Karolina Pliskova And Belinda Bencic March On In Rome - UBITENNIS
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Karolina Pliskova And Belinda Bencic March On In Rome

Karolina Pliskova cruised to a straight-sets victory over Tomljanovic in Rome, while Bencic produced a stunning comeback to beat Sevastova.



Karolina Pliskova (photo by chryslène caillaud, copyright @Sport Vision)

Karolina Pliskova breezed into the third round in Rome with a comfortable 6-3 6-3 victory over Alja Tomljanovic.

The Czech, 27, is having a good year. She won a tournament in Brisbane, reached the semi-final at the Australian Open, the quarter-final at Indian Wells and the final in Miami.

However, Pliskova will have to play very well to match those successes this week. She could face Madison Keys in round three and Elina Svitolina or Garbine Muguruza in the last eight.

Understandably, the World No.7 is not looking that far ahead. “It’s always difficult in the first round for me,” Pliskova told wtatennis.com. “I’ve never really won anything here in Rome, so it’s good that I’m through.”

The Czech played very sensibly against Tomljanovic. She served well throughout and created plenty of break point opportunities.

In the first set, Pliskova broke in the fourth game and narrowly failed to break again in the sixth. It did not matter though, as she soon wrapped up the set 6-3.

The Australian then made an awful start to the second set. She struggled to find the court in the opening four games and lost them all.

Although Tomljanovic rallied to win the next three, the damage was done. Pliskova broke her for the fourth time to seal her place in round three.

Bencic produces superb comeback to beat Sevastova

Belinda Bencic (@PorscheTennis on Twitter)

Belinda Bencic was on the brink of a first-round exit in Rome. She was 6-2 and 3-0 down to Anastasija Sevastova and struggling to make an impression on the match.

Then she let her emotion out during the changeover. She vented to her coach (her father Ivan) and had a moan at the umpire about the noisy crowd.

And it worked a treat because it freed Bencic up completely. She started hitting winners and dictating points and her upturn had a remarkable effect because, as she improved, Sevastova faltered badly.

Consequently, the Swiss player won six consecutive games to take the second set and level the match. She then dominated the decider and claimed it 6-2.

“It means a lot, because it shows I’m really fighting on the court and I can turn things around when it’s not working at all for me,” Bencic told wtatennis.com.

The World No.15’s next opponent will be Kristina Mladenovic, after the Frenchwoman recorded an impressive 6-1 6-2 win over compatriot Caroline Garcia.

Cornet knocks out Sabalenka

Elsewhere in Rome, Alize Cornet upset 9th seed Aryna Sabalenka 6-1 6-4. Daria Kasatkina beat Irina-Camelia Begu 6-2 7-6(5). Maria Sakkari defeated Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-1 7-5.

Ashleigh Barty was also in action. She beat Viktoria Kuzmova 4-6 6-3 6-4. Meanwhile, Julia Goerges overcame Hsieh Su-Wei 6-3 6-4.

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Emma Raducanu Confident Of Full Fitness Ahead Of Grass Swing



Emma Raducanu - Cincinnati 2022 (foto Twitter @cincytennis)

Emma Raducanu has no regrets about her decision to skip the French Open and now believes she is in a ‘really fit place’ ahead of Wimbledon. 

The former US Open champion opted to end her clay season earlier than other players to focus on fitness and training with her coach. Raducanu stated earlier this year that her primary focus in 2024 is on her health after undergoing a series of wrist and ankle surgeries last year which sidelined her for months. 

Raducanu will return to action this week at the Nottingham Open, which is the event where she made her WTA main draw debut back in 2021. Despite her lack of match play in recent weeks, the Brit is feeling good and relishing her return to the grass.

“Body-wise, physical-wise, I feel really healthy,” she said on Monday.
“I’ve done amazing work with my trainer over the last few months, since surgery. I’m in a really fit place. I’m healthy and just looking forward to starting playing.”

