Five Facts About The 2017 US Open Women’s Draw - UBITENNIS
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Five Facts About The 2017 US Open Women’s Draw

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The 2017 US Open singles trophies (zimbio.com)

This years US Open women’s draw promises to excite tennis fans with eight women in contention of the world No.1 ranking. In preparation for the start of the tournament, here’s five facts about the players playing in this year’s tournament.

1) The past grand slam champions

In this year’s draw a total of eight grand slam champions are taking part. Between them, they have won a total of 22 major titles. Venus Williams heads the list with 7 titles, but hasn’t won one since the 2008 Wimbledon championships. Garbine Muguruza and Angelique Kerber are the only two women to win multiple grand slam titles over the past two years.

List of grand slam champions participating
Venus Williams – 7 titles
Maria Sharapova – 5 titles
Angelique Kerber – 2 titles
Svetlana Kuznetsova – 2 titles
Petra Kvitova – 2 titles
Garbine Muguruza – 2 titles
Jelena Ostapenko – 1 title
Francesca Schiavone – 1 title

Out of the list of active players, only three grand slam champions are missing. Serena Williams is out due to pregnancy, Victoria Azarenka is absent due to personal issues and Sam Stosur has a right wrist injury.

2) The players with the perfect first round record

Amongst the players that have played the US Open ten or more times, only three women in this year’s draw have a 100% winning record in the first round. 36-year-old Williams made her debut in New York back in 1997 and has since gone 18-0 in first round matches at the US Open. The best record out of all active players on the tour. Meanwhile, Agnieszka Radwanska is currently 11-0 and Maria Sharapova is 10-0.

Looking at all four grand slam tournaments, Williams also has the best record on the tour with a win-loss of 67-8. In the top five, three have previously won grand slam titles with Radwanska and Wozniacki being the exceptions :-

Venus Williams – 67-8
Svetlana Kuznetsova – 49-8
Maria Sharapova – 46-3
Agnieszka Radwańska – 42-3
Caroline Wozniacki – 35-6

3) Muguruza’s back-to-back bid

Garbine Muguruza heads into Flushing Meadows as a serious contender. Not only is she the Wimbledon champion, she has also won the Cincinnati Open. Crushing Simona Halep in the final.

Should the Spaniard win in New York, she would become only the 9th player in the Open Era to with the Wimbledon and US Open titles within the same year. Furthermore, she would only be the third player from a European country to achieve the accolade.

The only problem for Muguruza is that she is yet to reach the second week of the tournament. In her four previous occasions, she has failed to progress beyond the second round.

Players who have achieved the double
Margaret Court 1970
Billie Jean King 1972
Chris Evert 1976
Martina Navratilova 1983, 1984, 1986, 1987
Stefanie Graf 1988, 1989, 1993, 1995, 1996
Martina Hingis 1997
Venus Williams 2000, 2001
Serena Williams 2002, 2012

4) The player with the most grand slam appearances

The US Open will be Williams’ 76th grand slam main draw.A record that nobody has been able to match. The next best by a player featuring in the draw is Schiavone with 68. Overall there are 11 active players that has played in 50 or more grand slam matches. Out of those, six are playing in the draw.

Venus Williams – 76th grand slam appearance
Francesca Schiavone – 66th grand slam appearance
Svetlana Kuznetsova – 60th grand slam appearance
Jelena Jankovic – 57th grand slam appearance
Roberta Vinci – 523nd appearance
Maria Sharapova – 50th grand slam appearance

Jankovic currently holds the longest active streak in grand slams on the tour with 56. Five short of Schiavone’s record of 61.

5) The most hard court titles

Unsurprisingly tour veteran Williams leads the draw with a total of 31 hard court titles. Although her last triumph occurred back in 2015. Caroline Wozniacki has won 20 titles on the surface and has already reached the final of four hard court tournaments this season. Kvitova, Radwanska and Sharapova are the only other US Open participants that have won more than 15 titles on the surface.

The most hard court titles
31 – Venus Williams
19 – Maria Sharapova
20 – Caroline Wozniacki
17 – Agnieszka Radwańska
15 – Petra Kvitova
13 – Svetlana Kuznetsova
9 – Jelena Jankovic
8 – Simona Halep

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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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