Caroline Wozniacki And Pliskova Breeze Through, Ostapenko Crashes Out Of Doha - UBITENNIS
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Caroline Wozniacki And Pliskova Breeze Through, Ostapenko Crashes Out Of Doha



Caroline Wozniacki made tennis look ridiculously easy as she dismantled talented youngster Carina Witthoeft 6-2 6-0 in their second round match in Doha.

The Australian Open champion, 27, spent less than an hour on court and hit 18 winners as she eased to victory over an opponent who caused problems for other highly-ranked players in 2017.

In the Second Round of the 2017 Australian Open, Witthoeft won the first set 6-2 against compatriot Angelique Kerber and then took her all the way to a tie-break in the second set before eventually losing in three sets. The younger German then defeated defending champion Coco Vandeweghe in ‘s-Hertogenbosch in June.

However, the German had only won two matches in 2018 before she faced Wozniacki, and she had no answer for the Dane’s outstanding defensive qualities. Time after time, shots that many players would not have got to were sent back over the net by the Grand Slam winner as she turned the screw on yet another opponent.

Wozniacki’s next match will be against the player who conquered Maria Sharapova in the opening round: Monica Niculescu. The Romanian continued her good form by coming from a set down to lead Magdalena Rybarikova 6-7 6-2 3-0 before the Slovakian was forced to retire.

Recalling a ‘crazy match’ against Niculescu in Madrid, Wozniacki told, ‘It’s kind of a funny match to go out there to, and I’m just going to go out there and try and stay aggressive like I did today.’

Pliskova powers through

Karolina Pliskova was arguably just as impressive in her match against Alize Cornet. She dispatched the Frenchwoman 6-2 6-3 and the scoreline could have been even more emphatic if she had not made a slow start in both sets.

After slipping 2-0 down in the opener, Pliskova began to serve better and open her shoulders to fire winners past her opponent as she charged through six straight games.

The Czech then made an identical start to the second set, but once again she got her act together and won six of the next seven games to seal the win. However, she might find that her slow starts are mostly against better opposition.

‘Overall from the baseline I was feeling quite good. Just on the serve I was a little bit off,’ Pliskova said in her on-court interview. ‘I think it was a good start. Could be better, but it’s a start I’m satisfied with.’

Ostapenko shocked

While Wozniacki and Pliskova celebrated wins, it was an unhappy day for Jelena Ostapenko as she suffered a shock 6-3 6-1 loss to Mihaela Buzarnescu.

As her 3-4 win-loss record suggests, the World No.6 has had a difficult start to the year and things went from bad to worse for her today. The Latvian struggled to find any rhythm in her game and she lost the first set 6-1 in just 27 minutes.

Ostapenko made an excellent start to the second set as she broke Buzarnescu immediately and opened up a 2-0 lead. However, it was a false dawn as the Romanian dialled up the pressure on her struggling foe and won six of the next seven games to seal her first-ever victory over a top ten player.

‘She’s such a big player and has her future in front, so I’m really happy,’ Buzarnescu said in her on-court interview.

The Romanian also revealed how she nearly retired from tennis. She said, ‘When I started to play again last year, it was a really tough time for me. I was injured, and so I thought I would never play again. I wanted to quit, but my closest friends and family were supporting me, saying I had to give it one more try and to believe in myself.’

Buzarnescu continued, ‘There’s so much pressure in tennis, especially as you’re climbing up the rankings. I never thought I could get to this kind of place.’

Elsewhere in Doha, Cici Bellis stunned Madison Keys by beating her 2-6 6-3 6-0, Angelique Kerber defeated Sam Stosur 6-1 6-4 and Johanna Konta earned a comfortable 6-2 6-2 win over Carla Suarez Navarro.


Caroline Wozniacki’s Father Criticises WTA For Lack Of Help For Mothers On Tour

Caroline Wozniacki was not given a wildcard for Rome or Roland Garros.



(@WTA - Twitter)

Piotr Wozniacki has labelled the WTA as ‘amateur’ for their treatment of mothers on tour as he claims that Caroline Wozniacki should have had more wildcards.

The former Australian Open champion has played ten events since she announced her comeback last year.

Wozniacki has recovered her ranking to 117 in the world and her comeback has resulted in a fourth round appearance at the US Open as well as a quarter-final result at Indian Wells.

However the Dane has not been successful in gaining wildcards recently with both Rome and Roland Garros not offering Wozniacki one.

It’s a decision that Wozniacki’s father, Piotr, has not been happy with as he explained with Sport.PL, “The WTA believes that it is operating in an amateur fashion in the world of the largest professional women’s sport of all sports in the world. They sign contracts with the players and the players are obliged to do certain things under these contracts. And what do they get? Nothing, really nothing!” Piotr was quoted by tennisuptodate as saying.

“All wild cards, and there were 8 of them, were given to the Italians. I understand promoting their players, but how can you give the right to play in a tournament of this rank to such girls who should not even think that they could play in a Masters yet?

