Soderling Returns, Kvitova Heads To Sweden: Five Non-Wimbledon Stories You Need To Know - UBITENNIS
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Soderling Returns, Kvitova Heads To Sweden: Five Non-Wimbledon Stories You Need To Know

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Robin Soderling (zimbio.com)

With all the focus on the Wimbledon Championships, it is easy to forget about what else has been happening in the world of tennis. Within the past two days, a former top-five player has returned as a coach, a two-time grand slam champion is set to play in Sweden and Canada’s biggest tournament is facing the prospect of losing one of their teenage prodigy’s.

Soderling returns

Two-time French Open finalist Robin Soderling has joined forces with Sweden’s Elias Ymer. According to Swedish website Tennis Portal, the two were seen together training up to a month ago. It is unclear as to if this if a short or long-term agreement.

“We’re just training together.” Ymer told Tennis Portal about his collaboration with Soldering.

Ymer is participating in the Bastad Challenger. Awarded a wildcard into the draw, the 21-year-old defeated sixth seed Arthur De Greef to reach the quarter-finals. In the last eight, he will play top seed Dusan Lajovic.

Currently ranked 269th in the world, Ymer has also been granted a wildcard into next week’s Swedish Open, an ATP 250 event. He has won two Challenger titles so far in his career with the most recent occurring at the 2016 Barletta Open.

Kvitova to play in Sweden

Petra Kvitova recently said that she was looking forward to a rest following her second round loss to Madison Brengle at Wimbledon. The break from tennis didn’t last long for the Czech after she took a wildcard into the Swedish Open. Playing in the country for the first time since 2009.

“I need to get started and play matches.” She told Expressen.se.
“I think it will be great for me right now.”

During her lengthy interview with Swedish media, the Czech reflected on her struggles about returning to the tour. Last year, Kvitova underwent surgery on her left hand after being injured in a brutal knife attack.

“It has been amazing. I did not know if I could ever play tennis again. There has been a lot of pain. And very hard work. I also did not know what form I would come back to … I just knew it would be very hard to get back, but now I’ve done it. And I have shown that, at least, I can play tennis again.”

The Swedish Open will get underway on July 24th (a week after the men’s edition). Caroline Wozniacki, Anastasija Sevastova and Caroline Garcia are all set to participate in the tournament.

Félix Auger-Aliassime doubtful for Rogers Cup

The Rogers Cup could take place without the presence of one of their rising stars. Félix Auger-Aliassime has skipped a series of tournaments after suffering a left wrist injury. It is unclear how severe the injury is, but Canadian media has reported that he will miss a few Challenger events.

Speculation concerning Auger-Aliassime’s absence erupted after comments from Eugène Lapierre, the tournament director of the Rogers Cup.

Translation: Eugène Lapierre, the chances to see Felix Auger-Aliassime (left wrist) at the Rogers Cup would be very thin. In the order of 15%.

Earlier this year the 16-year-old won the Lyon Open in France to become one of the youngest players to win a Challenger title in the Open Era.

Bacsinszky’s injury

The Gstaad Open has been dealt a blow after home favourite Timea Bacsinszky withdrew due to injury. Bacsinszky, who lost in the third round of Wimbledon to Agnieszka Radwanska, has a ‘muscle injury’ to her left thigh. The issue was detected after she underwent a medical examination.

“It is with great disappointment that I announce my package for the Ladies Championship Gstaad starting at the end of this week. The finals after Wimbledon revealed a muscle injury to my left thigh. It saddens me very much because I was very much looking forward to playing at home, a tournament that I love and which I am the ambassador.” She wrote on social media.

Last year the 28-year-old reached the semifinals of the tournament before losing to Kiki Bertens. She was the only top-20 player scheduled to play in this year’s event.

Marcel Granollers speaks about his struggles

This year has gone anything, but smoothly for former top-20 player Marcel Granollers. The Spaniard has only managed to win three out of 19 main draw singles matches on the ATP Tour. As a result, he has fallen down to 112th in the world. His lowest position since February 2010.

“It’s a difficult time, I’m without confidence, and it’s costing me a lot to compete. (This) year I’m not feeling the same competitively on the track compared to years ago.” He told El Espanol.
“I have to try to accept that I am not at my best level and start working to recover it as soon as possible.”

Granollers has also stated that he has considered taking a break from the sport, but has vowed to keep on playing for the immediate future.

“I notice that I’m mentally empty, as if it were difficult for me to compete.” The 31-year-old admitted. “Playing both the singles and doubles mode for so many seasons, whether you want to do it or not, it’s a lot of wear and tear.”

So far in his career, Granollers has won 18 ATP titles (14 in doubles and four in singles).

