Garbine Muguruza Opens Up About Past US Open Struggles Following Halep Exit - UBITENNIS
Connect with us

Latest news

Garbine Muguruza Opens Up About Past US Open Struggles Following Halep Exit

The two-time grand slam champion reacts to the world No.1 crashing out of the tournament.



Spain’s Garbine Muguruza has said she sympathizes with world No.1 Simona Halep after she crashed out in the first round of the US Open.

Halep became the first top seed in the Open Era to lose in the first round of the women’s tournament after being brushed aside by Kaia Kanepi in straight sets. The loss followed a positive summer campaign on the North American hard court’s. Halep won the Rogers Cup followed by reaching the final of the Cincinnati Open. Reflecting on her early exit, the 26-year-old admitted that she finds it difficult to find her game in New York.

“Maybe the noise in the crowd, the city is busy, everything together,’’ Halep said during her press conference. “I’m a quiet person maybe I like smaller places. I don’t really feel 100 per cent on my game when I step on the court here.”

The woes of the Romanian are ones all too familiar for Muguruza. Her first four appearances at Flushing Meadows saw the Spaniard win only two matches. It wasn’t until last year that she had a breakthrough with a run to the fourth round. In total she has only ever won six matches at the US Open, including her 6-3, 6-0, win over China’s Zhang Shuai on Monday. To put this into perspective, at her second worst performing grand slam (the Australian Open) she has won 14 matches.

“I really feel for her way when she says that, because me, at the beginning, for the first four years, I didn’t almost get past the first round.” Muguruza said in response to Halep’s comments. “I was always there and I didn’t really understand what was happening.
“This (the US Open) is a little different than other tournaments, but I’m learning to handle that better because I really want to go far in the tournament.
“I feel like people love it or people don’t like it. It’s black or white a little bit.”

So how did Muguruza manage to overcome her US Open nightmares? For her, it didn’t involve changing her fitness program or adjusting her mental approach to the game. Instead, she chose to take the route of an introvert whilst in New York.

“I try not to spend a lot of time outside. There are a lot of people, there is a lot of noise. I always try to be in calm places. I’m happy to go to the park, but I don’t do a lot of shopping.” She explained.
“I do spend a lot of time in the hotel, at this tournament in particular. But that’s my way.”

Muguruza is seeded 12th in this year’s draw. Leading up the tournament, her offensive on the tour has been halted by an arm injury. Her win over Shuai was only the second competitive match she has played since Wimbledon.

“I feel I’m trying to be realistic, not trying to set tough goals, even though I always expect myself to go out there and perform well.” She concluded.

In the second round, Muguruza will play Czech qualifier Karolína Muchová.

Latest news

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. 

Continue Reading

Latest news

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. 

Continue Reading


Brazilian Rising Star Joao Fonseca Waives College Eligibility To Turn Pro



Image via

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.

Continue Reading