Naomi Osaka sets up a third round clash against Hsieh Su-wei in Melbourne - UBITENNIS
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Naomi Osaka sets up a third round clash against Hsieh Su-wei in Melbourne

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Defending US Open champion Naomi Osaka got through to the third round after claiming a 6-2 6-4 win over Tamara Zidansek after a short rain delay under the closed roof of the Margaret Court Arena in Melbourne.

 

Naomi Osaka faced a tough test when she went down a break in the second set but came back by winning four consecutive games.

Osaka earned an early break in the first game with a drop-shot, but Zidansek broke back after a couple of errors from the Japanese player to draw level to 2-2. Osaka broke serve twice in a row in the fifth and seventh games to close out the opening set 6-2.

Osaka earned a break point at 2-2 in the second set, when Zidansek sent a drive volley long, but the Slovenian player saved it.

Zidansek, who upset Daria Gavrilova in the opening round, converted her second break point in the sixth game to open up a 4-2 lead. Osaka broke twice in the seventh game at deuce and in the ninth game at love to win three consecutive games. Zidansek brought up two break points at 4-5, when Osaka was serving for the match. Osaka saved them with an ace and an unreturnable serve. Zidansek saved a match point, but Osaka earned a second chance with a forehand winner down the line. The Japanese player closed out the match with an unreturnable serve after 64 minutes.

“It’s weird. For me, when I play Venus Williams or something, I am star-struck, too. It’s a bit weird when you tell me there is someone I am playing that feels that way. I feel like she played really well today. When I go into matches like these, where I feel like I am expected to win, I always think the other player is going to play, like, unbelievable. I feel like that mentality is helping me a lot”, said Osaka.

Osaka secured her spot in the third round, where she will face Hsieh Su-wei, who beat German Laura Siegemund 6-3 6-4.

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Father Of Dayana Yastremska Reveals The Reasons Behind Her Lacklustre Season

Alexander Yastremsky says his daughter was ‘mentally broken’ in recent weeks due to a personal issue.

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Rising star Dayana Yastremska struggled on the Tour during the second half of 2020 due to a family-related issue, according to her father.

 

The world No.29 closed out her season with three consecutive first round losses at the French Open, Ostrava and Linz to players who were ranked lower than her. Yastremska looked to be on course for a strong year after reaching the final of the Adelaide International in January. However, since then she has only managed to reach the quarter-final stage in one out of 10 tournaments played.

Reflecting on his daughter’s difficult season during an interview with Ukrainian Tennis, Alexander Yastremsky says she had been ‘mentally broken’ in recent weeks due to her mother having a series of surgeries on her eye.

“People were complaining like why Dayana had such poor results at Roland Garros and afterwards but they didn’t know it was a hard time for her mother,” he said.
“Before the first round she had a retinal detachment. She went through three surgeries in Paris and two more at home. Everything is fine now but at that time Dayana was broken mentally.”

Besides her mother’s health scare, Yastremska had to find a new structure in her team after the departure of Sasha Bajin following the US Open. Bajin, who is the former coach of Naomi Osaka, worked with her for less than a year. Last week it was confirmed that he will be working with Karolina Pliskova in the new year.

“Sascha Bajin is a good coach, very helpful but it turned out he wasn’t ours,” said Alexander. “I don’t look at this partnership as a mistake for Dayana, it was another experience for her but I don’t see any advantages either.”
“Everyone looks only at how good you play and what result you get.”

Prior to Bajin, Yastremska worked with Belgium’s Olivier Jeunehomme who guided her to three WTA titles between 2018-2019. Since his departure, she is yet to add to her title tally but did rise to a ranking high of 21st earlier this year.

“It’s not easy to work with Dayana she has a tough personality,” her father admits. “Relationships on and off the court are very important for her.
“Right now we have a new team, very positive and committed . That’s the key for us. There’s no need to brag about their achievements. Results will come and time will tell. Our focus is on the off-season and hard work.”

Yastremska has started her off-season in Dubai. She ends the year with a win-loss record of 15-12 and has made just over $486,000 in prize money.

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Karolina Pliskova hires Sascha Bajin as new coach

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Former world number 1 player Karolina Pliskova has hired German coach Sasha Bajin for the upcoming 2021 season. The Czech player has split up with Daniel Vallverdu. 

 

Under the guidance of Vallverdu Pliskova has not won a single title in 2020 but she reached her second final at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome, the tournament she won in 2019 beating Johanna Konta. This year she was forced to withdraw from the Rome final against Simona Halep due to an injury problem. 

Pliskova successfully defended her 2019 title in Brisbane and lost to Anastasya Pavlyuchenkova in the third round of the Australian Open and was defeated by Elena Rybakina in the quarter finals in Dubai. She lost to Ons Jabeur in Doha. In her first tournament after the suspension due to the pandemic Pliskova was beaten by Veronika Kudemertova in the second round at the Western and Southern Open in New York. At the US Open Karolina was knocked out by Caroline Garcia in the second round. 

The Czech star lost in the first round in Ostrava after winning the first set. 

Bajin parted his ways with Ukraine’s Dayana Yastremska in 2020. The Ukrainian player was not happy after Bajin praised Naomi Osaka, who beat Yastremska at the US Open. 

Pliskova introduced her new coaching team to her fans on Twitter. 

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WTA will change the names of tournament categories

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The WTA will change the names of its tournament categories to be in line with ATP, according to Spanish sports newspaper Marca. 

 

The Premier Mandatory tournaments (Indian Wells, Miami, Madrid and Beijing) and Premier 5 tournaments (Doha, Rome, Rogers Cup in Canada, Cincinnati and Wuhan) will shift to 1000s. Premier tournaments will be renamed 500 tournaments under the new system. International events will change to 250 events. $125Ks will be renamed as 125-events. 

Points given to the winners might not be the same as the event level unlike the ATP tournaments. The WTA currently awards 1000 points, 900 points and 470 points.The WTA tournament in Madrid will extend by three days. It will be a 11-day event. 

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