Miami Open Day 11 Preview: The Men’s and Women’s Match of the Day - UBITENNIS
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Miami Open Day 11 Preview: The Men’s and Women’s Match of the Day

On Thursday, the men complete their quarter-finals, while the women play the semi-finals.

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Kevin Anderson (photo by Chryslène Caillaud, copyright @Sport Vision)

The first women’s semifinal features two young players who have never advanced this far at a Premier Mandatory event: 22-year-old Ash Barty and 23-year-old Anett Kontaveit. The first men’s quarter-final of the day similarly highlights the ATP’s youth movement, with 19-year-old Denis Shapovalov and 21-year-old Frances Tiafoe. The second women’s semifinal sees a former world No.1 just one match win away from reclaiming that ranking, against a former Major finalist looking for her first Premier Mandatory final. And in the last men’s quarter-final, it’s two players in their 30’s. 32-year-old Kevin Anderson is vying for the biggest title of his career, and 37-year-old Roger Federer is going for career title No.101.

 

Roger Federer (4) vs. Kevin Anderson (6)

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Federer is 5-1 against Anderson, but that one loss was a big one. Federer was up two sets and had a match point last year in the Wimbledon quarterfinals, yet Anderson climbed his way back to win 13-11 in the fifth. That’s actually the only match in which Kevin has taken a set from Roger. Federer would avenge that loss later in the year, and in the same city, with a straight set win at the ATP Finals. Roger didn’t play his best tennis at the start of this tournament, but he’s improved with every round, and looked very sharp yesterday against Daniil Medvedev. Anderson has been suffering from a right elbow injury, and had to pull out of both the New York Open and Indian Wells. It’s impressive that he’s advanced to this quarterfinal having not played since the Australian Open, though he’s yet to play a seeded player. This match-up leans heavily toward Federer’s favour, and he’s the more in-form player. Roger will be motivated to not allow Kevin to get another win over him. As Ben Rothenberg quoted Federer on Twitter, “If you beat me at Wimbledon, you’ve got my attention.”

Simona Halep (2) vs. Karolina Pliskova (5)

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These two just played an extremely competitive Fed Cup match just last month, with Halep prevailing 6-4 in the third. Halep holds a 7-2 record over Pliskova, with most of her victories coming in straight sets. The only times Karolina has gotten the better of Simona are last year on clay in Madrid, and in a 2016 Fed Cup match. Other than a scare in her third round match here against Polona Hercog, Halep has advanced comfortably to this semifinal. Pliskova’s path was a bit more complicated, as she twice had to go deep into a third set to survive. Karolina has been the healthier and more successful player this year. She is 20-4 in 2019, with a title win in Brisbane, a semifinal run in Melbourne, and quarter-final run two weeks ago in Indian Wells. Pliskova’s tennis has been much improved over the past six months with the joint coaching team of Rennae Stubbs and Conchita Martinez. Halep had about half as many wins as Pliskova on the year coming into this tournament, though she’s playing her best tennis of the season with her own coaching situation now settled. This match-up is to Halep’s advantage, as she makes it difficult for Pliskova to hit through her. But will she feel the pressure of regaining the No.1 ranking with a win today? We saw her lose several such matches which would have earned her that ranking in 2017. This could easily become a prolonged contest, and if so, I wonder how Halep’s knee will hold it, as it’s been taped all week. In a month where we’ve seen a lot of upsets on the American hard courts, I’m going with Pliskova to advance to Saturday’s final. She’s the player with more confidence and momentum.

Other notable matches on Day 11

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  • Denis Shapovalov (20) vs. Frances Tiafoe (28). They’ve split two previous matches, both last year on American hard courts
  • Ash Barty (12) vs. Anett Kontaveit (21). Their first meeting will be one of the most important matches in both of their young careers

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Kiki Bertens Believes In Stability And Trust Ahead Of 2020 Season

Kiki Bertens looks for stability in hope of grand slam success in 2020.

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Kiki Bertens (@rogerscup - Twitter)

Kiki Bertens believes stability and trust is the key to success ahead of the 2020 season despite a time of change for the Dutchwoman. 

 

A time of change is approaching for Kiki Bertens as she recently just got married to her physical trainer Remko De Rijke.

https://www.instagram.com/p/B5iU5w9hTgf/

It’s not only off the court, change is approaching for the former Wimbledon quarter-finalist as her and coach Raemon Sluiter parted ways during the off-season.

After the split it would have been easy for Bertens to make a radical change to her coaching team but that is not her style as she has promoted Elise Tamaela to a main coaching role.

Even through a time of change, Bertens believes stability is crucial to success, “It takes me a while to be able to trust someone,” she admitted to Dutch website De Telegraaf. 

