Kim Clijsters Switches Focus To Mexico In Bid To Win First Match In Comeback - UBITENNIS
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Kim Clijsters Switches Focus To Mexico In Bid To Win First Match In Comeback

The former world No.1 looks ahead to her next test on the tour.

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Kim Clijsters (image via WTA Inside Twitter)

Kim Clijsters believes she is going in the right direction in the build up to her debut at the Monterrey Open this week.

 

The four-time grand slam champion is set to play in only the second tournament of her comeback after Dubai, where she lost her opening match to Garbine Muguruza. Despite the defeat, the Belgian show glimmers of her top form in a boost to her bid to rise back to the top of the game. Prior to Dubai, she last played a competitive match at the 2012 US Open.

Clijsters’ next test will be against another potentially tricky opponent in the form of second seed Johanna Konta in Monterrey, where she has received a wild card. Although Konta, who dealt with a knee injury towards the end of last year, has endured a disappointing start to the season and is yet to win a match in 2020.

“I feel like with the tennis that I’ve been playing, I’m improving. I still have a good level in me. I’m still at the stage where I feel like I need match rhythm,” Clijsters told wtatennis.com.
“I’ve played one official match so far, and some practice sets. I would like to have more matches, and that’s the only way that I can practice certain things that you can only learn from matches.
“In practice, I’m moving better, I’m reacting better, I’m making better decisions. It has to happen in the match now. I think the more matches I get to play, the more that will improve a little bit, and we’ll see how far I can go.”

The 36-year-old is currently unranked on the WTA Tour. It is not the first time she has staged a return to the sport. She first retired back in 2007 at the age of 23 before returning two years later. So far in her career, she has won 41 WTA titles and spent a total of 20 weeks at the top of the WTA rankings.

Despite already having a well established career, the Belgian admits that she is still very much in the learning process. She is coached on the tour by Fred Hemmes Jr. A former top 200 player himself who has also previously worked with Ruben Bemelmans and the Belgian Tennis Federation.

“It’s a process. It’s a process of ups and downs, and I think that’s something you have to understand. It comes with failure, but I think it’s how you deal in the moments where it’s the toughest,” she said.
“That’s when you improve the most, when you learn the most about yourself and when you’re capable of improving. I think that was something I was always able to do well.
“When I lost in the past I was disappointed, but after a certain about of time, I was able to make that switch in my head and use it, and that’s how I was able to become better. I think it’s that kind of mindset. It’s important to not get discouraged about the losses, and use it to motivate you even more.”

This week will be the first time Clijsters have played a WTA tournament in Mexico in her entire career. After her run, she will then travel to America for the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells where she has also received a wild card to play.

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Kontaveit upsets Bianca Andreescu in Eastbourne

Anett Kontaveit knocked Bianca Andreescu out of Eastbourne.

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Anett Kontaveit (@ribella96 - Twitter)

The Estonian beat the Canadian on Center Court in straight sets in an hour and six minutes.

 

Anett Kontaveit only needed 66 minutes on Center Court to dispatch the world number seven and the third seed at the tournament Bianca Andreescu 6-3, 6-3 firing 16 winners while the Canadian hit 28 unforced errors.

“I thought I played a really good match today and I was consistent throughout the whole match and I feel like I kept my level up and played some good tennis”.

It was the world number 27 with the aggressive start earning the first breakpoint of the match in the opening game with a stunning forehand winner and on the following point ripped a forehand return winner to take a 1-0 lead.

The Canadian was keen to bounce back and earned her first breakpoint the following game with a backhand winner up the line and broke right back to go back on serve.

The Talinn, Estonia native once again responded by breaking right back and this time was able to consolidate the break until 3-2 when once again the Toronto native broke again to level the first set at 3-3.

Once again the Estonian broke Andreescu serve to take another lead and at 5-3 had two set points set up by a powerful backhand winner and took the first set 6-3 in 31 minutes.

The second set started with both players holding serve for the first three games until the 25 year old earned three more breakpoints and got the first break of the set.

After that it went back on serve until 4-2 when the Canadian once again had two chances to go back on serve and she broke when the Estonian struggled with her serve.

Again the resiliency and the determination of the Estonian kept her going and she broke right back the following game and served out the match. In her post match press conference she was asked how she was able to keep bouncing back in the face of adveristy.

