No.1 Status Irrelevant For Ash Barty And Her Quest For First Win Of 2020 In Adelaide - UBITENNIS
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No.1 Status Irrelevant For Ash Barty And Her Quest For First Win Of 2020 In Adelaide

The grand slam winner believes she has work to do in order to become a ‘complete player.’

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Ash Barty has stated that her current place at the top of the WTA rankings doesn’t guarantee anything as she aims to reach her best form in time for the Australian Open.

 

The French Open champion will return to action in Adelaide following a disappointing start to her season in Brisbane last week. At the event the Australian crashed out of her opening match to Jennifer Brady in straight sets. A rare occurrence for Barty, who only lost her opening match in one out of 15 tournaments played last year. Not to be disheartened by her latest loss, the 23-year-old is hoping to get back on track.

“I can’t wait to start. Every match I play here will be a bonus, I’ve done my preparation well. I’ve put myself in a position to try and play my best tennis,” Barty told reporters.
“At the moment, this event is all that’s on my mind.”

Whilst Adelaide is at the top of her priorities at present, Barty is hoping the tournament will place her on a good footing heading into the Australian Open. Where she will be bidding to become the first home player to win a singles title there since 1978. Last year she reached the quarter-finals in Melbourne for the first time in her career.

Currently ranked No.1 in the world, there are high expectations for Barty to deliver in front of her home crowd. Although she is yet to win a WTA title of any sort in Australia. Last year she made $11,307,587 in prize money on the tour.

“Regardless of what number is next to my name – and whether it’s one, two, 10, 20, 50 – it’s not going to make me any more or less hungry to try and be the best that I can be,” she explained. “That is what we’re striving for every single day, to try and improve every single day and try and bring the best out of myself.
“And I have an exceptional team of people around me that help me do that and that is all we worry about – there certainly won’t be any stresses about whatever number is there.”
Having a number next to your name doesn’t guarantee anything – it doesn’t guarantee wins.
“You still have to go out there and do the work … and do your best every single match.
“And that is how I’m going to approach this week here in Adelaide; that is how I’m going to approach the Australian Open.”

Despite her rise in the sport to become one of the most formidable players in the women’s game, Barty believes she still has a way to go to reach her maximum potential. So far in her career, she has won seven WTA titles with four of those occurring during the 2019 season.

“I want to be the complete tennis player,” she states.
“… The challenge is now to continue to try and improve as a tennis player and that’s all I can really ask of myself.
“It’s going to be small improvements but improvements nonetheless every single day.”

Barty, who has a bye in the first round, will start her Adelaide campaign against Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.

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‘Another Level’ – Nick Kyrgios Praises Rising Star Jannik Sinner

This week the world No.11 is bidding to win his third consecutive indoor tournament.

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Jannik Sinner (ITA), (Erste Bank Open 2021, Wiener Stadthalle); Copyright: e-motion/Bildagentur Zolles KG/Martin Steiger

Jannik Sinner’s recent dominance when it comes to playing tennis indoors hasn’t gone unnoticed with one of his peers praising him on social media.

 

The 20-year-old defeated Reilly Opelka in the second round of the Vienna Open on Wednesday in what is his fifth consecutive win on the Tour. Impressively Sinner has now won 18 straight sets on indoor hardcourts. Last Sunday he claimed his fifth Tour title at the European Open to become the youngest ATP player to win that many ATP trophies since Novak Djokovic back in 2007.

Sinner’s achievements were highlighted on social media by journalist Ben Rothenberg who posted a tweet of the 18 sets he has won. That caught the attention of former top 20 player and two-time Grand Slam quarter-finalist Nick Kyrgios who paid his own tribute to the Italian.

“He is another level. That’s for sure, played him in Washington doubles. Never played someone who hit the ball as hard,” he wrote.

The two are yet to play against each other in singles competition. In Washington Kyrgios and Frances Tiafoe lost 4-6, 4-6, to Sinner and his partner Sebastian Korda.

Sinner’s latest win in Vienna has boosted his chances of qualifying for the Nitto ATP Finals in Turin next month. He has risen back up the standings to 10th in the race after overtaking Indian Wells champion Cameron Norrie. Norrie will play his second round match on Thursday.

“I think I had not so many chances and I used them. I think that was the key today,” Sinner said of his latest win against Opelka. “I served well. My service holds were always quite fast and good. I felt well on the baseline, so I knew when I went in a rally that somehow I was going to win the point. But it’s never easy playing against him. You never have rhythm.”

Awaiting Sinner in the next round will be Austria’s Denis Novak who is currently ranked 116th in the world and is yet to beat a top 10 player in his career.

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Andrey Rublev moves past Ilya Ivashka to reach the quarter finals in St. Petersburg

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Andrey Rublev overcame Ilya Ivashka 6-4 6-4 after 1 hour and 39 minutes to advance to the quarter finals for the third time in his career in St. Petersburg Open. 

 

Rublev fended off all seven break points and earned two breaks in the seventh game of the first set and in the third game of the second set. The Moscow native player fired 10 aces and won 84 % of his first service points. 

The eight-time titlist is aiming to win his third career title on home soil after his previous titles in Moscow 2019 and St. Petersburg 2020. 

Rublev set up a quarter final clash against either Sebastian Korda or Botic Van de Zandschulp.Karen Khachanov knocked out Adrian Mannarino 6-3 6-3 after 1 hour and 25 minutes. Khachanov will take on 2014 US Open champion Marin Cilic, who eased past Albert Ramos Vinolas 6-2 6-3 after 1 hour and 23 minutes. Cilic leads 1-0 against Khachanov in their only previous head-to-head match in Cincinnati in 2018.

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Matteo Berrettini rallies from one set down to beat Nikoloz Basilashvili in Vienna

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This year’s Wimbledon finalist Matteo Berrettini came back from one set down to beat Nikoloz Basilashvlili 6-7 (5-7 ) 6-3 6-2 after 2 hours and 5 minutes reaching the quarter final at the Erste Bank in Vienna. 

 

Berrettini saved all three break points he faced and hit 22 aces, including two on the last two points of the match. 

Number 3 seed Berrettini had won three of his previous head-to-head matches against Indian Wells finalist Basilashvili, but they met for the first time on in indoor court. Berrettini had beaten Basilashvili in Winston Salem 2018, Halle 2019 and Rome 2021. 

Both players went on serve in the first set. Berrettini saved the only break point in the second game. Basilashvili earned a mini-break to take a 3-1 lead. Berrettini pulled back on serve to draw level to 3-3. Basilashvili earned another mini-break on the 10th point to earn two set points at 6-4 and converted his second chance to win the tie-break 7-5. 

Berrettini saved a break point to hold serve at deuce in the first game of the second set. The Italian player earned a break in the second game to open up a 3-0 lead and held his next service games before closing out the second set with a double break in the ninth game. 

Berrettini went up a 3-0 lead with a break in the second game of the decider. The Queen’s tournament champion faced a break point in the seventh game after a double fault, but he saved it with an ace. He served out the third set 6-3 with his 22nd ace. Berrettini set up a quarter final match against Spanish Next Gen player Carlos Alcaraz, who beat Andy Murray 6-3 6-4.

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