Caroline Wozniacki Upbeat About ‘Great Season’ Despite Shock US Open Exit - UBITENNIS
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Caroline Wozniacki Upbeat About ‘Great Season’ Despite Shock US Open Exit

The world No.2 is the latest high-profile player to exit the women’s draw.



Caroline Wozniacki has shrugged off her surprised loss at the US Open by focusing on the positives of her 2018 season so far.

The two-time US Open finalist crashed out 6-4, 6-2, to Lesia Tsurenko in the second round on Thursday. Losing at the same stage of the tournament for the second consecutive year. Against Tsurenko, Wozniacki lacked rhythm and consistency with an erratic performance that featured 35 unforced errors to only six winners.

“I think I started off pretty well, then I think I played well in parts of the first set, just trying to stay aggressive.” Wozniacki said about her performance.
“But she was playing smarter than me. She played the game that I was supposed to be playing. She got a lot of balls back. She played with the angles. She waited for the short ball. When the short ball came, she played aggressive. She went back and kept the ball in play when she had to.”

During the second set, Tsurenko had a medical time out to have a treatment on her right arm. Despite the setback, Wozniacki was unable to capitalize on her chance as she failed to get a single break point opportunity during that set. Unlike her Ukrainian rival, who broke two consecutive times on route to victory.

“When I went on court and I made few serves full power, I felt the sharp pain. I was so tight that I made double-faults.” Tsurenko said about her issue. “After that I just decided I will not go for flat serves any more. I was just doing slice serve, not trying to serve my best, just to put the ball in and to start the point.”
“For now, it worked, but I think I will have a lot of treatment on it and hopefully I will make some flat and maybe some aces next match.” She added.

Since Wimbledon, Wozniacki has experienced a roller coaster journey on the tour. A leg injury forced her out of the Citi Open in Washington. Following on from that, she lost in the opening round of the Rogers Cup before retiring from the Western and Southern Open with a knee problem. Despite the issues, the Dane has insisted that she was in good form heading into the  final grand slam of the year had gone well.

“I felt like I’d been practicing really well, playing really well for the week leading up to the tournament. Obviously it wasn’t an ideal preparation.” She admitted.
“But I felt like I did everything right under the circumstances. I just came out here today and I did my best, and it just wasn’t good enough.”

Wozniacki’s win-loss record for the season now stands at 32-13. Although she has now failed to win back-to-back matches at four consecutive tournaments. Despite the expectation of her to regain form during the Asian swing of the tour, the 28-year-old has confidently evaluated her season as  ‘great’ following her Australian Open breakthrough earlier this year.

“I’m always going to say it’s a great season because I won my first major. I’ve won so many tournaments throughout my career, but I’d never won a Grand Slam.” Said Wozniacki.
“I think regardless what happens for the last few tournaments of the year, it’s still going to be a great year because I won in Australia.”

After two rounds played at the US Open, three top 10 seeds have exit the tournament. Besides Wozniacki, Simona Halep and Garbine Muguruza have also crashed out.

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Maria Sakkari Appoints Witt As Coach For American Swing



Maria Sakkari - WTA Washington 2023 (foto Twitter @mubadalacitidc)

Maria Sakkari has enlisted the help of Jessica Pegula’s former long-time coach in a bid to regain her form on the Tour. 

Greek media has confirmed that the world No.9 has begun a partnership with David Witt, who has also previously coached Venus Williams. Witt had worked with Pegula since 2019 before the tennis star decided to end their collaboration earlier this year. During their time together he oversaw the American win two WTA 1000 events, reached the quarter-final of a grand Slam on six occasions and peaked at a ranking high of No.3. 

Sakkari’s appointment comes after she ended her six-year working relationship with Tom Hill. Highlights of their partnership include winning two Tour titles, reaching a Grand Slam semi-final twice and spending more than two years in the top 10. 

“Tom, thank you for all the emotions, the support on and off the court, and the belief you had in me since day one,” Sakkari wrote on Instagram last month. “We grew together, and you helped me realize that everything is possible.

