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Simona Halep: Opponents Are Motivated Against Me

Simona Halep talked about opponents raising their level against her, Petkovic’s injury and an unfamiliar court.

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Simona Halep is getting used to facing stern challenges in Grand Slam matches because opponents tend to produce their best tennis when they play her.

 

The most remarkable example of this came at this year’s Australian Open when Lauren Davis pushed Halep all the way to 15-13 in the decider.

And for a time during today’s match with Andrea Petkovic it looked like the Romanian might have a very tough match on her hands as the German matched her shot for shot.

“It always happens the same,” Halep said with a smile in her press conference. “I don’t know what I’m doing, but I think they are motivated when they get on court with me.”

“I was in that situation when I was younger and I was playing with the No. 1 in the world. You don’t feel pressure; you don’t feel that you have anything to lose.”

“So you go there and just give your best. It’s good that I have opponents playing at the highest level, because I stay motivated, focused, and I don’t become relaxed on court.”

Petkovic injury ends match as a contest

There were five breaks during a first set that lasted almost an hour as Petkovic forced Halep to find her best tennis to win it 7-5.

However, any chance of a close second set rapidly disappeared after the German hurt her knee. She had treatment and continued but she was clearly unable to move well and lost the set 6-0.

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“I saw actually when she hurt herself,” said Halep. “But I didn’t think about her injury. I just kept playing.”

She continued, “I was happy with the performance, and I feel sorry for her that she got injured.”

Halep forced to adjust to new surroundings

Halep’s match with Petkovic was surprisingly placed on Court 18, and the Romanian explained that it provided her with some unfamiliar challenges.

“Today was a little bit different,” said the World No.1. ““Because the court is pretty small, and I felt that all the people were on court with me.”

“So it was tough to adjust myself – coming from Chatrier it’s a bit difficult. But I just needed a few games and then I think I played okay. I think I played well.”

However, Halep insisted she was not bothered by the scheduling. “I’m here to play anywhere,” she said. “I have no problems. Of course it was different, but no excuses.”

“I just tried to find myself on that court. I practiced there last week, so all good.”

The Romanian will now play Elise Mertens in the last 16 after the Belgian thrashed Daria Gavrilova 6-3 6-1, and she is happy with how she is performing.

“I play better and better day by day,” Halep said. “Today I really felt the ball, and the game also, and the way that I finished pretty strong gave me confidence. It was my best match here at this tournament.”

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Stefanos Tsitsipas: “I will miss Wimbledon and I can’t wait to 2021”

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Stefanos Tsitsipas said that the Wimbledon cancellation news was just an April fool after organizers of the famous British tournament called off their Grand Slam event due to the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic and public health concerns.

 

Tsitsipas made his debut at Wimbledon in 2017 and reached the fourth round in 2018. He lost to Stefano Travaglia in the opening round at Wimbledon last year, but he bounced back winning the ATP Finals in London.

This year Tsitsipas won the Marseille title for the second consecutive year and lost the Dubai final against Novak Djokovic in Dubai. He lost to Milos Raonic in the third round at the Australian Open. At the inaugural edition of the ATP Cup in Australia he beat Alexander Zverev and lost to Denis Shapovalov and Nick Kyrgios.

Tsitsipas was the first Greek player to break into the top 5 and the first player from his country to reach a Grand Slam semifinal at the Australian Open in 2019. Last year he scored the biggest win of his career against Novak Djokovic in Shanghai and won three titles in Marseille and Estoril. He finished runner-up to Roger Federer in Dubai and to Dominic Thiem in Beijing.

“I went to bed thinking this was all a bad April fools joke but I woke up today to find that Wimbledon is actually cancelled. I will miss this special event and I can’t wait to 2021. Stay home. Stay sane”, wrote Tsitsipas in a Twitter post.

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Roger Federer: “We experience difficult times, we arise from it strengthened”

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Twenty-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer has confirmed that he is planning to play in Halle in 2021 after the historic German grass tournament was cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The ATP has extended the suspension of the tour until 13th July. Federer was expected to play in Halle, a tournament where he won ten times and reached 13 finals. He made his debut in Halle in 2000 during his career.

 

“We experience difficult times, however, we will arise from it strengthened. Already today I am glad and excited about my return to Halle next year. Stay healthy”, said Federer in a statement released on the Halle tournament website.

 Federer also won eight Wimbledon titles, which was also called off for the first time since 1945 due to public health concerns due to the coronavirus outbreak.

 

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Angelique Kerber: “I am heavy-hearted about the cancellation of the grass season”

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Former Wimbledon champion Angelique Kerber has posted her thought on the Wimbledon cancellation.

 

“The thought of playing at Wimbledon has always been the biggest source of my motivation. It goes without saying that I I am heavy hearted that the cancellation of the grass court season also means that I won’t be able to play in front of my home crowd in sport unites, in good and bad times. Once this has passed, it may even help us appreciate our everydayday routines and the beauty of our sport even more than before. Thanks to everyone who is working 24/7 to get us through this uncertain time”.

The German player of Polish origin won three Grand Slam titles at the Australian Open and at the US Open in 2016 and at Wimbledon in 2018. She won the Olympic singles silver medal in Rio de Janeiro 2016 losing in the final to Monica Puig.

Kerber lost to Samantha Stosur in the first round in Brisbane. Kerber beat Wang Qiang in straight sets in the first round before retiring from her second round match against Ukraine’s Dayana Yastremska due to a left harmstring injury, after the German player was down a set and a break.

At the Australian Open Kerber beat Elisabetta Cocciaretto, Priscilla Hon, Camila Giorgi before losing to Anastasya Pavlyuchenkova. She is currently ranked world number 21 in the WTA Ranking.

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