Garbine Muguruza Doesn’t Care About Her Ranking As Australian Open Run Continues - UBITENNIS
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Garbine Muguruza Doesn’t Care About Her Ranking As Australian Open Run Continues

The Spanish star has now achieved her best grand slam run in almost two years at Melbourne Park.

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After experiencing a roller coaster 2019 on the tour, Garbine Muguruza looks to be back on track at the Australian Open following her latest triumph.

 

The former world No.1 extended her winning run in Melbourne on Monday with a 6-3, 6-3, win over ninth seed Kiki Bertens. Making it the second top 10 player she has defeated in the tournament after Elina Svitolina. In her latest clash, the Spaniard was broken at the start of both sets, but managed to turn her fortunes around with the help of a dominant display behind her first serve. Where she won 28 out of 31 points. Muguruza also hit 19 winners to 18 unforced errors.

“I feel good in this tournament. I’m super concentrated on every single match, especially because I started the tournament so-so. I feel like my body’s getting healthier.” Said Muguruza.
“It’s a Grand Slam, we are all very concentrated here. For me, it’s one of the tournaments that motivates me the most.”

As a result of her latest win, Muguruza is through to the last eight of a major for the first time since the 2018 French Open. It is only the second time she has managed to reach the quarter-final stage in Melbourne and first since 2017.

The surge comes at a time where the 26-year-old is trying to establish her footing on the tour. Unseeded in the draw, she is currently ranked 32nd in the world. 14 places lower than where she was 12 months ago. Not that it bothers her in any way.

“You know what? Who cares about the ranking, honestly. I feel like it’s just a sign of probably the last results. At the end you go out there and you play.” She explained.
“I don’t even know the rankings of the ones I’m playing. I know who they are. I know the matches we’ve had. But it doesn’t affect me so much.’
“Of course, the higher you are, the more beautiful it is. But it’s not that important to me no more after these years.”

Muguruza’s laid back approach to her current position is understandable given the openness of women’s tennis. The past 12 major tournaments have been won by 10 different players. During that period Naomi Osaka and Simona Halep are the only players to win multiple titles. At present there are 16 active grand slam champions playing on the WTA Tour.

The question remains about whether Muguruza has what it takes to go all the way in Melbourne. No Spanish woman has reached the final of the tournament since Conchita Martinez back in 1998, who coincidentally is now coaching Muguruza on the tour.

“She’s very, very aggressive as she was when she was playing her best tennis.” Martinez told reporters about Muguruza’s current form.
“Physically, I see her (playing) very well. She’s getting to the balls early enough. You can see she’s holding her ground really well, accelerating, finishing at the net a lot. That’s always nice to see.’
“Things like that you can see a little bit more and more. So it’s good to see.”

Muguruza will play either Angelique Kerber or Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in the next round.

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Rafael Nadal reaches the quarter final in Rome for the 15th time in the past 16 years

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Nine-time Rome champion Rafael Nadal has reached the quarter final for the 15th time in the past 16 years at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome after beating Serbia’s Dusan Lajovic 6-1 6-3 in one hour and 30 minutes. The King of Clay has qualified for his 93rd Masters 1000 quarter final. 

 

Nadal dropped 15 points in 8 service games and converted on 6 of his 14 break points. Nadal started the match with a hold at 15 with a forehand crosscourt winner in the first game and earned his first break in the second game after a forehand error from Lajovic. 

Lajovic broke back at love in the third game after Nadal made a forehand error. Nadal convertd his sixth break point to open up a 3-1 lead with a forehand return winner. The Spanish star forced an error from Lajovic to earn another break and wrapped up the first set 6-1 in 41 minutes with a service winner. 

Nadal went up a break in the first game of the second set and consolidated it in the second game to open up a 2-0 lead with a volley winner. Nadal earned a double break to race out to a 3-0 lead when Lajovic sent a backhand long and held serve in the fourth game with a service in the fourth game. Lajovic pulled one break back in the sixth game after forcing an error frm Nadal and held serve at 15 when Nadal netted a forehand. Nadal opened up a 5-3 lead with a service winner in the eighth game and broke serve at love in the ninth game after a backhand error from Lajovic setting up a quarter final against Diego Schwartzman, who came back from one set down to beat Hubert Hurkacz 3-6 6-2 6-4 after 2 hours and 9 minutes. 

