The Players Making History On Women’s Quarter-Finals Day At Wimbledon - UBITENNIS
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The Players Making History On Women’s Quarter-Finals Day At Wimbledon

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Johanna Konta (zimbio.com)

Tuesday will see the eight remaining players in the women’s draw bid for a place in the semifinals of the Wimbledon Championships. The group features seven seeded players, four former grand slam champions and three making their quarter-final debut at SW19. With so much at stake, some players also have the added pressure of  creating history in the sport.

Konta’s British bid

Johanna Konta wasn’t born the last time a British woman reached the quarter-finals at Wimbledon. Jo Durie reached the last eight in 1984 before falling to Hana Mandlíková. 33 years later, Konta is now bidding to go one step further.

“It’s very exciting. It’s another step forward to being involved in the event for the full two weeks.” Konta said after defeating Caroline Garcia on Monday.
“It’s a great achievement.”

Konta will play Simona Halep on Centre Court. She currently leads their head-to-head 2-0 on the tour. On the other hand, Halep has been victorious when they clashed in the Fed Cup.

“She’s very much in form. She’s playing very, very well. I’m looking forward to playing her because, again, she’ll definitely challenge me. I’m really looking forward to playing someone who’s playing such great tennis.” The Brit said about playing Halep.

Should Konta defeat Halep, she would become the first British female to progress to the last four since Virginia Wade in 1978. In the Open Era only two home players have won the Women’s title at SW19. Ann Jones in 1969 and Wade in 1977.

Halep’s No.1 task

Romania’s Halep will experience a sense of deja vu when she walks onto Centre Court on Tuesday. For the second time this year, she will be playing on one of the biggest courts in tennis knowing that a win will elevate her to world No.1. She had a chance to do so at the French Open, but lost in the final of Jelena Ostapenko.

“I want to win more, not just one match. So I’m not thinking about that.” Halep replied when asked about potentially becoming world No.1.

A win on quarter-finals day wouldn’t just be significant for Halep, but for Romanian tennis. Since the introduction of computerise WTA ranking in 1975, a Romanian woman is yet to be world No.1.

Williams eyes No.86

Five-time champion Venus Williams is already the oldest player to reach this stage of the women’s draw since Martina Navratilova in 1994. Making her 75th main draw appearance, the American has participated in more grand slam tournaments than any other female player in the Open Era.

Williams will play Ostapenko in her last-eight match. Should she win, she would become the most successful active player in the tournament along with sister Serena. Williams has currently won 85 matches at SW19, just one adrift from Serena’s benchmark.

“I think that the game has changed a lot in terms of the depth and the power since the first time I won (Wimbledon). I would say that’s the biggest difference in the game.” Williams analysed.
“And of course, I’ve matured, learned a lot about the game since that time. It’s really a big difference.”

Compared to the other quarter-finalists, Williams has won at least 55 more matches at Wimbledon than anybody else. The second highest is Svetlana Kuznetsova’s tally of 31.

Rybáriková’s late blossom

Ostapenko was just 11-years-old when Slovakia’s Magdaléna Rybáriková made her grand slam debut at the 2008 French Open. Now she is set to play in her first major quarter-final at the age of 28.

Rybáriková’s unexpected run in the tournament saw her disposed of Karolina Pliskova in the second round. It is a remarkable achievement considering she has lost in the first round in eight out of her nine previous appearances at the tournament.

“I had a very good grass season. I was quite confident about maybe first round, and I was not thinking more.” She said.
“When when I saw the second round, I was like, okay, that’s going to be very difficult, because I think Karolina was the favourite to win this title here. I know she won recently just Eastbourne.So I knew it’s gonna be amazing, tough match. I mean, somehow I won that match. Now, I mean, I’m speechless about everything right now. I’m so happy.

Wimbledon is Rybáriková’s 36th grand slam appearance. Only five other players have played more grand slam tournaments before making the quarter-final debut during the Open Era.

Tanasugarn (45) – Wimbledon 2008
Farina Elia (44) – Wimbledon 2003
Vesnina (42) – Wimbledon 2016
Dechy (37) – Australian Open 2005
Peng (37) – US Open 2014
Rybáriková (36) – Wimbledon 2017

 

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Daria Kasatkina And Alejandro Davidovich Fokina Lead Calls For VAR In Tennis

There have been calls for VAR to be introduced into the sport.

