Danielle Collins Stuns Muguruza In Late-Night Thriller - UBITENNIS
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Danielle Collins Stuns Muguruza In Late-Night Thriller

Danielle Collins shocked Garbine Muguruza 7-5 2-6 6-4 in a pulsating late-night encounter at the 2020 French Open.

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DanielleCollins (@rolandgarros on Twitter)

Danielle Collins shocked Garbine Muguruza 7-5 2-6 6-4 in a pulsating late-night encounter at the 2020 French Open.

 

The American, 26, performed well in the first set, dropped her intensity in the second set and then pounced when the Spaniard faltered in the decider.

Collins will face Ons Jabeur in the last 16. The entertaining Tunisian earned an upset of her own when she beat Aryna Sabalenka 7-6(7) 2-6 6-3.

Collins wins first-set hitting contest

The first set was very close-fought. After Muguruza secured an early break, Collins broke back to level the score at 2-2. Then for the rest of the set, both players put on an exhibition of power-hitting.

They matched each other up to 5-5. Then the American held to love to give herself a chance to swing freely against the Spaniard’s serve. She seized it with some huge strikes to wrestle the set away from Muguruza.

Although the World No.15 lost the set, she had every reason to feel puzzled about the outcome. She had a better winners to unforced errors ratio than Collins (14-8 versus 15-16) and she won most of her service games more easily than the American.

In essence, the World No.57 won the opening set courtesy of her ability to save break points with her powerful serve. Because of this, Muguruza only managed to convert one of her eight chances.

Muguruza storms back

Garbine Muguruza (@rolandgarros on Twitter)

To her immense credit, Muguruza remained completely calm and never let the destination of the first set bother her.

The Spaniard stepped out and produced a near-flawless display in the second set. She cracked 11 winners and made just four unforced errors as she broke Collins in the first and fifth games and claimed the set 6-2 in just 33 minutes.

Collins pounces as Muguruza falls away

Muguruza maintained her momentum at the start of the decider. She broke Collins in the opening game for the third consecutive set. Then she staved off two break points during a battling hold that made it 2-0.

In game three, the Spaniard hit two excellent winners to go 0-30 up on the American’s serve. Then Collins made an unforced error on break point.

Muguruza offered the World No.57 a glimmer of hope when she made some sloppy errors to hand her a break. Buoyed by this, the American began to compete more effectively, and the following three tight games were all eventually won by the server to make it 4-3 to the Spaniard.

Then Muguruza faltered again. She served poorly and Collins broke her again to level the score. And the American followed it with a hold to love to pile pressure on the Spaniard.

Surprisingly, the 2016 champion crumbled. She hit two double faults during her worst service game of the match to hand victory to the American.

Kvitova survives but Ostapenko departs

Paula Badosa (@rolandgarros on Twitter)

Petra Kvitova fought back from 5-1 down in the opening set to beat Leylah Fernandez 7-5 6-3 and book her place in the fourth round at Roland Garros for the first time since 2015.

The Czech, 30, made a host of unforced errors in the first six games. Meanwhile, the teenage Canadian, who won the junior French Open title last year, started very brightly.

Unfortunately for the 18-year-old, Kvitova drew on all her experience to storm back and take the first set. Then she won the second set relatively easily. The Czech will now face Zhang Shuai in the last 16. The Chinese player beat French wildcard 7-6(2) 7-5.

By contrast, Jelena Ostapenko turned in the kind of performance viewers have become accustomed to during her slide down the rankings.

The Latvian, 23, made 10 double faults and 43 unforced errors during 82 painful minutes on court. Accordingly, she lost 6-4 6-3 to main draw debutant Paula Badosa, who played well throughout.

It was a remarkable win for the Spaniard, 22, who had already achieved her best result at a Grand Slam by reaching the third round. She will now take on another surprise package in the last 16 in the shape of Laura Siegemund. The German upset 13th seed Petra Martic 6-7(5) 6-3 6-0.

Kenin hurries through

Sofia Kenin (@rolandgarros on Twitter)

Sofia Kenin charged into the last 16 of the French Open courtesy of a 6-2 6-0 victory over Irina Bara that took her just 72 minutes to achieve.

The American, 21, required three sets to win in rounds one and two. But she had no such trouble this time. She sealed a fourth meeting with Fiona Ferro, one of nine unseeded players in the last 16.

The Frenchwoman, 23, is enjoying comfortably the best year of her career so far. And she added another highlight when she overcame Patricia Maria Tig 7-6(7) 4-6 6-0.

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Bianca Andreescu Reunites With Former Coach Ahead Of New Season 

How will the Grand Slam champion fair on the Tour with her latest mentor?

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BIANCA ANDREESCU OF CANADA - PHOTO: ALBERTO NEVADO / MMO

Former US Open champion Bianca Andreescu has brought a familiar face back into her team as she bids to return to her best form in 2023. 

 

Andreescu, who is currently ranked 45th in the WTA rankings, has appointed Christophe Lambert as her latest coach. Lambert had been working as the performance director at Tennis New Zealand and resigned from that position to work with the former US Open champion. He had also previously worked for Tennis Canada and during that time he was a private coach for Andreescu in 2016. 

“Bianca asked me to coach her and I accepted the job. It was an offer I couldn’t refuse,” Lambert told sport.co.nz. 

Lambert, who has also spent time working with the Chinese Davis Cup team and for the British LTA, has stayed in contact with Andreescu ever since coaching her six years ago. 

“It wasn’t like every week or every month. It’s always good to have people calling you when you are up, but when she was down I was checking on her and giving her my opinion.” He said. 

