Anett Kontaveit and Kiki Bertens on a collision course for dream final in Gstaad - UBITENNIS
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Anett Kontaveit and Kiki Bertens on a collision course for dream final in Gstaad



Two of the tournament’s biggest names remain on a collision course for a hard-hitting final in the Swiss Alps as third-seeded Estonian Anett Kontaveit and second-seeded Dutchwoman Kiki Bertens rounded out the semifinal field at the Ladies Championships Gstaad.

The possibility for a dream final between two big-hitters in Gstaad continues as Estonian third seed Anett Kontaveit and second-seeded Dutchwoman Kiki Bertens made light work of their respective quarterfinal opponents to join Czech Tereza Martincova and Spaniard Sara Sorribes Tormo in the last four in the Swiss Alps. Looking to battle past the rain and their last eight opponents, Kontaveit powered past big-hitting German Carina Witthoeft in straight sets, while Bertens did the same to overcome good friend Johanna Larsson of Sweeden.

The final match of the day on Centre Court, Kontaveit, one of the in-form players on the WTA tour at the moment, put up a clinical display of power tennis to move past eighth seed Witthoeft 6-2, 6-4 late in the evening in southwest Switzerland. The ‘s-Hertogenbosch champion was dominant on serve in the opening set, breaking the German immediately in the first game and subsequently in the seventh as well to eventually close out the first set 6-2.

The second set was slightly more competitive, as Witthoeft’s powerful groundstrokes, similar to Kontaveit’s, began to find their mark. Despite being broken back immediately following a break of the German’s serve in the fifth game, the Estonian third seed continued where she left off, snatching the break right back to go up 4-3, riding that advantage to ultimately serve out the match on her first time of asking and book a place in the semifinals in the Swiss Alps.

“It was really good to get on court today. I thought I managed to play pretty well, the conditions weren’t easy – but tried to stay focused and do my thing,” said Kontaveit, the world number 32. “[Another semifinal] really great, I’ve been having good results recently and it’s definitely building up my confidence, and I’m feeling good on court.” 

Anett Kontaveit celebrates after winning a point at the Ladies Championships Gstaad/WTA Tennis

“I felt like I played really well in the key points. I managed to turn [those moments] to my side, and that was the difference today. All the hard work is starting to pay off. I’ve gained confidence and had some good wins, so I’m super excited about this year,” commented the Estonian third seed, who is enjoying a career year following wins over Wimbledon champion Garbine Muguruza and two-time major winner Angelique Kerber this spring in Stuttgart and Rome and her first career title on the grass of the Ricoh Open in the Netherlands.

Asked about her next opponent, unseeded Czech Tereza Martincova, who beat German Antonia Lottner 3-6, 6-1, 7-5 to reach the last four meeting with Kontaveit, the 21-year-old said, “I don’t think I’ve played her before. She’s had a really good week, so it’s definitely going to be a tough match. She’s beaten some good players, so she’s definitely confident. I’m just going to try to fight every point as I do, and play my game,” concluded the third seed here in Gstaad, who earlier this year reached her first tour-level final in Biel-Bienne.

For former French Open semifinalist and second seed this week Kiki Bertens, it was similar dominance as to what Kontaveit put up as well on Centre Court, getting past good friend and Swede Johanna Larsson. After some very long early games in the opening set and trading breaks, the Dutchwoman started to find her groove, breaking her fifth-seeded opponent at an optimal time to secure the first set 6-4 on her second time of asking.
The second set was similar as an early break was squandered by Bertens, only to once again snatch it back as Larsson was serving to stay in the match to earn herself a spot in the semifinals 6-4, 6-4.

“It’s tough [to play a friend]. Sometimes, you’re thinking like, where I’m going to serve and she thinks I’m going there, so it’s a little bit of a mental game also,” said Bertens. “You don’t want to scream come on to often, which you maybe normally do, but I think it was a good match.” 

Kiki Bertens hits a forehand at the Ladies Championships Gstaad/WTA Tennis

“I think playing aggressive, serving well, putting as many balls in the court but in an aggressive way and letting her make the mistakes [worked] — I did that pretty good,” concluded the second seed on her quarterfinal performance.

