Svetlana Kuznetsova Calls Bouchard ‘Overrated,’ Slams Five-Set Matches - UBITENNIS
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Svetlana Kuznetsova Calls Bouchard ‘Overrated,’ Slams Five-Set Matches

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Two-time grand slam champion Svetlana Kuznetsova has told Sport Express that Eugenie Bouchard is the ‘most overrated’ player on the women’s tour.

The 32-year-old, who has won 17 WTA titles so far in her career, made the comments during a lengthy interview with the Russian website. Kuznetsova believes that the Canadian player is often overhyped on the tour for her accomplishments of the past. Bouchard is best known for reaching the final of the 2014 Wimbledon Championships at the age of 20. Since then, she has only managed to reach the quarterfinals at one other major tournament.

“She is a cool girl, but there are many great tennis players. Bouchard had only one good season, but looks like she is a consistent Top 10 player based on this hype and attention.” Said Kuznetsova.
“She is constantly on the covers, on that, on this. But I’m used to the idea that injustice is everywhere.” She added.

This season, Bouchard has endured a lacklustre run by winning 13 out of 34 main draw matches. After Wimbledon, the 23-year-old only managed to win two matches at seven tournaments. As a result, she ends the year ranked outside the world’s top 80 for the first time since 2012. Something the Canadian is eager to forget about.

“I’m not in a great place for sure,” Bouchard told The Montreal Gazette. “I had obviously a few injuries, which doesn’t help the confidence level in your game and also just in your body and yourself. But I just didn’t perform as I would like to. So the goal is to not think about that any more and look forward and try to do better.”

Kuznetsova, who has won 32 out of 49 matches played in 2017, has a 3-0 head-to-head record against Bouchard.

‘Cancel five-setters’

Kuznetsova has also voiced her opposition five-set matches. The format is used on the men’s tour during grand slam tournaments and in the Davis Cup. The Russian admits that she has never watched an entire best-of-five encounter, arguing that it is tough for both players and coaches.

“I would cancel five-setters in men’s tennis.” She stated. “I’ve never seen a 5-setter from first ball to the last ball. Not even once! I could imagine it’s really tough for coaches to sit for 5 hours every other day.“

Earlier this year, the Davis Cup announced that matches will be reduced to three sets next year for teams playing in Group I and II. The second and third highest ranked groups of the tournament. It has been done with the aim of attracting more players to play in the competition. There are currently no plans to change the format of men’s grand slam matches.

It isn’t just five-set matches that Kuznetsova would like to change. She also called for the tour calendar to be shortened. Both the ATP and WTA tours take place between January-November. In recent months, calls for a shorter growing season has been on the men’s circuit following a series of high profile injuries. Novak Djokovic, Stan Wawrinka, Andy Murray, Kei Nishikori and Milos Raonic all ended their seasons early due to physical problems.

“I’d shorten the tennis season. We are playing from January to November and preparing for next season in December. I have only two weeks off per year. I’ve been living like this for 17 years.” Said the former world No.2.

Kuznetsova is currently recovering from wrist surgery and is likely to miss the Australian Open in January.

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Iga Swiatek beats Emma Raducanu to extend her winning streak to ten consecutive matches in Stuttgart

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Two-time defending champion Iga Swiatek held off 2021 US Open champion Emma Raducanu 7-6 (7-2) 6-3 after 2 hours and 3 minutes to extend her winning streak to 10 consecutive matches at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart. 

Swiatek set up a semifinal match against 2022 Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina, who came back from a break down in the third set to beat this year’s Dubai champion Jasmine Paolini.

Raducanu came back from 0-40 down to earn the first break of the opening set. Swiatek converted her third break point in the second game in a seven-deuce second game. Raducanu saved the only other break point at deuce in the sixth game. Swiatek won the first four points and five of the first six points to win the tie-break 7-2. 

Swiatek earned five break points in the second, sixth and in the 12thgame, but she converted only one opportunity. Raducanu converted her only break point in the first game. Swiatek won nine more points than Swiatek. 

Swiatek broke Raducanu in the second game to open up a 2-0 lead. This break was decisive, as both players held on their next serve in their next games. 

Swiatek earned six break points in the third, fifth and ninth games, but she converted one chance. The Pole did not face a single break point and won eight more points than Raducanu.

