What a good show for 20 Euros! Due to the washout on Wednesday, Roland Garros women’s semifinals have been confined to Court Suzanne Lenglen and Simonne Mathieu for the viewing pleasure of ground ticket holders. The match between Ahsleigh Barty and Amanda Anisimova on Lenglen was a synopsis of everything good women’s tennis can offer: great shotmaking, power, finesse and a lot of drama. Barty ended up getting the win of this topsy-turvy event after recovering a one set and 0-3 deficit.
The start was a dream for Barty: focused, hitting the ball like it happens only in heaven, the Aussie took full advantage of the teenage jitters by Anisimova to run away in the score: 16 points to 1 in nine minutes for a 4-0 lead, 20-3 for the 5-0 in 14 minutes.
After two set points canceled to avoid a bagel in a bliss of 15 minutes, Anisimova benefited from a curious hiccup by Barty: while running after a drop shot, her right foot got stuck in the wet clay during a slide attempt, causing her to stumble and put the integrity of her ankle in some danger. That simple episode broke the magic of an unable-to-miss Barty who saw a few of her shots miss the court by a whisker and conceded one of the two breaks of advantage back.
That’s when a new match started: striking the ball with newly found vigor, Anisimova started leading the rallies with her brilliant cross-court drives to come back, game after game, until she was in a position to serve for the set at 6-5 having won six games in a row. No set-points, however, came for her in that game, as she allowed her opponent back to 6-6 with some shaky unforced errors that cost her a break and a warning for a smashed racquet.
The subsequent tie-break was dominated by errors and nerves: an elusive 4-2 lead by Barty turned into a 7-4 win by Anisimova in 46 minutes.
As the first raindrops of the afternoon started falling from an ominously black sky, Barty found herself with the daunting task to overcome the thought of having lost a set where she was leading 5-0 40-15. The price to pay was a 17-point streak by Anisimova that sent the teenager up 3-0 in the second set in less than 10 minutes. But as an ant starting to rebuild its nest after it has been thumped over by a giant, Barty started to string her slices together again, with deeper trajectories and a more consistent top spin forehands to provoke the errors that eventually came from Anisimova. Six games in a row, and after 73 minutes the match was squared at one set all.
Barty held the first game of the decider in a 10-minute 14-point game filled with great shots and an almost tearful Anisimova, who managed to get an early break two games later through a masterful use of her backhand drop-shot. But her lead was short-lived: as strengthening rain and wind were hitting Court Suzanne Lenglen (Storm Marcus was arriving in Paris with forecasted gusts of up to 120 km/h), Barty broke back immediately with a splendid cross-court forehand and went on to win four games in a row for a 5-2 lead. Anisimova refused defeat at first as she recovered from 0-40 deficit erasing three match points, but Barty promptly held her serve at 15 in the following game to close the match 6-7(4) 6-3 6-3 after one hours, 53 minutes.
Barty reaches her first Grand Slam final, improving her record for the year to 32-6 and will face on Saturday teenager Marketa Vondrousova, whom she has beaten twice in two previous matches.
Caroline Wozniacki To Face Serena Williams In Farewell Match
Details have been released about a special event that will take place in honour of the former world No.1.
After announcing her retirement from tennis at the start of next year, Caroline Wozniacki has confirmed that she will play one final match in her home country before hanging up her racket for good.
Danish media have reported that the 2018 Australian Open champion will play at the Royal Arena in Copenhagen next May. A multi-purpose arena that can hold a capacity of up to 12,500 people for sporting events. Described by the promoters as Wozniacki’s ‘final match’ on Danish soil, she will play against rival and friend Serena Williams.
“The time has come when I stop my career and I am very much looking forward to playing my very last home game in front of such a large audience. It will be something very special and a day I really look forward to.” Wozniacki told tv2.dk.
“The end point of my career cannot be better than at home and against tennis’ greatest female player ever. It’s going to be a magnificent night I’ll never forget, I’m sure.” She added.
Wozniacki has played Williams 11 times on the WTA Tour, but has only won one of their meetings. Which was at the 2012 Miami Open. It is not the first time the two have played an exhibition match against each other. In 2016 Williams won their encounter in Madison Square Garden, New York. Meanwhile, last year Wozniacki also played Williams’ sister Venus in Denmark to mark her triumph at the Australian Open.
The 29-year-old will be hoping that the upcoming showdown will be the perfect send off as she exits the sport. During her career, Wozniacki has won 30 WTA titles and spent 71 weeks as world No.1. She has also won 432 hard court matches, which is more than any other non-American player on the women’s tour.
“I want to thank everyone for the incredible support they have shown me throughout my career and I hope that as many people as possible want to come and give me perfect send off. I would be very grateful for that.” She said.
