WTA Finals Day 7 Preview: Fresh Faces Look To Break New Territory In Singapore - UBITENNIS
Connect with us

Focus

WTA Finals Day 7 Preview: Fresh Faces Look To Break New Territory In Singapore

Capping off another topsy-turvy year on the WTA tour, the lowest four seeds in the tournament have advanced out of the robin stage.

Published

on

In Saturday’s semifinals in Singapore, we have four fresh faces looking for their first WTA Finals title. 2017 US Open Champion Sloane Stephens is the only player with a title of this magnitude. For the other three players, this weekend is an opportunity for the biggest tournament win of their careers. Elina Svitolina has been a perennial top 10 player, but never been farther than the quarterfinals of a Major. Karolina Pliskova was a finalist at the 2016 US Open, but hasn’t been to the final of a tournament this significant since. And while Kiki Bertens has taken her career to the next level over the past six months, she only qualified for this tournament after world No.1 Simona Halep withdrew. Now she’s advanced to the semifinals, and is two matches away from the Billie Jean King trophy.

Elina Svitolina vs. Kiki Bertens

Embed from Getty Images
Svitolina has succumb to the pressure of big stages in the past, but she blitzed through her competition in the round robin stage, going 3-0. Now that she’s in the semifinals, can she keep up her form despite the significance of the occasion? She has a tough out on the other side of the net in Bertens, who now has 12 wins over top 10 players since May of this year. One of those wins came against Svitolina, a straight set victory earlier this year on the hard courts of Cincinnati. Their only other meeting was two years ago, also on a hart court in Zhuhai, which Svitolina won in three. This is one match where the “X’s and O’s” likely won’t make as much difference as who better handles the moment. Bertens will be the underdog, and as we’ve seen this week, lower-seeded players have been very successful. With that in mind, I’m going with Kiki to make the finals.

Sloane Stephens vs. Karolina Pliskova

Embed from Getty Images
Stephens won her group, going 3-0 just as Svitolina did, but Pliskova’s the only player that’s been to this stage of the tournament before. Karolina was a semifinalist just last year in Singapore, losing to the eventual champion, Caroline Wozniacki. These players have faced off three times before, and on three different surfaces. Stephens won on the grass of Wimbledon and on a hard court in Beijing, but Pliskova took out Sloane earlier this year on clay in Madrid. No player has performed better this past week than Stephens, so she’ll head onto court with a lot of confidence. Pliskova though will be eager to go at least one step further than she did a year ago in Singapore, and her play has continually improved since adding Rennae Stubbs to her team. But I’m not betting against Sloane, especially in a big match like this. Stephens is not intimidated by the spotlight, and her movement will force more errors off the racquet of Karolina.

Focus

Tommy Paul Downs Lorenzo Musetti Wins Maiden Grass Court Title At Queen’s Club

Tommy Paul is the new American number one!

Published

on

(@TheTennisLetter - Twitter)

Tommy Paul has won his maiden grass court title at Queen’s Club after defeating Lorenzo Musetti 6-1 7-6(8).

The fifth seed was too good for the Italian who never really got going as Paul claimed his first title at ATP 500 level.

It was Paul’s third ATP title of his career and moves to world number 12 after an impressive week.

Heading into the final, Paul had beaten Jack Draper and Sebastian Korda and the American continued his red-hot form in the opening set.

Incredible movement on the grass as Paul played efficient counter-attacking tennis as he frustrated Musetti early on.

The American secured the early break for a 3-0 lead as the world number 13 dictated with power and touch.

Looking for a response, Musetti aimed to dictate play on the backhand and the Italian’s serve was firing in the next game as he secured his only hold of the match.

However, Paul was too consistent and solid as the American broke again and would soon win the opening set 6-1.

In the second set, Musetti started more positively as he was more proactive and aggressive as he looked to control his power more.

Paul managed to outlast Musetti’s early power to keep moving the Italian about and creating angles to hit winners into.

After a controlled start, Musetti produced a reckless seventh game as erratic unforced errors saw Paul break for a 4-3 lead.

The American was calm and collected for the majority of the match but when serving for the match Paul faltered under pressure.

Too many missed first serves saw Musetti with an opportunity to break back and the Italian didn’t need a second invitation as a crisp backhand return winner sealed the break back to level the set at 5-5.

