Former World No.1s Mats Wilander, Kim Clijsters Praise Naomi Osaka At French Open - UBITENNIS
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Former World No.1s Mats Wilander, Kim Clijsters Praise Naomi Osaka At French Open

The two former players share their opinions about the two-time grand slam champion.

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Naomi Osaka has a level of fighting spirit that places her among the great champions of the sport, according to former player Mats Wilander.

 

Osaka kicked-off her campaign at the French Open on Tuesday with a roller-coaster three-set win over Slovenia’s Anna Karolína Schmiedlová. Coming back from 0-6 down. The Japanese player is bidding to become the first woman to win a third consecutive grand slam since 2015, as well as maintain her No.1 position. However, she is yet to go beyond the third round at Roland Garros.

Speaking about the 21-year-old on Eurosport, three-time French Open champion Wilander drew similarities between her opening performance and that of Serena Williams. Williams also endured a slow start to her match against Vitalia Diatchenko before prevailing 2-6, 6-1, 6-0.

“Naomi Osaka’s fighting spirit is up there with the great champions and that’s what I think we’re going to see with her for the rest of her career.” Said Wilander.
“She goes for her shots and she is so similar to Serena Williams in so many ways. Her first set was horrendous, just like Serena. But somehow she turns it around, keeps going for her shots and then they start to go in.”

Whilst he praised Osaka’s first round performance, Wilander is concerned about how she will fair as the tournament progresses. The Japanese player has had a mixed run on the clay heading into Paris. In Stuttgart she was forced to withdraw from the semifinals due to an abdominal injury. Then in Rome, it was a hand injury that forced her out of the tournament.

“You have to hold something back on clay though, and that’s what worries me about Osaka as the tournament goes on.” He said.
“However, Naomi has won two Slams in a row, she’s number one in the world and she managed to get through this match on a windy, cold day on Philippe-Chatrier. I think there are more positives than negatives for her.”

On the other hand Kim Clijsters, who is a two-time finalist of the tournament, says she has been impressed by the level of Osaka’s maturity on the court. Over a 12-month period between 2018-2019, she broke into the top 40 before becoming the first Asian player to top the world rankings.

“When you look at what she showed us at the US Open last year against Serena and in Australia this year against Kvitova… It’s unbelievable that she’s able to turn it around mentally. To be able to do that regularly without having much experience is very impressive.” Clijsters told Eurosport Germany.
“I’ve seen her play amazing tennis in years past, when she couldn’t quite sustain her level. She’s been able to become consistent. She has changed her coach as well. She is mentally very mature.” She added.

Osaka will take on Victoria Azarenka in her second round match on Thursday. Their head-to-head is currently tied at 1-1.

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(VIDEO) Davis Cup Day 2: Historic Day For Canada As Spain Prevail In Late-Night Thriller

Ubitennis looks at the highs and lows that occurred at the Davis Cup Finals on Tuesday.

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Denis Shapovalov alle Davis Cup Finals 2019 a Madrid (foto Twitter @DavisCupFinals)
Chief Editor Ubaldo Scanagatta rounds up Day 2 of the new Davis Cup Finals at the Caja Magica in Madrid. Canada is the first team to advance to the Quarter-finals defeating the United States for the first time in their history. However, the new format continues to be divisive among some teams. France voiced their disappointment with the attendance to their tie against Japan and Spain has called for changes to be made to the scheduling in the future after their clash with Russia lasted until the early hours of Wednesday morning.

 

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Rafael Nadal takes crucial win over Karen Khachanov in Madrid

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Rafael Nadal beat Karen Khachanov 6-3 7-6 after 2 hours and 10 minutes to score his 25th consecutive Davis Cup singles win. Nadal levelled the tie to 1-1 after Andrey Rublev came back to beat Roberto Bautista Agut 3-6 6-3 7-6 (7-0) in the opening rubber match.

 

Nadal earned the break in the fourth game with a backhand down the line winner and saved a break point in the next game with a forehand winner. Khachanov fended off two break points in the fifth game with a forehand winner after taking a 40-0 lead. Nadal closed out the first set with two service winners in the ninth game.

Nadal saved a break point at 3-4 with a service winner in the second set. Khachanov fended off a break point in the ninth game to set up a tie-break. Nadal earned a match point at 5-5. Khachanov saved it before earning a set point. Nadal fended it off before closing out the tie-break, when Khachanov sent a backhand long on the 16th point.

“The format makes things very difficult because every mistake puts you in a position that you don’t want to be. Losing that first match, we were under pressure”,said Nadal.

Marcel Granollers and Feliciano Lopez completed the come-back by scoring the 2-1 point in the decisive doubles match by beating Andrey Rublev and Karen Khachanov 6-4 7-6 (7-5).

“It was a difficult situation for us. We needed this win, otherwise we could be close to being out of the tournament. Now we are in a good position to advance”, said Feliciano Lopez.

Spain will secure a spot in the quarter final if they beat Croatia on Wednesday.

Canada beats the USA 2-0

 Canada beats the USA 2-0 to become the first team to secure their spot in the quarter finals. Vasek Pospisil edged past Reilly Opelka 7-6 (7-5) 7-6 (9-7). Denis Shapovalov beat Taylor Fritz 7-6 (8-6) 6-3. Canada beat the USA for the first time after 15 defeats in their previous rubber matches. The two neighbouring teams have met for the first time since 1965.

Australia cruises through to 3-0 over Colombia

Australia beat Colombia 3-0 to take the lead in the Group D. Nick Kyrgios beat Alejandro Gonzales 6-4 6-4. Alex De Minaur secured the winning point in the second singles match with a 6-4 6-3 win over Daniel Elahi Galan. John Peers and Jordan Thompson fended off match points to beat Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah 6-3 3-6 7-6 (8-6).

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Argentina beats Chile 3-0 in South American clash

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Argentina beat Chile 3-0 in the South American tie at the Rakuten Davis Cup Final at the Caja Magica in Madrid.

 

Guido Pella and Diego Schwartzman claimed singles win to give Argentina a 2-0 lead over Chile

Pella won 83 % of his first serve points to beat Nicolas Jerry 6-4 6-3 in 75 minutes in the opening match of the Group C on Centre Court.

Pella faced only one break and broke serve three times. The Argentine got the first break in the second game to build up a 5-2 lead before Jarry broke back in the ninth game. Pella broke serve in the 10th game, as Jarry netted a forehand.

Both players went on serve in the first seven games of the second set. Pella broke serve at 4-3, as Jarry made a double fault. Pella closed out the match with a service winner.

“It was unbelievable because it was a very tough match for me. I was very nervous during the entire match. Madrid is a difficult city if you are nervous to play because there is a little bit of altitude, so I was struggling a bit but I fought for every ball and that was the key to get the win”, said Pella.

Schwartzman cruised past Christian Garin 6-2 6-2 in 73 minutes in the second singles match to give Argentina a 2-0 lead. Schwartzman broke three times to claim the opening set 6-2 after half an hour. The Argentine raced out to a 5-0 lead with a double break. Garin pulled one break back in the seventh game. Scwartzman hit a backhand winner at 5-2 to seal the second set with another break.

“It’s the end of the season but I played one of the best matches for sure of the year, maybe in my career. I think Guido helped me a lot to be more confident in this match and I played unreal tennis”, said Schwartzman.

 

Maximo Gonzales and Leonardo Mayer beat Nicolas Jarry and Hans Podlipnik gave Argentina a 3-0 point with a 6-3 7-5 in the doubles match with two breaks in fourth and eighth games of the first set and eleventh games of the second set.

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