The Most Emotional Moments of 2018 – Part 2 - UBITENNIS
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The Most Emotional Moments of 2018 – Part 2

In the second installment UbiTennis looks at the most emotional moments of the 2018 season at Roland Garros and Wimbledon.

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Novak Djokovic (zimbio.com)

By Matthew Marolf

Here is our second installment of the year’s dramatic highs and lows, presented in chronological order.

Roland Garros: Yoshihito Nishioka cramps and cannot move on the last point of the match.

These were dramatic scenes on the very first day of the French Open.  Deep into the fifth set of an over four-hour match against Fernando Verdasco, Nishioka was cramping but still managed to break Verdasco’s serve.  Yoshihito continued to cramp while failing to serve the match out, and eventually fell 7-5 in the fifth. Nishioka was in tears and had to be helped off the court by the trainer, with Verdasco embracing the young Japanese player in a nice moment of sportsmanship.

Roland Garros: Baghdatis forced to retire in first round due to injury

Injuries have often troubled the Cypriot veteran, and his frustration showed through in Paris with some tearful racket smashes when being forced to retire at this year’s French Open.

Roland Garros: Marco Cecchinato pulls off an upset for the ages over Novak Djokovic

In the most shocking upset of 2018, the 26-year-old Italian, who had never before won a match at any Major, won his fifth in a row in this year’s French Open quarterfinals.  After surviving an extended fourth set tiebreak against one of the all-time greats, Marco fell to the court and sobbed as his final return of serve fell just inside the baseline for a winner.

Roland Garros: Juan Martin Del Potro emotional after quarterfinal win over Marin Cilic

This was another dramatic moment in the quarterfinals of this year’s Roland Garros.  When you’ve been through all that Del Potro has endured over the past decade, reaching your first French Open semifinal in nine years is a good reason to get teary-eyed.

Roland Garros: Simona Halep finally comes through at a Major

In her fourth final at a Grand Slam event, and her third at Roland Garros, Halep came back from a set and a break down to defeat Sloane Stephens in Paris.  Following so many close calls in previous Major finals, this was a well-deserved moment of triumph and relief for the world No.1.

Roland Garros: Frenchmen Nicolas Mahut and Pierre Hugues Herbert win the men’s doubles title

After the French duo prevailed, Mahut’s young son ran onto the court and embraced his father in one of the year’s most touching moments.

Roland Garros: Rafael Nadal wins an astounding 11th Roland Garros title

Rafael Nadal (zimbio.com)

The championship match was rather one-sided, but how often do we ever see a player win 11 titles at one tournament, much less a Grand Slam event?

Wimbledon: Su-Wei Hsieh upsets Simona Halep

Trailing 5-2 in the final set, Hsieh saved a match point and came back to take out the world No.1 on Court No.1.

Wimbledon: Nadal outlasts Del Potro in the quarter-finals

This was one of the best and most dramatic matches of 2018.  Match point ended with Del Potro laying face first on the grass, and Nadal walking across the court to embrace the fallen big man.

Wimbledon: Kevin Anderson defeats John Isner is marathon semi-final

After prevailing in the longest semi-final in Wimbledon history, Anderson barely had the energy to celebrate, but made sure to recognize how painful the loss must have been for Isner.  The South African looked groggily to his player’s box as the match ended, almost in disbelief that it was finally over.

Wimbledon: Djokovic takes out Nadal in the semi-finals

In yet another epic match from this year’s Wimbledon, this one played over the course of two days, Djokovic change the course of the tennis year by defeating Nadal in an over five-hour affair.

Wimbledon: Kerber defeats Serena Williams to win her third Major title

Winning Wimbledon is an overwhelming achievement for any player, but becoming the only player not named Williams to have two victories over Serena in Major finals is quite the way to do so.

Wimbledon: Djokovic wins for the fourth time at The Championships

It was an anti-climactic final, and Djokovic had raised the Gentlemen’s Singles Trophy three times prior, but this was an extra special occasion for Novak.  It was the first time his young son was courtside during the trophy presentation.

 

 

 

 

 

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Past Champions Wozniacki and Kerber Cruise Into Third Round

Caroline Wozniacki and Angelique Kerber continued their search for a second Australian Open with comfortable second round wins.

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Caroline Wozniacki (zimbio.com)

Past Australian Open champions Caroline Wozniacki and Angelique Kerber cruised into the third round with straight sets wins. 

The defending champion Wozniacki made it back-t0-back wins with a crushing 6-1 6-3 win over Sweden’s Johanna Larsson.

While 2016 champion Angelique Kerber proved why she is one of the favourites for the title after a 6-2 6-3 win against Brazilian qualifier Beatriz Haddad Maia.

The German will now play Australian wildcard Kimberly Birrell after she stunned Donna Vekic while Wozniacki could face Maria Sharapova on Friday.

Although it was Wozniacki’s first time of defending a grand slam title, she sure hasn’t looked nervous so far as she went too work against the world number 77.

A break to love in the second game sealed a good start as the Swede was made to pay for early match nerves. In this Scandinavian clash the Dane had 10 break point opportunities as she continued to be aggressive.

After a second break in the sixth, the clinical Wozniacki sealed the opening set in 28 minutes on Margaret Court Arena.

The second set provided fans with a similar pattern as the Dane assumed control by breaking in the third game to love for a 2-0 lead.

