Former French Open Champion Francesca Schiavone Retires From Tennis - UBITENNIS
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Former French Open Champion Francesca Schiavone Retires From Tennis

The 38-year-old revealed her decision during a special press conference that took place at the US Open.




Italian veteran Francesca Schiavone has retired from tennis at the age of 38 following a professional career spanning more than 20 years.


The former world No.4 announced her decision during quarter-finals day at the US Open. A tournament she reached the last eight at back in 2003 and 2010. During what was a heartfelt and emotional speech, she said she have been debating stepping away from the sport since the conclusion of this year’s French Open.

“It was three or four months ago that I was thinking (about retirement). After Roland Garros I was already in that direction. Then I spent some months to think about it, to be sure. To feel good and happy with myself.” Schiavone told reporters in New York.

The decision to retire comes after what has been a difficult year for the 38-year-old. She hasn’t played a competitive match since losing in the first round of the Gstaad Open back in July. In total, she has lost all seven on her main draw matches played this season. Resulting in her falling down the rankings to 454th in the world.

During her career, Schiavone has featured in 20 WTA finals, winning eight titles. Her biggest triumph occurred back in 2010 when she defeated Samantha Stosur to win the French Open. In total she has featured in 70 grand slam main draws. The third highest in the Open Era after Amy Frazier (71) and Venus Williams (80).  Serena Williams is closely behind Schiavone with 69 appearances.

Schiavone also enjoyed success in the doubles by reaching a ranking high of 8th in 2007. Claiming a total of seven doubles titles on the tour between 2001-2009. She was also runner-up at the 2008 French Open with partner Casey Dellacqua.

“When I was 18-year-old I had two dreams. The first won was to win at Roland Garros and the second was to become top 10 in the world. I’ve completed that, so I am very very happy and lucky.” She said.
“My heart says that I am at peace with this. That I’m very happy about my career, my life and everything.”

Coaching challenge beckons

Schiavone will not leave the sport completely. She continues to have goals of claiming the biggest title in the sport, but as a coach watching from the sidelines. Schiavone has been mentoring young players within recent months and hopes to one day use her skills to help train the best in the world.

“After 20 years of my career and life. I have new dreams. I have new dreams every day of my life. My new dream is to come here (to Flushing Meadows) and win a grand slam as a coach.” She stated.
“It would be a fantastic emotion for me. For sure, to help some players to reach their goals.”

Playing in an era that featured the Williams sisters and the ‘big four,’ Schiavone has relished her chances to play alongside them. In total she has scored 29 wins against top 10 players, including two against Serena Williams on the clay.

“One of the most important things I learn in this sport is to be a simple person, to be a human person. To have a good attitude.” She said
“I think we have many examples on the court with Roger, Rafa and Serena. It is great for me to grow up with them and have a change to play against them.”

Six facts about Schiavone’s Career

  1. Played in 61 consecutive grand slam main draws.
  2. Was the first Italian woman is history to win a grand slam title at the 2010 French Open
  3. Has won $11,324,245 in prize money. The 38th highest in history, according to the WTA
  4. Has won 614 out of 1093 matches throughout her professional career
  5. She is a three-time Olympian
  6. Schiavone has won more matches (27) in the Fed Cup than any other Italian player


Tereza Martincova and Belinda Bencic reach the quarter final in Ostrava




Czech wildcard Tereza Martincova upset Roland Garros Anastasya Pavlyuchenkova 7-6 (7-5) 7-6 (8-6) after 2 hours and 19 minutes to advance to the quarter finals at the J&T Banka Ostrava Open. 


Martincova claimed her third top 20 win of her career and reached her second quarter final on home soil this season after finishing fourth in Prague. 

Pavlyuchenkova earned the first break to take a 4-3 lead and served for the first set in the 10th game, but she never reached a set point. The Russian player came just two points away from winning the first set at 5-4 30-15, but Martincova won four consecutive points before winning the tie-break 7-5. 

Martincova dropped just eight points in the first six games of the second set. The Czech player fended off two break points to consolidate her lead for 2-0. She raced out to a 7-6 (7-5) 5-1 lead, but Pavlyuchenkova saved two match points to hold serve forcing Martincova to serve for the match. Martincova dropped four consecutive points. Pavlyuchenkova got another break, when Martincova was serving for the match for the third time at 6-5. Martincova went up a 4-1 lead in the tie-break, but Pavlyuchenkova drew level to 4-4 before saving a third match point. Martincova won the final two points to claim the tie-break 8-6. 

Martincova set up a quarter final match against Maria Sakkari, who beat last week’s Luxembourg finalist Jelena Ostapenko. 

