Maria Sharapova Takes Positives From Toronto Defeat As Hunt For Form Continues - UBITENNIS
Connect with us

WTA

Maria Sharapova Takes Positives From Toronto Defeat As Hunt For Form Continues

Following her early exit in Canada, the five-time grand slam champion revelled who will be helping her during the US Open.

Avatar

Published

on

Former world No.1 Maria Sharapova remains undeterred after being knocked out in the first round of the Rogers Cup on Monday.

 

Sharapova lead world No.19 Anette Kontaveit by a set and a break before losing 4-6, 6-3, 6-4, to the Estonian. The match was her first since withdrawing from the Wimbledon Championships due to a forearm issue. Sharapova has struggled with injury throughout 2019 and has only managed to play four tournaments since the Australian Open. Failing to win back-to-back matches in any of them.

Despite suffering another defeat, the 32-year-old believes there are positives to take from her loss. The match was only her 12th of the season.

“It was a physical match throughout. I think she was the aggressive player, took a few more chances in the end, and I think it paid off.” Said Sharapova.
“I put a lot of work in to get to this stage, so I think to finish off this match is good. Definitely not the result I would have liked, but overall feeling pretty good about it.”

Leading up to her Rogers Cup return, Sharapova took a trip to Italy to work alongside Riccardo Piatti. A renowned tennis coach who has previously collaborated with Novak Djokovic, Richard Gasquet and Milos Raonic. Saying she ‘gate-crashed’ Piatti’s summer camp, Sharapova has indicated that the two will work together during the US Open. Which will start at the end of the month. Although it is unclear as to how that arrangement will work.

“I spent a few weeks in Europe working with Riccardo Piatti, which was really nice and just a different perspective from someone that didn’t expect me. I crashed his summer camp.” She joked.
“We all had a great time. I worked really hard, but I felt — really, I felt like I had fun at the end of it, which was really important.’
“He’ll be at the US Open, which will be nice. He looks after a few kids so, we’ll be together there.”

As a result of her loss, Sharapova is set to fall further down the rankings to roughly 97th in the world. Placing her in danger of dropping outside of the top 100 for the first time since October 2017.

As well as her injury woes, Sharapova’s confidence on the court has also taken a hit. Since February she hasn’t defeated a player ranked higher than 46th in the world. Although she did knock out Caroline Wozniacki back in January in Melbourne. At that time, Wozniacki was ranked third in the world.

“I’m still building the confidence and my forms and that’s something that’s just going to come with time and with match play. Unfortunately, I just haven’t had that yet, so will just hopefully try to build on it.” She said.
“There’s never the perfect scenario. I’m going to be coming up against tough players, long matches, and there are always going to be tests. And I always have to play my best tennis no matter who I play.’
“So it will just take time to build that confidence again, because I have struggled with it for a long time.”

This year was Sharapova’s eighth appearance in the Rogers Cup, which alternates between two cities. It was the first time she had played in Toronto since 2011 when she reached the third round. Her best result was reaching the final back in 2009.

Sharapova will return back to action next week at the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati.

Focus

Anett Kontaveit Set To Battle For WTA Finals Spot After Lifting Moscow Crown

It is the third time Kontaveit has won a tournament within the past six months but will she be able to qualify for the season-ending championships?

Avatar

Published

on

Anett Kontaveit (image via https://twitter.com/BNPPARIBASOPEN)

Estonia’s Anett Kontaveit has continued her recent surge in form on the Tour by fighting back from a set down to win her fourth career title at the Kremlin Cup on Sunday.

 

The world No.20 was on the verge of losing to home favourite Ekaterina Alexandrova before battling to a 4-6, 6-4, 7-5, victory. At one stage in the match Kontaveit was trailing by a set and 0-4. Then in the decider she was broken at 4-4 before going on to win three games in a row to clinch the title. Overall, she won 69% of her first service points and broke her opponent five times.

“Of course, I am very happy, the match was extremely difficult, I feel relief and joy,” she said afterwards. “I got lucky at match-point, but during the match there were moments when she (Alexandrova) got lucky too. It always takes a little luck to win. She took the lead, controlled the match, it was very difficult for me, I tried to fight for all the points and this helped me to win.”

Kontaveit, who defeated former world No.1 Garbine Muguruza and Markéta Vondroušová earlier in the tournament, has now won 14 out of the last 15 matches she has played on the Tour. Her only loss was to Ons Jabeur in the quarter-finals at Indian Wells. She has played in five finals this year which is the second-highest on the WTA Tour after world No.1 Ash Barty who has played in six.

The 25-year-old is now on the verge of qualifying for the WTA Finals for the first time in her career. However, the prospect of her playing in the season-ending event depends on the results of next week’s tournaments. Kontaveit is playing in Romania and she needs to win the tournament and for rival Jabeur to lose before the semi-finals to qualify.

