Coco Vandeweghe Shines To Stun Halep In Stuttgart - UBITENNIS
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Coco Vandeweghe Shines To Stun Halep In Stuttgart

Coco Vandeweghe played superbly to knock out World No.1 Simona Halep, while Caroline Garcia fought back to beat Elina Svitolina.



Coco Vandeweghe produced arguably her best-ever performance on a clay court to beat Simona Halep 6-4 6-1 in the quarter-finals of the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix.

The American served superbly and, crucially, she was consistent from the back of the court. She frequently hit the ball hard and deep and occasionally mixed it up by finding short angles.

It was a lethal combination and the World No.1 simply could not cope with it. After she was broken in the final game of the first set, the second set raced away from her before she could regain any kind of foothold in the match.

Even though she is playing brilliantly in Stuttgart, Vandeweghe still refuses to acknowledge that she is actually good on clay.

In a bizarre on-court interview after the match, she said, “I think this game for trying to get me to go on a date with the clay is a little bit better, but it’s not my favourite (surface).”

“As much as you guys try to make it my favourite, and you’re being very nice about it that I play OK on it, it’s definitely not my number one choice.”

On today’s evidence, The Amercian is much better than OK. She began the match with a comfortable hold, and then troubled Halep on her serve immediately.

While Vandeweghe did not manage to break, it was a sign of things to come. She continued to hold with ease and then almost broke Halep in game six when she earned two break points.

The Romanian hung on but the American’s relentless pressure on her serve eventually took its toll. When she was serving to stay in the set at 4-5, Halep made two double-faults to surrender it.

Vandeweghe looked very confident at the start of the second set. She drilled a series of punishing groundstrokes to within inches of the baseline to break Halep in game two.

The American then produced two huge serves and an excellent forehand winner to save three break points in the next game. It was a great example of how to use power to good effect on clay.

Halep got on the scoreboard in the second set with a gutsy hold and then earned her fourth – and last – break point of the match in game five. Vandeweghe thundered down an ace to save it.

The American ended the match as a contest by breaking Halep again. She then hit a series of big serves to clinch a significant victory.

In her press conference, Halep explained why she lost. She said, “She served really well and it was tough to break her. I couldn’t feel the rhythm, the timing.”

“Everything went fast, like a flash. I still feel the leg. I couldn’t move like I do. Couldn’t play my best here but she was strong today. No excuses. She played better.”

Garcia beats Svitolina again

Vandeweghe will play Caroline Garcia in the semi-finals after the Frenchwoman came back from a set down to beat Elina Svitolina 6-7(4) 6-4 6-2.

It is the third successive match between the two players where Garcia has lost a first set tie-break and gone on to win, and she is becoming something of a nemesis for the World No.4.

Svitolina won a tight opener and it was all going well for her at 3-1 in the second set. Then she faltered slightly and hit a few weak second serves, and the World No.7 took advantage with some trademark clean ball-striking.

After getting the break, Garcia seized control of the match and won 9 of the next 12 games to secure an impressive victory. The Frenchwoman hit 39 winners in the match and her clash with Vandeweghe – another big hitter in form – could be very exciting.

Karolina Pliskova and Anett Kontaveit will contest the second semi-final after the Czech came back from a set down to beat Jelena Ostapenko 5-7 7-5 6-4 and the Estonian beat Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 7-5 6-7(6) 6-4.

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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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