Even though Larsson created a couple break points, she wasn’t aggressive in the big moments to capitalise as Wozniacki sealed her fourth break of the match to book her place in the last 32.

A great performance from Wozniacki, who is sending a real message that she has no plans of giving up her title without a fight.

The win from the world number three means she could face Maria Sharapova in the next round, who still has to play Johanna Larsson.

Kerber Continues Good Form

Another player who is sending a real message in world number two and 2016 champion Angelique Kerber who dropped five games in a great win over Beatriz Haddad Maia.

The Brazilian qualifier had to work very hard to keep hold of her serves but was broken three times without reply as the Kerber advanced to the last 32.

In the next round Kerber will now play Australian wildcard Kimberly Birrell after she knocked out 29th seed Donna Vekic 6-4 4-6 6-1.

The world number 200 is making the most of her Aussie summer as she makes the last 32 of her own slam after sealing her first top 10 win in Brisbane earlier this year against Daria Kasatkina.

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Angelique Kerber Eases Past Hercog, Goerges Ousted By Collins

Angelique Kerber set a marker for the rest of the tournament to follow after crushing Polona Hercog 6-2 6-2 in a dominant display in Melbourne.

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Angelique Kerber (zimbio.com)

Angelique Kerber sent a message to the rest of the field after she thrashed Slovenia Polona Hercog 6-2 6-2. 

The world number two has looked impressive all season and continued that form by dropping only four games in her Australian Open opener.

A clinical Kerber converted four of five break point opportunities to seal a comfortable first round win and will face Beatriz Haddad Maia in the next round.

However the Melbourne heat got the better of 14th seed as she was ousted out of the Australian Open by in-form Danielle Collins 2-6 7-6(5) 6-4.

The 2016 champion headed into this year’s Australian Open having won five of her six matches to start the season in Hopman Cup and Sydney, with her only defeating coming to Petra Kvitova.

It was easy to see why she was one of the favourites to win the title early on as she dominated the Slovenian early on with her impeccable groundstrokes.

A 4-1 lead was secured in very quick fashion as the world number 92 was facing a very difficult task to try and outsmart the three time grand slam champion.

The 30 year old was only forced to save one break point in the first set as she won the opener in 38 minutes. Although Hercog had forced the issue a bit more in the second set, the same result was produced as Kerber opened up another 4-1 lead.

The Slovenian failed to convert any of her three break points as her 47 unforced errors would prove costly. Eventually Kerber served out a 74 minute win to progress into the next round.

After the match the German stated that she felt good despite the heat, “I am feeling and my body was feeling good and I’m happy I could play a little more than one hour today.”

The German who will be seen as a favourite for the tournament will now play Beatriz Haddad Maia of Brazil in the next round.

Goerges Stunned By Heat And Collins

However it wasn’t a good day for another German as 14th seed Julia Goerges crashed out in a three set defeat to powerful American Danielle Collins.

The American played a very good last set and a half to take out the Auckland winner 2-6 7-6(5) 6-4 in brutal heat. The loss will be even more frustrating for Goerges who served for the match at 6-5 in the second set.

It’s good news for Kerber though as she was scheduled to play Goerges in the fourth round and will now avoid the big-serving German in the last 16.

As for Danielle Collins she could produce a big threat in the tournament as she has an all-American clash with Sachia Vickery in the next round.

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Serena’s Bid, Halep’s Test and Wozniacki’s Mission: Five Australian Open Storylines To Follow In The Women’s Draw

What will the always unpredictable WTA Tour produce in Melbourne Park this year?

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It has been almost four years since the same woman won two grand slam titles in a row. The WTA Tour is renowned for its unpredictability, which draws an equal amount of criticism and excitement from fans. There is no telling what that this year’s Australian Open will bring, but here are the main topic’s to follow in the women’s draw.

Serena eyes No.24

During her comeback season last year, it was a case of so near, but so far for Serena Williams. Twice the American came within touching distance of equalling Margaret Court’s all-time record for most grand slam titles. At Wimbledon, she suffered a comprehensive defeat to Angelique Kerber. Then at the US Open she was outplayed by Naomi Osaka in a final that was overshadowed by her clash with umpire Carlos Ramos.

“Last year she made an incredible effort to come back in shape after having a baby and actually she came back in a decent shape quite fast,” Williams’ coach Patrick Mouratoglou said.
“It was a big deal. She had a lot of medical issues after the delivery but she definitely was not 100 percent.
“And I think she’s fitter now … she came back (this season) to a very, very high level of fitness.
“So she’s ready. She’s ready to compete and when Serena’s ready to compete, she’s ready to win.”

Already a seven-time Australian Open champion, should she win again Williams would become the most successful female player in the Open Era to ever participate at the tournament. Her first triumph was in 2003 and last was in 2017, when she defeated sister Venus in the final.

“I think it’s possible for Serena to equal me,” Court told Melbourne’s Herald Sun newspaper Sunday. “If anybody’s gonna do it, it’s Serena, but I don’t think there’s a clear-cut favourite.
“I think it’s a pretty open tournament and I think an outsider can win it.”

Williams is yet to play a WTA Tournament this season heading into Melbourne. The only indication her current form occurred on December 27th when she defeated Venus in an exhibition match at Mubadala World Tennis Championships.

The former world No.1 will make her 18th appearance in the main draw. The event where she made her grand slam debut back in 1998. At present she has a 89% winning record at the event (81-10).

Williams will take on Tatjana Maria in the first round.

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