Sloane Stephens' incredible comeback continues with three set win over Julia Goerges at US Open - UBITENNIS
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Sloane Stephens’ incredible comeback continues with three set win over Julia Goerges at US Open

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The incredible US hard court season of American hope Sloane Stephens will continue on into the quarterfinals of the US Open as the former rising star fought past Julia Goerges 6-3, 3-6, 6-1 in New York City.

 

As if two straight WTA Premier 5 semifinals in Toronto and Cincinnati wasn’t enough for American Sloane Stephens, the former rising star, returning from a near year-long foot injury, continued her incredible run of from on the US hard courts, booking her spot in the US Open quarterfinals. Stephens, still only 24, wore down big-hitting German Julia Goerges 6-3, 3-6, 6-1 to the delight of a raucous home crowd on the temporary Louis Armstrong Stadium.

The unseeded home hope has been impressive throughout this year’s tournament, beating her second seeded player en route to her first career last eight showing at Flushing Meadows and her first Grand Slam quarterfinal since Wimbledon way back in 2013.

“When I first came back at Wimbledon I was super nervous that it wasn’t going to go my way. I was afraid that the results weren’t going to come the way I wanted them to,” said Stephens in her on-court interview.

“But I honestly couldn’t have asked for a better comeback and a better way to come back to the tour. Obviously making quarterfinals here is unbelievable.”

In the opening set it was pretty evenly-matched early on as the two traded powerful shots back and forth to bring the score to 3-2 on serve. With Goerges serving to level the set at 3-all, two poorly timed forehand errors cost her dearly, giving up the break and a 4-2 lead to Stephens. The American favorite rode that break advantage through the rest of the set, serving it out 6-3 as the German’s forehand continued to let her down as she gave up the first set.

The second set was much better from Goerges, the 30th seed who’s had an incredible summer herself with three finals. The powerful German rebounded immediately in the second set, backing up a routine hold in the first game with an impressive break of serve to go up 2-0 off a powerful forehand overhead winner.

The in-form 28-year-old took good care of her serve as a powerful forehand winner brought up 5-2 for Goerges and forced Stephens to serve to stay in the set. Looking to level the match at a set apiece, the German continued to show some of her powerful brand of tennis as two winners off the ground closed out the game and the second set 6-3.

Sloane Stephens hits a forehand at the US Open in New York City/Zimbio/Matthew Stockman

In the decider it was all Stephens though as the New York City crowd began to spur on the home hopeful as the 30th seed’s game completely unraveled with four unforced errors off the ground to gift the break and 3-1. The errors continued to fly off the racquet of the Germans as she played another disastrous service game with three unforced errors and a double fault pretty much handing a pumped up Stephens the 5-1 lead and a double break.

Looking to serve out a spot in her first US Open quarterfinal, three more errors from Goerges put the last nails in her coffin as Stephens closed the match out with an overhead winner to screams from the raucous Labor Day Weekend crowd.

Following her quality 6-3, 3-6, 6-1 win over an erratic Goerges, Stephens was jubilant to be into her first major quarterfinal in over four years. “I’m just really happy. Obviously before or when I started playing again at Wimbledon and D.C. I didn’t expect much. I was just playing and having fun, having a good time. I’m still playing and having a good time. That’s really all there is to it,” commented the unseeded American.

Asked in her press conference if she’s been at all surprised by her great comeback and form this US hardcourt season, the 24-year-old said, “Uhm, no. I mean, yes, it surprised me. Obviously, I could never say, Oh, yeah, when I was coming back, I’m going to make two semifinals, a quarterfinal. I would have been like, You’re crazy.”

“But I definitely think that, uhm, I’m playing well. I think it’s more of like putting the matches together, like, that process that makes it a little bit tougher when you’re coming back. I was lucky able to get a lot of those matches in a row, like in Toronto and Cincinnati back-to-back, which during a comeback is not easy. So I think that’s probably where I kind of got a little fortunate there,” said a very thoughtful and candid Stephens.

Sloane Stephens hits a forehand at the US Open in New York City/Zimbio/Matthew Stockman

Up next for the home hope is 16th seed Anastasija Sevastova, who’s into her second straight US Open quarterfinal after a dramatic three set win over five-time major champion Maria Sharapova. Asked about her last eight opponent, the American said, “Well, she’s a great player. I will obviously talk to my coach, just go out and play the game that I’ve been playing. Obviously tweak a few things here and there, but pretty much the same thing.”

“I mean, I played a lot of matches in the last couple weeks. I can’t really change too much. But I’m sure I’ll have a good game plan going into it. That will be that,” concluded Stephens.

Stephens and Sevastova will play their quarterfinal matchup on Tuesday with a spot in the final four on the line in Flushing Meadows.

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Why Newly Married Elina Svitolina Has No Plans To Change Her Surname

The Ukrainian explains why she isn’t using her husband’s surname of Monfils just yet as she books her place in the third round at Tokyo 2020.

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Just over a week ago Elina Svitolina tied the knot with her long-time partner Gael Monfils at a ceremony in Geneva, Switzerland.

 

Shortly after the world No.6 took to social media and changed her name on Twitter to Elina Monfils as part of the tradition that the woman takes on the man’s name once they are married. As a consequence, various websites started to identify the Ukrainian under that name. Although she would rather that they don’t do such a thing.

