Former Top 50 Player Shelby Rogers Returns To Charleston After 12-Month Injury Break - UBITENNIS
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Former Top 50 Player Shelby Rogers Returns To Charleston After 12-Month Injury Break

Despite admitting that she is unsure if she is ready, the 26-year-old is hooping to stage a winning comeback this week.



This year’s Volvo Car Open in Charleston marks the return of a familiar face to the WTA Tour.


Shelby Rogers last played a competitive match at the 2018 BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, where she lost in the first round. Since then, the American player has been sidelined from the tour due to a troublesome left knee injury that required surgery. The first significant injury of her career to date.

“I just missed it so much,” the 26-year-old told The Post and Courier about her comeback. “I was going crazy sitting inside and laying around, so I had to get on the court just to remember what it was like.”

Rogers has been ranked as high as 48th in the world. She is best known for her surprise run to the quarter-finals of the French Open. In that tournament, she scored wins over Karolina Pliskova, Petra Kvitova and Irina-Camelia Begu. Rogers has also reached the final of two WTA events on the clay in Austria and Brazil. At the time of her knee problems, the American was ranked 78th in the world.

“I talked to other players and people who have had been injured, but there’s nothing to prepare you for what you go through.”

During her injury break, Rogers embarked upon other activities such as working as an announcer for The Tennis Channel and doing an online course with the Indiana University East. Although it wasn’t easy dealing with the shortcoming in money during her hiatus from the sport. Rogers has made just over $2 million in prize money throughout her career. Putting her 222nd on the all-time list for the most prize money won by a female player (as of April 1st, 2019).

“That’s a part that I think could be improved with the Tour,” Rogers commented about financial support for injured players. “It’s something I never had to deal with before, and something I didn’t really understand until this happened. You take a year away from a job, and anybody would struggle with that.
“It was a big learning process and I tried to keep myself busy and try some new things to see different sides of the Tour and the game, and that was fun.”

This week will be the first test of Rogers’ current fitness in Charleston. Her first round opponent will be Russian world No.68 Evgeniya Rodina. Rodina has endured a sluggish start to 2019 after winning only two out of 11 matches played. It will be the first time the two have played each other since 2010, when the Russian won in three sets at an ITF $50,000 event in Dothan, America.

“I still don’t know if I’m ready,” Rogers admits. “But I was always ready for the comeback. That’s what kept me motivated, to come back and play the sport I love again. If you don’t have that purpose, it’d be very difficult to do that four hours a day of physical therapy and work through that pain.”

Rogers will play her first round match on Monday in what will be her ninth appearance at the tournament.

This year’s Volvo Caro Open will feature three top 10 players in the draw. Sloane Stephens is the top seed, followed by defending champion Kiki Bertens and Aryna Sabalenka. All eight seeded players has received a bye in the first round.

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VIDEO: Novak Djokovic To Lock Horns With Nadal In Rome

Ubitennis looks ahead to the men’s final at this year’s Italian Open.



Rafa Nadal - Roma 2019 (foto via Twitter, @InteBNLdItalia)

Sunday will see the 54th instalment of one of the greatest rivalries of the Open Era at the Italian Masters in Rome.


Novak Djokovic will take on Rafael Nadal in the men’s final. Second seed Nadal is yet to drop a set in the tournament this week and brushed aside Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-3, 6-4, in his semi-final match. Meanwhile, Djokovic has endured a much tougher route. The world No.1 is currently on a eight-match winning streak. In his semi-final match, he ousted Argentina’s Diego Schwartzman 6-3, 6-7(2), 6-3.

Whoever prevails at the Foro Italico will become the most decorated Masters 1000 champion in the Open Era. At present both Nadal and Djokovic have 33 Masters titles each.

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Novak Djokovic Keeps Faith Ahead Of Schwartzman Semi-Final In Rome

Novak Djokovic is keeping the faith as he looks forward to a semi-final match with Diego Schwartzman in Rome.



Novak Djokovic (@ATP_Tour - Twitter)

World number one Novak Djokovic is keeping the faith ahead of his Rome semi-final against Diego Schwartzman. 


The four-time champion survived a massive test late last night as he battled past Juan Martin Del Potro 4-6 7-6(6) 6-4 in just over three hours.

After saving two match points the Serb proved to be too clinical as he clinched victory at about 1am in the morning on Saturday.

In a short interview after his match Djokovic said that keeping faith was important in his quarter-final victory, I never lost faith I could come back to the match,” Djokovic explained.

“One break of serve, mini break in the tiebreak when he was 6-4, more or less open forehand that he was making the entire match, that’s all it took for me to come back. I’m just really pleased to overcome.”

In addition to keeping mentally strong, Djokovic also praised Del Potro’s performance as he continues his recovery from a knee injury, “He was playing really good. I tried my best obviously all the way till the end,” Djokovic said.

I lost probably the positioning of the court over him. Towards the end of the first he just started hitting the ball really well from both corners. Also backhand side, backhand down the line. He was playing really well. Gave me a lot of trouble.”

Next up for Djokovic is Diego Schwartzman who is into his first ever masters 1000 semi-final and is yet to drop a set this week.

The Serb leads the head-to-head 2-0 although their last match went to five sets at Roland Garros a couple of years ago. It should be a fascinating match which takes place at 8pm local time as Djokovic looks to keep the faith heading into the French Open.



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Roger Federer Withdraws From Rome Quarters Due To Right Leg Injury

Roger Federer has withdrawn from his Rome quarter-final with a right leg injury after playing two matches yesterday.



Roger Federer (@InteBNLdItalia - Twitter)

Roger Federer has withdrawn from his Rome quarter-final with Stefanos Tsitsipas due to a right leg injury. 


The 20-time grand slam champion spent a combined three hours and 51 minutes on court yesterday after wins over Joao Sousa and Borna Coric.

It was the Coric match in particular that was though as he saved two match points to edge the Croatian 9-7 in the last set tiebreak.

However we now know that has taken its toll on the 37 year-old, who has had to pull out of his anticipated quarter-final with Stefanos Tsitsipas due to a right leg injury.

Despite the withdrawal, Federer takes four good clay-court wins heading into Roland Garros, an event he will play for the first time since 2015.

As a result of the third seed’s withdrawal, Stefanos Tsitsipas now gets a walkover into the semi-finals where he will play either Fernando Verdasco or Rafael Nadal.

Of course Tsitsipas managed to beat Nadal in the Madrid semi-finals last week, as he looks to continue his momentum towards the French Open.

The other quarter-finals see Diego Schwartzman take on Kei Nishikori and Novak Djokovic faces Juan Martin Del Potro.


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