Elina Svitolina Battles Past Rogers In Miami As Keys Suffers Early Exit - UBITENNIS
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Elina Svitolina Battles Past Rogers In Miami As Keys Suffers Early Exit

Elina Svitolina battled past Shelby Rogers to progress in Miami as Madison Keys was eliminated.



Elina Svitolina (@tenis_central - Twitter)

Elina Svitolina battled past Shelby Rogers 3-6 7-5 6-3 in two and a half hours to reach the third round in Miami.

The Ukrainian has been struggling for wins and confidence recently and today she faced another tough battle as she progressed to the third round.

Svitolina will now face Ekaterina Alexandrova in round three in a repeat of their brutal match in Abu Dhabi.

However there will be no further sighting of Madison Keys as she was stunned by Croatian Ana Konjuh.

Having suffered early exits in Doha and Dubai, Svitolina was aiming to get back onto winning ways against the big-hitting Shelby Rogers.

A positive start was made by the world number five who benefitted from a slower playing surface at this year’s Miami Open as she took a 3-1 lead.

Rogers, who was known for beating the top players, took advantage of Svitolina’s vulnerability from leading positions as she increased the intensity of her shots.

Svitolina had no response to this and Rogers stormed back to take the next five games and claim the first set 6-3.

In the second set the American took the momentum as she lead by a break on two occasions before the fifth seed responded immediately.

It was a battle for Svitolina throughout the match as she attempted to use her defensive skills to redirect her shots.

A crucial break at 5-3 was quickly snuffed out by the world number 52 as Svitolina’s nerves were present.

Eventually though Svitolina’s fighting qualities were her strength as she clawed out the second set as Rogers’ produced a woeful volley at the net.

The unforced errors continued to flurry for the American with Svitolina producing more confident shot-making.

A crucial break at 4-2 was the difference as Svitolina’s transition between defensive and attacking tennis was the key.

Eventually the fifth seed served out the match in more than two and a half hours to seal a potentially big win in Svitolina’s season.

After the match, Svitolina acknowledged the tough contest today, “Yeah it was quite a tough battle for me,” Svitolina said in her press conference.

“I started quite but unfortunately didn’t hold my serve and it was a bit disappointing. Then I got distracted with my wrist pain. It was not a perfect performance but in the end I was trying to fight and put aside all the distractions that I had.”

Next for Svitolina is Ekaterina Alexandrova cruised past Roland Garros semi-finalist Nadia Podoroska 6-0 6-4.

If the Abu Dhabi clash between Svitolina and Alexandrova is to go by it should be an exhausting clash with the Ukrainian winning that match at the start of the year 6-2 6-7(5) 7-6(8).

In other results in Miami, there was a less successful performance from Madison Keys after she was knocked out by world number 338 Ana Konjuh 6-4 6-2.

The Croatian who has just returned after having four operations is looking to fulfil the potential that so many had predicted for her as she converted all five of her break point opportunities to beat the world number 19.

Meanwhile there were also comfortable victories for Belinda Bencic and Johanna Konta over Zarina Diyas and Magda Linette respectively.

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Maria Sakkari Appoints Witt As Coach For American Swing



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



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



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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