Aryna Sabalenka Extends Winning Run To Set Up Showdown With Rybakina In Abu Dhabi - UBITENNIS
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Aryna Sabalenka Extends Winning Run To Set Up Showdown With Rybakina In Abu Dhabi

The 22-year-old is yet to drop a set in the tournament as she bids to win her third title in a row.




Aryna Sabalenka (image via @WTAinsider)

Aryna Sabalenka has extended her unbeaten run on the WTA Tour to 12 matches after dismissing Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur 6-2, 6-4, in the third round of the Abu Dhabi Open.


The fourth seed was unstoppable during the start of the match after racing through the opening set in less than 30 minutes by dropping just six points behind her serve. However, Jabeur proved to be more problematic in the second frame by breaking Sabalenka twice and was at one stage leading 4-2. Despite those wobbles, the world No.10 retrieved both of those breaks before claiming four straight games to turn the tides and book her place in the quarter-finals.

“It was a tough one, but what I think I did well was I didn’t give her any time to play, to make her trick shots. That’s why I think she didn’t feel really well on the court,” quoted Sabalenka as saying after. “That’s what I needed at Roland Garros. The courts were really slow there and she had the time, and it was really tricky.
“I think that was the key for today’s win.”

Sabalenka’s victory is a case of sweet revenge after losing to Jabeur at the French Open in what was her least defeat on the Tour. Since then she has won titles in Ostrava and Linz. In her latest match she won 60% of her service points but did hit twice as many unforced errors than winners (20-10).

“Yeah, I’ve won 12 matches, but tomorrow’s another day, and I’ll do everything I can to win another one. I’m not afraid of losing. This is part of our job. But I’ll try to do everything I can to keep winning.” She said.

Awaiting Sabalenka in Monday’s quarter-final will be rising star Elena Rybakina who reached five WTA finals last season, winning the Hobart Open. The Kazakh eased through her third round match in just over an hour after dismissing Daria Kasatkina 6-3, 6-4. Rybakina broke the Russian three times, including twice at the start of the second set, to seal victory.

“Rybakina, she’s a really aggressive player with a big serve. It’s going to be a really tough one,” Sabalenka commented. “I’ll just need to be ready for her serves and quick shots, stay low and move really well.”

The upcoming match will only be the second time the two have locked horns on the Tour. In their first meeting at the 2019 Wuhan Open Rybakina prevailed in three sets.

Also through to the last eight is 18-year-old Marta Kostyuk who crushed Tamara Zidanšek 6-1, 6-1. The teenager is making her debut in a WTA 500 event and it is only the second time in her career she has reached the last eight of a WTA event. She is currently ranked 99th in the world.

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(VIDEO EXCLUSIVE) Rafael Nadal Doesn’t Care How Much Pain He’s In, He Gets The Job Done

Hall of Famer Steve Flink gives his verdict on Rafael Nadal’s epic victory which might result in his withdrawal from Wimbledon!





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Matches don’t come as dramatic as the one Rafael Nadal played on Wednesday. 


The 22-time grand slam champion dealt with an abdominal injury, lost a break advantage in three sets and still managed to win after four hours of pulsating play. Awaiting him in the next round will be Nick Kyrgios if he is fit enough to play. Kyrgios dismissed Cristian Garin in straight sets in his quarter-final match. 

Flink and Ubitennis’ CEO Ubaldo Scanagatta review all the action that took place on day 10

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Injured Rafael Nadal Ousts Fritz In Wimbledon Thriller

The world No.4 is through to the semi-finals but there are new doubts over his current health.




Rafael Nadal has kept his chances of achieving a calendar slam alive by defeating American Taylor Fritz in a dramatic quarter-final match at Wimbledon where he struggled with injury. 


The second seed took a medical time out during the second set but continued to battle to a sensational 3-6, 7-5, 3-6, 7-5, 7-6(10-4), win over Fritz. Two days ago Nadal was seen wearing tape on his abdomen but refused to go into details when asked by reporters. Although it was clear that this issue is ongoing with the Spaniard crouching over a couple of times after serving in pain. 

