Angelique Kerber Believes Schuttler Meets Criteria Ahead Of 2019 Season - UBITENNIS
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Angelique Kerber Believes Schuttler Meets Criteria Ahead Of 2019 Season

Angelique Kerber spoke at a Generali event in Cologne about her new coach Rainer Schuttler and how she believes he is the right man for the job.

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Angelique Kerber (zimbio.com)

Wimbledon champion Angelique Kerber believes new coach Rainer Schuttler ‘meets all the criteria’ ahead of the 2019 season. 

 

The German, who has won three grand slams, split with Wim Fissette just before the WTA Finals in October and has since looked for a new appointment.

After a lengthy break in Indonesia and a long process, Kerber went for former Australian Open finalist Rainer Schuttler to be her new coach.

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The decision has been met with doubts as Schuttler has yet to coach a WTA player after stints with Sergiy Stakhovsky and Vasek Pospisil.

However in a recent interview with German website Spox.com, Kerber explained that he ticked all the right boxes and is confident that the partnership will work, “I had already thought about a few names, but Rainer meets all the criteria,” said Kerber.

He has already gained experience as a player and coach. He does not have anyone on the WTA tour trained, but that will not be a big change for him. With Rainer you can have fun – and trust him.”

Despite the appointment Kerber still says that the work mostly depends on herself and the coach doesn’t matter if she isn’t disciplined enough, “Everything starts with me, if I’m not motivated, it does not matter if it’s the best or the worst coach.” 

The left-hander had another great year last season having won Wimbledon as well as finishing the year as world number two.

Although the start of next season will be crucial for Kerber as she has a Sydney title to defend and the Australian Open semi-finals.

Kerber ‘proud’ of Zverev

Speaking of next season, Kerber will start her year in Perth where she play in the Hopman Cup with ATP Finals champion Alexander Zverev.

The pair reached the final last year only to lose to Switzerland and know each other well. So it’s no surprise that the former world number one congratulated Zverev on his brilliant ATP Finals win in London last week, “I’m proud of him for what he did in London,” Kerber explained when she sent the message to him on WhatsApp on Sunday. “Sascha Zverev and I are good role models for the young players.”

The 21 year-old beat Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic back-to-back to win the ATP Finals over the weekend and will have momentum heading into the start of the season in January.

Kerber will hope this is the case when they look to win the Hopman Cup in January, their first match will be against Spain on the 30th of December.

 

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Amanda Anisimova becomes the second US player to reach the final in Bogotà

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US 17-year-old Amanda Anisimova fought back from one set down to beat Brazil’s Beatriz Haddad Maia 4-6 7-6 (7-2) 6-2 after 2 hours and 40 minutes at the Claro Open Colsanitas in Bogotà.

 

Roland Garros Junior finalist Amanda Anisimova has become the second US player to reach the final in Bogotà and the first since Irina Falconi in 2016. She has reached the second final of her career.

Haddad Maia earned the first break in the third game to take a 2-1 lead, but Anisimova broke straight back in the next game. Haddad Maia got another break lead for 3-2. Anisimova brought up five break point chance on Haddad’s next three service games, but the Brazilian player held on her service games to clinch the opening set 6-4.

Anisimova earned six break points, but Haddad Maia saved them setting up a tie-break. Anisimova opened up a 2-0 lead, but Haddad Maia pulled back the mini-break to draw level to 2-2. Anisimova reeled off five consecutive points to seal the tie-break 7-2 sending the match to the third set.

Anisimova went up a double break to open up a 4-1 lead. Haddad Maia got one of the two breaks back, but Anisimova broke again for 5-2, when the Brazilian player made a double fault. Anisimova saved five break points before serving out the match after three deuces.

“She is a great player, and I have never played her before. I was expecting a really tough match, because especially on clay she is really good”, said Anisimova.

Anisimova will face Australia’s Astra Sharma, who beat 2012 Bogotà champion and 2017 and 2018 finalist Lara Arruabarrena 7-5 6-1 after 66 minutes reaching the first final of her career.

The first set went on serve in the first eight games with no break point chances. Arruabarrena earned the first break in the ninth game to take a 5-4 lead. Sharma got the break back after saving two set points. Arruabarrena held two game points in the 12th game, but Sharma rallied from 15-40 to break serve for 7-5 after a double break from the Spanish player.

Sharma earned two consecutive breaks in the fourth and sixth games to cruise through to winning the second set 6-1.

“The most important thing this week has been keeping my keeping really good mentally. Staying positive, staying positive, not thinking too much or getting too negative on court. I have just been really solid and consistent, point by point”, said Sharma.

 

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Amanda Anisimova edges past fellow teenager Maria Camila Osorio Serrano to reach the semifinal in Bogotà

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US 17-year-old Amanda Anisimova edged past her fellow teenager Maria Camila Osorio Serrano from Colombia 6-2 1-6 6-3 after 1 hour and 51 minutes to reach the semifinal at the Claro Open Colsanitas in Bogotà.

