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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Barbora Krejcikova Does The Double In San Jose



After what has been a challenging past few weeks on the Tour, Barbora Krejcikova has returned to the winner’s circle by claiming both the singles and doubles titles at the San Diego Open. 


The world No.13 battled to a marathon 6-4, 2-6, 6-4, win over Sofia Kenin in what was a clash of the former Grand Slam champions. Krejcikova was pushed to her limits throughout the two-and-a-half-hour clash with there being no break in the decider until the final game. It is the second singles title the Czech has won on the WTA Tour this season after Dubai and her seventh overall. 

“Normally I wouldn’t be here,” said Krejcikova, who received a wild card to play in the tournament “I really want to thank them (the tournament organisers). It was very special. I really enjoyed my stay here.”

Krejcikova’s run to the trophy has also seen her score wins over Beatriz Haddad Maia and Danielle Collins earlier in the week. She is the first player from her country to win the tournament. 

Following on from that triumph, the 27-year-old then clinched the doubles title alongside compatriot Katerina Siniakova. The duo beat Collins and Coco Vandeweghe 6-1, 6-4.

Krejcikova came into San Jose on a four-match losing streak which started at Wimbledon where she was forced to withdraw from her secound round clash due to a left leg injury. 

“I came here with not really good statistics after my injury, I didn’t actually win any matches,” she said. “So I just came here and I pretty much was hoping and believing that I could get the first win and go from there. It’s pretty special to be sitting here having won [the title].”

It is only the second time in Krejcikova’s career that she has won both the singles and doubles titles at the same event. The first time she did so was at the 2021 French Open where her partner in the doubles was also Siniakova.

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Ex-No.1 Ash Barty Stands By Retirement Decision



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

Despite the growing number of players returning to competitive tennis after giving birth, Ash Barty says she is contempt in retirement. 


Barty, who is still only 27 years old, stunned the sport at the start of 2022 when she announced her retirement from the sport just weeks after winning the Australian Open. She has won 15 WTA titles during her career with three of them being at Grand Slam tournaments. She also held the world No.1 spot for 121 weeks and earned more than $23.8M in prize money. 

The Australian returned to the media limelight on Friday by attending a special event to announce the return of the Brisbane International next year. It will be the first time the tournament has been held since the COVID pandemic with the women’s draw being increased from 32 to 48. However, no such changes will be made to the men’s draw. There will be a record prize money pool of AUS$3.1M. 

For those hoping that Barty might have a change of heart and return to competitive action at her home event in Brisbane, they are going to be disappointed. 

“I don’t have the time – I don’t have the time to train, I don’t have the time to prepare, and I have so many great memories out on this court, and now I just get to create new memories,” The Sydney Morning Herald quoted Barty as saying. 

“I’m certainly not coming out of retirement. Pat (Rafter) may be more likely than me.”

Earlier this year Caroline Wozniacki announced her return to tennis following a three-year retirement from the sport. Despite playing in only two WTA tournaments beforehand, she reached the fourth round of the US Open where she was defeated by Coco Gauff who went on to win the title. Meanwhile, Elina Svitolina returned to the Tour following the birth of her first child and reached the semi-finals at Wimbledon. 

Barty has previously said she would like to remain involved in tennis by helping support the rising stars of the game in her home country. Currently, Australia doesn’t have any players in the top 100 on the women’s Tour. In contrast, there are nine Australians in the top 100 on the men’s Tour. 

“It’s depth, you have to play at your top level, you have to be consistent across a 52-week calendar to keep your ranking up with the top of the world,” she said.
“I think it’s exciting for the women’s game, it creates hunger, passion and drive for girls wanting to be the best and knowing there’s an opportunity to take that top spot.
“There’s obviously not as many girls in the top 100 as we would like, but there’s plenty coming through that are learning their craft, developing.
“It takes time to understand how you think you can fit in, how you think you can grow into your play. I’m excited for the next five or 10 years to see where they can get to.”

