Maria Sharapova’s route into the quarter-finals of the Shenzhen Open took an unfortunate turn at the expense as her rival in the second round.
The former world No.1, who was trailing by a set, secured a place in the last eight after Chinese wildcard Wang Xinyu was forced to retired injured. 17-year-old Wang looked to be on course for a huge upset after snatching the first set before serious cramping in her left leg and a resurgent Sharapova turned the match outcome around. Giving Sharapova the 6-7(4), 5-2, ret win.
In the immediate aftermath of Wang’s retirement, Sharapova went over to console her. Telling the two-time junior grand slam doubles champion that she ‘played unbelievable.’ Before helping put a towel over the teenager’s leg to keep her warm.
“I said [to her] that being healthy is the most important thing, but if she continues to play the way that she did today, I think she has all the right tools to be a champion,” Sharapova told reporters.
“It’s not the way either of us wants to finish the match, win or lose. I thought [Wang] was absolutely the dominant player in this match, and had all the opportunities to win it, even though I felt like I was finding my stride and getting a little bit closer to the line and being more aggressive.” She later added.
— WTA (@WTA) January 2, 2019
Sharapova’s reward will be a showdown with top seed Aryna Sabalenka in what will be a repeat of the 2017 Tianjin Open final. The last time Sharapova won a title on the WTA Tour. Sabalenka dropped only six games during her 6-3, 6-3, win over Russia’s Ekaterina Alexandrova in her second round match.
— Shenzhen Open (@ShenzhenOpenWTA) January 2, 2019
Also through to the quarter-finals in Shenzhen is qualifier Monica Niculescu. The former top 30 player required almost two-and-a-half hours to get past Kristyna Pliskova 6-7(2), 6-3, 6-4. Niculescu, who hasn’t won a WTA title since October 2016, will next face China’s Wang Yafan. Yefan is the only home player remaining in the draw.
Tennis Player Robbed At Challenger Tournament
An 27-year-old player from Argentina was left with only two tennis rackets after having a series of items stolen by somebody wearing a tournament badge.
Argentinian world No.304 Andrea Collarini has fallen victim to crime after having a series of his belongings stolen from his bag whilst at a Challenger event in America last week.
The incident took place shortly after his third round win over seventh seed Bjorn Fratangelo at the Sarasota Open. Collarini said he left his bag ‘for two minutes’ whilst going to book an appointment with the physio. When he returned, he discovered a man in his 50s looking through his bag. The individual is described as having a Portuguese accent and was wearing a tournament badge. Although nobody knew who he was.
“I try to chase him, but unfortunately the parking lot was next door and he was probably already in his car.” Collarini wrote on Twitter. “This person who stole from me had a tournament badge, but nobody knew him. Some players told me he asked for photos and he had a Portuguese accent.”
The items that were stolen from the Argentine include three tennis rackets, numerous pieces of clothing and a bag of 25 wristbands.As a result of the robbery, Collarini said he was left with only two rackets to use for the remainder of the tournament. Something that affected his practice sessions.
“I went to ask for help from the organization of the tournament, and the only measure they took was to walk through the courts, as if by doing so they would find the thief. I asked them to close the country club’s exit and verify the belongings of the people who were leaving, but nobody did anything.” The former top 200 player recounted.
“It is a shame that these things happen in professional tournaments, which could be avoided by complying with the required security established in the ATP rulebook.” He added.
It has emerged that the security cameras at the tournament was turned off at the time. Although it is unclear as to why this was the case. A police report has been submitted and an image of the alleged thief has been posted on social media by the tennis player.
This is the person who stole my things. These images are from the video (livestream) of my match vs Fratangelo. Please let me know if you recognize him. pic.twitter.com/cuIr6W8XSS
— Andrea Collarini (@andreacollarini) April 21, 2019
Despite his ordeal, Collarini reached the semi-finals in Sarasota. His best performance at a Challenger event since Panama City in April 2018. He was knocked out of the tournament by Tommy Paul, who went on to win the title.
Collarini’s full statement
Robbery in Sarasota challenger pic.twitter.com/aLPG6EBGjZ
— Andrea Collarini (@andreacollarini) April 21, 2019
Monte Carlo Unlikely To Stage Women’s Tournament Despite Its Success
Will the world’s best players on the women’s tour ever get a chance to place at the Monte Carlo Country Club?