Bertens will next face Spaniard Sara Sorribes Tormo, who eased past unseeded German Tamara Korpatsch 6-2, 6-3 to book her matchup with last year’s French Open semifinalist tomorrow on Centre Court in Gstaad.

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



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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.


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.


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 

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Wimbledon Finalist Jasmine Paolini – ‘I’m A Little Bit Scared To Dream Too Much’



After coming close to her maiden Grand Slam title at Wimbledon, Jasmine Paolini believes consistency is key to having another shot at glory.

The 28-year-old dropped only one set en route to becoming the first Italian woman to reach a Wimbledon final. However, she was denied the title by Barbora Krejcikova, who won in three sets. Paolini was broken once in the decider which was due to a double fault from the Italian following an unsuccessful hawk-eye challenge made on her first serve. Then she failed to convert two break points when down 4-5 before Krejcikova held to seal glory.

“I started bad,” she reflected afterwards.

“I took some time and try to relax and to come back in the second set stronger to try to push the ball more because I was a little bit controlling too much, and I missed a lot of shots.

“She was playing, honestly, very good the first set. She was serving really, really good. High percentage of first serves.

“It was tough but I think I did better than the last final (at the French Open), but still it’s not enough.”

Prior to Saturday, Paolini had scored wins over former US Open champion Bianca Andreescu, Medison Keys (via retirement) and a marathon victory over Donna Vedic. She has now won 15 Grand Slam matches in 2024 compared to just one last season.

The defeat comes less than two months after the French Open where Paolini contested her first major final but lost in two sets to world No.1 Iga Swiatek. Since the start of this season, she has risen more than 20 places in the rankings and will reach No.5 on Monday.

Despite being in her late 20s, the Italian is producing some of her best tennis on the Tour. Something she credits to a combination of things. 

“I improved my game a little bit. I believe more in myself. I improved my serve. I think I improve the return.” She explained.

“I think physically I’m better than two years ago. I’ve been working with a new fitness coach for one-and-a-half years.

“There are many things, I think. Not just one. I think also winning matches helps a lot.”

Whilst she is heading in the right direction on the Tour, Paolini has vowed not to get too ahead of herself.

“Sometimes I’m a little bit scared to dream too much.” she said.

“I’m going back, trying to practice and stay in the present. This is the goal for me and my team, to try to keep this level as much as possible.

“If I keep this level, I think I can have the chance to do great things.

“Today I was dreaming of holding the (Wimbledon) trophy but it didn’t go well.

“I’m just enjoying the position where I am right now.”

Paolini has won 30 out of 43 matches on the Tour so far this season.

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Jasmine Paolini’s Wimbledon Run Hailed By Italian Prime Minister



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The Prime Minister of Italy has praised Jasmine Paolini for lighting up the hearts of others during her Wimbledon run. 

Paolini missed out on her first Grand Slam title to Barbora Krejcikova, who prevailed in three sets to capture her second major trophy. Despite her defeat, she has made history at the tournament by becoming the first female player from her country to reach the final. Until this year, she had never won a Tour-level main draw match on the grass. 

Whilst disappointed about missing out on the biggest title of her career, Italian Premier Giorgia Meloni posted a tribute to Paolini on social media just moments after the final had concluded.

“Proud of Jasmine Paolini,” The Agenzia Nazionale Stampa Associata (ANSA) quotes Meloni as saying. 

“The first Italian tennis player to reach the final of the prestigious Wimbledon tournament. 

“Despite the defeat, you lit up the hearts of the Italian people, succeeding in conveying grit and passion to all of us who supported you”. 

Paolini is the first player ranked outside the top five to reach the final of both Wimbledon and the French Open within the same year since the ranking system was introduced in 1975. She is also only the fourth female player in the Open Era to have reached her first two Grand Slam finals in the same year at Roland Garros and Wimbledon after Chris Evert (1973), Olga Morozova (1974) and Steffi Graf (1987). 

Should she win three or more matches at the US Open later this year, she will also set a new Open Era record for the most Grand Slam wins achieved by an Italian female player in a single season. 

“The last two months have been crazy for me. I want to thank my team, and my family. They always support me and I wouldn’t be here without them. The crowd have been amazing. I received a lot of support. Just incredible to feel the love from them, I enjoy it so much.” Paolini said following her Wimbledon defeat. 

The 28-year-old will rise to a ranking high of No.3 on Monday. 

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