Kiki Bertens Continues Her Dominance Over Sabalenka To Set Pliskova Clash - UBITENNIS
Connect with us

WTA

Kiki Bertens Continues Her Dominance Over Sabalenka To Set Pliskova Clash

Kiki Bertens will play Karolina Pliskova in the semi-finals at Eastbourne after she beat Aryna Sabalenka for the fourth time in a row.

Published

on

Kiki Bertens (@sportlive2017 on Twitter)

Kiki Bertens maintained her 100% record against Aryna Sabalenka by outlasting her 6-4 3-6 6-4 to book her place in the semi-finals of the Nature Valley International.

 

The Dutchwoman, 27, was victorious in all three of her previous meetings with the Belarussian. However, this was their first meeting on grass, and the World No.4 knew it would be a difficult match.

“I think it was a really good fight,” Bertens said. “It’s always tough to play her, because you get some winners and then some errors. But I think in the first set I played really well. I think it was my best match on the grass so far.”

The Dutchwoman believes her style of play helps her deal with the challenges posed by Sabalenka. “I have never lost against her so far,” she said. “I like it when someone’s playing powerful, and then I can just use the slice a little bit more. I don’t have to generate so much power myself.”

“I think today I had the right balance between where I could hit the slice and where I could play a little bit more aggressively.”

Bertens won the tight first set because she saved two break points and took one of the two chances she created on Sabalenka’s serve.

The Belarussian roared back in the second set. She attacked the World No.4’s second serve and broke her twice to take it 6-3.

Then the decider could have gone either way. It was neck and neck until the last two points when Sabalenka made unforced errors at exactly the wrong time to hand Bertens a final and the match.

Bertens improving on grass

The Dutchwoman is happy with the progression in her performances on grass. “Today I was really happy with the way I played. I feel better every match I play and my level is going up.”

She also believes she is beginning to cope better with the pressure of expectation. “They’re tough, but they’re also a good thing to have. I think at the moment I’m dealing pretty well with them.”

“In the past, I was struggling with it more, like when I made the semis in Paris a few years ago. At that time, I was really struggling with all the attention and the expectations.”

“But right now I feel like it’s going well, even if next week it can be over, so I’m just trying and enjoy it, stay in the moment and do whatever you can.”

Bertens to face Pliskova

Karolina Pliskova (@BBCTennis on Twitter)

That kind of positive thinking will be needed in Bertens’ last four match against Karolina Pliskova. The Czech demolished Ekaterina Alexandrova 6-2 6-0 in just 54 minutes today and she is in red-hot form.

“It seems to me that she didn’t really see any way to beat me,” Pliskova said. “It’s tough because I can hold my serve more easily than other players and save break points with it.”

“Opponents try to do too much (against me). And I don’t mind this type of game because (it usually means) there a lot of mistakes from them.”

Despite the ease of her win today, Pliskova is wary of Bertens because the Dutchwoman beat her at Wimbledon last year.

“It’s going to be tough,” the Czech said. “(Last year) she was just too solid, too good for me. I started to play better in the second set, but it was too late.”

Pliskova is hoping the conditions will help her tomorrow. “I think she doesn’t like the wind much, so if it’s windy I think it’s better for me.”

The World No.3 described the challenges Bertens provides. “She can serve well,” she said. “She can also hit big and hit some slices.”

“I will need to be patient, because she definitely won’t make as many mistakes as Alexandrova. But I will have more time (to play my shots).”

Pliskova is much happier with her form on grass this year than she was in 2018. “I feel like I’m playing better this year,” she said. “I wasn’t playing well at these tournaments last year at all.”

“And at Wimbledon I was almost gone in the second round and then in the third round, and then I really was gone in the fourth round.”

Latest news

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.

Published

on

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.

Continue Reading

WTA

Indian Wells voted as the best WTA Premier Mandatory Tournament of the 2019 season

Published

on

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.

Continue Reading

WTA

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.

Published

on

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

  1. Her career prize money currently stands at $11,580,886. The third highest of all time for a Spanish woman.
  2. Has won 509 matches so far in her career against 336 loses.
  3. Between 2013-2016 Suarez Navarro finished each season in the top 20 for both singles and doubles.
  4. 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.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending