Wang Qiang leads a strong Chinese quartet in Shenzhen - UBITENNIS
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Wang Qiang leads a strong Chinese quartet in Shenzhen

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World number 20 Wang Qiang will be the top Chinese player in the line-up of the Shenzhen Open next January. The field also features Zheng Saisai and Zhang Shuai, who are ranked inside the top 40, and world number 70 Wang Yafan. The four Chinese players will face a very tough field led by former Grand Slam champions Maria Sharapova and Jelena Ostapenko, last year’s top 10 Caroline Garcia, world number 13 Aryna Sabalenka, who is the highest ranked player in the field and won the biggest tournament of her career in Wuhan last September, clinched the title at the Connecticut Cup in New Haven and reached the semifinal in Cincinnati.

 

During the 2018 season Wang won two WTA International tournaments in Nanchang and Guangzhou and became the first Chinese player to reach the semifinals in Wuhan. The following week she beat Jelena Ostapenko, Karolina Pliskova and Aryna Sabalenka en route to reaching the semifinals in Beijing before losing to former world number 1 Caroline Wozniacki. In Hong Kong the Chinese player rallied from 1-4 down in the third set to beat Garbine Muguruza in the semifinal en route to reaching the final, where she lost to 18-year-old Ukrainian player Dayana Yastremska. At the 2018 WTA Elite Trophy she lost to Daria Kasatkina in three sets and beat Madison Keys in three sets 1-6 6-3 6-1, but she failed to qualify for the semifinal.

In Shenzhen Wang will be looking to follow in the footsteps of her illustrious compatriot Li Na, who won the first two editions of this tournament.

“This is fantastic for tennis in China to see so many Chinese players in the main draw. In 2013 and 2014 Li Na won our first two tournaments. Maybe one of those two ladies will join her on the honour role in 2019. It is very exciting for the fans to be able to cheer on players from their own nation and we look forward to a great atmosphere around the courts. One young player is sure to attact plenty of attention and this is Aryna Sabalenka, the 20-year-old player, who has enjoyed a stunning season on the WTA season”, said Tournament Director Luiz Carvalho.

 

 

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The WTA announces the winners of the 2019 WTA Players of the Year Award

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The WTA has announced the winners of the 2019 WTA Players of the Year Awards, which are broken down into five categories: Player of the Year, Doubles Team of the Year, Most Improved Player of the Year, Newcomer of the Year and Comeback of the Year. The players are voted on by members of the international media.

 

Ashleigh Barty has been voted the WTA Player of the Year after winning four titles from six finals. The 23-year-old Australian star won her maiden Grand Slam title at Roland Garros, her first Premier Mandatory title at the Miami Open and the Premier level title in Birmingham and her first WTA Finals trophy in Shenzhen. She also finished runner-up in two more finals in Sydney and Beijing. She became the first Australian player to reach the World Number 1 ranking since Evonne Goolagong Cawley in 1976 and the only player to reach the second week at all four Grand Slam tournaments after qualifying for the quarter final at the Australian Open and the fourth round at Wimbledon and at the US Open. She recorded the most matches on Tour on the WTA Tour with 57 wins.

Timea Babos and Kristina Mladenovic were voted the WTA Doubles Team of the Year. They won two consecutive doubles titles in Istanbul and Roland Garros. They became the first team to successfully defend the WTA Finals title in Shenzhen. The Hungarian and French doubles team also reached the final at the Australian Open, the semifinals at Wimbledon and the quarter finals at the US Open. Mladenovic rose to Doubles world number 1 player for the first time in her career after their Roland Garros doubles title.

Sofia Kenin has been voted the WTA Most Improved Player of the Year. The young US player won her first titles in Hobart, Mallorca and Guangzhou and finished runner-up in the Acapulco final. Kenin is one of six players to have lifted three or more titles this season. Only Barty and Karolina Pliskova won more titles. Kenin won the same number of tournaments as Bianca Andreescu, Naomi Osaka and Aryna Sabalenka. Kenin beat two world number 1 players in consecutive weeks when she beat Barty at Rogers Cup and Naomi Osaka in Cincinnati and reached the round of 16 at a Grand Slam tournament for the first time in her career, when she beat Serena Williams at Roland Garros.