“Caroline was number one in her ranking. She won a Grand Slam tournament, won the Masters, played in almost 60 finals of their tournaments and won 30. So we are talking about a complete tennis player, someone who did a great job, who certainly increased the popularity of tennis, who earned a lot of money herself, but let them earn money. even much more.

“And it turns out that when someone like Caroline Wozniacki comes back as Caroline Wozniacki and family, she is no longer welcome. We can’t even prepare Caroline’s starting plan! We train, we prepare, and it turns out that there is nothing to do.

“This is happening because today in tennis everything is based only on relationships, on acquaintances, and not on clear rules. The thing is that if we know the organizers or tournament directors, we get a chance to play, but if we don’t know someone somewhere, they don’t want us there.

“Naturally, after the maternity break, my daughter had zero points. It takes a lot of time to start from scratch and reach the top, but we would do it patiently, but how can we do it when you don’t let a girl like that work for it? The rules in tennis today are such that there is no longer a mandatory wild card for someone who was once in the top 20, had a long break and came back.

“This card was really helpful for tennis players coming back after having a baby and for those coming back from serious injuries. And now Caroline, Angelique Kerber or Naomi Osaka are dependent only on someone else’s decisions. Since last year, all wild cards are the property of the tournaments, and the WTA washes its hands of them.”

It’s clear the Wozniacki family is disappointed as the Dane could be set to cancel her comeback next year.

However there is optimism that Wozniacki will receive one at Wimbledon as she has had past success on grass courts.

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In-Form Iga Swiatek Not Taking Anything For Granted Ahead of French Open Title Defence



Credit Francesca Micheli/Ubitennis

Iga Swiatek says she must remain ‘humble’ heading into the French Open despite being a strong favourite for the title.

The world No.1 is on a 12-match winning streak after claiming back-to-back WTA 1000 titles in Madrid and Rome. A milestone that has only previously been achieved by Dinara Safina and Serena Williams. In her latest match, she dropped five games against Aryna Sabalenka in the final of the Italian Open. She now leads the Belarusian world No.2 8-3 in their head-to-head.

“I’m maybe chilled out compared to Madrid after the final because that final was so surreal. It is a little bit different. But it doesn’t change the fact that I’m really proud of myself and really happy.” Said Swiatek.
“I’m happy I was so focused and disciplined throughout the tournament. I feel like I’m in the right place.” 

The confidence is high for the Pole heading into Roland Garros which she will be aiming to win for a fourth time since 2020. In the Open Era, only three women have won the French Open four or more times – Justine Henin, Steffi Graf and Chris Evert.

However, Swiatek is not underestimating the work she will be required to put in to claim another major title. She failed to reach the quarter-final stage at her two most recent Grand Slam events, the US Open and French Open. 

“Obviously I am confident. I feel like I’m playing great tennis but that doesn’t change the fact that I just want to stay humble,” she said.
“Grand Slams are different. There’s a different pressure on the court and off the court. Of course I love to come to Paris and be there. It’s a great place for me to be and I really enjoy my time there.
“But these are hard seven matches that you need to win so I don’t take anything for granted.”

The Grand Slams are the holy grail when it comes to ranking points with the champions claiming 2000 points. In the past Swiatek has focused on her tally and ranking but this year she has a somewhat different perspective. 

“I’m less focused on rankings and points compared to last year. I felt like last year I needed to always to chase. Even though I was first, I felt like I had somebody behind my back.” Said Swiatek. 
“But this year, I just feel like I can focus on myself and not think about that because focusing on rankings is never helpful, I would say.
“There are plenty of things to focus on that we need to spend our energy for, that is just a waste of energy to focus on points and rankings.”

The French Open will get underway next Sunday. 

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Iga Swiatek Demolishes Aryna Sabalenka To Seal Third Rome Title

Iga Swiatek claimed her third Rome title after a dominant victory over Aryna Sabalenka.



(@InteBNLdItalia - Twitter)

Iga Swiatek claimed her third Rome title by dominating Aryna Sabalenka 6-2 6-3 to send a big message of intent ahead of Roland Garros.

The world number one completed the Madrid and Rome double with a sensational performance.

Now Swiatek is the titleholder for the three biggest clay court titles as she will aim to defend her Roland Garros title.

The contest was a rematch from the Madrid final but this was far from the three hour contest that was produced in Spain.

Swiatek raised her level of play while Sabalenka committed way too many unforced errors throughout the contest.

The Pole broke on two occasions to wrap up a comfortable 37 minute set as her forehand was doing a lot of damage.

There was a comeback in the second set from the Australian Open champion as she produced effortless and consistent power, making the second set very competitive.

The world number one was forced to save break points as she just managed to be more stable on big moments.

A more controlled second set from Swiatek was rewarded towards the end of the set as once again Sabalenka crumbled under pressure when it mattered.

Two late breaks of serve completed the Swiatek surge as the Pole enters the second Grand Slam of the season in dominant form.

As for Sabalenka it’s a disappointing performance that she will look to put right at Roland Garros.

Roland Garros starts on the 26th of May where Swiatek is defending champion.

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