Petra Martic Happy To Prove Critics Wrong At French Open - UBITENNIS
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Petra Martic Happy To Prove Critics Wrong At French Open

The Croatian 31st seed has revealed that she was ‘laughed at’ earlier this year when she selected her new coach.

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Petra Martic (chryslène caillaud, copyright @Sport Vision)

On the 10th anniversary of her grand slam debut at the French Open, Petra Martic has achieved her best ever performance in a major.

The 28-year-old came into the tournament high in confidence after triumphing at the Istanbul Open to claim her first-ever WTA silverware. It has been a long time coming for Martic, who first broke into the world’s top 50 back in 2011. During what has been a turbulent journey for the Croat, she has had her fair share of injury issues. Including a back problem that sidelined her for 10 months between 2016-2017.

Those previous struggles are now a distant memory for Martic, who booked her place in the last eight at Roland Garros on Sunday. Making it her best run at a grand slam. She did so with a hard-fought 5-7, 6-2, 6-4, win over Kaia Kanepi. An unseeded, but a dangerous Estonian player who has already reached the quarter-final of a major on six previous occasions.

“It was tough mentally for me today, especially because I was defeated four times before in the fourth round, so it really felt like I was doubting whether I was ever going to get that fourth round.” Martic reflected afterwards.
“Two years ago. I was two points away (from winning). Didn’t happen. Today it played a role in my mind. It was not always easy to focus on my game, but I really just — I just tried to fight as hard as I could, and thank God, I finally made it.”

Martic’s milestone has been achieved under the guidance of coach Sandra Zaniewska. A former top 150 player from Poland who retired from the sport in 2017 at the age of 25. The decision to hire somebody with a small amount of coaching experience was a bold move, but one the world No.31 is happy she made. Even if she received some criticism from others at first.

“When I started working with her, everybody was doubting my decision.” She said. “People underestimated it, people even laughed at it, said I did a crazy thing, what am I doing? I’m not serious about my career because she’s so young and inexperienced.”
“But I always knew, I heard this girl talking about tennis and I knew she knows what she’s doing.
It was a pretty bold move, and I was a bit shaky at the beginning, because I also wanted to prove that I did the right thing.”

It is hard to question her decision. She has now won 15 matches on the clay this season. The highest amount on the WTA Tour to date. Earlier in the French Open, she dropped only six games on route to stunning second seed Karolina Pliskova.

Bidding to become the first woman from her country to reach the semi-finals of the tournament since Iva Majoli back in 1997, Martic faces a rising star of the game next. Markéta Vondrousova dropped only two games in her fourth round clash with a fatigued Anastasija Sevastova.

“I know her pretty well. We played three, four times already in the last year and a half. I know her on and off the court. I think she’s a great player, great person.” Martic said of Vondrousova.
“I’m really looking forward to this match. I think it’s going to be a fun one. She’s also got a few tricks in her game, but I like that. It’s going to be fun, I think.”

Martic currently leads their head-to-head 4-0.

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Giovanni Mpetchi Perricard overcomes Alexander Bublik to reach his first ATP Tour final in Lyon

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French wild card Giovanni Mpetchi Perricard overcame second seed Alexander Bublik 6-4 7-5 after 76 minutes to reach his first ATP Tour final in Lyon on his debut at this tournament. Mpetchi Perricard hit 28 winners and won 85% of his first serve points. 

Mpetchi Perricard started the match with a break in the first game and held serve to open up a 2-0 lead. Bublik saved four break points in the fifth game before breaking serve in the sixth game to draw level to 3-3. Mpetchi Perricard broke for the second time in the seventh game at love to take a 4-3 lead. The Frenchman served out the first set at love. 

Mpetchi Perricard broke serve in the 11th game and served out the win on his seventh match point. 

The 20-year-old Frenchman claimed the first top-20 win of his career. 

World number 117 Mpetchi Perricard is the lowest-ranked finalist in the history of the Lyon tournament. Earlier this week the young Frenchman beat Lorenzo Sonego and Hugo Gaston. He has clinched three ATP Challenger titles during the 2024 season in Nottingham, Cuernavaca and Acapulco.

“It is amazing to be in the final here in Lyon. The tournament is not over. I have one match left and I will do my best to win that match”, said Mpetchi Perricard. 

Mpetchi Perricard set up a final against Tomas Martin Etcheverry, who beat Italy’s Luciano Darderi 6-2 6-4. Etcheverry won 83% of his first serve points and saved all three break points he faced. 