The chances of the Monte Carlo Masters staging a WTA event are slim due to a series of barriers, according to the tournament director.
This year marked the 113th edition of the Monte Carlo Open, which was won by Fabio Fognini on Sunday. The tournament has been categorised as a Masters 1000 tournament since 2009 and welcomes top players to the venue every year. Rafael Nadal is the most successful player at the event with 11 titles to his name.
At the Monte Carlo Country Club in France, the tournament has been a hit with both players and fans due to it’s breathtaking views. This year 135,656 spectators travelled to the event along with 400 journalists from 16 countries. Despite the popularity, tournament director Zeljko Franulovic admits that hosting a women’s event is not feasible due to a lack of space.
“There were some ideas, proposals, even projects that have been envisioned, but when you think about the fact of adding 56 or 60 players in the main draw plus doubles, plus training courts, and you have to deal with all the scheduling, and you have men and women, it is quite complicated.” Franulovic told reporters on Sunday.
“So even though we have managed to change for the better, we do not have more square meters. The surface still stays the same. So it’s not the same as if it was Miami or Indian Wells where there is no problem of space. But we have made the decision to keep our men’s tournament and improve the quality.”
During the clay season, there are three tournaments that host both men’s and women’s tournaments. The Madrid Open, Italian Open and the French Open. Whilst it may not be feasible for Monte Carlo to stage both tournaments at the same time, would they contemplate holding a WTA competition at a different date?
“We have to be aware of the fact that in the Principality, the dates and the seasons along the year are very specific. For instance, in spring we have our tournament here. Then we have the Formula 1, the Grand Prix. And then summer arrives very soon, and people go on holidays. People are on the beach.” Franulovic explained.
“It is difficult to organize such a tournament and expect to have a big development of such women’s tournament. So if we separate men’s tournament from the women’s tournament, we are not going to benefit from the power and the attraction that the men’s tournament will have. For instance, if we decide to organize it in July, it’s going to be, like, on their own.”
“Another point is that we need to assess the price, particularly the costs and the prize money, because of course the prize money has to be at the same level for the women as for the men. So we need to draw a really solid business plan and do our accounting before actually going into that venture.”
The Monte Carlo Masters are not actually located in Monaco, despite its name. It is held in Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, which is located in south-eastern France.
Next year’s tournament will get underway on April 13th.
Caroline Garcia and Kristina Mladenovic claim the decisive doubles win over Simona Halep and Monica Niculescu to send France into the Fed Cup Final
Caroline Garcia and Kristina Mladenovic claim the doubles match win over Monica Niculescu and Simona Halep to send the French team into the Fed Cup final against Australia
Last year’s Roland Garros champion and world number 2 Simona Halep came back from one set down to beat Caroline Garcia 6-7 (6-8) 6-3 6-4 in a marathon match after 2 hours and 57 minutes to give Romania a 2-1 lead putting her team one win away from reaching their first Fed Cup in history.
Halep converted six of her eight break points. Garcia broke four times from her 13 break point opportunities and made 59 unforced errors.
Garcia earned a double break at the start of the first set to build up a 4-0 lead. Halep pulled both breaks back to draw level to 4-4. Halep broke for the third time to take a 5-4 lead earning her chance to serve for the first set. Halep went up a 30-0 lead, but Garcia came back after a double fault from the Romanian player to break serve for 5-5. The French player held serve with a drop-shot to take a 6-5 lead and earned two set points at 6-5. Halep saved them and held her serve to set up a tie-break. The Romanian player hit a forehand winner to earn a set point at 5-5. Garcia won her two service points to take a 7-6 lead. The French player converted her third set point, when Halep hit her backhand into the net.
Halep broke serve in the second game to race out to a 3-0 lead. Garcia broke back in the fifth game to draw level to 3-3. Halep earned her second break in the eighth game with a backhand down the line to take a 5-3 lead. Halep fought back from 0-30 in the ninth game to earn two set points with down the line backhand winners. Garcia saved them, but Halep converted her third set point with a forehand winner down the line.
Halep fended off break points in her first two service games, but she was able to hold her serve. Halep held her serve with two forehand winners to draw level to 4-4 after a hard-fought game.
Halep earned an early break at the start of the third set. She broke again with a forehand winner to take a 5-4 lead. Garcia went up 15-30 on Halep’s serve, but the Romanian won the final three points to close out the match.
In the second Sunday’s match Pauline Parmentier stopped her four-match to edge Irina Camelia Begu 6-3 2-6 6-2.
Parmentier did not face any break points to win the first set 6-3. Parmentier broke serve in the fourth game to take a 3-1 lead, after Begu netted a backhand on the third break point. The French player held on her next service games and sealed her set point after Begu hit her forehand wide.
Begu bounced back by breaking serve in the fourth game of the second set to open up a 3-1 lead. The Romanian player sealed the second set with a double break after two double faults from Parmentier. Parmentier went up an early break at the start of the third set and held serve at love to open up a 4-2 lead. Parmentier broke again for 5-2 after Begu picked an ankle injury. Parmentier served out the match in the eighth game to draw the tie level to 2-2.
The semifinal was decided by the doubles match, where Kristina Mladenovic and Caroline Garcia came back from one set down to beat Simona Halep and Monica Niculescu 5-7 6-3 6-4. Garcia closed out the match on the first match point.
Niculescu hit a drop-shot return winner to break serve for 6-5 in the 11th game. The Romanian player hit a lob winner to earn three set points. She converted the second chance with another lob.
In the second set Garcia hit an overhead to break serve in the fourth game for 3-1. The French player hit a crosscourt backhand to clinch a second break for the home team for 5-1. The Romanian team pulled one break back but Mladenovic sealed the win for France with a volley.
The third set went on serve with no breaks, before Mladenovic earned a break point with a return winner. France broke for 5-4, as Halep made a double fault. Garcia went down 15-30, as she was serving for the match, but she came back to earn a match point. She converted ther first chance with a big serve after 2 hous and 37 minutes.
France will face Australia in the Fed Cup final next November. France will be bidding to win their third Fed Cup titles after their triumphs in 1997 and 2003.
Matteo Berrettini beats Mikhail Kukushkin in Budapest
Fernando Verdasco wins all-Spanish clash against Feliciano Lopez in Barcelona first round
Rafael Nadal could meet Stefanos Tsitsipas in the quarter final and Dominic Thiem in the semifinal in Barcelona
Tough draws for Naomi Osaka, Karolina Pliskova and Simona Halep at the Porsche Indoor Grand Prix in Stuttgart
Tennis Player Robbed At Challenger Tournament
EXCLUSIVE Interview With US Davis Cup Captain Mardy Fish: “If Davis Cup Fails, We All Fail”
Exclusive: After Injury Woe, Kevin Anderson Aims To Inspire In Hunt For Elusive Grand Slam Title
Entry Lists For Houston, Marrakech LIVE
‘You’re A F***ing Disgrace’ – Nick Kyrgios Erupts At The Miami Open
How Many Points Are Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic And Co Defending On Clay?
Roger Federer Explains What His Motto In Life Is During Q&A Video For Barilla
(VIDEO) Serena Williams Narrates New Nike Advert Celebrating Female Athletes
Australian Open Day 14: Novak Djokovic Triumphs at the Australian Open
VIDEO: Watch Novak Djokovic’s Hilarious Exchange With Ubitennis Journalist
Australian Open Day 13: Naomi Osaka Conquerors The Australian Open
ATP2 days ago
Dusan Lajovic overcomes Danil Medvedev to reach his first Masters 1000 final in Monte-Carlo
Latest news2 days ago
Russia leads over Italy 2-0 in Fed Cup Group II in Moscow
Fed Cup3 days ago
Impressive Barty Puts Australia Back On Track In Brisbane Against Belarus
Fed Cup2 days ago
Yulia Putintseva Saves Three Match Points To Keep Kazakhstan Alive Against Great Britain
ATP3 days ago
Novak Djokovic Remains Positive Despite Roland Garros Setback
ATP2 days ago
Rafael Nadal Labels Shock Monte Carlo Exit As ‘One Of His Worst Matches On Clay’
Fed Cup2 days ago
Australia Down Belarus In Thriller To End 26-Year Wait For Fed Cup Final
Hot Topics1 day ago
After 26 Years Of Heartbreak, Great Britain Finally Secures Fed Cup Promotion