Petra Kvitova Needs To Find 'Killer Instinct' Against Osaka At Australian Open, Says Coach - UBITENNIS
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Petra Kvitova Needs To Find ‘Killer Instinct’ Against Osaka At Australian Open, Says Coach

The coach of the two-time grand slam champion speaks ahead of the women’s final at Melbourne Park.

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It is key that Petra Kvitova goes into her own ‘bubble’ during her Australian Open final clash with Naomi Osaka on Saturday, according to her coach Jiri Vanek.

 

The Czech has strolled into her first grand slam final since 2014 without dropping a set at Melbourne Park this year. On Thursday, Kvitova roared to a 7-6(2), 6-0, win over Danielle Collins in her semi-final match. Now a win away from her third grand slam title at the age of 28, mentor Vanek believes she will find her ‘killer instinct’ if she goes into her own bubble.

“She’s always smiling. I mean, we try in our team to smile everywhere. We make so many funny stuff around the court. She likes it,” Vanek explained during a press conference on Friday.
“I mean, sometimes she’s, we call it if she’s in her bubble that she plays this way. But sometimes happens, like, two, three months when she’s not in the bubble, then she plays in a different way.
“We just try to put her (back) to her bubble. Then she finds her killer instincts.”

Kvitova’s run at the Australian Open is her best performance during what she calls her ‘second career.’ In December 2016, the Czech player suffered damage to the nerves and tendons in her left hand after being involved in a tussle with an intruder in her apartment. In the aftermath, she required four hours of surgery to repair the damage and missed almost six months of the tour. Even now, she doesn’t have the full feeling in one of her fingers.

Since returning to the tour in May 2017 after the attack, Kvitova has soared up the WTA rankings. Winning five WTA titles last year alone. The Czech has also started this season strong by winning the Sydney International. The successful start to the season has been attributed to a more fitter Kvitova, who lost weight during the off-season.

“She lost some weight. She even tells us she feels more comfortable on the court when she’s running, when she has longer rallies.” Her coach said.
“During our preparation before the season, we tried to play as much tennis as we can and lose (weight), that probably helps her a lot.”

Reflecting on her comeback, Vanek said Kvitova used to care too much about what people thought. However, he insists that the focus is now solely on herself.

“Sometimes she cares too much about other people than herself.” He said. “I just tell her every day, It’s your tennis. It’s up to you. You are a two-time Wimbledon champion. Nobody else can judge you.”
“Somebody can come and say something not really nice, and so we keep her away from other people,” Vanek added.

In the final, Kvitova will take on 21-year-old Osaka. A player who is on a 13-match winning streak in grand slam tournaments. It will be the first meeting between the two players. At stake will not just be the title, it will also be the world No.1 ranking. A milestone neither player have yet reached in their careers.

Kvitova has won her past eight WTA finals on the tour. The last time she settled for runner-up was to Monica Niculescu at the 2016 Luxembourg Open.

Who is Jiri Vanek?

  • A former world No.14 junior player who reached the semi-finals of the 1996 French Open boys’ tournament
  • On the professional tour, he peaked at a high of 74th in singles and won 11 Challenger titles
  • In doubles, he peaked at 94th in the world. Winning only one title on the Challenger tour alongside Janko Tipsarević, who is still playing.
  • Coached Karolina Pliskova prior to Kvitova

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Rebecca Peterson beats Heather Watson in Tianjin final to claim her second career title

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Rebecca Peterson clinched her second career title after beating Heather Watson 6-4 6-4 in the final of the Tianjin Open.

 

The Swedish player claimed her second title on Chinese soil after winning her maiden WTA maiden title in Nanchang. Earlier this week Peterson beat Venus Williams in the opening round.

Watson entered the Tianjin Open with just one WTA-level win in the opening round at Wimbledon. The British player beat Wang Qiang and Bronx champion Magda Linette en route to the final in Tianjin.

The final between Peterson and Watson was moved to an indoor facility after a five-hour delay due to rain.

Peterson rallied from 0-2 down in both sets en route to winning the final 6-4 6-4 after 1 hour and 37 minutes. The Swede converted on four of her ten break points.

Watson fended off two break points and earned a break in the next game to take a 2-0 lead. Peterson converted her fourth break-back point chance in the third game. Both players stayed neck and neck to draw level to 4-4.

Peterson earned another break in the ninth game when Watson sent her backhand drive volley wide. Peterson sealed the opening set 6-4 with a forehand down the line winner in the 10th game.

Watson held at love in the first game of the second set and broke serve in the second game. Peterson got the break back in the third game and took the lead with another break with a forehand down the line winner. The Swedish player held her next three service games and closed out the match with a forehand winner in the 10th game.

