WTA Abu Dhabi Daily Preview: The Singles and Doubles Semifinals - UBITENNIS
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WTA Abu Dhabi Daily Preview: The Singles and Doubles Semifinals




Maria Sakkari will return to the top 20 with a win on Tuesday (twitter.com/WTA)

Aryna Sabalenka is two matches away from her third consecutive WTA tour title.  But standing in her way in today’s semifinals is Maria Sakkari, who has defeated two Major champions over the last two days.


The other singles semifinal features two unseeded, up-and-coming youngsters, who are both looking to reach their first career WTA final.  In the doubles semifinals, the reigning US Open champions face last summer’s Lexington champions, and last year’s St. Petersburg champs take on the Australian Open singles champion and the Australian No.2, who are teaming together for the first time.

Aryna Sabalenka (4) vs. Maria Sakkari (9)

No one is hotter on tour than Sabalenka, who is on a 13-match winning streak.  This run includes wins over Victoria Azarenka, Elise Mertens, and Elena Rybakina, who she defeated yesterday in three sets.  However, no one has been more impressive this week than Sakkari, who in the last two rounds took out Sofia Kenin and Garbine Muguruza.  Against Kenin yesterday, Sakkari claimed the last 10 games, and won 24 of 31 points in the third set.  After yesterday’s match, Maria told the WTA that she connects her recent results with taking a bit of pace of her shots, as she was previously hitting too hard and struggling to control her power.  Sabalenka and Sakkari have met four times over the last 18 months, all on hard courts.  Sakkari won the first meeting two Augusts ago in Cincinnati, though Sabalenka has taken the last three.  Even though Sakkari has already defeated two top 15 players in this tournament, her power game may be outdone by that of Sabalenka’s.  While Sakkari is the better mover, overpowering an in-form Sabalenka is a tall task.

Veronika Kudermetova vs. Marta Kostyuk

Yesterday, 23-year-old Kudermetova defeated Elina Svitolina for the second consecutive time.  Impressively, the Russian is now 5-3 against top 10 opposition.  Her opposition today is currently ranked 99th in the world, but Kostyuk made a splash three years ago at the Australian Open.  The then-15-year-old came through qualifying to reach the third round in Melbourne, the youngest player to do so since Martina Hingis.  The WTA has a great profile on Kostyuk here, which outlines the pressure the Ukranian felt after achieving success at such a young age.  But after turning 18 last summer, Kostyuk is focused on letting that pressure go and focusing on the process rather than the results.  Prior to this week, Marta only had two main-draw, tour-level wins, which occurred at the 2020 US Open, where she was narrowly defeated by eventual champion Naomi Osaka.  This will be Kudermetova and Kostyuk’s first career meeting.  The 38th-ranked Kudermetova is the highest-ranked player Kostyuk has faced in this event, while Veronika has already taken down two top 10 seeds.  When vying to reach your first WTA final, experience in high-profile matches is crucial, which makes Kudermetova the favorite on Tuesday.

Other Notable Matches on Tuesday:

Hayley Carter and Luisa Stefani (8) vs. Laura Siegemund and Verz Zvonareva.  Carter and Stefani are an impressive 18-5 since last August.  Siegemund and Zvonareva won the US Open in September, which was also their first event together as a team.  They are 9-1 during their short stint together.

Shuko Aoyama and Ena Shibahara (5) vs. Sofia Kenin and Ajla Tomljanovic.  The team from Japan have now reached three semifinals in their last four events, but have not advanced farther.  Kenin and Tomljanovic have only dropped one set this week in their first tournament as a team.

Full order of play is here.

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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!





Image via https://twitter.com/atptour/

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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