US 20-year-old Sofia Kenin fought back from one set down to beat Belinda Bencic 6-7 (2-7) 7-6 (7-5) 6-4 after two hours and 42 minutes at the Mallorca Open on grass. Kenin saved three match points in the 10th game of the second set.
The first set was marked by 12 break points. Bencic went up an early break to take a 3-0 lead, but Kenin reeled off four consecutive games to take a 4-3 lead. Bencic got the break back to draw level to 4-4. The young Swiss player went up a 3-0 lead, but Kenin got the mini-break back for 2-3 after a forehand winner. Bencic earned four set points at 6-2 and converted her first chance.
The second set went on serve in the first eight games without a break point before Bencic got the break in the ninth game. She earned three championship points, as she was serving for the title in the 10th game.
Kenin fended them and fired a forehand passing winner to earn a break point.
Kenin broke back with a backhand winner. In the tie-break Kenin fired a backhand down the line winner to open up a 5-2 lead.
The US player earned four set points at 6-2. Bencic saved the first three chances, but Kenin converted her fourth opportunity to take the tie-break 7-5, when Bencic hit a return long.
Both players held serve in the first eight games of the third set before Kenin earned the decisive break in the ninth game with a backhand winner crosscourt on her second break point chance. The US player served out the match with a hold in the 10th game on the first championship point as Bencic hit a return into the net.
Kenin will travel to Eastbourne, where she will face Samantha Stosur in the opening round.
“Hard work is paying off. I am playing really well, fighting for every point, and taking as much advantage as I can. This is really great, and I am just so happy with how I am playing”,said Kenin.
‘Calmness, Andy Murray And The Year 2002’ – Serena Williams On Reaching Wimbledon Final
How the 23-time grand slam champion prepared for her latest match at The All England Club.
WIMBLEDON: Heading into the semi-finals at Wimbledon Serena Williams was looking more into the past than the future.
Grand slam tennis is a regular occurrence for the 37-year-old, who is contesting her 72nd main draw of a major. The second highest in the Open Era on the women’s tour. Taking to Center Court, Williams required around an hour to see off Barbora Strycova. A player she is yet to lose a match against in four meetings.
It could be easy to think that the victory was all down to Williams’ power. To a certain degree it was, but how did she prepare herself mentally? Shedding light on her preparation during her press conference, the 37-year-old drew inspiration from her first ever final at Wimbledon. An occasion when she defeated sister Venus to win the tournament for the first time at the age of 20 back in 2002.
“I was thinking this morning when I won my first Wimbledon,” Williams said.
“I was trying to tap into those emotions. I was really calm. I remember I think I hit an ace. I just remember how it’s so, so different when you’re younger as opposed to now.’
“Now I just need to relax and do what I can do.”
Whilst trying to find calmness on the court, Williams is not one to contain her emotions. During the matches, she usually lets out screams of ‘come on’ as she edges herself on. Yelling with frustration when she doesn’t perform the way she wants to. A true sign of how much she wants grand slam No.24.
“It’s really not about 24 or 23 or 25. It’s really just about going out there and giving my best effort no matter what. No matter what I do, I will always have a great career.” She reflected about the milestone.
2019 has been a roller coaster season for Williams, who is currently playing in only her sixth tournament. A combination of knee and ankle injuries have disrupted her preparation. Three out of her first five tournaments concluded with her retiring due to either injury or illness.
Part of the resurgence to her current form can be partly linked to Andy Murray. For the first time since 1998, Williams featured in the mixed doubles. Reaching the third round before losing to the top seeds.
“When I play doubles here (at Wimbledon) with Venus, it definitely helps my singles game. I was really keen to play mixed here. I really feel like it helped me, not just for today and this event, but hopefully, it will help me in the future too.”
Now a win away from another grand slam title, will Williams continue the calmness she had going into Friday’s match?
“I was calm today. It’s a day-to-day basis with me. We all know that. I’m far from perfect.” She joked.
Williams will play Simona Halep for the Wimbledon title on Saturday.
Simona Halep Is Literally Living Her Mother’s Dream At Wimbledon
The world No.7 speaks out about of her latest milestone as she mentions a conversation she recently had with a member of her family.
WIMBLEDON: With a resume featuring three grand slam finals played at three different events, Simona Halep means business at Wimbledon this year.
The former world No.1 dropped only four games during her comprehensive win over Elina Svitolina in the semi-finals on Thursday. Becoming the first woman from her country to reach the final of the grass-court major. Her third of the season after Doha and Madrid. A solid performance from a player who previously described 2019 as her ‘chill year.’
“Chilling’, it doesn’t mean that I’m not working hard or I’m not focused on what I have to do. It’s just that as a person I want to chill. We see that I’m better on the court.”Halep explained.
It is hard to dispute Halep’s mindset given her recent success at the grand slam. Where she is yet to play a top 20 player. The resurgence on the grass in recent years is something Halep links to adjustments in her game. She has reached the quarter-finals at Wimbledon in four out of the past six years. Furthermore, she has suffered fewer first round losses (two) at the tournament than any other major.
“I play some dropshots. I use the slice more. The serve is helping me.” She explained about her grass-court game.
