Angelique Kerber Avenges Fed Cup Loss To Kvitova In Stuttgart - UBITENNIS
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Angelique Kerber Avenges Fed Cup Loss To Kvitova In Stuttgart

Angelique Kerber thrashed Petra Kvitova 6-3 6-2, while Simona Halep fought back from a set down to beat Magdalena Rybarikova 4-6 6-2 6-3.



Angelique Kerber produced a polished performance to see off the challenge of Petra Kvitova 6-3 6-2 in the first round of the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart.

It was quite a turnaround for the German, who lost 6-2 6-2 to the same opponent on exactly the same court in the Fed Cup during her country’s 4-1 defeat by Czech Republic just a few days earlier.

In that match, Kvitova was on top form and her trademark powerful groundstrokes proved too good for Kerber.

However, the Czech was unable to reproduce that kind of performance as she made 32 errors and surrendered her serve four times.

The German played far more consistent tennis. She made very few unforced errors and won 71% of points on her first serve and 57% behind her second. She also saved three break points as she held throughout.

Both players took a while to get going at the start of the match, but they held firm on their serves initially. Then Kerber went on a charge and only lost four points in the next four games from 2-3.

She held to love and earned her first break thanks to some sloppy groundstrokes from Kvitova. The German then followed that with another easy hold to establish a 5-3 lead, before clinching the set by breaking her Czech opponent for the second time in succession.

Kvitova wastes chances

Despite the more emphatic scoreline, the games were actually closer in the second set. Kvitova had break points in Kerber’s first two service games of the set but she was unable to convert them.

And ultimately that cost her, as the German took her first chance to break to lead 3-1 and never faced another break point in the set. She sealed her victory with another break in game eight.

“I know what to expect, and it’s not an easy match,” Kerber told “I lost against Petra on Sunday, but I was trying to play my game and focus more on my side of the court, and playing aggressive. I’m happy to be in the next round.”

The German’s next test will be against Anett Kontaveit in the last 16, after the big-hitting Estonian edged out Kristina Mladenovic 5-7 7-6(3) 7-6(5) in a titanic battle that lasted over three hours.

Halep battles back

Simona Halep came through a more difficult encounter than her German rival as she fought back from a set down to beat Magdalena Rybarikova 4-6 6-2 6-3.

The Romanian received treatment for a muscle problem as she struggled for rhythm in the opening set. However, she said in her on-court interview after the match that she “didn’t want to stop”.

And the World No.1 certainly did not let her discomfort discourage her as she clawed her way back into the match after going a break down in the second set.

Trailing 2-1, Halep produced her best tennis of the match so far to break back immediately and that kick-started a run of five games in a row to take the second set.

Then the Romanian stepped things up again in the decider. After losing a tight game on serve, she put relentless pressure on Rybarikova’s serve. The Slovakian crumbled and parity was restored.

Halep looked confident at this point, and she earned the decisive break in game six. She produced a superb cross-court backhand to win the point of the match and go up 0-30, and then crunched a forehand at Rybarikova’s feet as she attempted to serve and volley.

The World No.1 sealed the break to love with a superb forehand winner and closed out the match with two comfortable holds.

Comfortable on clay

“I tried to stop missing because at the beginning of the second set I started to miss a lot,” Halep said in her on-court interview. “Then I found my rhythm and played point by point.”

“Always on clay I’m thinking about keeping the rallies longer. If we go to a third set, I feel that I’m strong enough to play good tennis. I’m not afraid to stay in the match and the rallies, so that’s why I like clay.”

Halep also spoke about her injury scare. She said, “In the first set at 3-3, I just felt my muscle, so it was really tough to keep playing, but I didn’t want to stop. And then I just didn’t think too much about the injury and kept playing.”

“It’s really tough on this court, and I’ve never played my best tennis here. But if you get used to it, you can play at a good level.”

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Emma Raducanu Confident Of Full Fitness Ahead Of Grass Swing



Emma Raducanu - Cincinnati 2022 (foto Twitter @cincytennis)

Emma Raducanu has no regrets about her decision to skip the French Open and now believes she is in a ‘really fit place’ ahead of Wimbledon. 

The former US Open champion opted to end her clay season earlier than other players to focus on fitness and training with her coach. Raducanu stated earlier this year that her primary focus in 2024 is on her health after undergoing a series of wrist and ankle surgeries last year which sidelined her for months. 