“I think I am a pretty good returner and she is as well so sometimes it’s difficult when the other person so consistent hitting deep returns off your serve so I just tried to stay with it especially in the second set and she never gives up so I had to keep playing and be ready for it”.

Kontaveit will now face the Swiss player Viktorija Golubic who pulled off another upset beating the number six seed and fellow Swiss player Belinda Bencic.

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Dayana Yastremska Cleared Of Wrongdoing Over Failed Drugs Tests

The tennis has star had been provisionally suspended from the Tour since 7 January 2021.

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Ukraine’s Dayana Yastremska said she looks forward to ‘returning to her passion’ after getting her doping ban lifted with immediate effect following a hearing.

 

The former world No.21 has been sidelined from the sport with a provisional suspension after testing positive for the banned substance mesterolone which is prohibited under category S1 of the 2020 WADA Prohibited List (Anabolic Agents). The positive test came from a sample which was taken on November 24th that Yastremska argued was linked to cross-contamination. She had appealed for her provisional ban to be lifted earlier this year but was denied.

Following her official hearing on May 21st, the Independent Tribunal under the Tennis Anti-Doping Programme has concluded that the tennis star didn’t deliberately take performance enhancing drugs. In their ruling, the panel says they ‘accept’ how the substance managed to get into Yasstremska’s body. She has previously claimed to have ‘scientific evidence’ of cross contamination.

Ms. Yastremska’s provisional suspension is lifted with immediate effect, and she will not serve any period of Ineligibility for her violation. For the avoidance of doubt, Ms. Yastremska is eligible to resume competition immediately.” The ITF stated.

In a statement, Yastremska says she has struggled over the past six months with the negative comments related to her suspension from the sport. Earlier this year she flew to the Australian Open hoping to compete, but wasn’t allowed to under anti-doping rules.

“I’ve been through a lot in the last 6 months and found it difficult to deal with all the negative comments,” she wrote.
“I want to thank my family, my lawyers, my agent and the entire Top Five Management team for their continued and unwavering support. I would also like to thank my fans for the love and messages that I received during this difficult period.’
“Now I look forward to returning to my passion – tennis. It was taken away from me for too long, I can’t wait to get back on tour.”

The 21-year-old has won three WTA Premier titles so far in her career with her most recent triumph occurring at the 2019 Strasbourg Open. Her best run in a Grand Slam was two years ago at Wimbledon, where she reached the fourth round before losing to Zhang Shuai of China.

Yastremska is currently ranked 37th in the world. She has not given any details about when or where she plans to return to competitive tennis yet.

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Victoria Azarenka And Amanda Anisimova Advance In Bad Homburg

Victoria Azarenka continued her momentum towards Wimbledon.

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Victoria Azarenka (@24NewsHD - Twitter)

Victoria Azarenka and Amanda Anisimova both cruised into the second round as they prepare for Wimbledon.

 

Starting with two time grand slam champion Victoria Azarenka who enters this week after winning the doubles title with Aryna Sabalenka in Berlin.

Azarenka continued her momentum with a 7-5 6-0 win over compatriot Yuliya Hatouka.

The world number 14 struggled in rainy conditions in Germany in the first set as she was broken three times in the first set.

It was a tough start from Azarenka who couldn’t consistently blast past the world number 271.

In the end Azarenka saved some break points and broke in her following two return games to seal the opening set in 53 minutes.

However the second set was much easier as she didn’t concede a single break point and won all six games.

Azarenka will now play Alize Cornet in the second round.

Meanwhile 19 year-old Amanda Anisimova is looking for a good grass court season after crashing down to 81st in the world.

The American sealed a 6-1 7-5 win over German veteran Andrea Petkovic as she moved into the last eight.

Anisimova produced a high-quality first set as she stormed into a 4-0 lead in the opening set.

After sealing the opening set in 24 minutes, Anisimova continued the momentum by breaking in the opening game of the second set.

However Petkovic has shown good performances on a grass court in the past and she remained resilient to break back for 4-4.

Despite that setback, the American broke in the eleventh game and closed out the match to love.

Anisimova will play Angelique Kerber or Anna Blinkova next.

In other results Katerina Siniakova edged past Jessica Pegula 6-3 5-7 6-4 and will meet Laura Siegemund in the quarter-finals.

Siegemund booked her place in the last eight with a 6-2 6-2 win over Tamara Korpatsch.

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