Simona Halep Roars Into Historic Wimbledon Final - UBITENNIS
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Simona Halep Roars Into Historic Wimbledon Final

The 27-year-old has sealed her return back into the world’s top five at The All England Club.

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Simona Halep - Wimbledon 2019 (foto via Twitter, @Wimbledon)

WIMBLEDON: Simona Halep has become the first Romanian woman in history to reach the final of the Wimbledon Championships after defeating Elina Svitolina in straight sets. 

 

Halep, who won the French Open title last year, dismantled Svitolina’s tentative serve during the 6-1, 6-3, encounter. Svitolina won less than 50% of her service points and leaked a costly 16 unforced errors. Many were from the forehand side. In contrast, Halep proved to be more consistent with the help of 26 winners to 16 unforced errors. Overall, she won 22 more points (68-46) then her rival.

“It’s an amazing feeling and I’m really excited and also nervous,” Halep told BBC TV about her win.
“It’s one of the best moments of my life so I’m just trying to enjoy it as much as possible and to be happy that I am in the final.”

The clash on Center Court was by far Halep’s biggest test yet on paper. So far in the tournament, the former world No.1 hasn’t played anybody ranked higher than 36th in the world, which was Aliaksandra Sasnovich in the first round. It initially looked as if the clash would be heading into a marathon with the first two games lasting 20 minutes alone. Halep was forced to save a trio of break point in her first service game before going on to eventually break for 2-0. Doing so with the help of a Svitolina backhand going long.

Despite going on to lose her break advantage, Halep rapidly began to gain her momentum on the court. As the decibels of her grunting increased, so did the power of her shot-making during a clash where the majority of the rallies took place from the baseline. A four-game streak saw the seventh seed clinched the opener in what was a clash closer than the scoreline suggested. The Romanian prevailed on her fifth set point opportunity by firing a serve out wide followed by a forehand winner down the line.

Six games away from her first Wimbledon final, Halep continued to overpower and outmaneuver her rival. Who was also making history by being the first Ukranian woman to contest a Wimbledon semi-final. The next breakthrough occurred at 3-3 in the second frame. Another clean winner down the line rewarded Halep the chance to break. Something she did with the help of another mistake from across the court.

“On the grass you have to open the court quite early if you can. For me was disappointing little bit.” Svitolina reflected during her press conference.“Few decisions that I made on the important points which I think gave her the confidence to go for more and, yeah, just to play better.”

Continuing to race towards the finish line, Halep sealed victory after just 74 minutes of play. Prompting her to lift her hands into the air out of delight. Besides a place in another grand slam final, she will also rise to at least fourth in the world rankings. Her highest position since the end of May.

“It was not as easy as the score shows. There were very long and deep games.” She evaluated.
“I fought very hard to win this match and she’s an amazing player.’
“I think I played the right tactics and I was strong both physically and mentally.”

Halep will play either Serena Williams or Barbora Strycova in the final. She trails Williams 1-9 in their head-to-head but leads Strycova 5-1.

“It doesn’t matter (who I play) because it is the last match of the tournament. I will on be center Court at Wimbledon, so I can not ask for more.” Said Halep.

The latest win is Halep’s 35th on the WTA Tour this season.

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Rebecca Peterson clinches her maiden WTA title

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Twenty-four year-old Swedish player Rebecca Peterson lifted the first title of her career at the Jangxi Open in Nanchang after beating Kazakhstan’s Elena Rybakina 6-2 6-0.

 

The world number 78 Petterson, who had reached only a quarter final so far this season, has become the 14th first-time winner on the WTA Tour so far in 2019.

Peterson reeled off nine consecutive games from 3-2 in the first set to clinch the win, breaking serve four times.

Peterson dropped only nine points in her service games and did not face any break points. The Swede earned her first break in the first game after a double fault from Rybakina. Peterson consolidated the break by holding serve at love and opened up a 4-2 lead, when Rybakina sent a forehand long.