Bianca Andreescu won three titles (her first Grand Slam at the US Open, Rogers Cup and Indian Wells) and reached her first WTA final in Auckland after beating Caroline Wozniacki and Venus Williams. She reached a career-high rankng of world number 4.

Belinda Bencic won the WTA Comeback Player of the Year Award. The Swiss player came back from years of injury problems with a highly successful season. She suffered a wrist injury that sidelined her for five months in 2017. During 2019 Bencic won her first titles since 2015 in Dubai and Moscow and qualified for the first time in her career for the WTA Finals. After her win at the Kremlin Cup in Moscow Bencic returned to her best ranking at world number 7. She finished the 2019 season inside the top 10 for the first time in her career at number 8 after ending 2018 ranked world number 37.

Kiki Bertens has won the first WTA Jerry Diamond ACES Award, which is presented to the player, who promotes women’s tennis to fans and media. Bertens took part in 40 kids’ clinics and fan-friendly events.

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Ashleigh Barty’s coach Craig Tyzzer wins the WTA Coach of the Year Award

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Ashleigh Barty’s coach Craig Tyzzer won the WTA Coach of the Year Award, which recognizes the winning coach for success on the court, but also for serving as an ambassador of the sport, but also for serving as an ambassador of the sport.

 

Tyzzer has coached the 2019 French Open and WTA Finals champion since she made her come-back in 2016 after taking a break from tennis to play cricket. The player from Ipswich signed up for the Brisbane Heat for the inaugural Women’s Bash League.

Under the guidance of Tyzzer Barty won her maiden WTA title at the Malaysian Open and rose to world number 17 in the WTA Ranking. She also finished runner-up in two finals at Birmingham and Wuhan. In 2018 the 23-year-old Australian player won two titles in Nottingham and at the Elite Trophy in Zhuhai and reached the semifinals at the Rogers Cup. Barty won her first Grand Slam doubles title at the US Open with her partner Coco Vandeweghe.

During a successful 2019 season Barty reached the final in Sydney and the quarter final at the Australian Open. She won her maiden Premier Mandatory title in Miami rising to the top 10 for the first time in her career. Barty lifted her maiden Grand Slam title at Roland Garros and won another Premier level title in Birmingham becoming the world number 1 player before Wimbledon. The Aussie player clinched the trophy at the WTA Finals in Shenzhen and ended the 2019 season as the WTA Year-End World Number 1 player.

“You are the captain of our ship. You make sure that we tick along every single day. There would not be another person that I would want to spend the journey with. You are an incredible person, an amazing friend”, said Barty.

 

 

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Danil Medvedev and David Goffin reach the semifinal at Diriyah Cup in Ryadh

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World number 5 Danil Medvedev cruised past Jan Lennard Struff 6-3 6-1 to reach the semifinal at the Diriyah Tennis Cup in Ryadh. The 2019 US Open finalist dropped just five points on his first serve and never faced break points.

 

The Russian player earned a break in the fifth game when Struff netted a forehand and held on his service game at 15. He sealed the break with a double break in the ninth game.

Medvedev broke serve in the second game with a forehand and raced out to a 4-0 lead with a double break. He hit three winners, as he wast serving for the match at 5-1, to close out the match setting up a semifinal against David Goffin.

“It was a great match. It’s never easy like this after the end of the season, holidays and in the middle of pre- season to know how you are playing at this moment. Today was a great match, beating Jan so easy is a great achievement because he is a great player, so I am really happy. The atmosphere was really god and warm”, said Medvedev.

Goffin beat Frenchman Lucas Pouille 6-2 6-4. The Belgian player broke serve in the opening game, as Pouille made a forehand error. Pouille did not convert a break point at 1-2. Goffin went up a double break to open up a 5-2 lead with four winners.

Goffin went up a break at the start of the second set. Pouille broke back in the eighth game when Goffin hit a double fault. Goffin got his fourth break in the ninth game and sealed the win with a hold of serve.

“Super oragnisation. The stadium is really nice. First time for me playing in Saudi. It’s a great atmosphere. It was great for us and people in the stadium. It’s a nice court. It’s a nice court and stadium. It could be a nice centre court in a big tournament”,said Goffin.

 

 

 

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