“I don’t know why they changed my surname. Maybe they saw that I had changed it on my social networks,” Svitolina told BTU.
“I’m going to play as Svitolina till the very end of my professional career and will change it only after retirement.”

Svitolina explains she believes it is better if all of her achievements are made under the same name instead of two. So far in her career she has won 15 WTA titles, reached two Grand Slam semi-finals and has earned more than $20.5M in prize money.

I had numerous achievements and people know me as Svitolina. My father would be upset if I changed the surname and played as Monfils,” she joked.
“I am proud to be Svitolina and my tennis career will always be connected with this surname.”

Over the coming week the 26-year-old is hoping to add an Olympic medal to her resume. On Monday Svitolina survived a stern scare after coming back from a set down to defeat Ajla Tomljanović 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 and move into the third round of the tournament. Her win came on the day where there were shocks galore in the women’s draw with seeds Aryna Sabalenka, Iga Swiatek and Petra Kvitova all crashing out.

Svitolina will play Greece’s Maria Sakkari in the next round whom she has lost to in two out of their three previous meetings.

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Why Ash Barty Isn’t Staying At The Olympic Village In Tokyo

The two-time Grand Slam champion has opted to stay at an alternate venue heading into the Games.

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Ashleigh Barty (AUS) playing against Angelique Kerber (GER) in the semi-final of the Ladies' Singles on Centre Court at The Championships 2021. Held at The All England Lawn Tennis Club, Wimbledon. Day 10 Thursday 08/07/2021. Credit: AELTC/Jed Leicester

Ash Barty will prepare for her debut at the Olympic Games by staying at a base located outside of the athletes village as part of her ‘performance plan.’

 

The world No.1 heads into Tokyo as one of the favourites for gold following her triumph at Wimbledon where she defeated Karolina Pliskova in the final. She is one of six top 10 players set to play in the women’s singles tournament which will start on Saturday.

Leading up to the Games, the head of the Australian Olympic delegation has told reporters that Barty’s decision not to stay in the village will enhance her gold medal chances. In previous Games athletes have stayed outside of the villages but this year it is more challenging to do so due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Tokyo is currently in a state of emergency and fans are banned from attending the event amid fears of the virus spreading if they do so.

“Ash is staying elsewhere,” chef de mission Ian Chesterman told the Australian Associated Press.
“We have a number of athletes staying outside the village. We allow that, it’s just what works best for them.
“Something I’ve always been very big on is driving performance takes a whole lot of flexible decisions, flexible options.
“In terms of her performance plan, it’s best served by her being able to control her environment and we respect that.”

The exact location of Barty’s base has not been disclosed but it is near to the village where she was said to have visited and had a cup of coffee on Tuesday morning.

She is staying in an Australian environment where she can still easily access the village,” Chesterman stated.

The 25-year-old is bidding to become only the second Australian in history to win a medal in the women’s singles at the Olympics. The first was Alicia Molik who claimed a bronze medal back in 2004.

During a recent interview with The ITF, Barty said playing at the event is a dream come true for her as she describes representing her country as the ‘highest honour.’

“Being an Olympian has always been a dream of mine as a kid, I think representing your country is the highest honour,” Barty told the ITF.
“For an Aussie it’s the best thing you can do and I can’t wait to have an opportunity to wear the green and gold.
“You’re playing for something bigger than yourself. You’re playing to represent your nation. You’re playing to make people proud and that’s not just with results it’s with your attitude.”

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Bianca Andreescu pulls out of Tokyo Olympics

The world number five has officially pulled out of the Olympics in Tokyo stating reasons due to the ongoing pandemic situation.

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Bianca Andreescu will not be making the trip to Tokyo to play in the Olympics after withdrawing due to the current pandemic situation.

 

The former US Open champion issued a statement concerning what she describes as a ‘difficult decision.’ Andreescu is the latest top name to pull out of the Olympics. Last week Nick Kyrgios also said he wouldn’t be playing for similar reasons. Due to a a surge of COVID-19 cases in Tokyo, the city has gone into a state of emergency which prompted organisers to ban spectators from attending Olympic events in the city. Athletes will be subjected to tough restrictions during their time at the event, as well as regular testing.

” I would like to inform you that I have made the very difficult decision to not play in the Tokyo Olympics later this month,” Andreescu wrote on Instagram. “I have been dreaming of representing Canada at the Olympics since I was a little girl but with all the challenges we are facing as it relates to the pandemic, I know that deep in my heart, this is the right decision to make for myself. I look forward to representing Canada in future Fed Cup ties, and competing at the 2024 Olympics in Paris! “

The Canadian hasn’t played since losing in the first round of Wimbledon to Alize Cornet of France and most recently split with her coach Sylvain Brunneau after a four-year partnership.

Her 2021 season has been up and down starting in Australia where she lost in the second round before making the semifinals at the Phillips Island Trophy event. She then made the final at the Miami Open before taking a fall in the final against Ash Barty and was forced to retire due to injury.

Then the clay-court season came and Andreescu tested positive for Covid. She was forced to miss events in Madrid and Rome, so she headed to Strasbourg for some preparation before the French Open. The world No.5 won two matches in Strasbourg before pulling out due to an ab injury. She then lost in the first round of the French Open.

The Canadian moved on to the grass-court season heading to Berlin but again would get upset in the first round by Alize Cornet before winning one round in Eastbourne and losing to Anett Kontaveit.

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