“I said a few days ago, now when the ball is coming to me, I know what to do with it. Maybe that’s why. Maybe I feel confident and I’m not scared anymore of how the ball bounces.’
“I think I have the feeling. And also I feel stable on the legs, which is very important on the grass.”
According to IBM, who is the official data supplier at Wimbledon, the 27-year-old has won 62% of points at the net and 57% points played from the baseline during her first six matches. However, she has been broken nine times and at least once in every round played.
Halep’s breakthrough is one that delights those close to her. Especially her mother, who revealed something to her shortly after the semi-final.
“I talked to my mom after the match. About 10, 15 years ago she said her dream is to play the final in Wimbledon because everyone is here, the Royal Box.” Halep said.
“She said ‘I think it’s an unbelievable moment.’ So today her dream came true, I will play a final.”
To achieve the fairytale ending on Saturday the Romanian faces a tough task. Serena Williams will be standing in the way of the title. The American leads Halep 9-1 in their head-to-head but hasn’t played her on the grass since 2011.
Regardless of her record, Halep believes she has the ability to spoil the Williams party, who is targeting a 24th grand slam title. The two will lock horns on Saturday afternoon.
“I have learned that I have the chance. Now, if I face her, I will believe that I have my chance to win against her.” She explained.
“Of course, I respect a lot what she has done and what she’s doing.’
“But now I feel stronger mentally facing her. We will see what is going to happen. It’s just a big challenge for me.”
The head-to-head in detail
|Year||Name||Round||Surface||Winning Player||Losing Player||Score|
|2019||Wimbledon||F||Grass||Simona Halep||Serena Williams||Upcoming|
|2019||Australian Open||R16||Hard||Serena Williams||Simona Halep||6-1 4-6 6-4|
|2016||US Open||QF||Hard||Serena Williams||Simona Halep||6-2 4-6 6-3|
|2016||Indian Wells Masters||QF||Hard||Serena Williams||Simona Halep||6-4 6-3|
|2015||Cincinnati Masters||F||Hard||Serena Williams||Simona Halep||6-3 7-6(5)|
|2015||Miami Masters||SF||Hard||Serena Williams||Simona Halep||6-2 4-6 7-5|
|2015||Indian Wells Masters||SF||Hard||Simona Halep||Serena Williams||WO|
|2014||WTA Championships||F||Hard||Serena Williams||Simona Halep||6-3 6-0|
|2014||WTA Championships||10||Hard||Simona Halep||Serena Williams||6-0 6-2|
|2013||Cincinnati Masters||QF||Hard||Serena Williams||Simona Halep||6-0 6-4|
|2013||Rome Masters||SF||Clay||Serena Williams||Simona Halep||6-3 6-0|
|2011||Wimbledon||R64||Grass||Serena Williams||Simona Halep||3-6 6-2 6-1|
Serena Williams Thrashes Strycova To Reach 11th Wimbledon Final
The 23-time grand slam champion was in devastating form at The All England Club on Thursday.
WIMBLEDON: Serena Williams will have another shot at trying to equal Margaret Court’s grand slam record after crushing Czech Republic’s Barborya Strycova in their semi-final clash at Wimbledon.
The business-like performance saw the former world No.1 ease through her 6-1, 6-2, win over the world No.54. Emphatically winning 64% of the points that were played during the semi-final encounter. Williams converted all three of her break point opportunities as she hit four aces and 27 winners past her rival.
“It’s good after my year. Definitely feels good to be back in the final.” Williams told BBC TV.
“I just need some matches and every match I know I’m improving. I just needed to feel good and now that I feel good, I can do what I do best and play tennis.”
Earlier this week coach Patrick Mouratoglou said Williams was getting better with each match she played at The All England Club. That was evident in her latest clash with the 33-year-old as Williams dominated the opener with the use of her power. Preventing Strycova, who is known for her use of the slice, to generate any rhythm. Williams launched her first attack four games into the match. A failed Strycova drop shot handed the American her first break point, which she converted with a cross-court winner to move head 3-1. Continuing to dictate, the double break was soon sealed within the blink of an eyelid.
Even when Williams was facing a threat, she found a way to get herself out of trouble. Serving for the first set, she went down 0-40 before claiming five points in a row to seal the set. Clinching it with the help of a 114 mph ace.
After the fairy-tale start, came greater resistance from the underdog. Strycova, who was playing in her maiden grand slam semi-final, had already defeated four seeded players in the tournament. Including two in the top 10. Still, it wasn’t enough to tame Williams, who strolled to a set and a break lead with the help of two mistakes from across the court.
Cruising towards her 32nd grand slam final, Williams secured the win after just 59 minutes of play. Triumphing on her first match point after hitting a cross-court winner.
In the final Williams will play Simona Halep, who she leads 9-1 in their head-to-head. It was at Wimbledon back in 2011 when they first played each other. On that occasion, the American won in three sets.
“She’s tough and played unbelievable today,” Williams said of Halep. “We played each other on the grass before and we always have tough matches. So this was a good match for me today, but I look forward to it.”
Williams is yet to claim a title since giving birth back in 2017. Her latest win means she will remain inside the world’s top 10 following Wimbledon. If she wins the title, she is projected to rise to eighth place.
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