Angelique Kerber Fights Past Osaka In WTA Finals Epic - UBITENNIS
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Angelique Kerber Fights Past Osaka In WTA Finals Epic

Angelique Kerber fights past Naomi Osaka in the battle of the grand slam champions to keep her semi-final hopes alive.



Angelique Kerber (

Angelique Kerber battled past Naomi Osaka 6-4 5-7 6-4 in a WTA Finals epic to keep her semi-final hopes alive.

The match lasted 2 and a half hours as the German kept her cool to defeat Osaka in the battle of the grand slam champions.

The Wimbledon champion will now play Sloane Stephens on Friday as she aims to reach the semi-finals in Singapore for the second time in two years.

As for Osaka, her over-aggressiveness cost her and a win for Kiki Bertens in the second match will see her eliminated from the finals.

The first few games saw a nervy start for both women as the stakes were high with both players losing their opening match in the Red Group.

After three breaks of serve to start the match, the top seed eventually gained control with her first serve as she became the first player to hold in the match.

The Japanese player steadily rose to the occasion though and kept trying to break a stubborn Kerber. Although the German was able to control her emotions and the match in the opening set.

The Wimbledon champion was making forehand winners with ease as she had to work hard for her narrow first set lead. Despite having five break points in the final game, Osaka couldn’t break Kerber as she failed to be the aggressor, first set to Kerber, 6-4.

As Osaka played with a hamstring problem in the second set, the world number two continued to fight throughout the match as she came back from a break down twice to level the set at 3-3.

It was now turning into a match full of world-class defending and shot-making as Osaka was broken to love in the ninth game. A controlled Kerber looked like she would close out the match for a straight sets win, but there was a twist.

This is as the German became very nervy with her first set which allowed the US Open champion to fight back. A run of three games in a row stole the set for Osaka and frustration had hit the three time grand slam champion.

Nervousness was a key part of this match for both players as they knew that a loss would leave their fate in the hands of other players.

The third set saw a tense affair with Kerber controlling her emotions through the art of muttering while Osaka was on her knees in frustration. However the difference proved to be Kerber’s fight and intensity as she clawed herself a break of serve out of nowhere.

The Japanese star became over-aggressive as she became more frustrated and despite a mini back-spasm, the slow conditions sealed the win for Kerber as she won her first match of this year’s WTA Finals.

The win means Kerber’s hopes of reaching the semi-finals are still alive as she takes on Sloane Stephens on Friday. While Naomi Osaka could be eliminated if Kiki Bertens manages to beat Stephens later on in the evening.

Osaka and Bertens will meet on Friday in the last Round Robin match of the US Open champion’s campaign.


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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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