Belarus’ Aryna Sabalenka has ended her season on a high after defeating the top seed to win the WTA Elite Trophy on Sunday.
The world No.14 proved too strong throughout her 6-4, 6-2, win over Kiki Bertens. A player who she had only beaten once in her five previous meetings against. In their latest clash, Sabalenka was dominant behind her serve as she won 81% of her first service points without facing a single break point. Furthermore, she also hit 17 winners to 14 unforced errors.
The latest victory continues Sabalenka’s love affair with China. She has now won four out of her five career titles in the country. Including Wuhan and Shenzhen this year. At the Elite trophy she was she undefeated throughout the round-robin tournament with wins over Maria Sakkari, Elise Mertens and Karolina Muchova earlier in the week.
“Well, it seems I like to play in China and China likes me too,” she said after her latest triumph. “It’s been a crazy year… I’m happy to finish it with a title and hopefully there are many more to come.”
After both players getting off to a solid start, Sabalenka struck at 5-4 by breaking Bertens to snatch the opening set. Meanwhile, in the second set she broke two more times. Once at the start and then again in the final game to seal her third title of 2019.
Bertens is the fifth and final top 20 player Sabalenka has defeated this year (in singles). She had also previously scored wins over Elise Mertens, Caroline Wozniacki and Ash Barty. Bertens is the only player in the group she has managed to defeat on multiple occasions. She will now rise to 11th in the WTA rankings when they are updated on Monday.
Despite their Sunday clash, there will be no time for either Sabalenka or Bertens to rest. Both will now head to Shenzhen for the WTA Finals. Sabalenka has qualified for the doubles tournament alongside Mertens. Meanwhile, Bertens is the first alternate for the singles draw.
Who Is Marie Bouzková? Six Things To Know About The Wimbledon Quarter-Finalist
After previously never going beyond the second round of a major, the Czech is making a name for herself at The All England Club.
Czech Republic’s Maria Bouzkova has broken new ground at Wimbledon by reaching the quarter-finals on Sunday.
Coming into the tournament, the 23-year-old has failed to win back-to-back matches in 12 Grand Slam appearances. However, the past week has seen her breakthrough with a surprise run to the quarter-finals. She secured a place in the last eight with a 7-5, 6-2, win over France’s Caroline Garcia. The player who defeated Emma Raducanu in the second round.
In her latest match, Bouzkova was by far the most consistent player on the court as she produced just four unforced errors against 13 winners. In comparison, Garcia’s tally was 25 against 24. She broke the Frenchwoman four times in the match en route to victory.
“I don’t know how I got here,” said Bouzkova.
“Now we will celebrate with strawberries and cream. It’s one of our 100 routines at Wimbledon.”
Bouzkova’s run at Wimbledon has brought the Czech into the limelight for the first time. Although some may not be too familiar with the right-hander who plays with a two-handed backhand. Here are five things to know about the underdog.
- As a junior, she won the 2014 US Open title and reached the final of the Wimbledon doubles event that same year.
- Wimbledon is where Bouzkova won her first Grand Slam main draw match back in 2019 after defeating Mona Barthel in the first round.
- Prior to Garcia, she defeated Danielle Collins, Ann Li and Alison Riske-Amritraj this week. Collins was the sixth top 20 player she has defeated and second this year after Karolina Pliskova.
- She was ranked as low as 97th in the world earlier this season but is currently up to 66. Her career-best is 46.
- Has reached three WTA finals in as many years in Guadalajara (2022), Melbourne 250 (2021) and Monterey (2020).
- She has a win-loss record of 18-9 so far this season. Although prior to Wimbledon, she has not won any matches on the grass after losing in the first round of Eastbourne to Shelby Rogers.
Bouzkova will play either second seed Ons Jabeur or Elise Mertens in the quarter-finals.
Rafael Nadal Apologizes To Opponent After Wimbledon Win
The Spaniard admits he made a mistake.
Rafael Nadal said he was ‘wrong’ to call his opponent to the net during the third set of their third round match at Wimbledon.
The 22-time Grand Slam champion booked his place in the last 16 of the tournament by defeating Lorenzo Sonego 6-1, 6-2, 6-4. Nadal, who hasn’t won Wimbledon for more than a decade, was out in full flow as he raced to a two-set and 4-2 lead. At that point, Sonego managed to get the roof to be closed due to poor lighting.
After speaking to the umpire, Nadal called his opponent to the net for a discussion over what is believed to be about the noise he was making during the match. After losing his 4-2 advantage, Nadal battled back by breaking once again to secure victory.
“Well, first of all, I have to say that I was wrong. Probably I should not call him on the net. So I apologize for that. My mistake in that. No problem. I recognise that,” said Nadal.
“Then after that, all the stuff during the match that I don’t want to comment (on), because is something that I spoke with him in the locker room and it stays there. Only thing I can say is I saw him personally. I apologise for that.
“My intention was never to bother him at all. Just to tell one thing that was bothering me that I think he was doing in that moment, but that’s it.
“I think there is some code between players. Yeah, we had some issues there. But that’s it.”
The two shared a lengthy exchange at the net after the conclusion of the match and there were no hard feelings between either player.
Controversy aside, Nadal has hailed what he believed is his best performance at The All England Club yet. Against Soego, he won 73% of his service points and hit 24 winners.
