Rivals Petra Kvitova, Simona Halep Speak Out About Naomi Osaka’s Rapid Rise - UBITENNIS
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Rivals Petra Kvitova, Simona Halep Speak Out About Naomi Osaka’s Rapid Rise

The two grand slam champions have given their insight about the world No.1 following her recent loss.

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Naomi Osaka (photo by chryslène caillaud, copyright @Sport Vision)

Two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova believes Naomi Osaka needs to overcome her introverted personality in order to help her deal with being in the media spotlight.

 

Kvitova, who lost to the Japanese player in the final of the Australian Open, said she had a similar mindset growing up. Earlier this week Osaka admitted that she was finding it ‘tough’ dealing with her surge in popularity and media attention. Within the past 12 months, she has broken into the world’s top 40, won the Indian Wells Open and claimed two grand slam titles. The world No.1 crashed out in her opening match at the Dubai Tennis Championships this week.

“I don’t think I necessarily understand what position I’m in, in a way, because last year I wasn’t even anywhere close to this ranking. People didn’t pay attention to me. That’s something that I’m comfortable with,” Osaka told reporters earlier this week.
“I don’t know why I’m crying. Yeah. I don’t know why this is happening.”
“I don’t really like attention. It’s been a little tough.” She added.

Speaking about the 21-year-old, Kvitova believes she needs some more time to develop further on the tour. The Czech admits that she was once in a similar situation. Kvitova won her maiden Wimbledon title in 2011, but didn’t win her second until three years later.

“I think that she is kind of shy person, probably like me at the time. It was really difficult for me, that time, for sure. I totally understand Naomi.” She said.
“It’s not really easy to handle the pressure and attention and the media, press, whatever is happening in her life.
“Everything she’s been through, she really trying. That really count. That’s nice. I think she just needs little bit more time to get used to all of the things which happening in her life.”

On the other hand, Simona Halep’s journey to the top of the rankings was somewhat different. Growing up with the expectations of a nation on her shoulders, Halep’s steady rise to the top was a blessing in disguise. Becoming a regular fixture in the top 10 for a few years before rising to world No.1 in October 2017. As for Osaka, she rose from 72nd to 1st in the world in exactly a year.

“I didn’t feel very weird when I went to No. 1 seed. I didn’t have this pressure. Also I’ve been there for four years before, so No. 2, No. 3.” Said Halep.
“She’s (Osaka) different because she came last year from around 70 (in the rankings).
“I was okay. I didn’t have pressure of being No. 1.”

Osaka is far away from being in a crisis, despite recently separating from her coach. She lost three consecutive matches before going on to win the US Open and also endured a roller coaster journey on route to her triumph at the Australian Open.

“She just needs the time. I don’t think there’s any advice (to give her). I think that she just need to live it and find experiences from it. She will be fine.” Said Kvitova.

At the Dubai Tennis Championships, Kvitova and Halep will play their quarter-final matches on Thursday. Meanwhile, Osaka is set to return to action next month at the BNP Paribas Open.

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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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Year-End No.1 Not A Priority For Rafael Nadal, Says Murray

Murray spoke about his rival as he gives a update on his current form.

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Three-time grand slam champion Andy Murray believes rival Rafael Nadal is not focusing on the prospect of ending the season as world No.1.

 

Murray spoke about the big three during an extensive interview with The Times. A group compromising of Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer. The Brit is currently on the comeback from hip resurfacing surgery and recently reached the quarter-finals of the China Open. His best run on the ATP Tour so far this season. Currently ranked 289th in the world, Murray admits that he still has a way to go to the top. However, the 32-year-old is drawing inspiration from some of his rivals.

“If I do get up there, I’m not going to be focusing on ranking targets. You look at what Roger [Federer], Rafa [Nadal] and I guess Novak [Djokovic], to a certain extent, are doing to give themselves a chance to play longer.” Murray told The Times.
“Right now, Rafa could be fighting to finish number one in the world and it’s not a priority for him. I would like to be competitive in the big events against the best players. I’m not there yet, but I’m closer than I was a month ago, and much closer than a couple of months ago,” he said.

Nadal is currently closing in on the world No.1 spot despite not playing since winning the US Open. On Monday Djokovic’s lead over him will be reduced to 320 points after the Serbian lost in the third round of the Shanghai Masters. Then on November 4th he is guaranteed to return to the top spot before the ATP Finals. Even more significant is that Nadal has no ranking points to defend for the rest of the season compared to 1600 for Djokovic.

Murray’s comments on Nadal echoes what the Spaniard has previously said. During the US Open in September, the king of clay stated that returning to the top was ‘not his main goal’ with his health being top priority.

“I don’t compete for it. I just do my way. If I am able to be No.1 doing it my way, great. But I always say the same: today is not my main goal.” He explained.
“Of course, it’s great to be in that fight. But for me personally, it’s not really a fight. I just try be competitive the weeks that I need to compete, or the weeks that I want to compete.’
“With my age and with my goals, I cannot lose energy or time to follow the No.1. I need to think about my career in a different way.
‘For me, my main goal is play as long as possible and compete, being competitive. Sometimes if you need to follow the No.1, you are going to lose years of your career.”

Nadal is set to return to action in November at the Paris Masters. Meanwhile, Murray returns to the court tomorrow at the European Open where he will play Kimmer Coppejans in the first round.

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Juan Martin Del Potro Scraps Comeback Plans, But Has Good News

Details concerning the current health of the Argentina has been released.

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Juan Martin del Potro (photo by chryslène caillaud, copyright @Sport Vision)

The return of Juan Martin del Potro to the tour will not take place this year following medical advice issued to the former US Open champion.

 

Del Potro has been sidelined from action since the Fever-Tree Championships in June. At the tournament the Argentine suffered a fall on the court and injured his knee. He re-fractured his right patella in what was an almost identical scenario to the end of last year for the injury-stricken player.

It was hoped that the 31-year-old would be returning to action at tournaments in Stockholm, Sweden and Vienna, Austria later this year. However, those plans have now been changed. Meaning his 2019 season has come to an end.

“Juan Martin del Potro visited the Mapfre de Mecidina del Tenis Clinic in Barcelona,” a statement published by Del Potro’s management reads.
“After some tests, including on-court exercises supervised by Dr. Angel Ruiz Cotorro, the right knee was shown great signs of a solid recovery.
“Now they will be able to take the next step in the recovery stage and create a rehabilitation program that is more intense with the goal to make Juan Martin competing again as soon as possible.
“Despite Juan Martin’s wishes, he has been recommended not to compete in October and continue with the current plan.”

Del Potro has been hampered by injuries throughout his career. Over a two-year period (2014-2015) he underwent four surgeries on his wrists. Since 2010, he has missed more than three years on the tour due to his physical struggles.

Injury timeline
-Jan-Sep 10: right wrist (8 months)
-Feb-Jan 14-15: Left wrist (11 months)
-Mar-Feb 15-16: left wrist (11 months)
-Oct-Feb 18-19: right knee (4 months)
-Feb-Apr 19: right knee (2 months)
-June 19 – now right knee (5 months*)
*ongoing injury

Del Potro closes the year out by playing in just five tournaments. Winning eight out of 12 matches played. He reached the quarter-finals of events in Delray Beach and Rome, as well as the fourth round of the French Open.

The next public glimpse of Del Potro on the tennis court is likely to take place in November. He is set to take on Roger Federer in an exhibition match held in Buenos Aires. Their clash will take place at the The Parque Roca Stadium.

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