Petra Kvitova loses early at Western & Southern Open - UBITENNIS
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Petra Kvitova loses early at Western & Southern Open



If you want to know how difficult it is to return to top-level tennis after six months away, just ask Petra Kvitova. The Czech, 30, was dumped out of the Western and Southern Open by younger compatriot Marie Bouzkova, who recorded a 2-6 7-5 6-2 victory.

“Petra is such a great player,” the young Czech said in her on-court interview. “Being from the Czech Republic like me, she’s an idol. I watched her so many times in Fed Cup when I was small so to get the win (against her) is amazing.”

Bouzkova also spoke about the heat, which seemed to affect Kvitova. She said, “Luckily I had a chance to practise in Florida over the last few months. It’s even hotter out there so I’m used to the heat. As the match went on, I felt better and better and I knew that Petra was struggling so I just tried to stay there.”

It is a loss that will be hard to take for the two-time Grand Slam champion. She started the match in great style as she served well and hit winners to take the first set 6-2.

Then the World No.12 began to struggle. She dropped her serve to love in the first game of the second set and continued to falter during her service games. For most of the set, she clung on. But she was eventually broken by Bouzkova in the 11th game. Then the World No.48 held her nerve to claim the set 7-5 and level the match.

Bouzkova presses advantage against weary Kvitova

After that gruelling 64-minute set, Kvitova looked very tired. She battled to 2-2 in the decider. Then she withered as Bouzkova attacked in the fifth game and eventually broke her.

The younger Czech, 22, broke again in game seven to give herself a chance to serve for the match at 5-2. However, she made a couple of errors at 40-15 to allow Kvitova into the game. Then the World No.12 dug deep to hit a couple of winners and save more match points.

Fortunately for Bouzkova, Kvitova narrowly missed with a forehand on break point. Then the World No.48 powered down an ace to earn her fifth match point. And this time she seized it with a good serve which was miscued long by the older Czech player.

It is a victory that shines a spotlight on Bouzkova’s potential. She shot up the rankings from 130 to 57 last year. Then she reached her first WTA final in Monterrey in March 2020. The young Czech has also beaten World No.15 Johanna Konta in straight sets twice this year, which is not easy to do.

In the immediate future, Bouzkova can look forward to a last-16 clash against either Anett Kontaveit or her doubles partner Jill Teichmann. If, as expected, the Czech faces the in-form Estonian, she may have to play even better than she did against Pliskova to win.

Konta breezes past Flipkens

Johanna Konta (@bbctennis on Twitter)

Elsewhere in New York, Johanna Konta thumped Kirsten Flipkens 6-2 6-0 to record a victory that was every bit as convincing as that score makes it sound.

The Brit, 29, completely dominated the Belgian from start to finish and she can now confidently look ahead to the rest of the tournament. Her next opponent will be another veteran, Vera Zvonareva, after the Russian thrashed Laura Siegemund 6-1 6-1.

It was not such a happy day for World No.27 Amanda Anisimova. She suffered a disappointing 7-5 6-2 loss to World No.83 Jessica Pegula. And the World No.28, Ekaterina Alexandrova, also departed. She was defeated 6-1 7-6(8) by experienced American Christina McHale.

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Emma Raducanu Confident Of Full Fitness Ahead Of Grass Swing



Emma Raducanu - Cincinnati 2022 (foto Twitter @cincytennis)

Emma Raducanu has no regrets about her decision to skip the French Open and now believes she is in a ‘really fit place’ ahead of Wimbledon. 

The former US Open champion opted to end her clay season earlier than other players to focus on fitness and training with her coach. Raducanu stated earlier this year that her primary focus in 2024 is on her health after undergoing a series of wrist and ankle surgeries last year which sidelined her for months. 

Raducanu will return to action this week at the Nottingham Open, which is the event where she made her WTA main draw debut back in 2021. Despite her lack of match play in recent weeks, the Brit is feeling good and relishing her return to the grass.