Thanks to this win Peterson will break into the top 50 reaching her career high of 44 in the WTA Ranking. Former world number 38 Watson will make her return in the top 100.

 

 

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Coco Gauff claims her maiden WTA title in Linz at the age of 15

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Fifteen year-old US rising star Coco Gauff claimed the maiden WTA title of her career beating former Roland Garros champion Jelena Ostapenko 6-3 1-6 6-2 in the final of the Upper Austria Ladies in Linz (Austria).

 

Gauff crowned a remarkable week, in which she came back from losing the final qualifying round to win the first title of her carerer as a lucky loser. Earlier this week the US teenager claimed her first-ever top 10 win over Dutch star Kiki Bertens in her first WTA quarter final.

Gauff saved two break points in her opening service game, before breaking serve in the third game. She consolidated the break with an ace to open up a 3-0 lead. Ostapenko won her first game with a backhand down the line. Gauff did not face any more break points in the next games and earned a set point at 5-3 with an ace and hit a backhand slice to close out the opening set.

Ostapenko saved a break point in the first game of the second set with a forehand down the line before breaking serve for the first time at love. Gauff broke straight back in the next game, but Ostapenko hit a volley to get another break for 3-1. The Latvian player built up a 5-1 lead with a double break and sealed the second set with an ace on her first set point to force the match to the third set.

Gauff claimed an early break at the start of the third set to take a 2-0 lead after a backhand forced an error from Ostapenko on break point. Gauff went up a double break to race out to a 4-0 lead and earned two match points at 5-0. Ostapenko got one break back at love in the seventh game to claw her way back to 2-5. Gauff earned a third match point after Ostapenko netted a backhand and sealed the win, as Ostapenko fired a forehand long.

Gauff is projected to reach the top 75 of the WTA Ranking on Monday after starting her season ranked world number 600. She has become the youngest singles champion since Nicole Vaidisova lifted titles at Vancouver and Tashkent at the age of 15 in 2004.

Gauff is the second player in the last two seasons to win a maiden WTA singles season as a lucky loser equalling teenager Olga Danilovic, who won the Moscow Open last year.

 

 

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Tennis Sensation Bianca Andreescu Signs With Rolex

The Canadian has joined forces with the luxury watch brand

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US Open champion Bianca Andreescu has become the latest athlete to join the Rolex family after confirming she has signed a deal with the brand on Saturday.

 

The 19-year-old has enjoyed a breakout year by winning 42 out of 47 matches played. During that period she has won premier titles in Indian Wells and at the Rogers Cup. Although her biggest trophy occurred at the US Open where she stunned Serena Williams in the final. Becoming the youngest grand slam champion since Maria Sharapova back in 2006. Andreescu has also recorded  eight wins over top 10 players with her only loss being to Naomi Osaka at the China Open last week.

“Excited to announce that I’m officially a part of the Rolex family!! Can’t wait to get to work with the Rolex Team – stay tuned.” She wrote on Twitter.

No details have been released about her deal with Rolex or what the value of the contract is. The luxury brand also have contracts with other players such as Roger Federer and Caroline Wozniacki. Speculation has been mounting that the Canadian would be signing a substantial endorsement deal following comments made by her agent agent Jonathan Dasnières de Veigy. She is currently managed by Octagon Sports.

“We’re turning down a lot of opportunities and offers. We want to be careful and extremely selectively, to do the right partnerships.” de Veigy told The Globe and Mail.
“First and foremost, we want to ensure that Bianca is at the peak of her game as a professional athlete. Our job is to keep her life as simple as possible, so she can focus on tennis.” He added.

As of October 6th Andreescu has earned the second highest amount of prize money this year on the WTA Tour with earnings of $6,239,150. This is just under $650,000 less than world No.1 Ash Barty. The sums takes into account both singles and doubles tournaments played on the tour.

Andreescu is set to return to action at the WTA Finals in Shenzhen. A tournament which will have a record prize money pool of $14 million. The winner of the event could make as much as $4.75 million should they remain unbeaten in the round-robin competition. Andreescu is the youngest player to qualify for the season-ending event since Wozniacki back in 2009 and the fourth Canadian woman in history to have ever done so.

“This has been an incredible year for me and I’m really looking forward to ending the season at the Shiseido WTA Finals Shenzhen,” she told wtatennis.com. “I’ve always dreamt of competing at the WTA Finals and I’m so proud of all the work my team and I put in to get to this point.”

The WTA Finals will get underway on October 27th.

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