The Best Performers Of 2018 In Women's Tennis - UBITENNIS
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The Best Performers Of 2018 In Women’s Tennis

Ubitennis analyse the performances of the best players on the WTA Tour.

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2018 featured four different women’s singles champions at the Grand Slam events for the second straight year, three of whom were first-time Major champions. It was a year that saw multi-time former finalists in Simona Halep and Caroline Wozniacki finally realize Grand Slam glory. It was a year that saw young new stars born, like Naomi Osaka and Aryna Sabalenka. And it was a year that saw the return of the GOAT, Serena Williams, who was an inspiration in reaching two Major finals, but ended her year as a part of 2018’s most controversial incident. Here’s a look at the best performers of 2018, listed in order of their year-end ranking.

 

Simona Halep

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  • 6.921 points
  • 46-11 match record (.807 winning percentage)
  • 3 titles, including her first Major at Roland Garros, the Premier 5 event in Montreal, and Shenzen in the first week of the year.
  • 48 weeks ranked No.1, including the end of the year.

Recap: The year started with more Major heartache for Halep in Melbourne. Despite dramatic victories over Lauren Davis and Angelique Kerber, Simona fell just short in the final to Caroline Wozniacki. But Halep’s perseverance paid off at the next Major, when Simona finally prevailed in her fourth Grand Slam final at Roland Garros. Her summer was highlighted by her defeat of Sloane Stephens in a stellar final to win the Rogers Cup. Halep went out early at both Wimbledon and the US Open, and missed the last few tournaments of 2018 due to a back injury, yet had more than enough points from earlier in the year to secure the year-end No.1 ranking for the second straight year. With little match play to end the year, and the departure of her coach, Darren Cahill, 2019 will present new challenges for the world No.1.

Angelique Kerber

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  • 5,875 points
  • 46-19 match record (.708 winning percentage)
  • 2 titles, including her third Major at Wimbledon, and Sydney at the beginning of the year.
  • Ended the year ranked No.2, 19 spots higher than 2017.

Recap: Kerber quickly put her disappointing 2017 behind her by winning her first 10 matches of the year, landing her in the Australian Open semifinals. Despite losing prolonged affairs to World No.1 Simona Halep at both the Australian and Roland Garros, Kerber won what she described at the biggest title of her career at Wimbledon. She defeated Serena Williams in the final to do so, becoming only the second woman to have two victories over Serena in Major finals. Following her Wimbledon triumph, Kerber went just 7-7 to finish out the year, and parted ways with her coach, Wim Fisette, right before the WTA Finals. Angelique will need to start from scratch in 2019 as far as building some momentum.

Caroline Wozniacki

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  • 5,586 points
  • 41-17 match record (.707 winning percentage)
  • 3 titles, including for her first Major at the Australian Open, Eastbourne, and Beijing.
  • Spent four weeks as the world No.1 following her victory in Melbourne.

Recap: Of course the highlight of Wozniacki’s 2018 took place in January, where she finally proved the naysayers wrong and won a Major title. That alone made this year a successful one for Caroline. She had a bit of letdown in the coming months, and battled injuries throughout the summer. But she ended the year positively by winning the title in Beijing, and qualifying for the WTA Finals for the sixth time.

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New York Open Saturday Recap: Kyle Edmund and Andreas Seppi Advance to Sunday’s Final

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The Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, Home of the New York Open

The Brit and the Italian both comfortably prevailed in their semifinal matches, and will play for the championship Sunday afternoon inside Long Island’s Nassau Coliseum.

 

Kyle Edmund never trailed in Saturday’s first semifinal against fellow seed and ATP Next Gen upstart Miomir Kecmanovic.  In the second game of the first set, Kecmanovic was serving at 40-0, but then lost the next five points to drop serve, which included two double faults. Miomir’s next service game at 0-3 went to deuce, when Edmund promptly crushed two forehand return winners to gain a double break. Edmund would take the first set 6-1.

Kyle’s forehand was on fire in this match, with his backhand showing some noticeable improvements as well.  However, as the second set progressed, Kecmanovic started ripping his own forehand and backhand with much more authority. But at 4-4, Miomir lost control of his groundstrokes, resulting in a break at love. Edmund would then hit multiple aces in the final game, closing out the match 6-1, 6-4. Kyle won an impressive 79% of first serve points in the match.

Regarding the tighter second set, Edmund stated, “You play top players in the world, you expect a fight back.”

“I had to weather that storm a bit, he was gaining more confidence,” Kyle said.

In the second semifinal, Andreas Seppi also allowed his opponent just five games, eliminating qualifier Jason Jung by a score of 6-3, 6-2. Just like the first semifinal, Seppi broke his opponent in his first service game, and never looked back. Jung understandably started off a bit tight in his first-ever ATP semifinal, and never settled into the match. Seppi will now vie for his first title since 2012.

The singles championship match will take place Sunday at 4:00pm local time. Edmund leads their head-to-head 4-1, with a 4-0 edge on hard courts. Their last meeting was just last month in Auckland, where Kyle won 6-3, 7-6(4).

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Casper Ruud comes back from the verge of defeat to reach the final in Buenos Aires

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Casper Ruud came back from one set down to beat home favourite Juan Ignacio Londero 4-6 7-5 6-1 to reach the final in Buenos Aires. Ruud was three points from defeat, but he reeled off 10 of the last 11 games to win the match.

 

Londero broke Ruud for the first time at 1-1 in the opening set with a forehand and hit a forehand winner on set point. The Argentine drew an error from Ruud at 2-2 to break serve. Londero was broken at serve with three forehand errors, as he was serving for the match at 5-4. Ruud broke serve at love two games later, as Ruud drew level to 5-5 with a backhand return winner.

Ruud will play against Portuguese lucky loser Pedro Sousa, who reached the final after Diego Schwartman pulled out of the match due to a left leg injury.

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Andrea Petkovic Demands More Action From Tennis In Fight Against Racism

Andrea Petkovic has urged tennis authorities to make a stronger stance against racism.

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Andrea Petkovic (@AustralianOpen - Twitter)

Andrea Petkovic has demanded that more action needs to be taken if Tennis wants to tackle racism successfully. 

 

The German who is currently injured and is a part-time host for ZDF Sport has spoken about the need for tennis to take stronger action against Racism.

Speaking of her own experiences and background, Petkovic has urged the need for tennis to speak out on these issues more regularly, “We, in particular, as athletes who play abroad, get to know foreign cultures,” Petkovic said in an interview with Sueddeutsche.

“We are seen as role models and we should position ourselves against racism again and again. I myself am the daughter of a migrant family who came to Germany from the former Yugoslavia and was warmly welcomed here. Germany made this success possible for me, without the support of the German Tennis Association I would never have made it this far. 

“It makes me sad to see how things are developing, that the voices are getting louder from the right. However, a large majority in Germany are still resisting it.”

As her tennis career soon reaches its climax, Petkovic is starting to speak out on more sporting issues therefore putting pressure on tennis authorities to listen on these issues from a different perspective.

At the moment the German just had knee surgery, ruling her out of Indian Wells, and the 32 year-old admits her schedule will be lighter as the years go by, “I definitely want to play this year and maybe add the Australian Open 2021 to it. There won’t be that many tournaments. I listen to my body.”

The world number 80 will look to be fit for the WTA tournament in Stuttgart, which starts on the 20th of April.

 

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