Wimbledon Champion Simona Halep Wary About Return To Tour - UBITENNIS
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Wimbledon Champion Simona Halep Wary About Return To Tour

The world No.2 is expecting a tough time when she returns to action following the lengthy suspension of the sport due to COVID-19.

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Simona Halep has admitted that she has concerns about returning to tennis following a lengthy period away from the sport.

 

The two-time grand slam champion hasn’t played a competitive match since winning the Dubai Tennis Championships in February. All professional tennis tournaments have been suspended or cancelled since March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Officials are hoping to get the sport back on its feet during the summer but an exact return date is still to be confirmed with the US Open set to announce next month if their tournament will go ahead or not.

Spending her lockdown in Romania, Halep is expecting a tough time when she returns to action due to having a lack of match play. To fill the void, some top 10 players have entered into domestic tournaments. Both Petra Kvitova and Karolina Pliskova are playing tournaments in the Czech Republic. Meanwhile, Elina Svitolina is set to play in a behind the doors event in Berlin in July. Halep is yet to publicly commit to playing any such event.

“My longest break before the lockdown has been of 3-4 weeks and [returning to competitions] was very difficult for me. You lose pace, you lose focus … and then physically, if you idle about for a whole week you’ve lost half a year,” news agency AGERPRES quoted the 28-year-old as saying.
“ I don’t know what others have done during this time, maybe some did training runs, maybe they did strength workouts, I don’t know, I can’t assume. But I feel it on my own skin that it will be a bit difficult for me. It matters a lot that I haven’t had official matches. You can train five hours a day for a whole year, if you are not on an official game, you’re out when you step on court … I mean, you’re not in the game at all. There’s a big difference.”

Despite her concerns, Halep’s time away from the sport has allowed her to appreciate things she wouldn’t usually have time to do due to the demanding travelling requirements of tennis. Speaking about the lockdown, she says it has enabled her to evaluate her time on the Tour as well as the future.

“I learned a lot from the two-month isolation. I realized that in the last 6 years I’ve been actually on a total lockdown,” she explains.
“It occurred to me that I have to change something in my life, in order to also develop on the emotional and personal side. The fact that I’ve been on lockdown for 6 years has helped me become world No. 1, but now, for me to have a happy life without tennis, I am slowly trying to experience new feelings, see something else.”

Halep started 2020 by winning 10 out of 12 matches played. Besides her triumph in Dubai, she also reached the semi-finals of the Australian Open before losing to Garbine Muguruza. Halep is one of four women to have already made more than $1 million in prize money this season.

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Jannik Sinner rallies from a break down to take a thrilling win over Gregore Barrere

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Jannik Sinner came back from a break down in the third set to battle past Gregore Barrere 7-6 (7-3) 6-7 (5-7) 7-5 after 2 hours and 52 minutes reaching the second round of the Open 13 Provence in Marseille. 

 

Sinner saved three break points in his first two service games. Barrere earned his first break in the seventh game to take a 4-3 lead. Sinner broke straight back to draw level to 4-4. Both player straded mini-breaks in the tie-break. Sinner earned two mini-breaks to win the tie-break 7-3. 

Sinner saved three break points in a very long seventh game in the second set. Barrere fended off a break point to hold serve in the 11th game. Barrere earned three mini-breaks to win the second tie-break 7-5. 

Sinner went up a break to take a 4-2 lead, but Barrere broke straight back to draw level to 4-4. Sinner dropped his second consecutive service game to trail 4-5. The Italian star converted his second break point to draw level to 5-5. Sinner saved two break points in the 11th game before closing out the match with a break to love in the 12th game. 

Sinner set up a second round match against Frenchman Hugo Gaston, who came back from one set down to beat Dennis Novak 3-6 6-4 6-1. 

“It was a tough match. Both of us played a high level. It was a long match. We both were quite consistent in every single part of our game and at the end of the day, in the third set, there was a little bit more pressure on both sides. He had to serve out the match. After a long match, that isn’t easy. I was a break up. In the end I am very happy about my first-round match and obviously excited to play one more match”, said Sinner. 

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Roberto Bautista Agut rallies from one set down to beat Reilly Opelka in Doha

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World number 13 Roberto Bautista Agut came back from one set down to beat US Reilly Opelka 4-6 6-3 6-4 after 2 hours and 24 minutes reaching the second round at the Qatar Exxon Mobil in Doha.

 

Bautista Agut has improved his head-to-head record to 2-1 over Opelka. The Spanish player won the Doha title in 2019. 

Opelka saved a total of three break points in the fourth and sixth game before breaking serve at 30 to take a 4-3 lead. Bautista Agut won the second set with his first break in the fourth game. 

