Bianca Andreescu Reaches Milestone US Open Semi-Final Despite ‘Not Playing Her Best Tennis’ - UBITENNIS
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Bianca Andreescu Reaches Milestone US Open Semi-Final Despite ‘Not Playing Her Best Tennis’

The world No.15 reflects on her latest performance as she becomes the first Canadian player in 35 years to reach the last four at Flushing Meadows.

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Bianca Andreescu allo US Open 2019 (photo Twitter @USOpen)

Canadian rising star Bianca Andreescu believes there is room for improvement following her win over Elise Mertens in the quarter-finals of the US Open.

 

The 19-year-old battled back from a set down to edge out Mertens 3-6, 6-2, 6-3, to become the first player from her country to reach the last four of the New York major since 1984. In what was the one of the most important matches of her blossoming career, Andreescu overcame some lacklustre patches of play to prevail with the help of 39 winners as she broke her opponent four times.

“I just told myself to keep fighting and hope that I can switch things around basically. I tried to stay more aggressive than the first set, and I felt like I was missing a lot in the first set, as well.” Andreescu reflected on her performance.
“I saw that she (Mertens) was picking on my backhand a lot, so I tried to go more down the line with my backhand so she can go back to my forehand so I can use my forehand, because I like my forehand.’
“I just told myself to just keep fighting and to not give up. That was the main thing.” She added.

Andreescu’s latest victory continues what has been a remarkable season for her. This time last year, she lost in the first round of qualifying at the US Open and was ranked outside the top 200. However, she has burst onto the tour this season by winning prestigious titles at both Indian Wells and the Rogers Cup. Furthermore, she is yet to lose to a top 10 player in 2019.

Whilst Relishing in her rapid rise, a critical Andreescu isn’t completely happy with how her form is at present. When questioned about the level of her play on Wednesday, she admits that she is yet to reach her best form. Even though she is currently in the middle of her best grand slam run.

“I’m going to be honest. I don’t think I played my best tennis. I just fought really well with what I had every single day. I think that’s the most important thing for me, and I’m sure for every athlete you’re not going to have good days every day.” She explained.
“So I just try my best to figure out what’s going well and what’s not and just go from there.”

Two wins away from the title, Andreescu is trying to keep grounded over the prospect of becoming Canada’s first ever grand slam singles champion before her 20th birthday. By reaching the semi-finals she has also booked a place in the world’s top 10 on Monday for the first time in her career.

The next challenge for Andreescu will be Switzerland’s Belinda Bencic, who will also be contesting the last four of a major for the first time. Bencic secured her spot with a 7-6(5), 6-3, win over Donna Vekic. She she wins, a potential rematch with Serena Williams looms. Williams will play Elina Svitolina in her semi-final match.

“At this point I think anyone can win the tournament. The other semifinalists are incredible athletes, tennis players. So I know it’s not going to be easy tomorrow, and if I win tomorrow, in the finals, as well.” She said.

The upcoming match will be the first meeting between Andreescu and Bencic.

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French Open Finalist Marketa Vondrousova Undergoes Surgery

It is a premature end to what has been a breakthrough season for the Czech.

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Czech rising star Marketa Vondrousova will miss the rest of the season after undergoing an operation on her left wrist.

 

The 20-year-old made the announcement on her Instagram account where she uploaded a picture of herself after undergoing the procedure. Vondrousova hasn’t played a match on the tour since Wimbledon, where she first sustained the injury. According to Czech media, she received treatment at the same facility which Petra Kvitova attended following a knife attack that severely injured her playing hand.

“For two months I tried to treat my wrist conservatively and tried everything possible. Unfortunately, nothing led to a significant improvement. That is why I decided on this solution, which should relieve me of my pain for good,” Vondrousova said is a statement issued by her team.
“Unfortunately for me, 2019 ended earlier than I wanted. I can’t wait to play back on the courts without pain anymore, she added.

The premature end draws the curtain on what has been a breakthrough season for Vondrousova. At the French Open she defeated Petra Martic and Johanna Konta en route to the final. Becoming the youngest player to do so at the tournament since Ana Ivanovic back in 2007. She was denied the title by Ash Barty, who prevailed in straight sets.

Yet to win a title, Vondrousova has managed to remain consistent on the tour by reaching the quarter-finals or better at six consecutive tournaments between February and June. Including the final of the Budapest Open. During that time, she managed to score two wins over Simona Halep. The highest ranked player she has defeated so far in her career.

Vondrousova is currently ranked 22nd in the world. She ends the season with a win-loss record of 29-9.

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‘Relaxed’ Su-Wei Hsieh Saves Match Point To Oust Muguruza In Osaka

Su-Wei Hsieh saved match point to eliminate Garbine Muguruza from the premier-level tournament in Osaka.

