Stefanos Tsitsipas reaches the third round at Roland Garros for the second year in a row - UBITENNIS
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Stefanos Tsitsipas reaches the third round at Roland Garros for the second year in a row

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Stefanos Tsitsipas cruised past Uruguay’s Pablo Cuevas 6-1 6-4 6-2 in 1 hour and 28 minutes to reach the third round at Roland Garros for the second year in a row. 

 

Tsitsipas dropped just four first serve points and dropped his serve just once. The Greek player hit 26 winners to 18 unforced errors. 

The 2019 ATP Finals champion broke twice in a row in the second and fourth games to win the first set 6-1. Tsitsipas earned an early break in the opening game of the second set. Cuevas broke back at love to draw level to 3-3. Tsitsipas converted his fourth break point in the seventh game to take a 4-3. Cuevas fended off five set points and held his serve in the ninth game. Tsitsipas served out the second set at 30. 

Tsitsipas broke twice in the first and third games and held his next service games to win the third set 6-2. For the Athens player it was a much easier match compared to the first round, where he came back from two sets down in his hard-fought win over Jaume Munar. 

Tsitsipas leads 4-0 in his head-to-head matches against Cuevas. Last week the Greek star won their previous clash 7-5 6-4 in Hamburg. Tsitsipas set up a third round match against Aljaz Bedene, who edged past Nikola Milojevic 7-5 2-6 6-1 7-6 (7-4) after 2 hours and 54 minutes. 

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Lleyton Hewitt ‘Hugely Honoured’ To Be Elected To Hall Of Fame

The class of 2021 have been confirmed with The Original 9 of women’s tennis also being inducted.

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Former world No.1 Lleyton Hewitt celebrated his 40th birthday by being notified that he will be inducted into the prestigious Tennis Hall of Fame.

 

The Australian tennis star will be inducted into the player category after coming in first place in a vote by tennis fans that took place last year and being selected by the official voting group of media, historians and Hall of Famers. Hewitt was one of five candidates up for the vote. He is the first person from his country to enter the Hall of Fame since wheelchair tennis player David Hall did so in 2015.

Hewitt played in 46 ATP finals during his career in which he won 30 titles. In the Grand Slams he defeated Pete Sampras at the 2001 US Open to clinch his maiden major trophy. In the following year he triumphed at the Wimbledon Championships. It was during 2001 when he topped the ATP rankings at the age of 20 to become the youngest player to ever do so since the system was implemented in 1973. A record that he still holds this present day. Hewitt spent a total of 80 weeks as world No.1 which is 10 times longer than John Newcombe, who is the only other Australian man to have held the top spot for multiple weeks.

“The Hall of Famers are people who I admired so much throughout my career – especially people like [Tony] Roche and [John] Newcombe and Rod [Laver] and so many others,” Hewitt said in a statement. “They were all motivating factors in my career and to be recognised alongside them in tennis history is an incredible honour.”

In the Davis Cup Hewitt was instrumental in helping his country win two titles. He holds the Australian Davis Cup record for most ties played (43), most years played (19) and the most total wins in the competition (59). After retiring from the sport he became captain of the team.

“It’s a pleasure to welcome these tennis greats into the International Tennis Hall of Fame,” Hall of Fame President Stan Smith said. “Lleyton Hewitt always competed hard until the last ball was hit, and this is very apparent in the Hall of Fame resume he built, which includes a Wimbledon trophy, a US Open trophy, two Davis Cups, and being World No. 1.”

Original 9 also receive recognition

Also inducted into the class of 2021 are the Original 9 who played a pivotal role in the formation of women’s tennis. The group, who are the first to make the hall of fame, made history in 1970 after signing $1 contracts with Gladys Heldman to take part in a tournament. At the time both playing opportunities and prize money for women were significantly different to that of their male counterparts. The event led to the formation of the Virginia Slims Circuit and then to the birth of the WTA Tour.

“The Original 9 were true trailblazers in tennis history,” said Smith. “It took a lot of courage to do what they did, and we have today’s incredible WTA Tour to thank for it, as well as opportunities for women in so many other sports.”

The members of the Original 9 are Peaches Bartkowicz, Rosie Casals, Julie Heldman, Billie Jean King, Kristy Pigeon, Nancy Richey, Valerie Ziegenfuss, Judy Tegart Dalton and Kerry Melville Reid.

Finally, tennis coach Dennis Van der Meer will be inducted into the Hall of Fame posthumously after passing away in 2019.