“And I don’t want to spend that time on something like that. We’re going to continue in the same way for next year. The results were not as expected in the Grand Slams but I had other good weeks. It’s really not that I felt different playing in the Slams than in other weeks in which I could win titles.”

Although the formula to winning a grand slam has yet to be solved, the world number nine has achieved great consistency having won 55 matches in 2019, which also included the biggest title of her career in Madrid.

A new era await for Bertens with her new coach and plenty of praise was given to Elise Tamaela ahead of the new season, “For me the most important thing is that that person knows a lot about tennis. I have to be able to fully trust her,” Bertens said.

“To be able to laugh with that person, eat with her. I prefer to keep the equipment to the minimum possible and be able to feel comfortable in terms of confidence. Sometimes more people in the team only bring more opinions. And that style is not mine.”

This simplistic formula has worked for Bertens in the past and as the 2020 season approaches, she’s not looking to change it.

However will inexperience lead to the same results at grand slams, with the level of the Women’s game rising, Bertens may find that breaking the boundaries of stability is needed.

The former world number four will start her march towards more glory in Brisbane on the 6th of January.

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Caroline Wozniacki Announces Retirement After Australian Open

Caroline Wozniacki has announced that she will retire from tennis after the Australian Open in January.

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Caroline Wozniacki (@WeAreTennis - Twitter)

Caroline Wozniacki has announced that she will retire from tennis after the Australian Open as a new chapter in her life approaches. 

 

The Dane won 30 WTA singles titles in her career and spent 71 weeks as world number one although a grand slam had haunted her for most of her career.

However that changed in 2018 after an epic win over Simona Halep sealed a dream come true as she won her first grand slam at the Australian Open.

Since winning her maiden slam though, it has been an uphill struggle on the court for Wozniacki as she was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis.

Some days the former world number one and on some days, it is a constant battle for her to even wake up in the morning.

Now with other priorities taking over having been married to former NBA player David Lee since June and already studying Business at Harvard, Wozniacki today took the decision to retire from tennis after the Australian Open.

https://twitter.com/MPTenisPodcast/status/1202972268831367168

In a statement on Instagram, Woznaicki told her followers that she had accomplished everything she wanted to and looks forward to the future, “I’ve accomplished everything I could ever dream of on the court,” she said.

“I’ve always told myself, when the time comes, that there are things away from tennis that I want to do more, then it’s time to be done. In recent months, I’ve realized that there is a lot more in life that I’d like to accomplish off the court.

“Getting married to David was one of those goals and starting a family with him while continuing to travel the world and helping raise awareness about rheumatoid arthritis (project upcoming) are all passions of mine moving forward.

“This has nothing to do with my health and this isn’t a goodbye, I look forward to sharing my exciting journey ahead with all of you!

“Finally, I want to thank with all my heart, the fans, my friends, my sponsors, my team, especially my father as my coach, my husband, and my family for decades of support! Without all of you I could have never have done this!”

Although this retirement may have been coming, not many people would have predicted it would come at the scene of her grand slam breakthrough.

Now in the last stretch of her career, the Dane will want to finish on a high as she looks to celebrate a career that has lasted nearly 15 years.

 

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Ashleigh Barty, Simona Halep and Venus Williams are the stand-out names in Adelaide

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Four top 10 players Ashleigh Barty, Simona Halep, Petra Kvitova and Kiki Bertens and former Grand Slam champions Venus Williams and Angelique Kerber will grab the headlines at the Adelaide International from 12 to 18 January 2020.

 

A total of seven Grand Slam champions and five former world number one players will take part in the Adelaide WTA tourament.

This year’s Roland Garros champion Ashleigh Barty leads a star-studded line-up, which includes 2019 Wimbledon champion Simona Halep, two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova, Kiki Bertens and seven other members of the top 20.

The Main Draw also features Sofia Kenin, Alison Riske, Sloane Stephens and Danielle Collins, World Number 30 Quang Wang. World Number 12 and this Rome WTA Premier finalist Johanna Konta will play her first tournament since the US Open following a knee injury.

Seven-time Grand Slam champion Venus Williams has been announced as the Top 20 wildcard.

“It is always exciting to play at a new tournament in front of new fans. I have had so many memorable times times in Australia over the years and I am looking forward to discovering Adelaide and all it has to offer”, said Venus Williams.

The men’s line-up includes 2019 Australian Open and Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic, Alex De Minaur, Lucas Pouille and Andrey Rublev.

“The full list of players is a real who’s who of tennis, from Australia’s favourite Ashleigh Barty to the iconic Venus Williams, right through to the young talent of Alex De Minaur and the experienced campaigner Novak Djokovic in the men’s field”, said South Australian Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment David Ridgway.

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