Jessica Pegula upsets Elina Svitolina to reach Aussie Open Quarterfinals - UBITENNIS
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Jessica Pegula upsets Elina Svitolina to reach Aussie Open Quarterfinals

The Buffalo, NY native is through to her first grand slam quarterfinal after earning her first top 10 win.

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image via https://twitter.com/AustralianOpen

Jessica Pegula is through to her first ever grand slam quarter-final at the Australian Open after beating the world number 5 Elina Svitolina in a tough three set battle 6-3, 3-6, 6-4. The American hit 31 winners in the match while Svitolina hit 40 unforced errors.

A quick start for the American

Both players did a good job holding serve to open the match and at 2-2 it was the American earning the first break points of the match but the world number 5 did a good job saving them with her forehand to hold serve.

The Buffalo native had two more breakpoints at at 3-3 and would break as Svitolina would serve an untimely double fault for the first break of serve of the match.

She would serve out the first set to take it 6-4 and was one set away from pulling off another stunning upset.

Svitolina comes back

The American kept the momentum going into the beginning of the second set and had another early chances to break and at the second time of asking Pegula would break with a great pointing finishing with an amazing volley winner at the net to take an early 1-0 lead.

The Ukrainian responded right away in the next game earning a breakpoint and the break didn’t last long as she broke winning an amazing rally to go back on serve at 1-1.

After holding serve the world number 5 went on the offensive and earned more breakpoints off another unforced error and would go on to break to take a 3-1 lead.

The world number 5 had chances to increase her lead when Pegula served a double fault to give her three breakpoints. She would save all three playing some outstanding tennis.

She would serve out the set to take it 6-3 and force a third and deciding set against the American.

Pegula takes the decider

Both players held serve for the first three games of the final set and at 2-1 the American had two chances to break and would break to take a 3-1 lead as she played an aggressive point finishing the point at the net with another solid volley winner.

At 4-2 the world number 5 had two more breakpoints and would ultimately break when the Buffalo native served a double fault to go back on serve. Pegula went back to work and responded immediately as she earned four more breakpoints on the Ukrainian serve and it took until the fourth that she was able to convert as Svitolina forehand went long to grab once again a 5-3 lead and serve for the match.

She would serve out the match in style as her serve was much too powerful in the final game of the match to seal her first win vs a top 10 opponent and a spot in the top 50 players in the world.

“I can’t get more confident – it is my best result yet,” Pegula said afterwards during her press conference.
“I was a little tentative in the beginning of the second, and was able to play a couple of good games at the end of the second to get the momentum into the third. I definitely felt like I was sliding off the rails a little bit.”

In the quarter-finals she will either play another American in Jennifer Brady or the Croatian Donna Vekic.

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Hubert Hurkacz Undergoes ‘Knee Procedure’ Ahead of Olympic Bid

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Poland’s top player on the ATP Tour is not giving up on his dream of winning a medal at the Olympic Games despite recently undergoing a medical procedure.

World No.7 Hubert Hurkacz suffered a knee injury during his second round clash at Wimbledon against France’s Arthur Fils. In the fourth set tiebreak of their clash, Hurkacz dived for a shot but landed badly on his knee and required on-court medical attention. He then played two more points before retiring from the match. 

In a social media post published on Wednesday, the  27-year-old confirmed he underwent a procedure on his knee earlier this week but didn’t provide any further details.  Although Hurkacz has stated his intention to play at the upcoming Olympic Games in Paris, where the tennis event will be held on the clay at Roland Garros. 

“I had a knee procedure this Monday, but I’m feeling better already and my team and are dedicating extensive time each day to the rehab process.” He wrote on Instagram. 

“It’s a dream for every athlete to represent their country at the Olympics, and I want to make sure I am fully fit and ready before making the final decision to step on court. The aim is not only to participate, but to win a medal for my country.”

So far this season Hurkacz has won 34 out of 48 matches played on the Tour. He won the Estoril Open in April and was runner-up to Jannik Sinner in Halle. 

