Karolina Muchova Stuns Top Seed Ash Barty At Australian Open - UBITENNIS
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Karolina Muchova Stuns Top Seed Ash Barty At Australian Open

The Czech world No.27 has sent shockwaves through the tennis world by upsetting the world number one and home favourite.

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Image via https://twitter.com/AustralianOpen

Karolina Muchova has done it again after beating the number six seed Karolina Pliskova on Saturday, she has knocked out world number one Ash Barty in her own background with a three set comeback 1-6, 6-3, 6-2. Muchova hit 17 winners while Barty only won a mere 54% of her points on her first serve.

A fast start for the Aussie

After holding serve in the opening service game the world number one went on the attack and managed to get two early break points as the Czech seemed to get off to a slow start.

Barty would get the first break of the match sealing it with a sizzling forehand down the line winner to take an early 2-0 lead. After holding to consolidate the break she kept the momentum going and got another break when the number 25 seed served a double fault for a 4-0 lead.

The Aussie would serve out the first set to take it 6-1 in only 24 minutes and it looked like she was in no mood to mess around.

Cue the comeback

Once again it seemed like world number one was unstoppable and earned early breakpoints off some poor errors from the Czech and got the break to lead 2-0.

At 2-1 the world number 27 called for the trainer and they took her with the tournament doctor and went off court which paused the match for around 8-9 minutes.

The medical timeout seemed to do wonders for Muchova who would get her first breakpoints of the match and break the Aussie to go back on serve at 2-2.

Barty was made to work in the next game saving two more breakpoints from the Czech who seemed to be playing better while the break seemed to have caused the world number one to lose her momentum.

The very next game at 3-3 it was the Aussie turn to earn breakpoints but the number 25 seed did a good job saving them winning some amazing rallies with her powerful groundstrokes which we didn’t see in the first set.

Once again the following service game the Czech came out firing and earned four breakpoints before eventually breaking the world number one to take 5-3 lead and serve out the second set to send it to a decider.

Muchova finishes strong

Fresh off winning the second set, the momentum was firmly with the Czech she earned three breakpoints in the first game of the third set thanks in large part to a great winner.

She would break Barty to take the early 1-0 lead and the following game saved two breakpoints from the Aussie before holding serve. At 4-2 the world number 27 had three chances to earn a double break and it was third time lucky for her as the world number one would send a ball into the net.

Muchova would serve out the match to take it in three sets and book her spot in her first ever grand slam semi final. After-the match in a on court interview she spoke about the match and clarified what the issue was during the medical time out.

“Ya I started to feel a bit lost by the end of the first set, Ash started very good she played almost like no mistakes it was tough and I was a bit lost on the court, my head was spinning so I took a break and it helped me, I tried to get back and play faster rally so we don’t play that long and it worked well”.

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Maria Sakkari Appoints Witt As Coach For American Swing

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Maria Sakkari - WTA Washington 2023 (foto Twitter @mubadalacitidc)

Maria Sakkari has enlisted the help of Jessica Pegula’s former long-time coach in a bid to regain her form on the Tour. 

Greek media has confirmed that the world No.9 has begun a partnership with David Witt, who has also previously coached Venus Williams. Witt had worked with Pegula since 2019 before the tennis star decided to end their collaboration earlier this year. During their time together he oversaw the American win two WTA 1000 events, reached the quarter-final of a grand Slam on six occasions and peaked at a ranking high of No.3. 

Sakkari’s appointment comes after she ended her six-year working relationship with Tom Hill. Highlights of their partnership include winning two Tour titles, reaching a Grand Slam semi-final twice and spending more than two years in the top 10. 

“Tom, thank you for all the emotions, the support on and off the court, and the belief you had in me since day one,” Sakkari wrote on Instagram last month. “We grew together, and you helped me realize that everything is possible.

“Not only did you make me a better tennis player, but you also made me a better person. Thank you for always wanting the best for me and for always having my back! Good luck on the next chapter in your career.”