Raducanu will return to action this week at the Nottingham Open, which is the event where she made her WTA main draw debut back in 2021. Despite her lack of match play in recent weeks, the Brit is feeling good and relishing her return to the grass.

“Body-wise, physical-wise, I feel really healthy,” she said on Monday.
“I’ve done amazing work with my trainer over the last few months, since surgery. I’m in a really fit place. I’m healthy and just looking forward to starting playing.”

Shedding more light on her health, Raducanu says she has full confidence in her wrists and believes they are in top condition. Making her feel more at ease when playing matches on the Tour. 

“I think my wrists are actually in a better position than they ever were. So there’s zero doubt or apprehension whether I’m hitting the ball or designing my schedule,” she explained.
“It’s more about being proactive and not wanting to put yourself in any unnecessary situations. I don’t need to rush and try to win the French Open, it wasn’t my goal this year.
“I had to prioritise where I wanted to target and it was just a good block for me to get some physical work done.”

Raducanu has played seven WTA events so far this season with her best run being to the quarter-finals of the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart, where she was beaten by world No.1 Iga Swiatek. The 21-year-old is currently ranked 209th in the world. 

At the Nottingham Open, she will play her first match on Tuesday against Japanese qualifier Ena Shibahara. 

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Russian World No.78 Elina Avanesyan To Switch Nationalities



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A week after losing her fourth round match at the French Open, a government minister has confirmed that Elina Avanesyan is in the process of changing the nationality of who she plays for. 

The 21-year-old is switching her aligence from Russia to Armenia, according to Armenia’s deputy Minister of International Affairs and communication. Karen Giloyan has told the news agency Armenpress that Avanesyan will soon be representing his country. However, the tennis player has yet to comment on the matter.  Avanesyan was born in Russia but has Armenian parents.

“Elina Avanesyan will compete under the Armenian flag, but there is nothing official yet. We are waiting for her to get the citizenship of the Republic of Armenia so that everything will be official,” Giloyan told Armenpress.

Such a development would be a massive coup for the Armenian tennis federation which currently doesn’t have a player ranked inside the top 500 on either the men’s or women’s Tour. The country has a population of less than 3M. Perhaps their best-known player is Sargis Sargsian who reached the top 40 back in 2004. Others on the Tour also have Armenian heritage but don’t represent the country such as Karen Khachanov.  

Avanesyan is currently ranked 78th in the world, which is 18 places below her career high. This season, she has scored high-profile wins over Maria Sakkari at the Australian Open, Ons Jabeur in Charleston and Qinwen Zhang at the French Open. 

She has yet to play in the final of a WTA tournament.

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Iga Looks To Be In A league All to Herself At Paris

Iga Swiatek claimed her fourth Roland Garros title in Paris.



(@Eurosport - Twitter)

Just call her Iga. No other identification is needed.

As the years go by, Iga’s notoriety is sure to grow.

She’s probably already earned a spot in tennis’ Hall of Fame.

Yes, Iga Swiatek is a name to remember. A hero in her native Poland, a superstar in the world of sports.


Iga just added to her stardom Saturday with an impressive 6-2, 6-1 victory over little-known Italian Jasmine Paolini to win her third straight French Open title. This was Paolini’s chance to make a name for herself, but she didn’t have the game to make it happen.

Iga was just too good. She made it look too easy.

Paolini could hit some great ground strokes, but when she looked up a bigger shot was on its way back. Iga doesn’t look like a power hitter, but she is.


The 23-year-old Polish Wonder finished the first set winning five straight games, then started the second set winning five more games in succession. The 28-year-old Paolini didn’t seem to have a clue on how to upend Swiatek.

It took just 78 minutes for Iga to win her fifth Grand Slam title.

She’s a lot like her French Open hero, Rafa Nadal.

She takes every match seriously.


No wonder Iga owns a 35-2 record at Roland Garos. Or that she has won 21 straight matches. Or that she owns a 5-0 record in Grand Slam finals.

She only dominated opponents, except for Naomi Osaka in the second round. Swiatek escaped a match point in that one and didn’t look back.

Iga’s game should be just as superb on the green grass of upcoming Wimbledon.

James Beck was the 2003 winner of the USTA National Media Award  for print media. A 1995 MBA graduate of The Citadel, he can be reached at

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