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Su-Wei Hsieh (@Wimbledon - Twitter)

Su-Wei Hsieh was in a relaxed mood as she saved match point to edge out Garbine Muguruza 3-6 7-6(1) 6-1 in Osaka. 

 

The Wimbledon doubles champion claimed her second straight win over the Spaniard having saved match point in the contest.

After winning a tight second set, Hsieh cruised through the deciding set to secure a spot in the second round against Elise Mertens.

Even though this final part of the season can prove quite tiring, Hsieh is approaching in a more relaxed manner, “I know that anything can happen because this is almost the end of the year,” Hsieh said to the press after the win.

“I just want to be more relaxed, going more to my game. Sometimes I lose a little bit of rhythm at the beginning, so I just need to play more games to get the rhythm.

“In the second set, I felt a little bit more rhythm, and more stable myself, my personal style. It helped me a lot to get into the match and to get more game.”

As for Muguruza, this loss would have hurt her confidence a lot having not won a WTA match since June and her ranking slowly falling by the week.

Next for Hsieh will be US Open doubles champion Elise Mertens, where they have split their opening two meetings which came last season.

In other results today there were comfortable wins for Madison Keys and US Open quarter-finalist Donna Vekic over Daria Kasatkina and Caroline Garcia respectively.

Here is the second round line-up, which matches will be played across Wednesday and Thursday:

Naomi Osaka (1) v Viktoriya Tomova – Wednesday

Varvara Flink v Yulia Putintseva – Thursday

Sloane Stephens (3) v Camila Giorgi – Thursday

Su-Wei Hsieh v Elise Mertens (9) – Wednesday

Madison Keys (5) v Zarina Diyas – Wednesday

Nicole Gibbs v Angelique Kerber (4) – Wednesday

Donna Vekic (7) v Misaki Doi – Thursday

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova v Kiki Bertens (2) – Thursday

 

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Despite New WTA Guidelines, Could Kim Clijsters’ Return Be Marred By Aberration?

Kim Clijsters will not have any restriction in the number of wildcards she receives. But she also deserves more in her upcoming third stint on the Tour

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Kim Clijsters, 2010 US Open, US Open
Photo Credit: WTA Tennis/Getty

By the time, Kim Clijsters makes her return to professional tennis in 2020, around eight years will have passed since her second retirement from the WTA Tour. In this near-about octet of years, there have been several changes on the Tour, especially for those women attempting a return post maternity. But where does the 36-year-old stand amid these alterations?

 

The Belgian was one of the earlier trendsetters – of this decade – to resume her professional activity after becoming a mother for the first time. In 2009, when she returned during the American hard-court summer, the subject never gained as much traction as it did when Williams returned to the game, in 2018 after her pregnancy hiatus in 2017.

Clijsters’ win at the US Open that year – the first for an unseeded player – stifled the mushrooming of any possible avenues of such ranking tweaks back then. Over the next couple of years, as Clijsters ascended in the rankings boosted by her performances, including re-attaining her career-high of no. 1, the topic became moot.

Now, after all these years, in spite of the WTA bringing in modifications to its rules – by way of provision of special ranking to women re-joining the Tour after motherhood, among other factors – Clijsters’ continues to remain an outlying scenario. The obvious reason for this is the lapsing of time of the four-time Major champion’s returning to pro tennis. According to the new rules, a player who is out of the Tour on account of pregnancy must make a comeback within three years after her child’s birth, at most.

Her previous successes and titles ensure Clijsters will never lack for wildcards from tournaments, as per the WTA regulations. However, the question stemming here is should an exception be made for the former world no. 1 vis-à-vis the special ranking while overlooking the passing of years?

When announcing her imminent return to the Pro Tour on the WTA Insider podcast, Clijsters mentioned about challenging herself. “I don’t feel like I want to prove something. I think for me it’s the challenge…,” she said.

“The love for the sport is obviously still there. But the question still is, am I capable of bringing it to a level where I would like it to be at and where I want it to be at before I want to play at a high level of one of the best women’s sports in the world. I don’t feel like I need to prove anything, but I want to challenge myself and I want to be strong again. This is my marathon. This is where I’m saying, ‘OK, let’s try this’.”

Clijsters’ path to trying this while taking it on as a challenge need not come at a cost of her being immediately pushed off the deep end in terms of encountering a higher-seeded opponent. The present state of the WTA would make it for an interesting match-up – whenever it happens – but it would also be akin to defeating the purpose underlining her return, regardless of how confident the 2011 Australian Open champion is with her timing.

The norms, too, could be nudged into further relooking easing them towards a player’s preference in ascertaining her post-childbirth return instead of clubbing them, at large. After all, as significant as Williams’ laurels were to usher in changes, Clijsters’ stunner yet again proves the variety that exists in women’s decision-making.

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