Gabriela Sabatini Hits Back At Critics Of Women’s Tennis - UBITENNIS
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Gabriela Sabatini Hits Back At Critics Of Women’s Tennis

The 49-year-old former grand slam champion shares her opinion about the WTA Tour.

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Gabriela Sabatini pictured at the 2019 ITF Awards (Credit ITF/Paul Zimmer)

Former US Open champion Gabriela Sabatini believes there are more positives than negatives when it comes to players lacking consistency on the women’s tour.

 

Sabatini, who is a former world No.3, was questioned about the current state of the WTA Tour by media at the French Open. In this year’s tournament, only four top 20 players have managed to make to the quarter-finals. The highest ranked of which is defending champion Simona Halep. Halep is bidding to become the first player since Justine Henin (2005-2007) to win consecutive titles in the Paris capital.

“I don’t see it that way. I think you see a lot of — you know, the level of tennis on women’s is very good these days.” Said Sabatini. “I see so many new athletes coming out. Physically, they are much stronger. And I see some of them that I really like the way they play, and their charisma.”

So far in 2019, there has been 22 different winners on the WTA Tour. Out of that group, only four players have managed to win multiple titles. Kiki Bertens, Karolina Pliskova, Petra Kvitova and Dayana Yastremska each have two trophies. It is a similar trend on the men’s tour too with 23 different winners and five of those winning multiple titles. There is yet to be as a player – man or woman – to win three titles in 2019.

Whilst there are similarities between the two tours, inconsistency is still more commonly associated with the women. Partly due to the dominance of the ‘Big Four’ in the men’s game. Nevertheless, Sabatini believes it is a good situation to be in.

“That could also be positive, that you don’t have the same players winning all the time.” She said.
“I see a lot of new players that I don’t know and that I haven’t seen before and that I’m surprised the way they play, which is, I think is good to have more competition.’
“You still see Halep being up there. Some of them, okay, they did well in one year and another year not so much. They come and go.”

One player who has caught the eye of the Argentinian is Ash Barty. The Australian is currently experiencing her best ever run at the French Open. Dropping one set in four matches played. She will play Madison Keys in the last eight on Wednesday.

“I saw her in Miami. I really like the way she plays. Her slice, backhand slice, I like very much. I think she’s a very strategic player.” She said of Barty.
“That’s the one (player) that I like the most these days as far as her game.”

On Tuesday Sabatini was presented with the Philippe Chatrier Award. Named after the former president of the International Tennis Federation, the honour recognizes individuals or organisations who have made a significant contribution to tennis. Both on and off the court. Stefan Edberg, Martina Navratilova, John McEnroe, Margaret Court and Gustavo Kuerten have all previously received the award.

“The ITF Board of Directors are delighted to award the ITF’s highest accolade to Gabriela, a great champion and inspirational role model who has given so much to the sport through her contributions to many organizations for the benefit of young people and aspiring tennis players around the world,” ITF President David Haggerty said in a press release.

Sabatini won 27 singles and 14 doubles titles during her career. She retired from the sport in 1996.

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Stefanos Tsitsipas and Matteo Berrettini join impressive line-up at Mouratoglou’s Ultimate Tennis Showdown

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Last year’s ATP Finals champion Stefanos Tsitsipas and 2019 US Open champion Matteo Berrettini are the latest addition to the Ultimate Tennis Showdown, the tennis exhibition tournament organized by Patrick Mouratoglou in his Academy in Southern France.

 

“I like this approach. It’s a different concept. It looks very fresh and modernised. I like when there is a technical evolution, not just in tennis”, said Tsitsipas to Alizé Lim in Major Talk.

The line-up features an impressive line-up that includes Felix Auger Aliassime, David Goffin, Alexei Popiryn, Lucas Pouille, Dustin Brown, Richard Gasquet and Benoit Paire. Mouratoglou will announce the 10th player soon. UTS organizers promised that the remaining player to take part in this tournament would be a top 10 player.

The tournament will start on 13th June and will take place during the weekends. It will consist of 50 matches in a round-robin format.

