The brother of former Australian Open champion Caroline Wozniacki has insisted that there are positives to be drawn from her early exit from the BNP Paribas Open on Saturday.
Wozniacki, who was seeded 13th in the tournament, crashed out in three sets to Russia’s Ekaterina Alexandrova. Hitting just 13 winners compared to her opponents tally of 44 during her 7-5, 2-6, 7-5, loss. Making it only the third time in her career that she has failed to progress beyond the second round at Indian Wells.
“It feels amazing, I can’t describe it,” wtatennis.com quoted Alexandrova as saying afterwards. “I played her two times before, and two times, it was not the best play. But now, I think maybe I’m just grateful for everything, and the hard work that I did finally paid off, and I’m just happy.”
Heading into Indian Wells, Wozniacki’s preparation has been hampered by illness. Withdrawing from tournaments in Doha and Dubai due to a virus. Last year the Dane discovered that she has rheumatoid arthritis. A long-term condition that causes pain, swelling and stiffness in the joints. Although her recent bout of illness has not been directly linked to the condition.
Addressing Wozniacki’s current health, brother Patrik believes there are positives from her latest match on the tour. Speaking to Danish network TV2Sport, he confirmed that the former world No.1 is currently not suffering from any problems linked to her arthritis.
“I have no doubt the Caroline’s on the right path. She had to start somewhere, and it was here. Unfortunately, it was a loss, but she can take a few things with her.” He said.
“She’s been practising well lately, and she’s no longer sick. She’s been put through the wringer. She says she’s moving well and doesn’t feel any rheumatoid arthritis symptoms, which she also has. It sounds OK.”
The 28-year-old had only a week of training prior to Indian Wells. Including a practice match against Angelique Kerber, who defeated Yania Putintseva 6-0, 6-2, in her second round match.
“The most important thing was that she could still run and work from the baseline. She’s still lacking a few pro cent in her game, and doesn’t feel comfortable yet. I think it looks pretty good.” Said Patrik.
“Now it’s back to the practice court, play some practice matches and just look forward to Miami.”
Since the start of 2019, Wozniacki has only been able to play in two tournaments. Reaching the second round of the ASB Classic in Auckland, followed by the third round at the Australian Open.
Indian Wells is the first tournament where Wozniacki has lost her opening match since the Pan Pacific Open in September.
Jannik Sinner reaches the quarter final at the ATP Challenger in Ortisei
Just five days after winning the ATP Next Gen title in Milan Italian 18-year-old rising star Jannik Sinner returned to the court to play at the Sparkasse Challenger in Ortisei in Val Gardena, less than two hours from his hometown of San Candido in the Italian region of Sudtyol.
Sinner started his tournament in Ortisei with a 7-6 (7-5) 7-5 win over Lucas Miedler and continued his campaign with a 6-3 6-4 win over his compatriot Roberto Marcora in a sold-out night session to qualify for the quarter finals.
Sinner broke Marcora in the fourth game to take a 3-1 lead and held on his next service games to close out the first set 6-3 with an ace after rallying from 0-30 down in the ninth game. Sinner broke serve in the seventh game to take a 4-3 lead in the second set and never looked back in his next service games to seal the win. Sinner will face Federico Gaio, who beat world number 172 Danilo Petrovic 6-4 6-4.
Sinner became the youngest winner ever in the ATP Challenger circuit last February in Bergamo. He won his second Challenger title in Lexington last summer. He has improved his ranking by 600 points to a career-high of number 96 in the ATP Ranking.
Italian wild card Lorenzo Musetti swept aside Bernabé Zapata Miralles 6-4 6-0 setting up a quarter final match against Austria’s Sebastian Ofner, who beat his compatriot Dennis Novak in the tie-break of the third set 3-6 6-3 7-6 (8-6).
Ivan Dodig and Filip Polasek end the season with a win over Rain Klaasen and Michael Venus
Ivan Dodig and Filip Polasek beat Jonas Bjorkman Group winners Raven Klaasen and Michael Venus 7-6 (7-4) 6-4 in the doubles tournament at the ATP Finals in London ending their season with a win.