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Daria Kasatkina and Alejandro Davidovich Fokina have called for VAR to be implemented in tennis.

The calls have came after Andrey Rublev was disqualified from his semi-final with Alexander Bublik in Dubai.

As Bublik lead 6-5 in the final set, Rublev shouted in the face of an umpire allegedly swearing in Russian which was picked up by one of the officials.

This saw Rublev be disqualified from the event with Bublik reaching the final in Dubai.

However as a result of the incident players have called for a VAR review system with the video showing inconclusive proof of whether Rublev did swear in Russian.

Leading the calls for such innovation are Daria Kasatkina and Alejandro Davidovich Fokina as the duo called for VAR to be introduced on twitter, “So you can just disqualify a player, take away all his points and money, without even checking the video? What a joke, yet another confirmation that we need VAR in tennis and an electronic appeal system in all tournaments,” Kasatkina said on social media.

VAR has been implemented in football and also a similar system in rugby with mixed results.

It’s clear though that more technology would help umpires identify whether a grounds for disqualification would be necessary.

So far VAR has been trialled at the Next Gen Finals and the Nitto ATP Finals.

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Casper Ruud Overcomes ‘Tough Start’ To Set De Minaur Final In Acapulco

Casper Ruud is into his first ATP 500 final after defeating Holger Rune in three sets.

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Casper Ruud is into his second consecutive final in Mexico after defeating Holger Rune 3-6 6-3 6-4 in Acapulco.

The Norwegian had to overcome an electric start from Rune to prevail in 2 hours and 24 minutes.

It was a clinical performance from Ruud who is now into his second consecutive final in Mexico after reaching the final in Los Cabos last week.

Speaking after the match Ruud admitted it was a tough start but he’s pleased to be in another final, “It was a tough start,” Ruud told the ATP website.

“Holger just came out firing bullets from the forehand, from the backhand and I had not too much time to play my game. I was frustrated at times, especially at the end of the first set, beginning of the second.

“I didn’t really feel like I got to play any points how I wanted to, so there was some frustration towards myself, towards my box, because I didn’t feel like we were doing the right thing.

“But luckily with one break in the second, it turned around a bit and in the third set it got a little physical. I think maybe Holger seemed like he was struggling a little bit and started firing even more and a couple of games it went in and he broke me, which is frustrating.

“Some unforced errors crept up on him and I served really well in the last game to close it out.”

Ruud is now into his first ATP 500 final in Acapulco where he will face defending champion Alex De Minaur.

De Minaur overcame Jack Draper after the Brit retired at 4-0 down in the deciding set.

Heading into Saturday’s final, De Minaur leads the head-to-head 1-0 although that was in a completely different scoring format in the Next Gen Finals.

Whatever happens on Saturday, Ruud will return to the world’s top ten.

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Andrey Rublev Disqualified In Dramatic Dubai Semi-Final

Andrey Rublev was disqualified from his semi-final in Dubai.

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Andrey Rublev was disqualified from his semi-final with Alexander Bublik after being accused of swearing in Russian.

The event took place in Dubai where Rublev had more than enough opportunities to win the match having been 4-2 40-0 up in the deciding set.

However Bublik came back into the match as he caught up with Rublev in what was turning into a fascinating contest.

The score was at 6-5 Bublik when Rublev’s frustrations boiled over when he allegedly told the official at the side of the court that he was a ‘f****** moron’ in Russian.

One of the officials on the sidelines at the side of the court reported the incident and the supervisor ruled that Rublev should be defaulted.

The incident below means that Rublev will now lose all his ranking points and prize money, resulting in Rublev exiting the world’s top five.

An ending that didn’t warrant the dramatic contest and after the match Bublik agreed that the consequences, “I highly doubt Andrey said something crazy,” Bublik was quoted by Sports Illustrated.

“He’s not this kind of guy. But I guess that’s the rules. That’s what they did, they just follow the procedure.”

Bublik will hope for a smoother finish to the final when he takes on Ugo Humbert for the title.

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