Caroline Wozniacki Pays Tribute To Father After Extending Career At Australian Open - UBITENNIS
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Caroline Wozniacki Pays Tribute To Father After Extending Career At Australian Open

The former world No.1 opens up about the influence Piotr Wozniacki has had on her.

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Caroline Wozniacki (image via https://twitter.com/AustralianOpen)

Soon-to-be-retired Caroline Wozniacki believes she wouldn’t have been able to achieve the career she had without the support of her father.

 

The former world No.1 hailed Piotr Wozniacki following her latest win at the Australian Open. Unseeded in the tournament, she knocked out Ukrainian rising star Dayana Yastremska 7-5, 7-5, during what was a roller coaster encounter. In both sets the Dane went done a double break before battling back to edge out the 23rd seed. Trailing 1-5 in the opener and then 0-3 in the second.

“I was trying to think what to do out there to change that and she started making a few more unforced errors. I got a little more depth on the ball and I started serving a little bit better.” Wozniacki commented on her comeback.
“All of a sudden I kept getting one point after another and started getting the belief that I could get that set.”

In the end it was the greater consistency that saw Wozniacki over the finish line. During the match she hit 15 winners and unforced errors. Compares to big-hitting Yastremska’s more erratic tally of 36 and 47.

The win extends Wozniacki’s career on the tour for at least another match. She will retire from the sport following the conclusion of her campaign in Melbourne at the age of 29. It was at the Australian Open where Wozniacki won her first and only grand slam title back in 2018.

Looking back on her career, she pinpoints the guidance of her coach and father as one of the key factors behind her success over the years. Her milestones include winning 30 WTA titles and spending 71 weeks as world No.1. As of this week, Wozniacki is one of only five player in history to have made more than $35 million in prize money on the WTA Tour.

“I think sticking with my dad and that partnership has made me the player that I am today.” She told reporters in Melbourne.
“I definitely wouldn’t have been where I am today if it wasn’t for him because the trust that was there between us and just the journey I think was amazing.”

Regardless of her pending retirement, the Dane is very much living in the moment at the Australian Open. Relishing the support she is receiving from the crowd. In the third round she will play Tunisia’s One Jabeur. A player who had not won a main draw match at the tournament until this year.

“It feels great. The crowd is really supporting me out there and standing behind me and it’s amazing.” Wozniacki said.
“It’s a tournament where I have always had crowd support, so it just feels even more special because it’s even more now.’
“I feel just lucky to be out there and, you know, still playing on a high level.”

Despite being a former champion, Wozniacki had only reached the fourth round of the tournament once since 2014.

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Player Withdrawn From French Open Under COVID-19 Protocols

On the eve of the doubles draw one team has been removed following a positive test.

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Organisers of the French Open have confirmed a player has been removed from the tournament after their coach tested positive for COVID-19.

 

The player in question was set to play in the main draw of the women’s doubles this week. No details have been given as to who that person may be and there is currently no information about a doubles team withdrawing from the tournament. It is also unclear if the pairing in question will be replaced by somebody else.

“The Roland-Garros tournament organisers inform that a women’s doubles’ player was declared a “contact case”, following the COVID-19 positive test result issued for her coach,” a statement from the French Tennis Federation reads.
“In line with the tournament health and safety protocol, this player’s doubles team has been withdrawn from the draw, which will commence Wednesday 30 September.”

It is not the first time a player has been removed from this year’s draw after either them or a member of their team testing positive. Last week in qualifying Poland’s Katarzyna Kawa and Spain’s Bernabé Zapata was excluded before later returning back to their home countries to test negative. Rising concerns about false positive results occurring. Furthermore, the coach of Damir Dzumhur and Fernando Verdasco was also removed after testing positive despite both of them having the virus earlier in the year. They also returned negative results when returning home.

In light of the controversies the French Tennis Federation has since changed their policy. Now if somebody who have proof of previously having the virus test positive, medical staff will now consider their medical history before coming to a decision. Last week a positive test meant a disqualification no matter what.

“The modifications of the ARS (Health Regional Agency) is to now accept non-infectiousness on the post-illness, if it is documented by a medical file and validated by medical experts, which is good for the players,” an unnamed FFT official told newspaper L’Equipe. “Unfortunately, we only received this decision on Friday evening.”

The French Open has conducted 1,900 COVID-19 tests since Thursday 17 September.

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Garbine Muguruza Survives Marathon French Open Encounter

Garbine Muguruza outlasted Tamara Zidansek 7-5 4-6 8-6 to book her place in the second round of the 2020 French Open.