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Jelena Ostapenko beats Greer Minnen to reach the second round at Eastbourne

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Number 6 seed Jelena Ostapenko beat Belgian qualifier Greet Minnen 7-6 (7-3) 6-1 after 1 hour and 29 minutes to secure a spot in the second round at the Rothesay international in Eastbourne. 

Ostapenko won the Eastbourne title in 2021 and reached the 2022 final before losing to Petra Kvitova. 

Minnen led by a break three times and served for the set at 5-4 and 6-5 but Ostapenko pulled back on serve each time. 

Ostapenko fired a backhand crosscourt winner to earn three set points at 6-3 in the tie-break. The Latvian player converted his first chance with a forehand return winner. 

Both players traded breaks in the first two games of the second set. Ostapenko earned a second break in the third game, but she took an off court medical time-out after a fall at 3-1 in the second set. 

Ostapenko recovered by winning four consecutive games with two breaks to win the second set 6-1. 

“Grass is a great surface, but sometimes it can be slippery and really tricky. So I took the medical time-out just to make sure I am fine”, said Ostapenko.  

 “I think the surface suits me really well. The first I played on grass, I was like: ‘How can we play tennis on this surface ? I don’t understand what’s happening here, but then every year was better and better”, said Ostapenko. 

British wild card Harriet Dart battled past former Wimbledon quarter finalist Marie Bouzhkova 7-5 6-7 (7-9) 6-4 after 3 hours and 29 minutes in the third-longest match on the WTA Tour this year. 

Bouzhkova broke twice in the third and fifth games to open up a 4-1 lead, but Dart won six of the next seven games with three breaks of serve to win the first set 7-5. 

Dart fought back from 1-4 down to force a tie-break with two breaks of serve in the sixth and eighth games. The British player never held a match point in the second set. Bouzhkova converted her fourth set point to seal the tie-break 9-7 after a 88-minute second set. 

After a trade of breaks at the start of the third set, Dart earned a decisive break in the third game to take a 2-1 lead. The British wild card saved a break point at 4-3 en route to the win. 

Dart was scheduled to face 2022 Wimbeldon champion Elena Rybakina, but the Kazakh player withdrew from the tournament on Monday due to a change of schedule. Dart will face wild card Sofia Kenin, who won the Australian Open title and reached the final at Roland Garros in 2020.  

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(VIDEO) What A Weekend For Italian Tennis!

Ubitennis founder Ubaldo Scanagatta looks back on this week’s action on the ATP Tour.

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Jannik Sinner – ATP Halle 2024 (foto via Twitter @atptour)

It has been a memorable Sunday for Italian tennis with the country winning two titles on the ATP Tour. 

In Halle, world No.1 Jannik Sinner claimed his first trophy on the grass with a hard-fought two-set win over Hubert Hurkacz. There was also success in the doubles tournament with top seeds Simone Bolelli and Andrea Vavassori winning the title. Meanwhile, in London, Lorenzo Musetti was unable to make it a hatrick of wins for his country after losing in the final of the Cinch Championships to Tommy Paul.  

So how much can be read into these wins and should we be expecting similar results at Wimbledon which begins a week tomorrow? 

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Jannik Sinner reaches the first grass final of his career in Halle

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Jannik Sinner overcame Zhang Zhizhen 6-4 7-6 (7-3) to reach the first final of his career on grass at the Terra Wortmann in Halle. Sinner achieved his best result on this surface when he reached the semifinal at Wimbledon in 2023. 

Sinner will face a final against his friend Hubert Hurkacz, who beat Alexander Zverev 7-6 (7-2) 6-4 in the first semifinal. The Italian player converted his only break point in the ninth game and fended off the only break point he faced at 5-6 in the second set with a forehand winner, one of his winners of the match. 

The Italian player earned an early mini-break to take a 2-0 lead. Zhang Zhizhen pulled the mini-break back. Sinner earned two mini-breaks in the fourth and eighth points to win the tie-break 7-3. Sinner won the first of the four tie-breaks he played this week.

Sinner finished the match in straight sets after clinching three consecutive three-set wins at the start of his campaign at this year’s edition of the Terra Wortmann in Halle. 

The world number 1 player won three titles on hard court at the Australian Open, Rotterdam and Miami this year. 

“It means a lot. I had four tough matches to go to the final. It was a good match today. Definitely more rallies than yesterday. And that’s definitely what I needed today. I am happy and let’s see what’s coming tomorrow”, said Sinner.  

Earlier this week Zhang Zhizhen had previously beaten Danil Medvedev in the second round and came back from 2-5 down to beat Christopher Eubanks in the quarter finals. 

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