The farewell match will take place on May 18th, which is exactly a week before the start of the French Open for Williams.
Indian Wells voted as the best WTA Premier Mandatory Tournament of the 2019 season
The tournament awards are broken down into four categories, according to the four different levels of WTA Tournaments.
The BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells has been voted as the winner of the Tournament of the Year Award in the WTA Premier Mandatory category for the sixth consecutive year and the 11th time overall.
Dubai was voted as the winner in the WTA Premier 5 Category. There were two ties in the WTA Premier category and in the WTA International categories.
St. Petersburg won the WTA Premier Award fo the second consecutive year, while Stuttgart received this award for the 10th time.
Auckland won the WTA International category Award for the fourth time, while Acapulco received this accolade for the 12th time.
Petra Kvitova received the Karen Krantzcke Sportmanship Award for the seventh straight year and the eighth time overall. The list of past winners of this Award features Kim Clijsters, Elena Dementieva, Ana Ivanovic, Lindsay Davenport, Chris Evert and Evonne Goolagong-Cawley. The Karen Krantzcke Sportmaship Award is presented to the player, who observes the rules of fair play, shows respect for others and is gracious on and off the court.
“Receiving this award for the eighth consecutive year makes me very proud and means so much for me. Being recognized by my colleagues for sportsmanship and fair play is an honour as I always pride myself on treating my opponents with respect. I hope to inspire the future generations to love the sport of tennis as much as I do”, said Kvitova.
Carla Suarez Navarro Set For One Last Season As A Player
The former top 10 player has outlined her retirement plans for 2020 as she embarks upon a farewell tour.
Next year will be the final time tennis fans will see Carla Suarez Navarro on the tour after the Spaniard announced her retirement on Tuesday.
The former world No.6 confirmed her future plans during a press conference in Barcelona. She will play one full season in 2020 before walking away from the sport after playing for more than 10 years on the WTA Tour. Suarez Navarro is currently the second highest ranked female tennis player from Spain after Garbine Muguruza and is currently 55th in the world.
“The 2020 season will be my last year in the professional tennis circuit,” wtatennis.com quoted the 31-year-old as saying. “The sport has been a fundamental part of my life – it has given me immense joy and I cannot be more grateful for all the experiences that it has allowed me to live. At this time, I notice that the time has come to complete a beautiful chapter and begin to enjoy other areas of life. Tennis will always be in me.”
Known for her one-handed backhand shot, which is a rare occurrence in the women’s game, Suarez Navarro has enjoyed a successful career since her breakthrough in 2008. The year when she reached the quarter-finals of the French Open as a qualifier. During her career, she claimed two WTA titles with the biggest being at the 2016 Qatar Open. She also finished runner-up at nine other tournaments.
“Tennis right now has a very high demand. To be high in the ranking you need absolute consistency, a world-class level of physical conditioning and a 24-hour daily psychological commitment. I have been in high competition for more than 15 years and have lived through these realities since the beginning of my adolescence. These are lessons that have formed me as a person and that will serve me for a lifetime,” Suárez Navarro explained.
“I want to enjoy one last season with the same professionalism as always. I am going to do a quality preparation, my whole team is going to travel with me from the month of January and I plan to compete until the end of the season. My desire is clear: to be proud of this last effort when I reach the end of the road.”
Suarez Navarro has also enjoyed success in the doubles where she peaked at a high of 11th back in 2015. Her trio of trophies was won alongside Muguruza between 2014-2015. The duo also reached the semi-finals of the 2014 French Open.
Representing her country, the three-time Olympian has also featured in 15 Fed Cup ties. Including Spain’s clash with Belgium earlier this year when she won all three of her matches (two singles and one doubles). Overall, she has a win-loss record of 16-11 in the competition.
Despite knowing that next year will be her last as a player, the Spaniard has big ambitions for 2020. Including a fourth consecutive appearance at the Olympic Games.
“My goals are going to be as high as ever,” she stated. “I want to try to finish the year in the Top 10 because I know what it takes to be there. I am very excited to participate in another Olympic Games and, as always, I will have the Grand Slams in mind. Although it is the last season of my career, my mentality will be exactly the same: work, humility and ambition.”
Suarez Navarro will start her final season at the ASB Classic in Auckland.
Four facts about Suarez Navarro’s career
- Her career prize money currently stands at $11,580,886. The third highest of all time for a Spanish woman.
- Has won 509 matches so far in her career against 336 loses.
- Between 2013-2016 Suarez Navarro finished each season in the top 20 for both singles and doubles.
- She has played in 43 grand slam tournaments and hasn’t missed the main draw of a major event since losing in the second round of qualifying at the 2011 Wimbledon Championships.
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