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Ugo Humbert saves three match points to beat Tallon Griekspoor in Montpellier

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Ugo Humbert came back from one set down to beat Tallon Griekspoor 6-7 (4-7) 7-6 (7-5) 7-6 (7-5) after 2 hours and 50 minutes at the Open Sud de France in Montpellier in his first match since he was not able to convert two match points against Nick Kyrgios at the Australian Open. Humbert saved three match points

 

The first set went on serve with no break points en route to the tie-break. Griekspoor earned two mini-breaks in the tie-break to open up a 6-2 lead. Humbert saved two set points, but Griekspoor converted his third chance to win the first set 7-4. 

Griekspoor earned a break in the sixth game of the second set and held serve at love to build up a 5-2 lead. The Dutch player wasted three match points, as he was serving at 5-3. Humbert broke back before winning the second-set tie-break 7-5 to force the match to the third set. 

Both players stayed neck and neck in the third set, which came down to the tie-break with no breaks of serve. Humbert claimed seven of the next ten points from 0-2 down to win the tie-break 7-5. 

“It was tough today. Griekspoor played a great level. I tried to stay combative. It was tough. We played three tie-breaks and I am super happy to win this match”, said Humbert. 

David Goffin rallied from one set down to beat Benjamin Bonzi 4-6 6-4 7-5. Goffin saved 14 of the 19 break points he faced and broke serve six times to set up a quarter final match against Lorenzo Sonego. The opening set started with three consecutive breaks. Goffin broke twice to take a 3-1 lead. Bonzi broke back in the sixth game to draw level to 3-3. Bonzi converted his fourth break point in the 10th game to seal the first set 6-4. 

Goffin went up a double break to race out to a 4-0 lead. Bonzi pulled one break back to claw his way back to 3-5 but Goffin served out the second set at love in the 10th game. Goffin converted his third break point to open up a 4-2 lead. Bonzi broke back at love in the eighth game to draw level to 4-4. Goffin got a late break in the 11th game to close out the match. 

“This is what I needed, a fight like this to finish with the win no matter what. I was fighting from the start until the end and I am happy that finally I won a good fight”, said Goffin.

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Former Tennis Star Reveals 2016 Retirement Was Linked To 18-Month Ban

The former world No.66 says she was suspended from the sport after engaging in a fight with another player following one of her matches.

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Ekaterina Bychkova (image via Wikicommons)

A top 100 player who stunned Svetlana Kuznetsova in the first round of the 2005 US Open when she was the defending champion has made a shock revelation about the reason why she retired from the sport.

 

Ekaterina Bychkova, who peaked at a ranking high of 66th in her career, was a familiar face on the women’s Tour that played in 15 Grand Slam main draws between 2005-2011. During her career, she won 10 ITF singles titles and five in the doubles. She hung up her racket in 2016 after playing one qualifying match in St Petersburg but the decision to retire wasn’t entirely her choice.

In a recent interview Bychkova revealed for the first time she was slammed with a 18-month suspension from the sport after engaging in a fight with another player. The incident took place following her match against Slovakia’s Kristina Kucova at an ITF $100,000 event in Nanjing, China.

“In the third set Kuchova began to suffer from convulsions (cramps). But according to the rules, you cannot call a doctor for convulsions and you cannot lie on the court for five minutes. However, she lay on the court for several minutes, then the supervisor came, who said that it was not a seizure, which means that a break was needed. He clearly sympathized with her,” she said during an interview with website Bookmaker Ratings.
“Kuchova returned to the match and immediately began to serve powerfully, kick the ball and move well. She was released psychologically, but on the contrary, I was shackled.”

A furious Bychkova ended up losing the first round match 7-5, 6-7(1), 3-6, to Kucova who is currently ranked 149th in the world. Although the incident between the two players didn’t take place on the court. It occurred later on that day when they crossed paths again.

“I was asked to take a walk for 20-30 minutes. Suddenly this beauty floats past me, cheerful. I broke down and started a fight,” she said.
“Two days later, the supervisor announced to me that our fight was on camera. It was a hostel on the court grounds, not an official hotel, and in fact the fight did not take place on the territory of the tournament.”

Reflecting on her actions, which was caught on CCTV, the Russian says they were in no way justifiable and she regrets how she reacted. Not only did she end up with a 18-month ban from the sport, she was also fined $3,150.

At the time Bychkova said she had the option to appeal the decision but opted not to do so because she didn’t want to go through the process of hiring lawyers and travelling to London for an ITF hearing. Claiming that the fight didn’t actually occur on the tournament site but at a hostel located on the surrounding grounds. She also said her decision to not to appeal was because she was ‘tired of tennis.’

Now at the age of 35 she has decided to give playing professional tennis another go. This week she played her first match in five years at an ITF event in Moscow where she lost in the first round to world No.611 Anastasia Tikhonova.

There has been no public comment from Kucova regarding Bychkova’s account of what happened in China.

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