“Raducanu started playing at the beginning pretty loose, like she had nothing to lose, and I totally get that. Sometimes it is like that. I knew I was questioning if she is going to be able to keep the same intensity throughout the whole match. It was not about service games or return games. I was just waiting for my chances to break back and I was sure that I am going to get them”, said Swiatek.

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Stefanos Tsitsipas beats Sebastian Ofner in Barcelona to extend his winning streak

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Stefanos Tsitsipas beat Sebastian Ofner 6-4 7-5 at the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell to extend his winning streak to seven consecutive matches after claiming his third title at the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters last week. 

Tsitsipas earned an immediate break in the first game. Ofner broke straight back to draw level to 1-1. Tsitsipas earned his second break  in the seventh game to take a 4-3 lead and served out the first set 6-4 with a hold at 15. 

Tsitsipas broke in the fifth game to take a 3-2 lead. Ofner won three consecutive games with two breaks of serve to take a 5-3 lead. Tsitsipas came back by winning four consecutive games with two breaks of serve to seal the second set 7-5.

Tsitsipas has a record of 17 wins to 5 defeats in Barcelona. The Greek player reached three finals at this tournament in 2018, 2021 and 2023.  

“I feel pretty good, but it is still early in the tournament. The conditions here are very different to Monte-Carlo and I felt it today when I was playing. My job is to adapt and to ensure I can bring my A game again in Barcelona this week. Today was a great test to see where I stand. I am hoping to keep on improving and getting good wins like this under my belt”, said Tsitsipas. 

Tsitssipas set up a third round match against Roberto Carballes Baena, who beat Lorenzo Musetti 7-6 (7-4) 6-4 in 2 hours and 15 minutes. 

Musetti saved three break points in the first game of the opening set. The Italian player earned two break points with a backhand down the line. Musetti saved two break points in the seventh game. Both players went on serve un the 12th game when Carballes Baena saved a set point. Carballes Baena went up a 5-1 lead with two mini-breaks in the tie-break. Musetti won three consecutive points to reduce to 4-5. Carballes Baena won the final two points to take the tie-break 7-4. 

Carballes Baena converted his fourth break point in the fourth game to take a 3-1 lead. Musetti broke back in the fifth game. Carballes Baena saved a break point in the sixth game. The Spanish player sealed the win with a break on his second match. 

Last week’s Monte-Carlo finalist Casper Ruud beat Alexandre Muller 6-3 6-4 to claim his 25th tour-level win of the season. Ruud has drawn level with Jannik Sinner for the most wins in 2024 on the ATP Tour. 

Ruud set up a third round match against Jordan Thompson, who beat Jaume Munar 6-4 2-4 6-4. Roberto Bautista Agut beat Andrea Vavassori 4-6 6-4 6-1 to claim his milestone 400th match win on the ATP Tour. Bautista Agut set up a third round match against Cameron Norrie. 

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Roberto Bautista Agut wins his milestone 400th match on the ATP Tour

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Roberto Bautista Agut came back from one set down to beat Australian Open doubles finalist Andrea Vavassori 4-6 6-3 6-1 after 2 hours and 1 minute at the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell. 

Vavassori earned an early break in the first game. The Italian player earned three break points in the seventh game, but Bautista Agut saved them. The Spanish player broke straight back in the eighth game. Vavassori broke again in the ninth game to take a 5-4 lead and saved two break points before closing out the first set 6-4 on his second set point. 

Both players went on serve in the first four games of the second set. Vavassori earned a break point in the fifth game, but he did not convert it. Bautista Agut broke serve in the sixth game to take a 4-2 lead and did not face any break points to win the second set 6-3. 

Bautista Agut broke three times to cruise through to a 6-1. 

Bautista Agut reached the 400th milestone win on the ATP Tour.  The Spanish player has become the 13th active player with at least 400 ATP Tour wins. He achieved 20 wins against members of the top 10, ten wins against top 5 players and four against world number 1s. Bautista Agut is one of the nine players, who have beaten Novak Djokovic as World number 1 more than twice. 

“For me it’s just a number. The important thing is that I have done great work over these years, that I have a very consistent career, a career that I can feel proud of “, said Bautista Agut. 

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