An inspired Musetti applied pressure on Paul with some phenomenal hitting from the baseline as he secured consistent winners.

The American held his nerve to force a second set tiebreak as the American looked to overcome some jitters.

It looked like Musetti was going to cruise to the tiebreak but the Italian squandered a 4-1 lead in what was a highly entertaining tiebreak.

In the end Paul would win the tiebreak 10-8 and secure his first ATP 500 title as well as becoming the new American number one.

Continue Reading

Focus

Jannik Sinner Wins Maiden Grass-Court Title In Halle

Published

on

Jannik Sinner - Parigi 2024 (foto X @ATPTour_ES)

Jannik Sinner has reached another milestone in his blossoming career after claiming his first title on grass at the Terra Wortmann Open in Halle. 

The world No.1 ousted fifth seed and doubles partner Hubert Hurkacz 7-6(8), 7-6,(2), in a tightly contested encounter. Sinner was sternly tested by the big-hitting Pole who knocked French Open finalist Alexander Zverev out of the tournament on Saturday. Nevertheless, he managed to come out on top to become only the eighth player in PIF ATP ranking history to claim a trophy in his first tournament as world No.1.

“This means a lot,” Sinner told TennisTV. “It was a tough match against Hubi. I knew that I had to serve really well. You play only a couple of really important points throughout the whole set. I tried to produce in the best possible way in the important moments. 
“I’m very happy about this tournament because it’s my first time winning (a title) on a grass court. It’s a good feeling.”

Proceedings got underway with a 53-minuite opening set which saw no breaks of serves during the first 12 games played. However, each player had one opportunity to do so during the early stages. In the tiebreak, Sinner continued to be troubled by Hurkacz after failing to maintain a 5-2 lead. Then at 6-5, he was unable to convert his first set point due to an ace from his opponent. He missed a second opportunity to do so before prevailing on his third by hitting a shot deep to the baseline that his rival returned into the net. Making Sinner the first player to take a set off Hurkacz this week. 

It was a case of deja vu in the second frame with both players standing strong behind their serve. Hurkacz was unable to find a way to break but he did win over the crowd after hitting a fantastic over-the-shoulder passing shot without looking to win a point. 

Meanwhile, Sinner continued to weather the storm as he closed in on victory. The second tiebreaker saw him capitalised on back-to-back unforced errors from his rival en route to a 5-1 lead. Two points later he earned his first match point with the help of another costly mistake from across the court before closing the match out with ease.

Sinner’s latest victory is only the second time he has beaten a top 10 player on the grass with his first triumph being against Carlos Alcaraz at Wimbledon two years ago. He is also the second player to win Halle whilst ranked No.1 in the world after Roger Federer. 

Heading into Wimbledon, the 22-year-old has won four ATP trophies so far this season on three different surfaces. He has now won 38 out of his last 41 matches played. 

“I’m looking forward to it,” Sinner said of the next Grand Slam. “Last year I made the semis and played some good tennis. So let’s see what’s coming this year. 
“For sure I’m more confident on this surface. Obviously, the grass here (in Halle) might be a bit different to Wimbledon but I have a week to prepare so hopefully it is going to be a good tournament.”

Sinner is the 17th active male player to win a tour-level title on all three surfaces. 

Continue Reading

Focus

(VIDEO) Jannik Sinner And Lorenzo Musetti Create Italian Grass Court History

Italian tennis keeps getting stronger as Jannik Sinner and Lorenzo Musetti make more history on grass.

Published

on

(@TheTennisLetter - Twitter)

Jannik Sinner and Lorenzo Musetti created Italian grass court history by becoming the first Italians to reach ATP grass court finals in the same week.

The world number one, Jannik Sinner, overcame Zhizhen Zhang in straight sets to reach the final in Halle.

It’s Sinner’s best ever performance at Halle and will now face doubles partner Hubert Hurkacz for the title on Sunday.

Meanwhile at Queen’s Club Lorenzo Musetti reached his second ATP 500 final with victory over Jordan Thompson in three sets.

It’s Musetti’s third ATP final of his career and his first ATP 500 final since 2022 where he beat Carlos Alcaraz in the Hamburg final.

Ubitennis founder Ublado Scanagatta reflects on the historic achievements by Sinner and Musetti and the impact it could have on the whole pyramid of Italian tennis.

Continue Reading

Trending