Simona Halep Makes The Wrong Side Of History After Being Knocked Out By Kanepi - UBITENNIS
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Simona Halep Makes The Wrong Side Of History After Being Knocked Out By Kanepi

Simona Halep is the first world number one in the open era to lose in the first round of the US Open after a 6-2 6-4 defeat to Kaia Kanepi.



Simona Halep (

Simona Halep becomes the first world number one in the open era to lose in the first round of the US Open after being knocked out by Kaia Kanepi 6-2 6-4 on the brand new Louis Armstrong stadium. 

The world number one was on the back foot from the very beginning as the powerful Estonian started to dominate proceedings with her forehand. It was going to take some time for some of the players to get used to the new Louis Armstrong stadium as Kanepi used her fearless style of play to grab the early break.

The Romanian looked frustrated as she couldn’t implement her game onto the court as the world number 44 was hitting the ball as fast as 70 MPH. Another break of serve from the two time quarter-finalist effectively sealed the set as Halep had it all to do.

After 29 minutes the Romanian found herself behind and it was clear to see that she was clearly frustrated at herself. Another break of serve from the 33 year old triggered an angry emotion from the Roland Garros champion as she slammed her racquet onto the ground.

However Halep’s opponent wasn’t to be underestimated despite her bad form this year, she was a quarter-finalist last year as a qualifier and it was easy to understand why. The Estonian didn’t only possess power as she used good construction of points to move the Romanian around.

After being two breaks and 3-0 down, Halep knew she had to find some energy or she would be out of the tournament on the first day. The top seed managed to find that energy as finally a break of serve occurred through some Kanepi unforced errors.

A tight sixth game saw a small chance of hope for a fired up Halep however the Estonian hit some hammer like forehands to extend her lead to 4-2. Despite the disappointment of not breaking the Romanian continued to grind and eventually received her rewards as she broke the Estonian to love to level the set at 4-4.

However the new balls changed the complexion of the match again as a simple hold from Halep turned into a nightmare game. On second break point a mix of powerful forehands and a delicate volley meant that the Estonian would serve for a massive upset.

The 2017 quarter-finalist kept her cool and converted her first match point to cause the biggest upset of the US Open so far and secure her first top 20 win of 2018. The Romanian lost her mental edge and just like in the Cincinnati final let her emotions get the best of her as she becomes the first world number one in the open era to lose in the first round of the US Open.

However take nothing away from Kanepi who is into the second round and will now play Swiss qualifier, Jil Teichmann, who defeated Dalila Jakupovic 6-3 6-0.

There was no upset though for 7th seed Elina Svitolina who edged past Sachia Vickery 6-3 1-6 6-1. The Ukrainian did lose a little concentration in the second set but survived through some great athleticism. The 23 year old still hasn’t reached the semi-finals of a grand slam. She will now play Tatjana Maria or Agnieszka Radwanska in the second round.

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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.



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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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