Simona Halep Has ‘Gut Feeling’ She Will Miss The US Open, Says Coach - UBITENNIS
Connect with us

Latest news

Simona Halep Has ‘Gut Feeling’ She Will Miss The US Open, Says Coach

Darren Cahill has given the biggest hint yet on Sunday that the world No.2 will not be travelling to New York this year.



The chances of world No.2 Simona Halep playing at this year’s US Open are looking increasingly unlikely following fresh comments from her coach Darren Cahill.

The reigning Wimbledon champion is currently the only top 10 player on the WTA Tour who is yet to formally announce her plans for the Grand Slam, which will begin in only two weeks time. This year’s tournament is taking place behind closed doors due to the COVID-19 pandemic with players being kept inside a bubble. America has recorded more than 166,000 deaths related to the virus. Upon attending, those playing will have to sign a waiver saying that they will not sue if they contract the virus. Furthermore, players who opt to stay in private accommodation are expected to pay for 24-hour security.

Shedding some light on the situation, coach Darren Cahill told Nine’s World Wide of Sports that he is yet to be given a definite decision from Halep concerning the US Open but it is doubtful. The Romanian returned to action this week at the Prague Open where she has reached the final. It is her first professional tournament since February.

“I did ask her before Prague started and her gut feeling that she wasn’t going to play (the US Open) but she wanted to play this tournament,” Cahill said on Sunday.
“It was the first one coming back from COVID restrictions and she wanted to see how she felt. It’s a short flight from Romania to Prague, but there is a big difference flying to New York.”

Cahill, who took a break from working with Halep in 2019 to spend time with his family, points out that the cautious approach from the two-time Grand Slam winner is not unusual. Referring to her decision to withdraw from the 2016 Olympic Games due to the threat of the Zika Virus.

She didn’t pick up a racket for maybe four to six weeks as soon as the COVID restrictions came in early March. She went home and stayed in her house,” he said.
“Remember also four years ago Simona missed the Olympics because she was worried about the Zika virus. She is very careful about this stuff.”

Thanks to the use of technology Cahill has still managed to keep updated with the progress of Halep during the pandemic. Even though he is currently across the Atlantic residing in America. A former top 30 player in singles, Cahill had also previously worked with the likes of Lleyton Hewitt and Andre Agassi.

“We put a playsight camera in place so I could watch all of her practice sessions for the last two to three months,” he explained.
“I got a good feeling about how she is playing but you never know until she gets on the court. I’m doing a lot of coaching via video and telephone, but not much has changed.”

Should Halep withdraw from the US Open there will be more WTA top 10 players missing the event than those playing. On Saturday Switzerland’s Belinda Bencic became the fifth top 10 member to pull out after writing on Twitter “I have made the difficult decision to skip the US swing in New York and will return to the starting tour in Rome next month.” The announcement means that three out of the four 2019 US Open semi-finalists will not be playing with Serena Williams being the exception.

The US Open will start on August 31st.

List of official US Open withdrawals

1 Ash Barty AUS
5 Elina Svitolina UKR
6 Bianca Andreescu CAN
7 Kiki Bertens NED
8 Belinda Bencic SWI
29 Qiang Wang CHN
30 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova RUS
31 Barbora Strycova CZE
32 Svetlana Kuznetsova RUS
34 Saisai Zheng CHN
38 Julia Goerges GER
44 Fiona Ferro FRA
75 Lin Zhu CHN
85 Anastasia Potapova RUS
92 Ana Bogdan ROM
97 Sam Stosur AUS
103 Shuai Peng CHN
108 Xiyu Wang CHN
118 Barbora Krejcikova CZ

Latest news

Maria Sakkari Appoints Witt As Coach For American Swing



Maria Sakkari - WTA Washington 2023 (foto Twitter @mubadalacitidc)

Maria Sakkari has enlisted the help of Jessica Pegula’s former long-time coach in a bid to regain her form on the Tour. 

Greek media has confirmed that the world No.9 has begun a partnership with David Witt, who has also previously coached Venus Williams. Witt had worked with Pegula since 2019 before the tennis star decided to end their collaboration earlier this year. During their time together he oversaw the American win two WTA 1000 events, reached the quarter-final of a grand Slam on six occasions and peaked at a ranking high of No.3. 

Sakkari’s appointment comes after she ended her six-year working relationship with Tom Hill. Highlights of their partnership include winning two Tour titles, reaching a Grand Slam semi-final twice and spending more than two years in the top 10. 