Meanwhile, runner-up Alexandrova exits Moscow frustrated with her missed opportunities in the match. It was the first time she has played in a final this season and only the third time in her career. Prior to Kontaveit, she scored back-to-back wins over Aryna Sabalenka and Maria Sakkari.

“Unfortunately, I didn’t manage to win, I’m very sorry. But I will work on it and I hope next time I will be able to get a better result,” Alexandrova said during the trophy ceremony.
“I want to congratulate Anett, she played great, it was hard for me to do something.” She added.

Kontaveit, who has won three WTA titles since August, is the first Estonian player to win the Moscow trophy. Compatriot Kaia Kanepi reached the final of the tournament back in 2011.

Continue Reading

Latest news

Simona Halep, Emma Raducanu Heads The Field in Cluj Napoca

On Saturday the draw was revealed for the 32 players playing in Cluj this week at the Transylvania Open.

Avatar

Published

on

Simona Halep (image via https://twitter.com/Simona_Halep)

Despite the fact seven main draw players have pulled out, including Garbine Muguruza and Paula Badosa, the field is pretty deep with a lot of interesting matchups featuring no fewer than six Romanians. 

 

Let’s start at the top with the number one seed Simona Halep who will play her first match against the up-and-coming fellow Romanian Gabriela Elena Ruse. Halep and Ruse most recently teamed up in doubles and made it to the final in Indian Wells.

The number two seed is the Estonian Anett Kontaveit who will play for a title on Sunday in Moscow. She has drawn a qualifier in the first round. Emma Raducanu, the number three seed, will start her tournament against Polona Hercog.

The fourth seed is the Swiss Jil Teichmann who will also face a qualifier in her first-round match. Meanwhile Australia’s Alja Tomljanovic will face Slovenia’s Kaja Juvan who comes in as a late replacement for Ekaterina Alexandrova.

Marta Kostyuk from Ukraine is the number six seed and she will face the American Bernarda Pera. It will be the third meeting between the two players with the Ukrainian winning both of their previous matches.

Irina Camelia Begu from Romania and she will face another Romanian in Maria Irina Bara while the number eight seed is Anhelina Kalinna who faces a qualifier in the first round.

If the seeds hold up the tournament could potentially see quarterfinal matches featuring Halep vs Tomljanovic, Raducanu vs Kostyuk, Begu vs Teichmann and Kalinna vs Konteveitt.

There are indeed some dark horses in the draw that could cause some upsets. Look out for Maria Camelia Osorio who has been playing some amazing tennis this year and it seems to be her breakout year.

Andrea Petkovic is always a dangerous opponent and she actually won the first event in Romania, the Winners Open, back in the first week of August. Anastasia Potapova from Russia is no easy task, and many expect a good week from her.

Main draw action begins on Monday with what is expected to be a great week in Cluj-Napoca.

Continue Reading

Latest news

Transylvania Open Suffers Major Blow As Seven Players Pull Out

A two-time Grand Slam Winner and the Reigning Indian Wells Champion are among those to withdraw from the tournament at the last minute.

Avatar

Published

on

image via https://twitter.com/TransylvaniaOpn

The inaugural Transylvania Open will feature just one top 20 player in the draw after two pulled out of the competition on Saturday.

 

The Spanish duo of Garbine Muguruza and Paula Badosa were set to headline the new WTA 250 event in Cluj Napoca. Tournament organisers confirmed their withdrawal along with that of Ekaterina Alexandrova, Viktoria Golubic, Veronika Kudermetova, Kaia Kanepi, and Mayar Sherif. Furthermore, Mihaela Buzarnescu was also scheduled to play in the qualifying draw but pulled out.

Andreea Prisacariu and Anna-Lena Freidsam will take spots that were attributed to Muguruza and Badosa. The others will be replaced with Ana Bogdan, Alison Van Uytvanck, Ivana Jorovic, and Kaja Juvan.

Muguruza most recently played yesterday in VTB Kremlin Cup in Moscow, reaching the quarterfinals where she was thoroughly beaten by the Estonian Anett Kontaveitt 6-1, 6-1.

Badosa is fresh off winning the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, California while Alexandrova has officially reached the final in Moscow after Sakkari was forced to retire 4-1.

Kontaveit, who is scheduled to play this week in Romania, will face Alexandrova in that final on Sunday after beating the Czech Marketa Vondrousova in straight sets 6-3, 6-4.

Simona Halep is set to be the highest ranked player in the tournament. US Open champion Emma Raducanu is also participation in what will be only her second event since winning her maiden major title at the age of 18.

The main draw action begins on Monday.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending