone as Krejcikova threw her arms over her head and calmly walked to the net to greet the Wimbledon runner-up.

Now, Krejcikova was half-way home to a career Grand Slam in singles. She already owns a career Grand Slam in doubles among her dozen Grand Slam titles that also include one mixed doubles Grand Slam title.

She has won the hard ones, the French Open on clay and Wimbledon on grass.

At 28 years old, anything must look possible to this 5-10 Czech.

KREJCIKOVA COMES THROUGH UNDER PRESSURE

Paolini simply was out played in a second straight Grand Slam final, on clay and on grass. Now she faces the real tests, two straight Grand Slam tournaments on hard surfaces that might not be overly friendly to the 5-4 Paolini.

But there it was, a 6-2, 2-6, 6-4 victory for Krejcikova on Wimbledon’s famed Center Court.

After what might be called a throw-away second set for Krejcikova, she came alive in the third set, pinning Paolini to the deep corners while nailing low hard-hit balls to both corners.

Krejcikova got off to 40-0 starts on her first four service games of the decisive set and ended all four with service winners to take a 5-3 lead (with the aid of the only service break of the third set). She yielded only one point in those four service games, a double fault at 40-0 that was followed by an ace.

Of course, it was the serve again that saved the day for Krejcikova and gave her set points two and three, then sealed the deal for a spot in Wimbledon history.

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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