 

In the opening set Anisimova fended off three break points in the first game and broke twice in the second and eighth games to seal the first set 6-2. Seventeen-year-old Serrano broke three times to cruise through to winning the second set 6-1 in less than 30 minutes forcing the match to the third set.

Anisimova went up a double break to open up a 3-0 lead in the decider. Serrano pulled one break back on her fourth break point chance in a very long fourth game featuring nine deuces. Anisimova saved three break points in the eighth game to hold her serve before closing out the match with a break in the ninth game to reach her first semifinal since Hiroshima last September.

“It was a really tough match. Playing someone in their country is really tough. I am really happy that I battled through it, and I mentally stayed strong. Osorio Serrano is a strong player and I have a lot of respect for her”, said Anisimova.

Anisimova will face a semifinal clash against Beatriz Haddad Maia, who came back from one set down to beat Sara Sorribes Tomo 6-7 (6-8) 6-2 6-3 after 2 hours and 45 minutes reaching her first seminal since Seoul 2017. Anisimova and Haddad Maia will meet for the first time in their careers.

Both players traded six times in the first nine games of the first set. Sorribes Tormo won the final four points after saving two set points at 4-6 to win the tie-break 8-6. Maia bounced back in the second set by breaking three times in a row to win the second set 6-2. After a trade of breaks in the third and fourth games of the third set Haddad Maia broke twice in a row to open up a 5-2 lead. Sorribes Tormo got back one break in the eighth game but Haddad Maia converted her third match point on return to seal the decisive set 6-3.

Spain’s Lara Arruabarrena saw off Tamara Zidansek 6-4 6-2 after 1 hour and 18 minutes. Arruabarrena saved five of the six break points she faced and broke serve four times. Arruabarrena reeled off nine of the last eleven games and raced out to a 5-0 lead in second set. She secured her semifinal spot on her fifth match point in a seven-deuce ninth game.

Australia’s Astra Sharma edged former Roland Garros finalist Sara Errani 6-1 7-5. Sharma broke five times and fended off seven of the nine break points she faced.

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Krystina Pliskova battles past Svetlana Kuznetsova to set up semifinal against teenager Iga Swiatek in Lugano

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World number 101 Krystina Pliskova came back from one set down in her 4-6 6-3 7-5 win over 2009 Roland Garros champion Svetlana Kuznetsova after 2 hours and 5 minutes at the Samsung Open in Lugano to reach her first semifinal since her run to the final in Prague 2017.

 

Krystina Pliskova (the twin sister of Karolina) had already beaten Kuznetsova in three sets in the second round at Wimbledon 2015 after coming back from a set down.

The first set featured 20 break points. Kuznetsova got an immediate break in the first game on her second chance. Pliskova converted her third break-back chance in the fourth game to draw level to 2-2. Kuznetsova earned a second break lead in the fifth game at deuce to take a 3-2 lead, but Pliskova broke straight back in the sixth game. Kuznetsova broke for the third time to take a 4-3 lead. Pliskova saved three set points to hold her serve for 4-5, as she was serving to stay in the set in the ninth game. Kuznetsova served out the first set on her fourth set point.

Pliskova held her service games and broke serve in the fourth game on her only chance to take a 3-1 lead. The Czech player held serve at 30 to seal the second set 6-3 forcing the match to the decider.

Pliskova saved five break point chance in the second game of the third set before converting her second break point chance in the third game to take a 2-1 lead. Kuznetsova broke back in the eighth game to draw level to 4-4. Pliskova reeled off 12 of the final 14 points at 4-5 to reel off the final three games thanks to a break in the 11th game securing her spot in the semifinal.

Pliskova will face Polish 17-year-old Iga Swiatek (Wimbledon Junior champion in 2018), who rallied from one set down to beat Vera Lapko 4-6 6-4 6-1 after 2 hours and 4 minutes. Lapko saved ten of the eleven break point chances she faced in the first set and broke serve twice in the ninth game to seal the first set 6-4. Both players traded breaks twice in the second set en route to 4-4. Swiatek sealed the second set 6-4 with a break in the 10th game. Swiatek went down a break in the first game of the decisive set, but she won six consecutive games with three breaks to close out the third set 6-1.

Polona Hercog from Slovenia beat Veronika Kudemertova 6-4 6-1 after 1 hour and 26 minutes. Hercog converted 5 of her 13 break points. The Slovenian player went down a break in the seventh game, but she came back by winning three consecutive games with two breaks to take the first set 6-4. Hercog went up a double break to race out to a 4-0 lead. Kudemertova pulled back one of the two breaks, but Hercog broke for the third time to close out the third set 6-1.

Twenty-two French player Fiona Ferro battled past Switzerland’s Stefanie Voegele 7-5 7-6 (7-5) after 1 hour and 54 minutes. Ferro came back from 4-5 down by winning three consecutive games to clinch the opening set 7-5. The young French player recovered from a break down in the seventh game of the second set with a break back in the eighth game before winning the tie-break 7-5 to secure her spot in the semifinal without dropping a set during the week.

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