“Tom, thank you for all the emotions, the support on and off the court, and the belief you had in me since day one,” Sakkari wrote on Instagram last month. “We grew together, and you helped me realize that everything is possible.

“Not only did you make me a better tennis player, but you also made me a better person. Thank you for always wanting the best for me and for always having my back! Good luck on the next chapter in your career.”

Sakkari is looking to get back on track after what has been a disappointing start to 2024. She had won just two matches in her first four singles tournaments played and is yet to face an opponent ranked in the world’s top 20. However, she faired better at the United Cup, where she won three matches in the team event, including victories over Lelylah Fernandez and Angelique Kerber. 

It is understood that Sakkari will be working with Witt at both Indian Wells and Miami. If their partnership is successful, it could be extended further into the clay swing. The other members of her team will remain in the same roles. 

Continue Reading

Latest news

Ugo Humbert saves three match points to beat Hubert Hurkacz in Dubai



Fifth-seed Ugo Humbert came back from one set down to beat Hubert Hurkacz 3-6 7-6 (10-8) 6-3. Humbert had beaten Hurkacz en route to his title in Marseille. 

Hurkacz converted his third break point in the fourth game to win the first set 6-3. Humbert saved three match points in the tie-break of the second set before converting his first set point to force the match to the decider. Humbert broke twice to seal the third set 6-3. 

“It was a great battle. I tried to battle for every point. In the tie-break I saved three match points, tried to do my best and thanks to those French fans for the amazing support”, said Humbert. 

Humbert set up a semifinal match against Danil Medvedev, who beats Alejandro Davidovich Fokina 6-2 6-3. Humbert leads 2-1 in their head-to-head matches, but Medvedev won their most recent match in three sets at the China Open in their most recent head-to-head match in Beijing last year.

“It’s going to be a great challenge against Danil tomorrow. We had a few great fights. Hopefully I will recover well to be ready for this match”, said Humbert. 

Aleksander Bublik was leading Jiri Lehecka 6-4 4-1 when the Czech player was forced to retire due to an injury. Bublik set up a match against Andrey Rublev, who was leading Sebastian Korda 6-4 4-3  when the Czech player withdrew due to injury. 

Continue Reading


Brazilian Rising Star Joao Fonseca Waives College Eligibility To Turn Pro



Image via

One of Brazil’s most promising young tennis players has made the bold decision to abandon a dream of his to play college tennis in America to turn pro. 

17-year-old Jaoao Fonseca was committed to playing college tennis at the University of Virginia but says professional tennis has called him in a way he couldn’t refuse. The rising star has played just two Tour-level events so far in his career and is currently ranked 343rd in the world. 

At last week’s Rio Open, he became the second-youngest player after Alexander Zverev to reach the quarter-finals of an ATP 500 event since the category was introduced. In his home tournament, the Brazillian beat Arthur Fils and Cristian Garin before losing to Mariano Navone.

“It was an incredibly tough decision for me and my family as I have been dreaming about living a college life in Charlottesville, playing the sport that l love with a wonderful team and coach, but, in the last months, professional tennis called me in a way that I simply couldn’t say no,” Fonseca wrote in a statement published on Instagram
“Although I will not be attending school, I think it is an extremely valuable and viable path for young players in their way to professional careers,” he added.

Fonseca has already enjoyed success on the junior circuit. Last year he was runner-up in the doubles tournament at the Australian Open boy’s event. Then at the US Open, he won his first Grand Slam junior title in singles. He is also a former ITF Junior World No.1 and is currently ranked second in the standings. 

The youngster has already been hailed by compatriot Beatriz Haddad Maia, who is currently ranked 13th on the WTA Tour. Speaking to reporters at the San Diego Open, she has offered her support to Fonseca if he needs it. 

“João is a nice person. He has a great future, if he keeps working hard and keeps doing what he’s doing. I think he has a very aggressive mentality and tennis.” She said.

“We sometimes text each other, but not that much. But I’m always following.. not only him.. but the Brazilians. I’m proud of what he’s doing. He has a long way and he needs to understand that it’s a marathon, it’s not a 100 meter race.’
“Tennis has its ups and downs. I wish him all the best, for sure. I’ll be here whenever he wants. I’m happy with what he’s doing.” 

Fonseca played at the Chile Open this week but lost in the first round to Thiago Agustin Tirante.

Continue Reading