The Three Milestones At Stake On Women’s Semifinals Day At The French Open - UBITENNIS
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The Three Milestones At Stake On Women’s Semifinals Day At The French Open

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History beckons on day 12 at the French Open. With four different countries being represented in the women’s draw, numerous national records could be broken. The Czech Republic could have their first world No.1, Latvia could have their first grand slam finalist in the Open Era and Switzerland are closing in on having their first Female French Open champion since 1945.

With so much at stake, these are the three stories to follow during the women’s semifinals on Thursday at Roland Garros.

The No.1 position

Thursday’s semifinal between Pliskova and Halep could change the top of the WTA rankings. The second and third seeds are both in with a chance of clinching top spot. Pliskova has the easiest route out of the two. A sole win over Halep would see her become the first ever Czech player to become world No.1. Czech born Martina Navratilova had already switched allegiance to America when she achieved the accomplishment.

“Now it’s close, but it’s close and it’s far, as well, because I’m playing against somebody who I would say one of the best girls on clay. It’s not like you’re going to get it for free.” Pliskova said when asked about the No.1 position.

Halep is required to defeat Pliskova and go on to win the title if she wishes to reach the top. She is also bidding to become the first player from her country to achieve the milestone. Should Halep win on Thursday and loose in the final, Kerber will retain her No.1 position.

In the other semifinal, the winner of Bacsinszky and Ostapenko will rise into the world’s top-20. If Ostapenko was to win, it would be her first time in the top-20.

The race to Singapore

There will be a change in the Porsche Race to Singapore regardless of which players progress to the final. All four players could potentially move into the top eight depending on how they perform.

The winner of the match between Pliskova and Halep will clinch first place regardless of who they will play in the final. The two will only secured both top two positions if Halep wins. If Pliskova was to triumph, Elina Svitolina will hold on to her second place.

20-year-old Ostapenko could become the youngest player to reach the top eight if she reaches the final. If she loses, the Latvian will still rise from 25th to 10th. In contrast, Bascinszky’s only chance of cracking the top-eight will be if she was to win the title. She will move to 16th with a semifinal loss and ninth if she reaches the final.

Potential outcomes

Figures provided by wtatennis.com

A maiden grand slam title

This year’s French Open made history with all eight quarterfinalists in the women’s draw seeking their first grand slam title. It was the first time this has happened a major tournament since the 1979 Australian Open.

As far as experience in concerned, only two players have previously played in a major final. Halep lost to Maria Sharapova at the 2014 French Open and Pliskova was second best to Kerber at last year’s US Open. Bacsinszky and Ostapenko are yet to play a major final and are bidding to become the first female player from their countries to win the French Open in the Open Era.

This year’s champion will be the 46th different winner in the Open Era of the women’s game.

How does their grand slam records compare?

Halep – win-loss of 53-27 (66% winning rate)
Pliskova – win – Loss of 28-19 (60% winning rate)
Bacsinszky – win-loss of 38-28 (58% winning rate)
Ostapenko – win-loss of 9-7 (56% winning rate)

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Andy Murray Makes Retirement Hint After 500th Hard Court Win In Dubai

Andy Murray won his 500th hard court match in Dubai, placing him fifth on the all-time list.

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Andy Murray further hinted at retirement after securing a 500th hard court win of his career in Dubai.

The former world number one picked up his second win of the year with a 4-6 7-6(5) 6-3 victory over Denis Shapovalov.

In typical Andy Murray fashion, the Brit came back from a set down to defeat the out-of-sorts Canadian as he progressed to the second round.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RUVj537F-wQ

The win means Murray now has 500 career wins on a hard court and that is an achievement the world number 67 is proud of, “It’s not bad,” Murray told the ATP website as he sits fifth on the all-time list of hard court wins.

“Obviously hard court has been a great surface for me over the years and 500 is a lot of matches so I’m very proud of that. There are not many players that have done that, so great to get to 500 before I’m done.”

