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.

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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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Why Newly Married Elina Svitolina Has No Plans To Change Her Surname

The Ukrainian explains why she isn’t using her husband’s surname of Monfils just yet as she books her place in the third round at Tokyo 2020.

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Just over a week ago Elina Svitolina tied the knot with her long-time partner Gael Monfils at a ceremony in Geneva, Switzerland.

 

Shortly after the world No.6 took to social media and changed her name on Twitter to Elina Monfils as part of the tradition that the woman takes on the man’s name once they are married. As a consequence, various websites started to identify the Ukrainian under that name. Although she would rather that they don’t do such a thing.

“I don’t know why they changed my surname. Maybe they saw that I had changed it on my social networks,” Svitolina told BTU.
“I’m going to play as Svitolina till the very end of my professional career and will change it only after retirement.”

Svitolina explains she believes it is better if all of her achievements are made under the same name instead of two. So far in her career she has won 15 WTA titles, reached two Grand Slam semi-finals and has earned more than $20.5M in prize money.

I had numerous achievements and people know me as Svitolina. My father would be upset if I changed the surname and played as Monfils,” she joked.
“I am proud to be Svitolina and my tennis career will always be connected with this surname.”

Over the coming week the 26-year-old is hoping to add an Olympic medal to her resume. On Monday Svitolina survived a stern scare after coming back from a set down to defeat Ajla Tomljanović 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 and move into the third round of the tournament. Her win came on the day where there were shocks galore in the women’s draw with seeds Aryna Sabalenka, Iga Swiatek and Petra Kvitova all crashing out.

Svitolina will play Greece’s Maria Sakkari in the next round whom she has lost to in two out of their three previous meetings.

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Stefanos Tsitsipas ‘Happy’ To Follow In Grandfather’s Footsteps At Olympics

The Greek speaks out about carrying his family’s legacy at the Games.

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Stefanos Tsitsipas never met his grandfather but the two of them do have something in common – they are both Olympians.

 

The world No.4 has already created history in Tokyo by winning his first round match against Germany’s Philipp Kohlschreiber on Sunday to become the first male player from his country to win a singles match since 1924. Greece has won two medals at the Games but both of them were during its inaugural edition back in 1896.

Tsitsipas’ debut in Tokyo enables him to continue his family legacy of playing in the sporting extravaganza. His grandfather was Sergei Salnikov who played football for the Soviet Union during the 1950s. In 1956 Salnikov was part of the team who won Olympic gold in Melbourne. After retiring from the sport, he went on to manage the FC Spartak Moscow and the Afghanistan national team before passing away in 1984 aged 58.

“I’ve never had the opportunity to meet him. But my mom told me stories of his career and how he got it…. He kind of inspires me in a way,” said Tsitsipas. “I know what kind of athlete he was, with all the achievements and all the trophies. I’m proud of him.
“It’s something good, a legacy that is being carried on in the family. I’m happy to be the next in the family to be competing at the Olympics.”

It isn’t just a medal in the singles Tsitsipas has his eyes on, he will also be bidding for success in the mixed doubles alongside Maria Sakkari. The two previously paired up at the 2019 Hopman Cup where they finished second in their group.

“We have already played once (together), and we had great success,” Sakkari told reporters on Monday. “We know each other really well, and we are much better players two-and-a-half years later, and we are both really pumped to play together. Of course, I cannot predict that we will get a medal. We will try our best and I think we give ourselves the best chance we can.”

Tsitsipas will return to action tomorrow in the men’s singles where he will play Frances Tiafoe in the second round.

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Carlos Alcaraz becomes the youngest ever champion at ATP Tour level since Kei Nishikori in 2008

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Carlos Alcaraz beat Richard Gasquet 6-2 6-2 in the final of the Plava Laguna Croatia Open Umag becoming the youngest ever champion at ATP Tour level since 18-year-old Kei Nishikori in Delray Beach in 2008 and the youngest Spanish ATP Tour champion since RafaelNadal in Sopot 2004. 

 

Alcaraz earned his first break in the third game to take a 2-1 lead with an inside-in forehand winner and he never looked back by holding his next service games. The Spanish teenager broke serve in the third game as Gasquet made a double fault. Alcaraz converted his third break point in the fifth game to open up a 4-1 lead. Gasquet earned three break points but he was not able to convert them. 

“I had a lot of good moments in this tournament. I beat five great tennis players. I think that I grew up a lot in this tournament and  I keep a lot of experience from this tournament. It’s going to be useful for the future”, said Alcaraz. 

Gasquet was aiming to win his first ATP Tour title since s’Hertogenbosch in 2018. 

“It was tough for me to play with his full intensity. I had a tough match yesterday. It was tough, and especially with a guy like Carlos, who is playing really fast with a lot of energy and spin. He is playing unbeievable. He is only 18 and of course he had a great future and Ijust could not play at his level and his intensity”, said Gasquet. 

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