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Garbine Muguruza (@Republica_com on Twitter)

Garbine Muguruza withstood a spirited challenge from Tamara Zidansek to record a 7-5 4-6 8-6 victory and book her place in the second round of the 2020 French Open.

 

The Spaniard, 26, played some superb tennis on her way to the semi-final in Rome just over a week ago. However, she struggled to find any kind of rhythm in her Paris opener.

During a match lasting three hours and one minute, Muguruza hit 42 winners. However, she also made 64 unforced errors as she battled a slow court, a heavy ball and a stubborn opponent.

Most importantly of all, the Spaniard made it through. And if she can raise her game in the upcoming rounds, she will soon forget about her first-round struggles.

In the first set, Zidansek earned an early break after outlasting Muguruza in a marathon game. Then the Spaniard fought back. She broke twice to establish a 5-3 lead.

But the set was far from over. The Slovenian broke the World No.15 for a second time to level the score at 5-5. Unfortunately for her, Muguruza responded with another break and then held to secure the set.

Muguruza fights back after losing second set

Muguruza and Zidansek twice traded breaks in the second set to leave the score locked at 4-4. Then the Spaniard wasted two crucial changes to break that would have given her the chance to serve for the match.

Instead, the World No.15 fell 5-4 behind. Then she served poorly and the Slovenian punished her. The World No.83 broke to seal the second set and take the match into a decider.

After Muguruza recovered from 0-3 to level the score, the final set became a test of endurance for the players. For the next six games, there was simply no way of separating them as the score rolled on to 6-6.

Then the Spaniard produced some of her best tennis when she needed it most. She took control of the 13th game with some excellent groundstrokes. On important points, she forced Zidansek wide and deep to earn two chances to break. Then she seized the second with a classy forehand winner.

Muguruza hit three big first serves as she secured a relatively comfortable hold to finish the match. When she won the last point, she wore a look that mixed exasperation and relief. The Spaniard will now face either Kristyna Pliskova or Viktoria Kuzmova in round two.

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Elina Svitolina Hangs Tough To Win Tense Battle In Paris

Elina Svitolina fought hard to overcome Varvara Gracheva in a tricky first-round encounter at the 2020 French Open.

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Elina Svitolina drew on all her fighting qualities to overcome World No.89 Varvara Gracheva in a tricky first-round encounter at the 2020 French Open.

 

The Ukrainian, 26, found form during an encouraging run to the title in Strasbourg last week. But she struggled to hit winners against the Russian, who seemed determined to make life as difficult as possible for her.

“It was not easy,” Svitolina said in her on-court interview. “I was leading in the first set and then Varvara really stepped up her game. She hit the ball much better and made me work hard for it.”

The Ukrainian continued, “I had to work really hard to be where I am now mentally. Every match and every tournament is a battle first of all with myself. It’s important for me to stay focused and keep my mind in the right place.”

Gracheva drags Svitolina into baseline battle

Elina Svitolina started the match superbly. She manoeuvred Gracheva around the court expertly and hit winners into the open spaces as she established a 4-1 lead.

Unfortunately for the Ukrainian, the Russian soon figured out what she needed to do to get back into the match. She reduced her error count and began to lengthen the rallies. This strategy exposed Svitolina’s lack of power and made it a much more even contest.

Gracheva’s change of tactics worked immediately. She broke the World No.5 twice in a row and levelled the match at 4-4.

Although Svitolina was clearly frustrated by this development, she did not let it faze her. She traded four consecutive breaks with the Russian as they fought for control.

In the tie-break, the Ukrainian did everything right. She played aggressively without taking too many risks and drew a series of errors from Gracheva’s racket to win it 7-2.

World No.5 comes from behind to win second set

Gracheva made an excellent start to the second set. She pushed Svitolina back with powerful groundstrokes and opened up a 4-2 lead.

However, the Russian struggled to maintain such high standards. Consequently, the Ukrainian battled to a crucial hold in game seven, and then raised her game to break Gracheva twice in a row and claim the second set 6-4.

Unusually, Svitolina will now face a lower-ranked player than the Russian in the second round. Her opponent is Mexican qualifier and World No.172 Renata Zarazua, who comfortably beat teenage French wildcard Elsa Jacquemont 6-1 6-2.

Elsewhere at Roland Garros, 22nd seed Karolina Muchova surprisingly lost 6-2 6-4 to Christina McHale. And 28th seed Svetlana Kuznetsova was defeated 6-1 2-6 6-1 by fellow Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.

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