“I am looking forward to connecting with my fans virtually and taking part in this new experience. From 13th June live tennis returns. Like never before”, posted Tsitsipas on his twitter account.

 No fans will be in attendance, but Mouratoglou has spoken of his desire to have technology aid in fan interaction.

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All 1000 tickets for the Adria Tour are sold out

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All 1000 tickets for the charity sports event “Adria Tour” have been sold in record seven minutes. The tournament will feature three top 10 players Novak Djokovic, Dominic Thiem and Alexander Zverev.

 

The tournament organised by Novak Djokovic will make its debut from 12 to 14 June. The exhibition tournament will also feature three legs in Zadar (20-21 June), Montenegro (27-28 June) and Banja Luka (3-4 July) and an exhibition match between Novak Djokovic and Damir Dzumhur in Sarajevo on 5 July.

According to the company Ticket Vision, which was officially selling the tickets on their website and at box offices, the public interest for the tournament, which will be held in Belgrade from 12th JUne to 14th June in Belgrade, was incredible. For all those, who did not manage to get the tickets, we have good news, we have decided to release another 1000 tickets on Friday, while respecting the recommended measures of safety and appropriate social distance of at least one metre between spectators.

Organizers also announced that they would release another 1000 tickets for the two days and follow recommended measures of safety and appropriate social distance of at least one metre between spectators.

According to local press, Djokovic’s coach Goran Ivanisevic said that organizers are planning to have 4500 fans. Ivanisevic is helpiing organize the tournament in Zadar (Croatia). Croatian players Marin Cilic and Borna Coric will also play in the Adria Cup.

“The tournament will be played on clay. We were ready for hard court, but Djokovic’s team still decided for clay. We are waiting for the final confirmation of the number of fans that will be allowed to us. It will be a stadium for nine thousand people that will be installed this week. I hope that it will allow us half of that capacity for the audience to see the best players in the world. This is a great opportunity to show Zadar and Croatia in a beautiful light, as a corona-free country and invite tourists. Zadar proved to be not only a basketball city but also a tennis city with those Davis Cup matches that it organized incredibly. I have no doubt that this organization will go well and that all our guests and tennis players, who come from outside will extremely satisfied”, said Ivanisevic.

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Riccardo Piatti: “I have already spoke with Carlos Moya. I would like Jannik Sinner to train with Rafael Nadal”

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Riccardo Piatti said in a recent interview to Italian website Sportface that he would like Jannik Sinner to train with 19-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal at his Tennis Academy in Manacor. Piatti, who worked with Novak Djokovic, Ivan Ljubicic and Maria Sharapova in the past, has already contacted Nadal’s coach Carlos Moya.

 

Sinner has already practiced with Stefanos Tsitsipas and Alexei Popyrin. The 18-year-old Italian player qualified for his first Grand Slam Main Draw last August at the US Open before becoming the youngest male player in five years to reach the semifinal of an ATP tournament in Antwerp. Last November the Italian teenager beat Alex De Minaur in the Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan.

“I take Jannik from time to time with Popyrin and Tsitsipas. Now Alexander Zverev and Stan Wawrinka will be also arriving in Monte-Carlo. I already spoke to Carlos Moya because I want to take him to Monte-Carlo. Since there are no tournaments, I try to simulate training matches with some of the best players on the circuit, so that he learns things and manages to adapt to his style of play. He can learn by playing against better players than him. Jannik had a lot of time to work physically. In the field, we worked on the service to increase the rotation of the shoulders. He must have all the rotations and all angles. He has started to become a service player, not always pulling hard, but choosing the are well”, said Piatti.

Piatti thinks that this phase in Sinner’s career will continue for three years.

“Jannik was used to play three days a week before he was 14 years old. He still in a maturity phase that will last apparently three years. He has a lot of tennis to play. He has an enormous capacity to vary the rhythm with the reverse, in addition, of having a volley that is technically very good. Obviously he has many good things and he has other bad ones, and is very frustrated in games when things do not go as he would like. That menatlity will change with the passing of the years, but we can say that  Sinner is on the right track to do great things in this sport”

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