Klaasen and Venus got the first break of the match in the fifth game, but they were broken back in the eighth game, as they failed to serve out for the first set.
Dodig and Polasek earned a chance to close out the first set in the 10th game. Klaasen and Venus fended off two set points to force a tie-break. Klaasen and Venus took a 4-3 lead, but Dodig and Polasek reeled off four points to seal the tie-break 7-4.
Dodig and Polasek earned an early break at the start of the second set and held on their serve to claim the win.
“I think we had amazing season. We played 11 tournaments together and now we are here in London. To close the season with a win here is a great feeling. We are looking forward to next year”,said Dodig.
“It’s awesome to win here. The atmosphere throughout the week has been great. It’s been an unbelievable journey. I am really happy we can finish the season with a win here. There is no better feeling”, said Polasek.
Matteo Berrettini Scores Historic Win Before Exit From ATP Finals
The 23-year-old ends his breakthrough season on the ATP Tour with another milestone in his career.
LONDON: Matteo Berrettini has become the first Italian man in history to win a match at the ATP Finals after defeating Dominic Thiem on Thursday afternoon.
The world No.8 managed to dismantle the game of his rival, who was far from his best at times, with the help of his blistering serve to seal the 7-6(3), 6-3, victory. Ending Thiem’s streak of four consecutive wins over top 10 players, including Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer earlier this week. In total Berrettini hit 30 winners to 21 unforced errors and converted both of his break point opportunities.
“I’ve always had great fights against him. I was able to stay mentally focused, especially in the first set when I lost my serve because I didn’t play a great game.” Berrettini said afterward.
“I’m really happy with my performance because I am not feeling great physically.” He added.
The downside to the round-robin format of the event is that some matches end up being irrelevant with this being one of them. Regardless of the outcome, Thiem has already qualified for the semi-finals and Berrettini is on his way out. Nevertheless, the 23-year-old Italian was playing for pride at The O2 Arena.
A close start to the match saw neither playing managing to gain any momentum during the first eight games. Then inconsistencies in Thiem’s game started to haunt him. Berrettini’s ability to hit the ball deep into the court forced his rival to make a series of errors as he broke for a 5-4 lead. However, it was his turn to stumble behind his serve as Thiem broke back to level with relative ease.
Despite neither player capitalizing on their advantages, the tiebreaker was a one-sided encounter. Three Thiem unforced errors, as well as a winning Berrettini slice, saw him go behind 0-4 in the blink of an eye. Creating enough of a margin for Berrettini to seal the first set with the help of a 134 mph ace.
Thiem clearly looked flat on the court compared to two days ago when he downed Djokovic, however, nothing should be taken away from Berrettini. Who kept focus and stuck to his game plan throughout the match. A backhand passing shot, followed by a crosscourt winner enabled him to break once again midway through the second set. Easing towards victory after just 76 minutes play, Berrettini closed the match out with a delicate drop shot.
“I’m really proud of myself, but also for my team, my family and my friends. It’s been an unbelievable season.” He reflected on his year.
“I didn’t expect at the beginning of the season to be here (in London). I hope to come back next year, but now I just want to say thanks to those guys (his team). Without them, it couldn’t be possible.”
“I’m happy to finish with a win.“
Despite the loss, Thiem will finish at the top of the Bjorg Born Group. He will play the runner-up of the other group in the semi-finals on Saturday.
Whilst Berrettini’s ATP season is over, he can’t rest yet. Next week he will be in Madrid playing for his country in the Davis Cup along with many other of his fellow players.
“There is one more event. I have to rest a little bit and then I think I deserve a holiday.” He declared.
Berrettini ends 2019 with 43 wins on the ATP Tour in what is a career best. He started the year ranked 54th in the world and didn’t make his top 10 debut until last month.
Italian men in the ATP Finals
-C. Barazzutti in 1978 – 0 wins and 3 loses
-A. Panatta in 1975 – 0 wins and 3 losses
-M. Barrettini in 2019 – 1 win and 2 losses
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