Shedding more light on her health, Raducanu says she has full confidence in her wrists and believes they are in top condition. Making her feel more at ease when playing matches on the Tour. 

“I think my wrists are actually in a better position than they ever were. So there’s zero doubt or apprehension whether I’m hitting the ball or designing my schedule,” she explained.
“It’s more about being proactive and not wanting to put yourself in any unnecessary situations. I don’t need to rush and try to win the French Open, it wasn’t my goal this year.
“I had to prioritise where I wanted to target and it was just a good block for me to get some physical work done.”

Raducanu has played seven WTA events so far this season with her best run being to the quarter-finals of the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart, where she was beaten by world No.1 Iga Swiatek. The 21-year-old is currently ranked 209th in the world. 

At the Nottingham Open, she will play her first match on Tuesday against Japanese qualifier Ena Shibahara. 

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Russian World No.78 Elina Avanesyan To Switch Nationalities



Image via https://x.com/WTAMeridaOpen/

A week after losing her fourth round match at the French Open, a government minister has confirmed that Elina Avanesyan is in the process of changing the nationality of who she plays for. 

The 21-year-old is switching her aligence from Russia to Armenia, according to Armenia’s deputy Minister of International Affairs and communication. Karen Giloyan has told the news agency Armenpress that Avanesyan will soon be representing his country. However, the tennis player has yet to comment on the matter.  Avanesyan was born in Russia but has Armenian parents.

“Elina Avanesyan will compete under the Armenian flag, but there is nothing official yet. We are waiting for her to get the citizenship of the Republic of Armenia so that everything will be official,” Giloyan told Armenpress.

Such a development would be a massive coup for the Armenian tennis federation which currently doesn’t have a player ranked inside the top 500 on either the men’s or women’s Tour. The country has a population of less than 3M. Perhaps their best-known player is Sargis Sargsian who reached the top 40 back in 2004. Others on the Tour also have Armenian heritage but don’t represent the country such as Karen Khachanov.  

Avanesyan is currently ranked 78th in the world, which is 18 places below her career high. This season, she has scored high-profile wins over Maria Sakkari at the Australian Open, Ons Jabeur in Charleston and Qinwen Zhang at the French Open. 

She has yet to play in the final of a WTA tournament.

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Iga Looks To Be In A league All to Herself At Paris

Iga Swiatek claimed her fourth Roland Garros title in Paris.



(@Eurosport - Twitter)

Just call her Iga. No other identification is needed.

As the years go by, Iga’s notoriety is sure to grow.

She’s probably already earned a spot in tennis’ Hall of Fame.

Yes, Iga Swiatek is a name to remember. A hero in her native Poland, a superstar in the world of sports.


Iga just added to her stardom Saturday with an impressive 6-2, 6-1 victory over little-known Italian Jasmine Paolini to win her third straight French Open title. This was Paolini’s chance to make a name for herself, but she didn’t have the game to make it happen.

Iga was just too good. She made it look too easy.

Paolini could hit some great ground strokes, but when she looked up a bigger shot was on its way back. Iga doesn’t look like a power hitter, but she is.


The 23-year-old Polish Wonder finished the first set winning five straight games, then started the second set winning five more games in succession. The 28-year-old Paolini didn’t seem to have a clue on how to upend Swiatek.

It took just 78 minutes for Iga to win her fifth Grand Slam title.

She’s a lot like her French Open hero, Rafa Nadal.

She takes every match seriously.


No wonder Iga owns a 35-2 record at Roland Garos. Or that she has won 21 straight matches. Or that she owns a 5-0 record in Grand Slam finals.

She only dominated opponents, except for Naomi Osaka in the second round. Swiatek escaped a match point in that one and didn’t look back.

Iga’s game should be just as superb on the green grass of upcoming Wimbledon.

James Beck was the 2003 winner of the USTA National Media Award  for print media. A 1995 MBA graduate of The Citadel, he can be reached at Jamesbecktennis@gmail.com.

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