Madison Keys: Today Was A Massive Mishandle Of Nerves - UBITENNIS
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Madison Keys: Today Was A Massive Mishandle Of Nerves

Madison Keys talked about the reasons for her shock loss, why some upsets are not that shocking and the example of Serena Williams.



Madison Keys was understandably upset with her performance after she endured a shocking third-round loss to World No.120 Evgeniya Rodina.


“Honestly I think today was a massive mishandle of nerves,” she said. “I felt good, was up 5-2, and then I felt my mind go away and played a couple of sloppy games.”

“All of a sudden it was 5-All, and that’s when nerves hit me. Then it was just kind of dealing with that.”

The American continued, “When you’re down a set and 4-0, it’s a lot easier to think, ‘I probably should play better now and do that’.”

“And then when I was down in the third set I would bring my level up and then go up to serve and get nervous. I just didn’t play well enough when it mattered.”

Keys admits she let her mind wander

When Keys was asked why felt nervous on court, she explained that she had started looking ahead to her next match.

“For the first time in a long time, I came in here the other day and was like, ‘So if you win, then you play this person’,” she said. “And I think that kept being in the back of my mind.”

“I think that’s something that with experience I have to be able to completely push aside and not think about. But I don’t think I did a great job of that today.”

Keys was due to face Serena Williams in the last 16 if the older American beat Kristina Mladenovic, but the World No.11 does not think the identity of her opponent was the important thing.

“I don’t even think it’s because it was Serena or anything like that,” she said. “I think it really could have been anyone. But I just wasn’t thinking about my match right now in that moment.”

“I think I literally could have played anyone the next round, but the fact that I felt my mind go there made it really hard to be play really well, be super-focused and then have to kind of reset everything and find my timing and all of that in the middle of a match.”

Although the American was thinking ahead to her potential last 16 encounter, she insists she was not looking any further ahead than that.

Keys to develop a plan to manage her dips

Keys also feels it is unfair to label some of the top ten seed’s defeats at Wimbledon 2018 as upsets.

“I think a lot of those matches were actually really tough matchups – especially some of the early rounds,” she said.

“I don’t necessarily think that was an easy match or an upset. There are lots of really good players right now and if one player has a slightly bad day and the other player has a really on day, then it can go either way.”

While Keys may be right that some of the top seeds’ defeats should not be considered shock results – Ekaterina Makarova’s win over Caroline Wozniacki for example – her loss to Rodina was definitely an upset.

Moreover, to avoid suffering a similar fate in the future, the young American should probably follow the example of her phenomenally successful compatriot Serena Williams.

“It’s definitely been a challenge that I have had to deal with where all of a sudden I’m the one that’s supposed to win and people are playing with nothing to lose and playing their best tennis,” Keys said.

“A lot of times you just have to weather the storm and play better on those big points, and the fact (that Serena has) basically done that her whole career is really impressive.”

She continued, “I think the biggest thing (I need to do) is have a plan for when I feel (the dip) happening and catch it quicker. It’s a lot easier to catch it if it’s two points and not two games.”


Rebecca Peterson clinches her maiden WTA title



Twenty-four year-old Swedish player Rebecca Peterson lifted the first title of her career at the Jangxi Open in Nanchang after beating Kazakhstan’s Elena Rybakina 6-2 6-0.


The world number 78 Petterson, who had reached only a quarter final so far this season, has become the 14th first-time winner on the WTA Tour so far in 2019.

Peterson reeled off nine consecutive games from 3-2 in the first set to clinch the win, breaking serve four times.

Peterson dropped only nine points in her service games and did not face any break points. The Swede earned her first break in the first game after a double fault from Rybakina. Peterson consolidated the break by holding serve at love and opened up a 4-2 lead, when Rybakina sent a forehand long.

Peterson broke serve in the seventh game to race out to a 5-2 lead, as Rybakina made a backhand error. Peterson sealed the first set with a forehand crosscourt winner in the eighth game.

Peterson earned an early break, after Rybakina sent a forehand long, and went up a 3-0 lead. Rybakina did not win a single game point and sent Petersen to deuce in the fifth game of the second set, but she dropped serve. Petersen wrapped up the match with a bagel thanks to a service winner on her first championship point.

Rybakina, who scored two three-set wins against Viktoria Golubic in the quarter final and Peng Shuai in the semifinal, hit 3 winners to 11 unforced errors. She had won her maiden title in Bucharest last July.



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Karolina Pliskova lifts her fourth title of the season in Zhengzhou



Number 1 seed Karolina Pliskova cruised past number 7 seed Petra Martic 6-3 6-2 after 1 hour and 36 minutes in the final of the Zhengzhou Open, an inaugural WTA Premier tournament. The final was postponed by six hours after torrential rain.


Pliskova came back from 0-2 in the first set by winning 12 of the next 15 games to win her fourth title this season after Brisbane, Rome and Eastbourne. The Czech player is the fifth top seed to win a tournament this season after Aryna Sabalenka in Shenzhen, Alison Van Uytvanck in Budapest, Caroline Garcia in Nottingham and Anastasjia Sevastova in Jurmala.

Pliskova took a re-match against Martic, who beat the Czech player in four of their previous five head-to-head matches and won their third round clash at Roland Garros.

Pliskova saved two of her three break points and converted four of her eight break points.

Martic earned an early break with a forehand return winner to open up a 2-0 lead in the first set. As the match resumed after a rain delay Martic did not convert a double break point. Pliskova broke back in the fourth game with a forehand winner to draw level to 2-2.

Pliskova saved a break point chance in the seventh game with a forehand down the line. The Czech player broke serve in the eighth game, when Martic made a forehand error and sealed the first set 6-3 with a service winner.

Pliskova dropped only six points on her first serve in the second set and broke serve in the third game when Martic sent a backhand slice wide. The former world number 1 player held her serve with an ace before breaking for the second time in the fifth game. She hit four winners to seal the win, as she was serving for the match at 5-2.

“I think I played good matches. Of course, not all the matches were perfect, the week never can be really perfect because it’s so many days and so many things can be just different every day. I beat tough players, which I maybe lost to a couple of times before. I think that was the biggest plus of this week, especially with Petra. These wins are always important. It doesn’t matter where you play, which tournament you play, but it’s always important. To get the trophy is always special. It does not matter really which tournament or how big the tournament is, it’s always good”, said Pliskova.  

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Nao Hibino beats Misaki Doi in all-Japanese final in Hiroshima



World Number 146 Nao Hibino beat Misaki Doi 6-3 6-2 in the all-Japanese final of Haa-Cupid Japan Open in Hiroshima.


Doi broke serve at 15 in the second game with a deep return, but she dropped her serve at love in the third game. Dou earned another break with a forehand to open up a 3-1 lead. Hibino pulled the break back in the fifth game, when Doi sent her backhand long.

Hibino reeled off nine consecutive games from 1-3 down to build up a 6-3 4-0 lead with two consecutive breaks in the seventh and ninth games of the first set and two more breaks in the first and third games of the second set. Doi dropped her serve in six consecutive service games and hit 8 winners to 14 unforced errors. Doi pulled back one break in the fifth game. Hibino broke for the third time at deuce to win the second set 6-2.

Hibino claimed both the singles and the doubles titles at the same tournament for the first time in her career. She teamed up with Doi to clinch the doubles title with a 6-3 4-6 10-4 win over Christina McHale and Valeria Savinykh.

“I was so nervous today, so much more than the semifinals, but because I experienced being nervous in the semifinals, I knew what to expect. I was able to stay positive during the match today”, said Hibino.

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