Retirement Fears To French Open Joy: Petra Martic Is Seizing Her ‘Second Chance’ - UBITENNIS
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Retirement Fears To French Open Joy: Petra Martic Is Seizing Her ‘Second Chance’

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Petra Martic (zimbio.com)

It has been nothing but a fairytale week at the French Open for the injury-plagued Petra Martic.

 

Playing in her first grand slam main draw since 2015, the Croat demonstrated her talent with a comprehensive 6-1, 6-1, win over Anastasija Sevastova in the third round on Sunday. The impressive performance saw her win 83% of first service points, hit two aces and fire 21 winners. Martic’s latest achievement has elevated her into the last 16 of a grand slam for the first time since 2012.

“Only once I played the fourth round before and it was actually here (Roland Garros) five years ago. So it’s unbelievable. I still cannot believe I did it.” The delight Croat said during her post-match press conference.

Martic’s Roland Garros run comes less than a year after she had doubts about about if she will be able to play the sport ever again. A back injury forced the 26-year-old out of action for ten months. At first, her camp assumed the issue would take a couple of months to heal. Due to the setback, she fell to a low of 662nd in the world earlier this year.

“I started doubting if I could ever play again and that was the toughest part for me” She explained.
“If I knew at the beginning it’s going to take one year and you’ll be back, it would have been easier.”

Making a low-profile comeback at an ITF $25,000 tournament in April, Martic came through two round of qualifying before eventually clinching the title. This was the first of four ITF events she competed in prior to the French Open, reaching the semifinals or better at all of them.

“I was so excited to be out there.” Martic said about her comeback match in April. “To me, it really felt like a Grand Slam, the first time I went to court to play an official match after this injury.”

The second chance

Despite her promising display in the lower-level events, few expected her to shine on the main stage of tennis. In Paris, she reached the main draw after edging past Maryna Zanevska in three tiebreakers during qualifying. Since then she has also defeated Kateryna Bondarenko and Madison Keys. Speaking about her recent run, Martic attributes her success towards her mindset she had during her injury hiatus.

“I was always motivated. I was just afraid that it might not happen because when I got injured”

Calling her return to the tour a ‘second chance,’ the Croat refuses to be surprised about her progression. Last year she had intentions of surging up the rankings before her back prevented her. Her mentality was improving, but her physicality was going in the opposite direction.

“Last year, before I got injured, I felt that my tennis was there. Mentally, I got much better. And I thought, okay, I think my time is coming, and then I got injured.” She recounted.

Celebrating her latest win over Sevastova with a glass of red wine (a tradition Martic always conducts when she wins a match), the qualifier will next play fifth seed Elina Svitolina. Regardless of the outcome, Martic’s run is one of the feel good stories of this year’s tournament.

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Dominic Thiem rallies from one set down against Roberto Bautista Agut to reach the final at Thiem’s 7 in Kitzbuhel

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Dominic Thiem came back from losing the first set to beat Roberto Bautista Agut 6-7 (5-7) 6-2 6-2 en route to reaching the final at the Thiem’s 7 tournament. Thiem earned two breaks in the third and fifth games to race out to a 4-1 lead. Bautista Agut got both breaks back in the sixth and eighth games to draw level to 4-4 forcing the match to the tie-break. The Spanish player won the tie-break 7-5 to take the opening set.

 

Thiem slowly found his rhythm again in the second set and earned two break points in the fourth game but he was not able to convert them. The home star dropped only two points on his serve until the end of the second set and converted two of the three break points to clinch the second set 6-2.

Thiem earned a break in the fourth game to open up a 4-1 lead and held on his next service games. The tournament organizer sealed the third set 6-2 with his double break with a blistering return on the match point in the eighth game securing his spot in the final. Thiem will face either Andrey Rublev or Matteo Berrettini in the final.

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Former Roland Garros champions and five top 20 players to highlight a great edition of the Ladies Open in Palermo

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The Ladies Open WTA International in Palermo will be the first tournament to be held next August since last February.

 

The Italian tournament will feature a great line-up which includes two confirmed past Roland Garros champions Svetlana Kuznetsova and Jelena Ostapenko and five top 20 players. There is a good chance that 2018 French Open and 2019 Wimbledon champion Simona Halep could be added in the field.

“We are glad about Simona Halep’s great interest in Palermo Ladies Open. We will be waiting for her at the Country Club for an historic edition of the Palermo tournament. We have been in contact with Halep’s manager for some time. We have been talking for days about her potential participation in Palermo. She is one of the best players in the world and her presence would contribute to make an already high-level tournament extrahordinary. We will leave our doors open to her for as long as possible, as well as for other top ten players that will want to resume their season in Palermo”, said tournament’s CEO Oliviero Palma.

The other stars who have signed up to the Ladies Open are 2019 Roland Garros champion Marketa Vondrousova, two Grand Slam semifinalists Elise Mertens (2018 Australian Open) and Anastasija Sevastova (2018 US Open), Aryna Sabalenka (winner at the Wuhan Open in 2018 and 2019, WTA Elite Trophy in Zhuhai in 2019 and Doha in 2020) and Elina Rybakina (winner in Hobart and finalist in St. Petersburg and Dubai in 2020), Dayana Yastremska (winner of three tournaments in Hong Kong in 2018, Thailand and Strasbourg in 2019).

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Lorenzo Sonego and Liudmila Samsonova lift the titles in Perugia

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Lorenzo Sonego and Liudmila Samsonova won the Zzz Quill Tennis Tour in Perugia. Sonego followed up his Italian title won the previous week in Todi with a 3-6 7-6 (7-1) 6-4 win over Croatia’s Viktor Galovic (world number 269 and number 7 seed) in the final of the Perugia tournament.

 

“Galovic started very well. It was difficult to adjust to his game and improve during the match. I maintained the right attitude and I managed to win the title. I enjoyed two fantastic weeks in Todi and Perugia. This confirmed my good work in training in the past two weeks. I gave my best and I am confident for the rest of the season”, said Sonego.

World number 117 Liudmila Samsonova won the women’s title came back from one set down to beat world number 307 Stefania Rubini 4-6 6-4 7-6 (8-6) in the women’s final after saving two match points.

“I won a very tough final with a lot of ups and downs. I am happy that I played many matches. It was one of my goals on the eve of the tournament. I showed that I am able to keep the level of my tennis high, when I play focused”, said Samsonova.   

 

 

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