Etcheverry broke twice in the third and fifth games to win the first set 6-2. The Argentine player earned a break in the ninth game and served out the win on his second match point in the 10thgame. Etcheverry is aiming to win his first tour-level title after reaching two clay-court finals in Santiago and Houston.

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Novak Djokovic edges Tallon Griekspoor to reach the semifinals in Geneva

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Novak Djokovic saved four set points in the opening set to edge Tallon Griekspoor 7-5 6-1 in 1 hour and 17 minutes reaching the semifinals at the Gonet Geneva Open. 

Djokovic celebrated his 37th birthday on Wednesday by winning his 1100 match on the ATP Tour. 

Griekspoor saved an early break point on Djokovic’s serve in the ninth game of the first set. Djokovic fended off four set points, as he was serving at 4-5 0-40. The top-seed held serve with an ace and a first serve.  Djokovic broke serve in the 11th game with two deuce points to take a 6-5 lead. Djokovic held serve to love to seal  the first set. 

Djokovic won seven consecutive games  to build up a 4-0 lead with two breaks of serve. Griekspoor got back on the board by hold serve in the fifth game for 1-4. Djokovic won the final eight points and broke for the third time to seal the second set 6-1. 

Djokovic set up a semifinal match against Tomas Machac, who beat US rising star Alex Michelsen 6-3 7-6 (7-2). 

Djokovic beat Machac in a third-set tie-break in Dubai last February. 

“I thought the first set could have gone his way easily because he was a better player for most of the first set. We could have been having a completely different direction of the match if he converted those set points. I was lucky to find some really good serves and from that moment onwards really played some good solid tennis. I was lucky to find some really good serves and from that moment onwards I really played some good tennis. The way I played the second set was really good. I want to thank everybody again for the support and presence today on a colde day”, said Djokovic. 

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Jessica Pegula Pulls Out of French Open But Alcaraz, Sinner Raring To Go

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JESSICA PEGULA OF THE UNITED STATES - PHOTO: DIEGO SOUTO / MMO

Jessica Pegula says she wants to be ‘super safe’ with her recovery after deciding to withdraw from next week’s French Open. 

The world No.5 hasn’t played a Tour-level match since April due to ongoing injury issues. It will be the first time she has missed a major event since the 2020 Wimbledon Championships. She reached the third round of the French Open 12 months ago and the quarter-finals the year before that. 

Pegula now plans to return to action during the grass swing leading up to Wimbledon which will get underway on July 1st. She is expected to play in lead-up events to the tournament but it is unclear as to which ones. 

I’m just about back to practising normal (haven’t had any issues for weeks) but played it super safe with recovery and return to play,” Pegula wrote on Instagram.
“If I had another five to seven days I would have been there 100%. So I will definitely be back for a full grass season and the rest of the summer and grinding out the rest of the year.”

So far this season Pegula has reached three WTA semi-finals in Adelaide, San Diego and Charleston. However, she has only beaten one top 20 player which was Emma Navarro at the Miami Open. 

Alcaraz, Sinner set to return

In the men’s draw two players who have also been troubled by injury issues in recent weeks are on course to play at Roland Garros. Carlos Alcaraz has been forced to miss two out of the last three Masters 1000 events due to a forearm injury, as well as the Barcelona Open. The 21-year-old told the Press Association on Tuesday that he hopes to get back on track despite a lack of match play. 

“I don’t have hours on the court and I think on clay you need to be a lot of hours on the court just to get the rhythm, to get how to move,” he said.
“Tennis players when they are a lot of time off the court with no competition, you lose the competitive part a little bit and you need to play matches, play tournaments to get the rhythm for the big tournaments.
“Missing the three tournaments on clay, really important ones, and not playing points, sets or matches before, it’s going to be difficult, but I have time to practise with the top players, I have time to play sets and practice matches, and I think it’ll be really helpful for me just to be ready for Roland Garros.”

Alcaraz is already in Paris training and recently had a hitting session with  Luca van Assche.

Another player also working hard on the practice courts is the world No.3 Jannik Sinner who recently pulled out of the Italian Open due to a hip injury. The Australian Open champion recently stated that he would not play in Paris if he didn’t feel fit enough to do so. However, he appears to be fit again after having a training session with Kei Nishikori. 

Siner is in contention of claiming the No.1 spot. A milestone that has never been achieved by an Italian male player in the Open Era. 

The French Open draw will take place on Thursday with action getting underway on Sunday.

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