The Most Emotional Moments of 2018 – Part 1 - UBITENNIS
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The Most Emotional Moments of 2018 – Part 1

Here is the first instalment of the year’s dramatic highs and lows, presented in chronological order.

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In a special new series, Ubitennis looks back at the moments in 2018 that brought a tear to the eyes of both players and fans. In the first part, we look back at Caroline Wozniacki’s maiden grand slam triumph, Roger Federer’s return to world No.1, Joao Sousa’s victory on home soil and many more.

 

Shenzhen: Katrina Siniakova upsets her idol, Maria Sharapova


Back in the first week of the year, Siniakova overcame Sharapova on her fourth match point. As raindrops fell from the sky, tears fell from the eyes of Katerina, who had just upset her self-described idol.

Australian Open Women’s Final: Caroline Wozniacki wins her first major


In her 43rd Major appearance, and her third Major final, Wozniacki finally prevailed at a Grand Slam event, falling backwards to the court as soon as Simona Halep’s final shot went into the net.

Australian Open Men’s Final: Roger Federer wins his twentieth major


Marin Cilic pushed Federer to a fifth set, but Federer prevailed in the end, winning his 20th Major title. Roger was overcome with the emotions of reaching such a rare milestone during the trophy presentation.

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Yulia Putintseva Saves Three Match Points To Keep Kazakhstan Alive Against Great Britain

Yulia Putintseva once again brought the drama as she saved Kazakhstan from being 2-0 down against Great Britain.

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Yulia Putintseva (@bbctennis - Twitter)

Yulia Putintseva saved three match points to defeat Katie Boulter 3-6 6-2 7-6(6) and level the tie for Kazakhstan against Great Britain.

 

In a match where there were injuries, passion and lots of drama, Putintseva saved three match points to level the tie for Kazakhstan.

Despite having a 4-0 lead in the deciding set, Boulter couldn’t close out the match as Great Britain are pegged back heading into the second day.

Earlier in the day Johanna Konta edged out Zarina Diyas 4-6 6-3 6-2 to give the hosts the lead in their World Group II Play-Off tie.

It was a good start from the Brit as she timed the ball to perfection as the Kazakh had no answers in the opening set. Two breaks at the end of the set sealed a positive start for Boulter, who was feeding off the crowd’s enthusiasm.

However the second set was a very different story as the Brit struggled with a knee injury as Putintseva took a more aggressive approach to proceedings.

Three games in a row against a cautious Boulter saw the world number 38 force a deciding set, which was sealed by an ace.

The final set saw Boulter time the ball exceptionally well again and overpower forehands with some aggressive forehands.

A 4-0 lead seemingly saw the Brit cruising but back came the controversial Kazakh as she managed to rescue one of the breaks of serve.

In nervy circumstances the world number 86 couldn’t hold her nerve when serving for the match at 5-3 as Putintseva pushed to force a final set tiebreak.

After one match point disappearing in the eleventh game, Boulter remained aggressive to create two more chances to seal the match.

But never count out Putintseva and four points in a row thanks to some gutsy play saw the Kazakh take the match in over two and a half hours as Britain sense an opportunity missed.

It is a gutting loss for Britain, who should have a commanding 2-0 lead but instead have been pegged back at 1-1. The match is level after Johanna Konta edged out Zarina Diyas in the first rubber.

After controversy with the Kazakh’s fans trombone and trumpets, the Brit kept her cool to seal a crucial rubber for the hosts.

Tomorrow Johanna Konta will face Yulia Putintseva, with Katie Boulter, if 100%, playing Zarina Diyas. If the singles are once again split, then a deciding doubles rubber will decide the outcome of the tie.

Great Britain are looking to enter the top two tiers of Women’s Tennis for the first time in 28 years.

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Fabio Fognini knocks out Rafael Nadal to reach his first Masters 1000 final

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Fabio Fognini claimed 11 of the final 14 games from 13 down to upset 11-time champion and world number 2 Rafael Nadal 6-4 6-2 after 1 hour and 36 minutes on a windy afternoon to reach the first Masters 1000 final of his career in Monte-Carlo. Fognini will face Serbia’s Dusan Lajovic for the first time in his career. 

 

Fognini upset Nadal, who won 71 of his previous 75 matches in Monte-Carlo, where he lifted 11 trophies.

Fognini entered the Monte-Carlo tournament with just four wins in 2019. This week he trailed 4-6 1-4 against Rublev before winning a dramatic third set. In yesterday’s semifinal the Italian star came back from 2-6 0-2 to beat Borna Coric. He also scored a top 3 win beating Alexander Zverev in the third round.

Fognini played one of the best matches of his career converting six of his ten break points and dropped his serve three times to beat Nadal for the fourth time in 15 head-to-head matches. The Italian top star had already beaten Nadal twice on clay in Barcelona and Rio de Janeiro in 2015 and at the US Open in 2015 on hard-court after coming back from two sets down.

Fognini started the first set with a break on his fourth opportunity. Nadal broke twice in a row to take a 3-1 lead before Fognini started his come-back winning five of the next six games with two breaks in the fifth and ninth games. The Italian player sealed the first set with a hold on his first set point at 5-4.

Fognini broke three times to race out to a 5-0 lead. Nadal fended off three match points in the sixth game and pulled back one of the three breaks to avoid the bagel. Fognini sealed the win with a forehand down the line winner at 5-2 to score one of the best wins in his career. Fognini has become the first Italian player to reach the final in Monte-Carlo since Corrado Barazzutti in 1977.

Fognini’s rival in the final will be Dusan Lajovic, who rallied from 1-5 down to beat Danil Medvedev 7-5 6-1.

“Against Rafa you have to take risks. He has no rivals on clay. It was a tough match, as the wind was very strong. I am happy that I was able to beat him in Monte-Carlo in front of my family. This win can turn around my season. I started the year badly. I hope to celebrate a great Easter’s day tomorrow.  I need to rest. Tomorrow’s final will be very difficult.

If you told me at the beginning of the day that I will see you on Sunday, I would have laughed in your face. I was 6-4 4-1 down against Rublev and faced a break point for 5-1, and I hit an ace on the line. That’s incredible sport. So I was lucky. Now I am in the final. I will play for my biggest title in the most important final of my career. Lajovic reached the final without dropping a set and is a tough opponent. This evening I will try to relax and play with my son Federico this evening. It’s a surprise final, because both of us were not favourites in the matches today. He played really solid against Medvedev during the whole week. I saw him play against Thiem. Even if Medvedev was really tight, he was 1-5 in the first set, and he is really good. It’s going to be really tough. He has nothing to lose. We start 50-50. Even if the ranking says that I am higher than him, I know that I have to run a lot tomorrow”, said Fognini.

Nadal, who was bidding to reach his 13th final in Monte-Carlo, was very disappointed after the match.

“It was a tough day and Fabio was a difficult opponent. I am coming from low moments in terms of injuries, an din terms of the mental side it has not been easy to accept all the things that have been going on. It was this kind of days in which everything was wrong”, said Nadal.

 

 

 

 

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Impressive Barty Puts Australia Back On Track In Brisbane Against Belarus

Ashleigh Barty produced some high-quality tennis to level the tie for Australia against Belarus in their semi-final.

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Ashleigh Barty (@TennisAustralia - Twitter)

Ashleigh Barty once again produced an impressive performance as she defeated Victoria Azarenka 7-6(2) 6-3 to level the tie for Australia. 

 

The Miami Open champion was impressive in the big moments as she levelled the tie for Australia against Belarus in their World Group semi-final.

Despite Azarenka’s resilience and great returning, the 21 year-old from Brisbane held on to seal the victory in front of her home fans.

Earlier in the day Aryna Sabalenka battled past Sam Stosur 7-5 5-7 6-3 in 2 hours and 51 minutes to give Belarus an early lead.

It was a pressure situation for Barty in heavy conditions as she looked to keep Australia’s hopes of reaching a first Fed Cup final since 1993 alive.

Keeping the unforced errors down and powerful returns was the key for the Belarusian to stay competitive in this contest.

However Azarenka’s serve let her down on occasions which allowed Barty to get back into the match in very heavy conditions in Brisbane.

After two breaks of serve each it was the Australian who played a flawless tiebreak to seal the first set and the home favourite only went from strength to strength.

Another three breaks of serve in the second set sealed the victory and set up a fantastic second day of action in this semi-final.

After the match Australian captain Alicia Molik couldn’t have been any prouder of her team’s efforts, “She backs herself in the big moments,” Molik explained to fedcup.com.

“When the occasion is there she’s prepared to play big…. She shone through at the right moments. I’m happy with where we’re sitting in terms of one win all. I thought Sam was brilliant today. That’s all I could have asked from her, I think she put out a great display.”

The earlier match saw Aryna Sabalenka battle past a gritty Sam Stosur in nearly three hours as she gave the Belarusians the early lead.

This means that day two is set up perfectly as world number nine Ashleigh Barty will face world number ten Aryna Sabalenka in the first match tomorrow.

Daria Gavrilova and Aliaksandra Sasnovich may be brought into the fourth rubber before a doubles rubber will decide who reaches the Fed Cup Final.

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