“It was my best match, without a doubt, since the tournament started,” said Nadal. “I have made improvements and I’m very happy.’
“I’ve made I think a lot of things much better than the previous days, the determination, the way that I manage to play more aggressively and going to the net plenty of times.”
Nadal will play Dutch world number 25 Botic van de Zandschulp in the last 16.
Iga Swiatek Explains Why She Is Unsurprised by Wimbledon Exit
The world No.1 spoke openly about her current form after crashing out in the third round.
Iga Swiatek says she was ‘confused’ about her tactics after suffering a shock straight-sets loss in the third round of Wimbledon.
Swiatek, who was on a 37-match winning streak, managed to win only six games against Alize Cornet during what was an error-stricken performance. The Pole produced a staggering 33 unforced errors and only managed to win 30% of her second service points. It is the first time she has failed to reach the second week of a major since the 2020 US Open where she also lost in the third round.
“I know I didn’t play good tennis. I was pretty confused about my tactics. As a solid player, she used that pretty well. For sure, it wasn’t a good performance for me,” Swiatek told reporters on Saturday.
“The thing that I changed this season is I started being more and more aggressive. It was really comfortable for me to have the initiative and be proactive. But here (at Wimbledon) I couldn’t control the ball. So I needed to slow down a little bit
Despite recently dominating the sport when it comes to playing on hard courts, it is clear that the grass is an Achilles heel for the world No.1. Her match against Cornet was only the 11th she has ever played on the surface at Tour level. Coming into Wimbledon she played no build-up tournaments.
Admitting that she has found training on grass difficult, Swiatek’s winning run coming to an end is one that does not surprise her. Since 1990, the only players to have won as many matches as her in a row are Martina Hingis in 1997 and Stefi Graf in 1990.
“I didn’t feel like I’m in the best shape. So I’m kind of aware that this could happen. Maybe it’s not the right attitude to have, but it is like it is,” she explains.
“I tried many things to feel better on the grass courts but it didn’t really work out. That’s why I’m not even hard on myself because it’s kind of logical that if I couldn’t find it even in practice, I’m not going to find it in a match.”
In her match against Cornet, Swiatek was highly erratic during the closing stages as she produced a series of uncharacteristic mistakes. She only won two out of the last 14 points played.
“I didn’t have any idea. I didn’t tank it, but I just didn’t know what to do,” she admits.
“I was hoping that it would go in, but I made many mistakes. I didn’t even want to get angry again because I was kind of frustrated during my practice week and in the second round. I didn’t think it was going to help me.”
As for what the future has in store for Swiatek on grass, she is keeping a very open mind.
“I don’t know if I should even have hope. Maybe it’s just easier to take it easy and see what grass is going to bring me.” She concludes.
WIMBLEDON: Day Six Talking Points world no.1 Iga Świątek left stunned by Alizé Cornet
(EXCLUSIVE) Mats Wilander on Sinner’s Chances of Beating Alcaraz, Kyrgios’ Antics At Wimbledon
Roger Federer Hopes To Play One Last Wimbledon As Icons Mark Center Court Anniversary
Who Is Marie Bouzková? Six Things To Know About The Wimbledon Quarter-Finalist
(VIDEO) Nick Kyrgios And Stefanos Tsitsipas’ Controversial Contest Headlines Day Six At Wimbledon
REPORT: Rafael Nadal And Wife Mery Expecting First Child
Alexander Zverev Issues Injury Update Following French Open Retirement
Andy Murray Cautiously Optimistic About Recovering From Injury In Time For Wimbledon
REPORT: Alexander Zverev To Be Sidelined From Tour For Up To Two Months
“More Minimal Than I Thought’ – Coco Gauff On Playing First French Open Final
US Open, Steve Flink: “Djokovic’s loss had more to do with fatigue than pressure”
US Open, Steve Flink on the Murray-Tsitsipas Controversy
(VIDEO) Dominic Thiem, Juan Martin Del Potro Gathering Momentum In Comeback Bids
Steve Flink On Wimbledon: “Bautista Agut would be a tough semifinal test for Djokovic”
Wimbledon, Flink: “Djokovic Will Beat Zverev in the Final”
ATP3 days ago
Rafael Nadal Gives His Verdict On Three WTA Stars After Reaching Wimbledon Third Round
Hot Topics19 hours ago
Wimbledon Shocker: Stefanos Tsitsipas Accuses Kyrgios Of Bullying
ATP3 days ago
Stefanos Tsitsipas Names His Best Personality Trait Ahead of Wimbledon Showdown With Kyrgios
Latest news3 days ago
‘Dream’ Wimbledon Defeat Sends Former Semi-Finalist Kirsten Flipkens Into Singles Retirement
ATP2 days ago
Novak Djokovic Equals Laver’s Grass-Court Winning Streak With Emphatic Wimbledon Win
Focus3 days ago
Wimbledon Daily Preview: Djokovic, Kerber, Alcaraz Face Seeded Opposition
ATP2 days ago
Novak Djokovic Shrugs Off Threat Of Covid-19 Outbreak At Wimbledon
Grand Slam3 days ago
WIMBLEDON: Day Three Talking Points heartbreak for Emma Raducanu and Andy Murray