Peterson broke serve in the seventh game to race out to a 5-2 lead, as Rybakina made a backhand error. Peterson sealed the first set with a forehand crosscourt winner in the eighth game.

Peterson earned an early break, after Rybakina sent a forehand long, and went up a 3-0 lead. Rybakina did not win a single game point and sent Petersen to deuce in the fifth game of the second set, but she dropped serve. Petersen wrapped up the match with a bagel thanks to a service winner on her first championship point.

Rybakina, who scored two three-set wins against Viktoria Golubic in the quarter final and Peng Shuai in the semifinal, hit 3 winners to 11 unforced errors. She had won her maiden title in Bucharest last July.

 

 

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Karolina Pliskova lifts her fourth title of the season in Zhengzhou

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Number 1 seed Karolina Pliskova cruised past number 7 seed Petra Martic 6-3 6-2 after 1 hour and 36 minutes in the final of the Zhengzhou Open, an inaugural WTA Premier tournament. The final was postponed by six hours after torrential rain.

 

Pliskova came back from 0-2 in the first set by winning 12 of the next 15 games to win her fourth title this season after Brisbane, Rome and Eastbourne. The Czech player is the fifth top seed to win a tournament this season after Aryna Sabalenka in Shenzhen, Alison Van Uytvanck in Budapest, Caroline Garcia in Nottingham and Anastasjia Sevastova in Jurmala.

Pliskova took a re-match against Martic, who beat the Czech player in four of their previous five head-to-head matches and won their third round clash at Roland Garros.

Pliskova saved two of her three break points and converted four of her eight break points.

Martic earned an early break with a forehand return winner to open up a 2-0 lead in the first set. As the match resumed after a rain delay Martic did not convert a double break point. Pliskova broke back in the fourth game with a forehand winner to draw level to 2-2.

Pliskova saved a break point chance in the seventh game with a forehand down the line. The Czech player broke serve in the eighth game, when Martic made a forehand error and sealed the first set 6-3 with a service winner.

Pliskova dropped only six points on her first serve in the second set and broke serve in the third game when Martic sent a backhand slice wide. The former world number 1 player held her serve with an ace before breaking for the second time in the fifth game. She hit four winners to seal the win, as she was serving for the match at 5-2.

“I think I played good matches. Of course, not all the matches were perfect, the week never can be really perfect because it’s so many days and so many things can be just different every day. I beat tough players, which I maybe lost to a couple of times before. I think that was the biggest plus of this week, especially with Petra. These wins are always important. It doesn’t matter where you play, which tournament you play, but it’s always important. To get the trophy is always special. It does not matter really which tournament or how big the tournament is, it’s always good”, said Pliskova.  

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Nao Hibino beats Misaki Doi in all-Japanese final in Hiroshima

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World Number 146 Nao Hibino beat Misaki Doi 6-3 6-2 in the all-Japanese final of Haa-Cupid Japan Open in Hiroshima.

 

Doi broke serve at 15 in the second game with a deep return, but she dropped her serve at love in the third game. Dou earned another break with a forehand to open up a 3-1 lead. Hibino pulled the break back in the fifth game, when Doi sent her backhand long.

Hibino reeled off nine consecutive games from 1-3 down to build up a 6-3 4-0 lead with two consecutive breaks in the seventh and ninth games of the first set and two more breaks in the first and third games of the second set. Doi dropped her serve in six consecutive service games and hit 8 winners to 14 unforced errors. Doi pulled back one break in the fifth game. Hibino broke for the third time at deuce to win the second set 6-2.

Hibino claimed both the singles and the doubles titles at the same tournament for the first time in her career. She teamed up with Doi to clinch the doubles title with a 6-3 4-6 10-4 win over Christina McHale and Valeria Savinykh.

“I was so nervous today, so much more than the semifinals, but because I experienced being nervous in the semifinals, I knew what to expect. I was able to stay positive during the match today”, said Hibino.

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