Elina Svitolina Finds Her Footing And Slams Critics Of Her Dress At Wimbledon - UBITENNIS
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Elina Svitolina Finds Her Footing And Slams Critics Of Her Dress At Wimbledon

The world no.8 was in fighting spirit both on and off of the court at The All England Club on Monday.

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WIMBLEDON: Eighth seed Elina Svitolina was always expected to win her opening match at Wimbledon, but her relief is more that one would expect from a top 10 player.

 

Taking to Court 18 at 11am on the opening day of the grand slam, the Ukranian rallied to a 7-5, 6-0, victory over Daria Gavrilova. Producing an emphatic performance with the help of 16 winners and winning 66% of the points behind her serve. Svitolina’s sole wobble occurred during the opening set, when she failed to serve out the set at 5-3, before regaining her momentum.

Coming into this year’s tournament, the grass hasn’t been Svitolina’s friend. Back-to-back first round losses in Birmingham and Eastbourne was the latest setback during what has been a roller coaster season. Since the Miami Open, Svitolina has lost her opening match in five out of seven tournaments played.

“Everyone is fit. Everyone now these days has a fitness coach, has a mental coach, is, like, 20 coaches. That’s why everyone is extremely ready to beat you when you step on the court.” Svitolina explained following her win over Gavrilova.
“That’s extremely tough. You have to be ready for that, for whatever comes.”

In terms of wins, Wimbledon is Svitolina’s worst-performing grand slam by a considerable margin. Monday’s triumph was her sixth at the tournament. 2017 is currently the only year where she has managed to win two or more matches in a row.

“Last year it was not so good but the year before it was a great run for me.” She commented about her record at the grand slam.
“I think I can play well on grass. I just need to be really focused on what I have to do on the court. That’s very important for me just to take one match at a time, to not think too much of what’s going on.”

In the second round, the 24-year-old will lock horns with Russia’s Margarita Gasparyan, who defeated Anna-Lena Friedsam 6-4, 6-4. Recording her first ever main draw win at Wimbledon. Gasparyan defeated Svitolina last month on the grass in Birmingham.

“I’m a little bit more prepared now. I’m feeling better.” Svitolina commented about her next match.
“I have recovered better from my injury, so I feel physically better. Gonna see on the day how I’m going to feel, but I will for sure try something a little bit different and on the return, on my serve, as well. So that’s the plan so far.”
“I will speak with my coach and probably he’s gonna watch back what I did wrong. It was quite a close match. It was only I think one break in the end, and I made some stupid decisions.”

The Dress

Shortly after her win, Svitolina took to social media to hit back at a comment made about the outfit she was wearing. An all-white dress that Nike describes as ‘bringing the sophisticated look of lace to the court.’ Although the £80 outfit hasn’t been a hit with everybody with some describing it as ‘basic.’

“I think it was not fair. It’s not fair for designers, because they put so much work into our kit.” She said.
“They put so much effort into it. And then to say something that it was, that there was no effort. I think it was not fair for them.”

Svitolina traveled to headquarters in Oregon last year. Praising the work involved before comparing the profession with the world of tennis.

“I actually went to the headquarters where I saw all the guys working behind the scenes. It’s the same for a tournament. We go to play the tournament, and we just play and we think it’s just everyday thing that happens. But it’s so much work that put into the tournament and everything going around us, so we have to appreciate this.”

Svitolina will play her second round match on Wednesday.

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Madison Keys sets up an all-American semifinal against Sofia Kenin in Cincinnati

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Madison Keys hit 32 winners and never dropped her serve in her 6-2 6-3 win over Venus Williams in 77 minutes in an all-American quarter final at the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati to reach her first semifinal since winning the Volvo Car Open title in Charleston.

 

Keys broke three times and faced just two break points in the match. She earned her first break in the fourth game to open up a 3-1 lead, as Venus made three double faults. Keys went up a double break at 15 to seal the first set 6-3.

Williams saved four break points to hold her serve in the fourth game for 2-2, after hitting her first winner of the match, but Keys sealed the win with her only break in the eighth game of the second set and a hold at love setting up an all-American semifinal clash against Sofia Kenin

“It was nice to see against a really aggressive player like Venus being able to defend as well as I did. Overall, I am pretty happy with almost everything I did tonight. I am happy with how well I served. She is a very good returner, and being able to have fairly straightforward service games was my favourite part. The biggest thing, after having a couple of tough losses in the last tournaments I have played, being able to bounce back, and especially after my first round here, being able to get that win and then just building on that”,said Keys.

 

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Svetlana Kuznetsova completes her come-back by reaching the semifinal in Cincinnati

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Two-time Grand Slam champion Svetlana Kuznetsova came back from one set down to beat Karolina Pliskova 3-6 7-6 (7-2) 6-3 to secure her spot in the semifinal of the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati.

 

Kuznetsova, who was sidelined by a knee injury in the first half of the season, bounced back last week when she reached the third round at the Rogers Cup in Toronto. She beat Anastasija Sevastova, Dayana Yastremska and Sloane Stephens en route to the semifinal.

Kuznetsova hit 30 winners and broke three times to close out the match after 2 hours and 23 minutes.

Pliskova converted her only break point at love in the second game to win the opening set 6-3.

Pliskova saved three break points to hold serve at deuce in the fourth game before breaking serve at 15 to take a 4-3 lead. Kuznetsova broke back at 15 in the 10th game to draw level to 5-5. Kuznetsova earned four set points and converted her first chance to seal the tie-break 7-2.

Kuznetsova went up a break at love in the third game of the decisive set to take a 2-1 lead. Both Pliskova and Kuznetsova saved two break points in the fifth and sixth games. Kuznetsova sealed the win with a double break in the ninth game.

The Russian player set up a semifinal against 2019 Roland Garros champion Ashleigh Barty, who came back from one set down to beat Maria Sakkari 5-7 6-2 6-0.

 

 

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Madison Keys Finally Finds Her Footing After Tough Few Weeks

Can the former top 10 player return to peak form in time for the US Open?

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Madison Keys (@VolvoCarOpen on Twitter)

Entering into this week’s Western and Southern Open a single win would have been a much needed boost for Madison Keys ahead of the final grand slam of the season.

 

Keys, a former grand slam finalist herself, has been unable to shine on the women’s tour since reaching the quarter-finals of the French Open. In her past three tournaments, she has won one out of four matches played. To make it worse, two out of those three losses were to player’s ranked outside the top 100.

Fortunately for Keys her lull on the tour has ended this week in Cincinnati. An event where she made her debut back in 2012 at the age of 17. In the first round she saw off former world No.1 Garbine Muguruza in three sets before brushing aside Daria Kasatkina. However, her most impressive victory took place on Thursday. Taking on Wimbledon champion Simona Halep, Keys held her nerve to prevail 6-1, 3-6, 7-5, after just over two hours of play. Her first win over a top five player since Angelique Kerber at the same tournament 12 months ago.

“She’s been No. 1 for a reason, won Grand Slams for a reason. I knew that she wasn’t just going to, you know, ever give up or give in. I knew the entire time I had to fully win the match before, you know, I could actually take a deep breath.” Keys said following her latest win.
“I think I just kind of trusted myself a little bit, and I didn’t really hold back on any of my shots. I think I made a couple of bad misses, but at the same time I think I did a lot of really good things.”

The triumphs come as Keys and her rivals tune up their game ahead of the US Open. Where the 24-year-old will be defending a wealth of points after reaching the semi-finals there last year. Flushing Meadows is a place of fond memories for former finalist Keys and statistically her most successful grand slam. Winning 19 out of 26 matches played in New York so far in her career.

“It feels a little bit better, a little less stressed. Ask me again in a week and I will be just as stressed.” She commented about her preparation for the upcoming major.
“In order to find that level right before a slam, obviously feels good, but especially after having some tough weeks, being able to kind of put it all together makes me feel a little bit better going into the US Open.”

Growing in confidence once again, Keys takes on tour veteran Venus Williams next. Their head-to-head is currently tied at 2-2, however, they haven’t played each other since 2016. A win would move the American into her first tour semi-final since April when she won the Volvo Open in Charleston.

“But again, she’s obviously playing some really good tennis in order to beat Kiki and then Vekic and all that. I’m going to have to see what she’s been doing well.” Keys previewed about her clash with Williams.

The quarter-final clash between the two will take place on Friday evening not before 19:00 local time. Keys is one of four seeded players remaining in the draw.

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