The Olympic tennis event is scheduled to begin a week Saturday on July 27th. Poland is yet to win a medal in the event but expectations are high with women’s No.1 Iga Swiatek also taking part. 

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Krejcikova Comes Alive With Her Serve To Win 12th Grand Slam Title At Wimbledon

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image via x.com/wimbledon

It must have seemed like the whole world was against her when Barbora Krejcikova served for the match for a third time against crowd favorite Jasmine Paolini.

But Krejcikova was only going for her 12th Grand Slam title. She was well prepared.

So, she released her patented way-out-wide serve to the smallish Paolini’s backhand, and the best the Italian could do was get her racket on the ball enough to return the serve far off the court, long and wide.

ARMS UP FOR A CHAMPION

The weight of the world was gone as Krejcikova threw her arms over her head and calmly walked to the net to greet the Wimbledon runner-up.

Now, Krejcikova was half-way home to a career Grand Slam in singles. She already owns a career Grand Slam in doubles among her dozen Grand Slam titles that also include one mixed doubles Grand Slam title.

She has won the hard ones, the French Open on clay and Wimbledon on grass.

At 28 years old, anything must look possible to this 5-10 Czech.

KREJCIKOVA COMES THROUGH UNDER PRESSURE

Paolini simply was out played in a second straight Grand Slam final, on clay and on grass. Now she faces the real tests, two straight Grand Slam tournaments on hard surfaces that might not be overly friendly to the 5-4 Paolini.

But there it was, a 6-2, 2-6, 6-4 victory for Krejcikova on Wimbledon’s famed Center Court.

After what might be called a throw-away second set for Krejcikova, she came alive in the third set, pinning Paolini to the deep corners while nailing low hard-hit balls to both corners.

Krejcikova got off to 40-0 starts on her first four service games of the decisive set and ended all four with service winners to take a 5-3 lead (with the aid of the only service break of the third set). She yielded only one point in those four service games, a double fault at 40-0 that was followed by an ace.

Of course, it was the serve again that saved the day for Krejcikova and gave her set points two and three, then sealed the deal for a spot in Wimbledon history.

James Beck was the 2003 winner of the USTA National Media Award  for print media. A 1995 MBA graduate of The Citadel, he can be reached at Jamesbecktennis@gmail.com. 

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Jasmine Paolini’s Wimbledon Run Hailed By Italian Prime Minister

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The Prime Minister of Italy has praised Jasmine Paolini for lighting up the hearts of others during her Wimbledon run. 

Paolini missed out on her first Grand Slam title to Barbora Krejcikova, who prevailed in three sets to capture her second major trophy. Despite her defeat, she has made history at the tournament by becoming the first female player from her country to reach the final. Until this year, she had never won a Tour-level main draw match on the grass. 

Whilst disappointed about missing out on the biggest title of her career, Italian Premier Giorgia Meloni posted a tribute to Paolini on social media just moments after the final had concluded.

“Proud of Jasmine Paolini,” The Agenzia Nazionale Stampa Associata (ANSA) quotes Meloni as saying. 

“The first Italian tennis player to reach the final of the prestigious Wimbledon tournament. 

“Despite the defeat, you lit up the hearts of the Italian people, succeeding in conveying grit and passion to all of us who supported you”. 

Paolini is the first player ranked outside the top five to reach the final of both Wimbledon and the French Open within the same year since the ranking system was introduced in 1975. She is also only the fourth female player in the Open Era to have reached her first two Grand Slam finals in the same year at Roland Garros and Wimbledon after Chris Evert (1973), Olga Morozova (1974) and Steffi Graf (1987). 

Should she win three or more matches at the US Open later this year, she will also set a new Open Era record for the most Grand Slam wins achieved by an Italian female player in a single season. 

“The last two months have been crazy for me. I want to thank my team, and my family. They always support me and I wouldn’t be here without them. The crowd have been amazing. I received a lot of support. Just incredible to feel the love from them, I enjoy it so much.” Paolini said following her Wimbledon defeat. 

The 28-year-old will rise to a ranking high of No.3 on Monday. 

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