Jelena Ostapenko and Karolina Pliskova reach the quarter finals at Eastbourne - UBITENNIS
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Jelena Ostapenko and Karolina Pliskova reach the quarter finals at Eastbourne



Last year’s Roland Garros champion and number 5 seed Jelena Ostapenko cruised past Mihaela Buzarnescu 6-1 6-2 to reach the quarter final at the Nature Valley International in Eastbourne.

Buzarnescu, who reached the final in Birmingham last week and beat Jelena Ostapenko in Doha last week, received a medical time-out to treat a shoulder injury.

Ostapenko earned her first break in the second game to take a 2-0 lead at deuce. Buzarnescu broke straight back in the third game. Ostapenko went up a double break in the fourth and sixth games to close out the first set 6-1.

Ostapenko went up a double break to open up a 4-1 lead. Buzarnescu pulled one of the breaks back to claw her back to 2-4, but Ostapenko sealed the win with another break and a hold of serve at deuce in the final game to seal the second set 6-2.

Ostapenko hit 24 winners to 17 unforced errors and converted six of her nine break points to set up a quarter final against Agnieszka Radwanska, who received a walkover to advance to the quarter final after Petra Kvitova pulled out of the match due to a harmstring injury.

Ostapenko met Radwanska just once at the 2016 Connecticut Open, where the Pole prevailed in straight sets.

“It was another great match for me. I played well and served well. Some moments were tough because she can can be so solid and not miss anything, but I am very pleased with the game I played today. Buzarnescu has been playing well this season. I played against her in Doha and learned a lot from that match. I prepared well for this one, and tried to play aggressively today”, said Ostapenko.

Ostapenko, who won the Wimbledon Junior title in 2014, lost to five-time champion Venus Williams in two tough sets in the quarter finals at the All England Club.

“It’s my first event on grass this year. I enjoy my time on grass because it’s so nice. I am enjoying my week in Eastbourne and I am looking to my next week”, said Ostapenko.

Defending champion and former world number 1 Karolina Pliskova beat her compatriot Barbora Strycova 6-3 6-4 after surviving a two-set battle.

Pliskova led 3-1 in their previous four head-to-head matches, but Strycova beat her countrywoman at Eastbourne in 2016 and pushed her to three sets at last January’s Australian Open.

Pliskova and Strycova traded breaks in the fourth and fifth games of the first set, but Pliskova reeled off six consecutive games to build up a set and double break lead at 6-3 3-0. Strycova pulled one of the breaks back in the fourth game and earned three break point chances as she was trailing 3-4. Strykova saved two match points and managed to hold her serve at deuce, but Pliskova served out for the match with an ace. Pliskova will face Aryna Sabalenka, who clinched two consecutive upset wins against Julia Goerges and Elise Mertens.

“Even though it was 6-3 6-4, I don’t think it was easy, she played some tricky shots and slices, so it’s always tough on grass. I am glad I got through. I feel much better now tahn last week in Birmingham. I am happy it’s improving match by match. Hopefully tomorrow will be even better. I think I can serve better than I did today, but today was enough, so hopefully I can improve. I don’t feel any pressure here because I played a final one year, won the title the next. I feel good at this tournament. Every year I play good tennis. I love to play here and I enjoy the city. People always come to support me, which is amazing. Hopefully I can stay longer”, said Pliskova.

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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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