This year’s Olympic champion Belinda Bencic cruised to a 6-2 6-3 win over Sara Sorribes Tormo in just 88 minutes. Bencic claimed her 15th win in her last 18 matches. Bencic broke six times and reeled off eight consecutive games from 2-2 in the first set to cruise through to a a straight-set win. Sorribes Tormo saved a break point to win her first game for 1-4 and pulled one break back in the sixth game, but Bencic sealed the win with her third break in the ninth game. “I think I prepared well for this match tactically, and also mentally, because it’s very tough. You have to win the point many times against her, especially on this surface, where it’s very slow. I am happy that I stayed disciplined for the whole match”, said Bencic. 

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Naomi Osaka Withdraws From Indian Wells, Unclear If She Will Play Again This Year

There is no official word but it looking increasingly likly that the world No.8 might have pulled the plug on her 2021 season.




Japan’s Naomi Osaka has officially withdrawn from the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells just weeks after saying she will take a break from the sport due to personal reasons.


The former world No.1 hadn’t played a match since her loss to Leylah Fernandez in the third round of the US Open. Speaking to reporters in New York, Osaka said she didn’t know when she would play another match on the Tour. Earlier this year she opened up about her mental health struggles after revealing she has been suffering from social anxiety and depression. Osaka also took time away from the sport during the summer after pulling out of the French Open before deciding to skip Wimbledon.

“This is very hard to articulate. Basically I feel like I’m kind of at this point where I’m trying to figure out what I want to do, and I honestly don’t know when I’m going to play my next tennis match. Sorry,” she said following her loss to Fernandez.
“I think I’m going to take a break from playing for a while. How do I go around saying this? I feel like for me recently when I win I don’t feel happy. I feel more like a relief. And then when I lose, I feel very sad. I don’t think that’s normal. I didn’t really want to cry.”

Osaka’s withdrawal from Indian Wells was confirmed by the tournament who published an announcement on social media. Although they didn’t specify what reason she used to withdraw from the tournament which is one of the biggest events outside of the Grand Slams in terms of ranking points and prize money on offer.

It was Indian Wells where Osaka won her first prestigious title back in 2018 after defeating Daria Kasatkina in straight sets. The following year she was the top seed in the draw but lost to Belinda Bencic in the fourth round.

There has been no official comment from Osaka or her team about Indian Wells and if she will play again this season. Although it looks increasingly unlikely. She is in with a chance of qualifying for the WTA Finals in November but even if she does make the cut it is unclear if she will attend the event which has been relocated from China to Mexico.

This year Indian Wells will get underway on October 4th which is more than six months later than usual due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Simona Halep Ends Six-Year Collaboration With Coach Cahill

One of the longest coaching partnerships on the WTA Tour has come to an end.




Former world No.1 Simona Halep is on the lookout for a new coach after unexpectedly announcing her split from Darren Cahill on Wednesday.


The two-time Grand Slam champion has been working with the Australian mentor for most of the time since 2015. There was a brief period where Cahill stepped away from his duties to spend more time with his family before later returning. Under his guidance, the Romanian reached the top of the world rankings and featured in the final of three major tournaments, winning two of those.

“After six wonderful years working together, Darren Cahill and I have decided that it’s time to end our working relationship,” Halep wrote on social media. “Thank you D for everything, for making me a better tennis player and a better person.”

55-year-old Cahill is a former player himself who has also worked with a series of top players prior to Halep. In the past, he has coached both Lleyton Hewitt and Andre Agassi to world No.1 at different stages of their careers. Doubles specialist Horia Tecău reportedly told Romanian TV that it was rumoured Cahill received an annual salary in the region of one million euros during his time with Halep. Although this has not been verified.

The announcement comes a week after Halep married Macedonian businessman Toni Iuruc. One of those who attended the event was Illie Nastase who was one of the world’s best tennis players during the 1970s, winning both the French Open and US Open.

I didn’t know anything about Simona’s intention to break up with Darren Cahill. It took me a little by surprise. But Simona Halep has proven she knows what she’s doing. As I did not know, I do not see what I could comment. But there is no question of collaborating (with her),” Nastase told
I didn’t talk to her about this or to anyone else in her entourage… I think only Simona knows who her future coach will be. I trust her choices.”

So far in 2021 Halep has achieved a win-loss record of 15-7 during what has been a rollercoaster season. An Achilles injury forced her to miss both the French Open and Wimbledon, as well as the Tokyo Olympics. Since returning to the Tour from her injury she has won back-to-back matches in one out of three tournaments played. Reaching the fourth round of the US Open.

There has been no official word on who may replace Cahill as Halep’s coach.

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