“Body-wise, physical-wise, I feel really healthy,” she said on Monday.
“I’ve done amazing work with my trainer over the last few months, since surgery. I’m in a really fit place. I’m healthy and just looking forward to starting playing.”

Shedding more light on her health, Raducanu says she has full confidence in her wrists and believes they are in top condition. Making her feel more at ease when playing matches on the Tour. 

“I think my wrists are actually in a better position than they ever were. So there’s zero doubt or apprehension whether I’m hitting the ball or designing my schedule,” she explained.
“It’s more about being proactive and not wanting to put yourself in any unnecessary situations. I don’t need to rush and try to win the French Open, it wasn’t my goal this year.
“I had to prioritise where I wanted to target and it was just a good block for me to get some physical work done.”

Raducanu has played seven WTA events so far this season with her best run being to the quarter-finals of the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart, where she was beaten by world No.1 Iga Swiatek. The 21-year-old is currently ranked 209th in the world. 

At the Nottingham Open, she will play her first match on Tuesday against Japanese qualifier Ena Shibahara. 

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Russian World No.78 Elina Avanesyan To Switch Nationalities



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A week after losing her fourth round match at the French Open, a government minister has confirmed that Elina Avanesyan is in the process of changing the nationality of who she plays for. 

The 21-year-old is switching her aligence from Russia to Armenia, according to Armenia’s deputy Minister of International Affairs and communication. Karen Giloyan has told the news agency Armenpress that Avanesyan will soon be representing his country. However, the tennis player has yet to comment on the matter.  Avanesyan was born in Russia but has Armenian parents.

“Elina Avanesyan will compete under the Armenian flag, but there is nothing official yet. We are waiting for her to get the citizenship of the Republic of Armenia so that everything will be official,” Giloyan told Armenpress.

Such a development would be a massive coup for the Armenian tennis federation which currently doesn’t have a player ranked inside the top 500 on either the men’s or women’s Tour. The country has a population of less than 3M. Perhaps their best-known player is Sargis Sargsian who reached the top 40 back in 2004. Others on the Tour also have Armenian heritage but don’t represent the country such as Karen Khachanov.  

Avanesyan is currently ranked 78th in the world, which is 18 places below her career high. This season, she has scored high-profile wins over Maria Sakkari at the Australian Open, Ons Jabeur in Charleston and Qinwen Zhang at the French Open. 

She has yet to play in the final of a WTA tournament.

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Iga Looks To Be In A league All to Herself At Paris

Iga Swiatek claimed her fourth Roland Garros title in Paris.



(@Eurosport - Twitter)

Just call her Iga. No other identification is needed.

As the years go by, Iga’s notoriety is sure to grow.

She’s probably already earned a spot in tennis’ Hall of Fame.

Yes, Iga Swiatek is a name to remember. A hero in her native Poland, a superstar in the world of sports.


Iga just added to her stardom Saturday with an impressive 6-2, 6-1 victory over little-known Italian Jasmine Paolini to win her third straight French Open title. This was Paolini’s chance to make a name for herself, but she didn’t have the game to make it happen.

Iga was just too good. She made it look too easy.

Paolini could hit some great ground strokes, but when she looked up a bigger shot was on its way back. Iga doesn’t look like a power hitter, but she is.


The 23-year-old Polish Wonder finished the first set winning five straight games, then started the second set winning five more games in succession. The 28-year-old Paolini didn’t seem to have a clue on how to upend Swiatek.

It took just 78 minutes for Iga to win her fifth Grand Slam title.

She’s a lot like her French Open hero, Rafa Nadal.

She takes every match seriously.


No wonder Iga owns a 35-2 record at Roland Garos. Or that she has won 21 straight matches. Or that she owns a 5-0 record in Grand Slam finals.

She only dominated opponents, except for Naomi Osaka in the second round. Swiatek escaped a match point in that one and didn’t look back.

Iga’s game should be just as superb on the green grass of upcoming Wimbledon.

James Beck was the 2003 winner of the USTA National Media Award  for print media. A 1995 MBA graduate of The Citadel, he can be reached at

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