Sakkari is looking to get back on track after what has been a disappointing start to 2024. She had won just two matches in her first four singles tournaments played and is yet to face an opponent ranked in the world’s top 20. However, she faired better at the United Cup, where she won three matches in the team event, including victories over Lelylah Fernandez and Angelique Kerber. 

It is understood that Sakkari will be working with Witt at both Indian Wells and Miami. If their partnership is successful, it could be extended further into the clay swing. The other members of her team will remain in the same roles. 

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Ugo Humbert saves three match points to beat Hubert Hurkacz in Dubai

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Fifth-seed Ugo Humbert came back from one set down to beat Hubert Hurkacz 3-6 7-6 (10-8) 6-3. Humbert had beaten Hurkacz en route to his title in Marseille. 

Hurkacz converted his third break point in the fourth game to win the first set 6-3. Humbert saved three match points in the tie-break of the second set before converting his first set point to force the match to the decider. Humbert broke twice to seal the third set 6-3. 

“It was a great battle. I tried to battle for every point. In the tie-break I saved three match points, tried to do my best and thanks to those French fans for the amazing support”, said Humbert. 

Humbert set up a semifinal match against Danil Medvedev, who beats Alejandro Davidovich Fokina 6-2 6-3. Humbert leads 2-1 in their head-to-head matches, but Medvedev won their most recent match in three sets at the China Open in their most recent head-to-head match in Beijing last year.

“It’s going to be a great challenge against Danil tomorrow. We had a few great fights. Hopefully I will recover well to be ready for this match”, said Humbert. 

Aleksander Bublik was leading Jiri Lehecka 6-4 4-1 when the Czech player was forced to retire due to an injury. Bublik set up a match against Andrey Rublev, who was leading Sebastian Korda 6-4 4-3  when the Czech player withdrew due to injury. 

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Brazilian Rising Star Joao Fonseca Waives College Eligibility To Turn Pro

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

One of Brazil’s most promising young tennis players has made the bold decision to abandon a dream of his to play college tennis in America to turn pro. 

17-year-old Jaoao Fonseca was committed to playing college tennis at the University of Virginia but says professional tennis has called him in a way he couldn’t refuse. The rising star has played just two Tour-level events so far in his career and is currently ranked 343rd in the world. 

At last week’s Rio Open, he became the second-youngest player after Alexander Zverev to reach the quarter-finals of an ATP 500 event since the category was introduced. In his home tournament, the Brazillian beat Arthur Fils and Cristian Garin before losing to Mariano Navone.

“It was an incredibly tough decision for me and my family as I have been dreaming about living a college life in Charlottesville, playing the sport that l love with a wonderful team and coach, but, in the last months, professional tennis called me in a way that I simply couldn’t say no,” Fonseca wrote in a statement published on Instagram
“Although I will not be attending school, I think it is an extremely valuable and viable path for young players in their way to professional careers,” he added.

Fonseca has already enjoyed success on the junior circuit. Last year he was runner-up in the doubles tournament at the Australian Open boy’s event. Then at the US Open, he won his first Grand Slam junior title in singles. He is also a former ITF Junior World No.1 and is currently ranked second in the standings. 

The youngster has already been hailed by compatriot Beatriz Haddad Maia, who is currently ranked 13th on the WTA Tour. Speaking to reporters at the San Diego Open, she has offered her support to Fonseca if he needs it. 

“João is a nice person. He has a great future, if he keeps working hard and keeps doing what he’s doing. I think he has a very aggressive mentality and tennis.” She said.

“We sometimes text each other, but not that much. But I’m always following.. not only him.. but the Brazilians. I’m proud of what he’s doing. He has a long way and he needs to understand that it’s a marathon, it’s not a 100 meter race.’
“Tennis has its ups and downs. I wish him all the best, for sure. I’ll be here whenever he wants. I’m happy with what he’s doing.” 

Fonseca played at the Chile Open this week but lost in the first round to Thiago Agustin Tirante.

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