However those post-match comments weren’t the most shocking ones as Murray once again hinted at retirement this season.

The Brit has made subtle remarks that this year may be his last one but Murray’s comments today suggests that he may have already made his decision, “I probably don’t have too long left but I’ll do as best as I can these last few months,” Murray was quoted by ESPN as saying.

“I still love competing and still love the game but it gets harder and harder to compete the older you get, to keep your body fit and fresh.”

If the end is near for Murray than the Brit will look to end his career on a high for the next few months.

Before thinking about retirement Murray will look to go further in Dubai when he takes on either Ugo Humbert or Gael Monfils in the second round.

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Perspective And Fatigue: The Two Sides Of Iga Swiatek’s Dubai Defeat

Iga Swiatek spoke about perspective and fatigue after her semi-final exit in Dubai.

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Iga Swiatek showed two sides to her defeat in Dubai as the world number one surprisingly failed to win the title despite being the favourite in the semi-finals.

Heading into her semi-final in Dubai, Swiatek was heavy favourite to win her second consecutive WTA title after claiming the title in Doha the week before.

However Swiatek was unsuccessful in her bid to reach the final as she lost to Anna Kalinskaya 6-4 6-4.

It was a bitterly disappointing defeat for Swiatek who missed a golden opportunity to establish even more dominance ahead of Indian Wells.

As all champions do Swiatek offered perspective to her defeat as she looks ahead to the rest of the season, “I mean, I’m angry but on the other hand, there aren’t many players that actually survive these kinds of tournaments so I just kind of have to let it go and accept it,” Swiatek was quoted by Tennis Majors.

There was not only perspective offered but also fatigue as expectations and pressure can force simple mistakes from the best players in the world.

The world number one acknowledged Kalinskaya’s performance but did admit her own performance contributed to the defeat, “Today I would say, I mean she [Kalinskaya] played well and for sure she deserves to be in the final, but I feel like it was more about me and my level,” Swiatek told Tennis Majors.

“I wanted to be focused on myself and I wasn’t really able to implement any tactics that I had. Usually, when I tell myself what to do, I can improve my game but today I was so out of power and tired that I just couldn’t. Day by day, it was a little bit worse.”

Swiatek will hope to re-energize herself ahead of the sunshine double in America.

Last year Swiatek lost to eventual champion Elena Rybakina in the semi-finals at Indian Wells before withdrawing from Miami.

The Pole will look to improve last year’s performance when she plays Indian Wells, which starts on the 6th of March.

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‘Speechless’ Mensik Reaches Maiden ATP Final In Doha

Jakub Mensik is into his first ATP final in Doha.

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Jakub Mensik admitted he was left speechless after reaching his first ATP final in Doha.

The 18 year-old continued his remarkable week with a 6-4 1-6 6-3 semi-final victory over Gael Monfils.

The Czech Republican produced clinical tennis as he beat the 2018 champion to reach his maiden ATP final.

After the match Mensik admitted he was left ‘speechless’ and spoke about the influence Monfils had on his career, “It is amazing. Hopefully not the last one [final]. Incredible week so far,” Mensik told the ATP website.

“Today again with Gael, he played unbelievable. I know it is tough to play against him, especially with his good movement. For me every point I have to play my best game.

“I have to say this performance was one of the best in my entire life. I am so glad I reached this level in the semis, so hopefully tomorrow I play like this. An amazing feeling with my first ATP final. I am speechless.

“I told him when I was young I watched him a lot on the TV. One of the biggest showman on court. He is a great guy, so hopefully in the future we will meet once again. The rallies were so fun with him.”

Mensik has so far beaten three former champions this week as he also defeated Andy Murray and Andrey Rublev this week.

Now Mensik will aim to win his first ATP title as he takes on Karen Khachanov in Saturday’s final.

Should Mensik win the title he could climb to 75 in the world as he started the week at 116 in the world.

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