“The body is generally fine. Of course, in the abdominal area, something is not going well. I had to find a way to serve a little bit differently,” said Nadal. “I was thinking during a lot of moments that I would not be able to finish the match but the energy (of Center Court) was something else.”

In the roller-coaster encounter, 19 breaks of serves occurred throughout the marathon match. During the gut-busting 260-minute showdown Nadal saw plenty of chances come and go. In each of the first two sets, he had a break advantage before losing them. He also failed to maintain a break advantage in the decider before coming through in the tiebreak. Nevertheless, he managed to come out on top with the help of 5 aces and 55 winners. 

“I enjoy playing these kinds of matches in front of you guys (the crowd),” the Spaniard continued. 
“It has been a tough afternoon against a great player. All the credit to Taylor, he has been playing great the whole season.’
“From my side, it was not an easy match and I am happy to be in the semifinal.”

The triumph is a bitter pill for Fritz to swallow who was bidding to become the youngest American man to reach the last four at Wimbledon since 2005. Until now he had been on an eight-match winning streak.

As for Nadal, he is through to his eighth Wimbledon semi-final and 38th at a major event. He is now 8-0 when it comes to playing quarter-final matches at the tournament.

Amid concerns over the abdomen, Nadal now has only two days to recover in time for his blockbuster showdown against the formidable Nick Kyrgios who came through his match in straight sets against Cristian Garin. Nadal leads their head-to-head 6-3 and has won their two previous meetings at SW19.  

“I hope to be ready to play it,” he said of the semi-final.
“TNick is a great player on all surfaces, especially on the grass. He’s having a great grass-court season and it’s going to be a great challenge. I need to be one hundred percent.”

At the age of 36 Nadal is seeking to reach his first Wimbledon final since 2011.

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“I Thought The Ship Had Sailed’ – Nick Kyrgios Reaches Maiden Wimbledon Semis

The 27-year-old reacts to achieving a new milestone in his career.




Nick Kyrgios (AUS) - Credit: AELTC/Jonathan Nackstrand

Nick Kyrgios has achieved his best-ever result at a Grand Slam tournament after beating Cristian Garin in straight sets in the quarter-finals at Wimbledon. 


Kyrgios, who was playing in the last eight of the tournament for the first time since 2014, rallied to a 6-4, 6-3, 7-5(5) win over his Chilean rival. Becoming the first player from his country to reach the last four of the men’s draw since Lleyton Hewitt did so back in 2005.  

”I felt I was playing on the back foot a lot. He’s a hell of a player,” Kyrgios said afterward. “He’s obviously very confident. Hell of a tournament for him to make the quarter-finals. I got lucky on a couple of break points here and there. It could have been him standing here (giving the winner’s interview).”

In what was a largely controlled match from Kyrgios, he produced a total of 17 aces alongside 35 winners against 29 unforced errors. There were the occasional outbursts and criticism of the lines officials but it was by nowhere as controversial as his previous encounters against Stefanos Tsitspas in the third round and Paul Jubb in the first.

The breakthrough comes during what has been a turbulent career. Kyrgios has been a player involved in many controversies and was at one stage issued with a suspended ban from the Tour due to unsportsmanlike conduct. However, his talent was never doubted but many were unsure if he could be consistent enough to have a deep run at a major event. He once was at a pub until 4 am on the same day he was due to play Rafael Nadal at Wimbledon.

“It was an amazing atmosphere out here (on court one). I never thought I will be in the semifinal of a grand slam. I thought my ship had sailed.” He admits. 
“I didn’t go about things earlier in my career great and I may have wasted (time).’
‘I’m really proud of the way I’ve come back out here with my team and with that performance.”

As one of the few top 100 players who travel without a coach, Kyrgios paid tribute to those around him. 

“I don’t have a coach I would never put that burden on someone,” he jokes.
“Each and every one of my team plays an important role. I feel like nobody knows my tennis better than I do. I’ve been playing this sport since I was seven and to be in the semi-final of a slam I am pretty happy.”  

Kyrgios is the lowest-ranked Wimbledon semi-finalist since 2008.

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