Andreescu had been working with Dutch coach Sven Groeneveld for over a year before they decided to end their collaboration in October. Groeneveld has a wealth of experience in the sport after working with a series of top names, including Maria Sharapova. 

This season the former world No.4 has won 20 out of 33 matches played with her best performance being a run to the final of the Bad Homburg Open in Germany. However, her record against top 10 opposition was 2-5.

“I’m just taking it day by day, and it’s a great way to end off the year as well, just bringing back all the emotions that fire a lot in me,” Andreescu recently told reporters in Glasgow at the Billie Jean King Cup. “I think I’m going to have a great preseason. Next year I really think I can crack the top 10 again.”

Andreescu, who has been hampered by injury issues in recent years, hasn’t won a singles title of any sort since 2019. 

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Four-Time Grand Slam Winner Naomi Osaka Named In FTX Lawsuit 

The former world No.1 took an equity stake in the failed business earlier this year. 

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NAOMI OSAKA OF JAPAN - PHOTO: ALVARO DIAZ / MMO

Naomi Osaka is among a series of high-profile individuals who have been accused of using their celebrity status to promote FTX’s failed business model in a lawsuit filed against the cryptocurrency exchange. 

 

The BBC has reported that over one million people and businesses could be owed money following the collapse of FTX, according to bankruptcy filings. A week ago FTX collapsed into bankruptcy with its former boss Sam Bankman-Fried stepping down as CEO. A massive development in the financial for what was one of the largest crypto exchanges in the world that had the naming rights to a Formula One racing team as well as a sports arena in Miami.

According to the Associated Press, the company is being investigated by state and federal prosecutors over allegations it ‘invested depositors’ funds in ventures without their approval.’ In a lawsuit filed on Tuesday, it argues that celebrity backers of FTX such as Osaka should be held just as accountable as Bankman-Fried as they brought ‘instant credibility’ to the company. 

“Part of the scheme employed by the FTX Entities involved utilizing some of the biggest names in sports and entertainment — like these Defendants — to raise funds and drive American consumers to invest … pouring billions of dollars into the deceptive FTX platform to keep the whole scheme afloat,” the lawsuit said.

Osaka took an equity stake in FTX in March where she would be receiving compensation in Crypto. Signing what was described as a ‘long-term partnership’ to become a global ambassador, the tennis star aimed to draw attention to women joining the platform and she played a role in directing its content.

“We have seen the statistics about how few women are part of crypto by comparison, which kind of mirrors the inequality we see in other financial markets,” Osaka said earlier this year.

Osaka, who has won 14 out of 23 matches played this season, has not made any public statement regarding the lawsuit. NFL quarterback Tom Brady, comedian Larry David and basketball team the Golden State Warriors are also defendants in the lawsuit.

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WTA Targets New Multi-Year Deal For Its Premier Event If Agreement With China Fails

Will the WTA Finals return to Shenzhen in 2023?

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WTA CEO Steve Simon

The WTA say they are not willing to compromise their principles concerning the possibility of hosting tournaments in China next year amid uncertainty over the future of their season-ending event. 

 

Steve Simon, who is the CEO of the women’s Tour, says he is hopeful that a resolution can be found with the country but has vowed now to back down on its stance. Last year the WTA suspended tournaments in China over concerns about the safety of former player Peng Shuai who accused a former government official of sexually assaulting her. 

Shuai disappeared shortly after posting her statement on social media before returning a few weeks later with photos and videos of her being posted online by journalists linked to the government-controlled media. There are concerns that the former doubles Grand Slam champion, who has not left her country since making those allegations, is being censored by the government. The WTA wants an investigation to be conducted into the matter. 

“We’ve made a strong stand, and we stand behind that stance, and we’re not going to compromise our principles,” Simon said during an interview with The New York Times. “Clearly when we did it, we understood eyes wide open what it could mean.”
“We’re still in the same place. If they come forward with something else we should look at, of course we are open to it. But we haven’t seen it so far. I’m hopeful we do find a resolution. That’s the goal, to find the right resolution. What’s the truth? Then we can move forward.” He added. 

Simon said he is confident that Shuai is safe in Beijing but he has not been able to make any direct contact with her, despite trying to on multiple occasions. A letter reportedly written by Shuai to the WTA was posted online in 2021 saying that she wishes to be left alone. However, many have doubted the authenticity of that letter with some fearing that she wrote it under duress. 

One of the biggest impacts of the fallout has involved the prestigious WTA Finals, which is a round-robin tournament featuring the eight best-performing players over the past 12 months. In 2018 a lucrative deal was agreed that paved the way for the event to be held in Shenzhen for 10 years. However, the event was cancelled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic before the next two additions were moved elsewhere.

Whilst the WTA is optimistic about a return to Shenzhen in 2023, there are also backup plans in the works. Simon confirmed that it is no longer feasible for the WTA Finals to be held in a location for just one year. So it is likely that the tournament would be held in a city for two or more years in a row if it doesn’t return to China next season. 

“We’re not going to continue to do these one-year decisions,” he said. “It’s not sustainable. If it looks like we can’t go back to China or aren’t ready to go back, then I do think we will carve out a multiyear situation, because we need to for the business.”

The case involving Shuai isn’t the only barrier for the WTA. China’s zero-covid policy has made hosting international events in the region unfeasible and the ATP cancelled all of their events in the tournament this year due to the situation. 

This year’s WTA Finals has a prize money offering of $5M which is more than half of what was on offer at the 2019 tournament in Shenzhen ($14M). 

Simon didn’t provide any deadline for when an agreement must be reached with China must be reached before the WTA considers moving their event elsewhere once again. 

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