The Australian tennis season will begin on December 29th with the United Cup. A mixed-team competition that will be held in Sydney and Perth. Two days later, the first singles events in Brisbane and Adelaide will get underway. 

The 2024 Australian Summer of Tennis calendar 

United Cup
Venue: Perth – RAC Arena, Sydney – Ken Rosewall Arena
Group Stage – 29 December 2023 to 5 January 2024
Finals – 6 to 7 January 2024, more details to be announced soon
Category: ATP / WTA international mixed team competition

Brisbane International
31 December 2023 to 7 January 2024
Venue: Queensland Tennis Centre, Brisbane
Category: WTA 500 / ATP 250
Draw size: WTA – 48 singles / 24 doubles; ATP – 32 singles, 24 doubles

Canberra International
31 December 2023 to 6 January 2024
Venue: Canberra Tennis Centre, Canberra
Category: ATP Challenger 125 / WTA 125
Draw size: ATP – 32 singles, 16 doubles; WTA – 32 singles, 16 doubles

Adelaide International
8 to 13 January 2024
Venue: The Drive, Adelaide
Category: WTA 500 / ATP 250
Draw size: WTA – 32 singles, 16 doubles; ATP – 28 singles, 24 doubles

Hobart International
8 to 13 January 2024
Venue: Domain Tennis Centre, Hobart
Category: WTA 250
Draw size: 32 singles, 16 doubles

AO Opening Week, including Australian Open qualifying (8 to 12 January)
8 to 14 January 2024
Venue: Melbourne Park, Melbourne
Category: Grand Slam 
Draw size: Q128 singles

Australian Open
15 to 28 January 2024
Venue: Melbourne Park, Melbourne
Category: Grand Slam
Draw size: 128 singles, 64 doubles 

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The WTA Tour In 2024 Should Be Even Stronger



Cori Gauff - Australian Open 2023 (Twitter @AustralianOpen)

To Aryna Sabalenka, every shot seems to be a go-for-it.


The two Grand Slam champions in Sunday’s U.S. Open men’s final would say, “Thank you” for a similar approach by their opponent. But Novak Djokovic and Daniil Medvedev don’t play that game often.

They play to win. Sabalenka didn’t, although she wanted so badly to earn her second Grand Slam title this year.


Coco Gauff also played to win, once she got past a one-sided first set. Sabalenka kept going for it, and the world’s new No. 1 player paid the price in a 2-6, 6-3, 6-2 loss to young Coco Gauff.

So, what happens now? Obviously, Sabalenka and Gauff will lead the way as the best women’s players in the game . . . for now.

Where does French Open champ and former world’s No. 1 Iga Swiatek fit? Wimbledon titlist Marketa Vondrousova, Jessica Pegula, 2022 Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina, Ons Jabeur and yes, Karolina Muchova fit into WTA Tour stars led by Sabalenka and Gauff?


The 2024 women’s season is sure to be an exciting one. Any of these eight players could turn out to be superstars by this time next year.

Or it might be that there are simply too many equals in the women’s game, or maybe not enough stability at the top of the game. Superstars are important to a tour.

What would the ATP Tour have looked like without Djokovic, Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal all winning Grand Slams about the same time?

Gauff has been amazing since returning from Europe to the U.S., going 16-0 in the U.S. and suffering her only loss in Canada to doubles partner Pegula.


Gauff is projected to climb three spots in the WTA rankings to No. 3.

But Saturday was the dream come true for the 19-year-old. She simply outplayed the hard-hitting Sabalenka in the last two sets.

Just as Medvedev’s victory over Carlos Alcaraz was set up by Medvedev’s amazing defense, running down practically everything Alcaraz had to offer, Gauff’s victory was secured by her ability to repeatedly chase down what looked like Sabalenka winners.

Gauff usually kept running down Sabalenka’s missiles until the Belarussian missed the court.

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

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