Opelka saved three break points in the fifth game of the third set. Bautista Agut converted his second break point at deuce in the seventh game to take a 4-3 lead and served out the third set in the 10th game after saving a break point. 

“I feel very good on this court. I have a lot of good memories from 2019. I am just happy to be here again in Qatar and more happy because I played a really good match and I beat a really good opponent. I am really that I won today, now I want to to recover well for the next match”, said Bautista Agut.

Bautista Agut set up a quarter final match against Indian qualifier Ramkumar Ramanathan 6-4 6-2 after 73 minutes. Bublik finished runner-up to Alex De Minaur at the Antalya Open and to Alexei Popyrin at the Singapore Tennis Open. 

This year’s Australian Open semifinalist Aslan Karatsev cruised past wild card Mubarak Shannan Zavid 6-4 6-0 after 65 minutes. 

The Russian player made his return to Doha, where he won three qualifying round matches to secure his spot in the main draw of the Australian Open. Karatsev went on to reach his first Grand Slam semifinal in Melbourne. Karatsev won 24 of his 27 first service points and broke four times. 

Former Doha champion Richard Gasquet cruised past Blaz Rola 6-4 6-4 to win his first match of the season setting up a second round match against defending champion Andrey Rublev. 

Taylor Fritz beat last year’s Vienna finalist Lorenzo Sonego 7-6 (7-5) 6-4 to improve his head-to-head record against the Italian player to 2-1. Sonego saved two break points in the fourth game, but he was not able to convert a chance on Fritz’s serve in the ninth game. Fritz went up a 4-2 lead with a mini-break and held on his serve to win the tie-break 7-5. Sonego broke serve in the fourth game to open up a 4-1 lead. Fritz reeled off the next five games with two breaks in the seventh and ninth games to win the second set 6-4.

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Caroline Garcia beats Angelique Kerber to advance to the second round at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships

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Caroline Garcia came back from 1-4 down to beat Angelique Kerber 3-6 6-2 6-4 to advance to the second round at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships. Garcia won for the third time in her nine head-to-head matches against Kerber. 

 

Kerber made 38 unforced errors to just 9 winners. Garcia committed 16 unforced errors to 5 winners. 

Kerber went up a double break to race out to a 3-0 lead. Garcia pulled both break back to draw level to 3-3. Kerber reeled off the final three games with two consecutive breaks to win the first set 6-3. 

Garcia broke twice in a row in the fifth and seventh games to seal the second set 6-2. Kerber went up a 3-0 lead with an early break in the second game. Garcia converted her third break point chance in the seventh game and held serve to draw level to 4-4. Garcia earned a break at love in the 9th game and served out the match with three service winners. 

Garcia set up a second round match against last year’s Roland Garros quarter finalist Martina Trevisan, who repladed Victoria Azarenka after the Belarusian player withdrew from the tournament due to a back injury. 

US teenager Coco Gauff edged past Ekaterina Aleksandrova 7-6 (7-3) 2-6 7-6 (10-8) to advance to the second round.

Gauff raced out to a 4-1 lead with a break in the fourth game. Aleksandrova broke twice in the seventh and ninth games to take a 5-4 lead. Gauff pulled the break back to draw level to 5-5. Gauff earned three mini-breaks to win the tie-break 7-3. 

Both players traded breaks in the second and third games of the second set. Aleksandrova broke serve in the fourth and eighth games to win the second set 6-2. The third set started with four breaks in the first five games, as Gauff raced out to a 5-1 lead. Gauff served for the match at 5-2, 5-4 and 6-5 and held four match points at 5-4. Gauff had to save two match points in the tie-break at 6-5 and 8-7 before winning the final three points to seal the tie-break 10-8 after 2 hours and 40 minutes. 

“There were times we both could have thrown in the towel and gave up, but we both mentally fighting. I think it’s just one of those that that you are happy that it’s over, and happy that you fought through it”, said Gauff. 

Japanese wild card Misaki Doi edged past Polona Hercog 6-2 4-6 6-3.   

Ons Jabeur cruised past Katerina Siniakova 6-2 6-3 after 65 minutes to advance to the second round for the fourth time in Dubai. Siniakova had won the first five matches against Jabeur, but the Tunisian player claimed their most recent match in Doha last year. 

Jabeur converted four of her nine break points and fired 16 winners. The 2020 Australian Open quarter finalist earned the first break to open up a 3-1 lead. 

Jabeur held serve to love to race out to a 5-2 lead and converted her second set point after a double fault from Siniakova. 

Jabeur earned an early break to take a 2-0 lead at the start of the second set. Siniakova broke back in the fourth game to draw level to 2-2. Jabeur got another break to take a 4-2 lead and forced an error from Siniakova to convert her second match point to seal the win. 

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