“I played at a very positive level of tennis. It needs to keep improving. I need to keep working on a couple of things that are no coming automatically, but I can’t ask for more. It was another great evening for me against another good opponent. I can’t complain at all. Much better that what I expected. The first set it was 6-1, but a super tough bebinning of the match. A lot of good points. I am very happy. It’s an important victory for me after such a long time. To start the tournament with these two victories is great news”, said Nadal.

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Grigor Dimitrov came back from one set down to beat Jannik Sinner in Rome

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Grigor Dimitrov came back from one set down to beat Italian wild-card Jannik Sinner 4-6 6-4 6-4 in two hours and 25 minutes to set up a quarter final against Denis Shapovalov.

 

Sinner broke serve at love in the opening game, when Dimitrov mishit a backhand wide. The Italian Next Gen star fended off three break points in the second game. When he served for the first set at 5-4, Sinner rallied from 0-30 by winning four consecutive points and sealed the first set, when Dimitrov sliced a backhand long. 

Dimitrov, who reached the Acapulco semifinal last February, dropped his first service game on serve at the start of the second set, but he broke straight back. At 2-2 Sinner missed two consecutive break points after a forehand into the net from Sinner and a smash from Dimitrov on the second break point. Dimitrov got the crucial break in the 10th game to win the second set 6-4 after a backhand from Dimitrov and a forehand error from Sinner. 

Dimitrov broke serve in the fourth game at love to take a 3-1 lead when Sinner hit a backhand wide. Sinner broke back, as Dimitrov was serving at 5-3. Dimitrov converted his fifth match point after Sinner hit a smash into the net.  

“What I like is that Jannik is already a very strong guy, meaning his legs are very strong already for his age. I feel he can only get better. I think Riccardo Piatti is doing a great job with him. I think time can only tell for him. I think that’s just how it is. I think on hard courts he is playing really well. Even on clay today, I thought it was a very good match on his end”, said Dimitrov. 

Dimitrov set up a quarter final against Denis Shapovalov, who came back from one set down to beat Ugo Humbert 6-7 (5-7) 6-1 6-4 after 2 hours and 52 minutes. 

Shapovalov saved three set points at 4-5 in the first set. Humbert earned a mini-break at 3-3 in the tie-break after Shapovalov missed a forehand down the line. Shapovalov broke twice in the second and sixth games to win the second set in 36 minutes. The young Canadian player broke Humbert in the first game of the third set, but he did not convert on his match point at 5-3, as he hit a forehand return into the net when Humbert was serving at 30-40, but he sealed the win to love in the 10th game. 

Dominik Koepfer cruised past 2019 Australian Open Junior champion Lorenzo Musetti with one break in the first set and three breaks in the second set. 

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Matteo Berrettini won all Italian third round match against Stefano Travaglia in Italy

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Last year’s US Open champion Matteo Berrettini battled past his compatriot Stefano Travaglia 7-6 (7-5) 7-6 (7-1) in two hours and two minutes on Central Court at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in the For Italico in Rome to reach the second Masters 1000 quarter final of his career after Shanghai last year. 

 

Berrettini went up an early break in the first game to take a 3-0 lead in the opening set. Travaglia came back from one break down to win three consecutive games. Travaglia went down 0-40, but he saved all three break points to take a 3-2 lead. Both players went on serve en route to the tie-break. Berrettini got an early mini-break to win it 7-5. 

Berrettini got a break in the eighth game to take a 5-3 lead earning his chance to serve for the match. Travaglia broke back to draw level to 5-5 setting up a second tie-break. Berrettini hit his forehand into the net on his first match point at 6-5, as Travaglia was serving at 30-40. Berrettini cruised through to a 7-1 win in the tie-break. 

Berrettini and Travaglia met for the first time at ATP Tour level. Travaglia had won each of their previous three matches at Italian ITF Futures in 2015 and 2016. 

 Berrettini set up a quarter final against Norway’s 2018 Rome semifinalist Casper Ruud, who beat Marin Cilic 6-2 7-6 (8-6). Ruud got two breaks in the third and eighth games to win the first set 6-2. Cilic fended off two match points from 4-6 in the tie-break of the second set. Ruud converted his third opportunity at 7-6 when Cilic overhit a forehand.

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