“Not only did you make me a better tennis player, but you also made me a better person. Thank you for always wanting the best for me and for always having my back! Good luck on the next chapter in your career.”

Sakkari is looking to get back on track after what has been a disappointing start to 2024. She had won just two matches in her first four singles tournaments played and is yet to face an opponent ranked in the world’s top 20. However, she faired better at the United Cup, where she won three matches in the team event, including victories over Lelylah Fernandez and Angelique Kerber. 

It is understood that Sakkari will be working with Witt at both Indian Wells and Miami. If their partnership is successful, it could be extended further into the clay swing. The other members of her team will remain in the same roles. 

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Ugo Humbert saves three match points to beat Hubert Hurkacz in Dubai



Fifth-seed Ugo Humbert came back from one set down to beat Hubert Hurkacz 3-6 7-6 (10-8) 6-3. Humbert had beaten Hurkacz en route to his title in Marseille. 

Hurkacz converted his third break point in the fourth game to win the first set 6-3. Humbert saved three match points in the tie-break of the second set before converting his first set point to force the match to the decider. Humbert broke twice to seal the third set 6-3. 

“It was a great battle. I tried to battle for every point. In the tie-break I saved three match points, tried to do my best and thanks to those French fans for the amazing support”, said Humbert. 

Humbert set up a semifinal match against Danil Medvedev, who beats Alejandro Davidovich Fokina 6-2 6-3. Humbert leads 2-1 in their head-to-head matches, but Medvedev won their most recent match in three sets at the China Open in their most recent head-to-head match in Beijing last year.

“It’s going to be a great challenge against Danil tomorrow. We had a few great fights. Hopefully I will recover well to be ready for this match”, said Humbert. 

Aleksander Bublik was leading Jiri Lehecka 6-4 4-1 when the Czech player was forced to retire due to an injury. Bublik set up a match against Andrey Rublev, who was leading Sebastian Korda 6-4 4-3  when the Czech player withdrew due to injury. 

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Brazilian Rising Star Joao Fonseca Waives College Eligibility To Turn Pro



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One of Brazil’s most promising young tennis players has made the bold decision to abandon a dream of his to play college tennis in America to turn pro. 

17-year-old Jaoao Fonseca was committed to playing college tennis at the University of Virginia but says professional tennis has called him in a way he couldn’t refuse. The rising star has played just two Tour-level events so far in his career and is currently ranked 343rd in the world. 

At last week’s Rio Open, he became the second-youngest player after Alexander Zverev to reach the quarter-finals of an ATP 500 event since the category was introduced. In his home tournament, the Brazillian beat Arthur Fils and Cristian Garin before losing to Mariano Navone.

“It was an incredibly tough decision for me and my family as I have been dreaming about living a college life in Charlottesville, playing the sport that l love with a wonderful team and coach, but, in the last months, professional tennis called me in a way that I simply couldn’t say no,” Fonseca wrote in a statement published on Instagram
“Although I will not be attending school, I think it is an extremely valuable and viable path for young players in their way to professional careers,” he added.

Fonseca has already enjoyed success on the junior circuit. Last year he was runner-up in the doubles tournament at the Australian Open boy’s event. Then at the US Open, he won his first Grand Slam junior title in singles. He is also a former ITF Junior World No.1 and is currently ranked second in the standings. 

The youngster has already been hailed by compatriot Beatriz Haddad Maia, who is currently ranked 13th on the WTA Tour. Speaking to reporters at the San Diego Open, she has offered her support to Fonseca if he needs it. 

“João is a nice person. He has a great future, if he keeps working hard and keeps doing what he’s doing. I think he has a very aggressive mentality and tennis.” She said.

“We sometimes text each other, but not that much. But I’m always following.. not only him.. but the Brazilians. I’m proud of what he’s doing. He has a long way and he needs to understand that it’s a marathon, it’s not a 100 meter race.’
“Tennis has its ups and downs. I wish him all the best, for sure. I’ll be here whenever he wants. I’m happy with what he’s doing.” 

Fonseca played at the Chile Open this week but lost in the first round to Thiago Agustin Tirante.

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