Simona Halep Survives Scare From Garcia To Advance In Miami - UBITENNIS
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Simona Halep Survives Scare From Garcia To Advance In Miami

It was a tough day of the office for the Romanian who needed a medical timeout for treatment on her shoulder in Miami.

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Two-time Grand Slam champion Simona Halep was forced to battle back from a set down in her opening match at the Miami Open.

 

Playing in her first tournament since the Australian Open, Halep was able to overcome a slow start and a nagging shoulder to win 4-6, 6-4, 6-0, against Frances Caroline Garcia in two hours. She hit a total of 26 winners whilst her opponent produced 26 unforced errors.

“We played so many times and I always expect a tough match from her, she’s serving super well and it’s really tough to return,” said Halep.
My serve was not really strong so I was under pressure the whole match but in the second set I just relaxed a little bit, I changed the tactic, I made her move a little more to the forehand and she started to miss a little bit more and I got the confidence that I can come back”.

The number three seed had an early chance to break in the first game of the match but the Frenchwomen did a good job saving it and holding the opening service game.

At 3-2, the world number 51 who looked like she was in control of the match and earned three breakpoints set up by a stunning passing shot. She would break the following point taking the first lead of the match. That was the only break she needed and she would serve out the first set to take it in 31 minutes.

Garcia had the momentum on her side and broke the Romanian in the first game of the second set and it was clear the world number three was out of sorts and struggling. She faced three breakpoints the following game but was able to save all three to consolidate the break.

At 2-1 Halep called for the trainer and took a medical timeout to have work done on her right arm and shoulder. The Frenchwomen had a chance to go up a double break but the Romanian was up to the task of saving it and staying alive.

At 3-2 Halep earned a breakpoint and would break to go back on serve at 3-3 and the match was slowly starting to turn in the favour of the world number three. At 5-4 the Romanian earned a set point and she would take to send the match into a decider.

This time the momentum was clearly with the number three seed and she continued to get work done by the trainer at every changeover during the rest of the match. After holding the opening service game of the the third set Halep went on the offensive sensing her French opponent was starting to make more mistakes.

She would earn the first break of the set with a huge forehand to take an early 2-0 lead and after consolidating the break she would earn two more breakpoints to go up a double break.

The world number three would break once more with a great passing shot to make it 5-0 and be one game away from pulling off the comeback, she would earn a match point and seal the match and the win with a backhand down the line winner.

In her post-match press conference, Halep explained that she needed a match like this to get her feet wet going into the tournament.

” I felt in the second set I was moving better, I relax my legs and I could work more with the legs, I needed a bit of extra power with her because she is a powerful opponent and I always have to push her back.”

She also elaborated on the injury that was nagging her throughout the match with her arm and shoulder.

” I just got treatment before coming here, it is painful but it’s not that bad, only when I serve I feel it so I hope to recover until the next one.”

Halep next opponent will either be the young American Coco Gauff or the Latvian Anastasjia Sevastova in the next round.

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Caroline Garcia continues working with Juan Pablo Guzman for the 2023 season

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Caroline Garcia will continue working with Argentine coach Juan Pablo Guzman during the 2023 season. However, Guzman will not travel with the French player in every tournament. 

 

Garcia won the WTA Finals title in Fort Worth last November beating Maria Sakkari in the semifinal and Aryna Sabalenka in the final. The Lyon-based player moved up to world number 4 in the singles ranking. During her great season Garcia won the Cincinnati WTA 1000 title and lost to Ons Jabeur in the semifinals of the US Open. 

After a well-deserved holiday Garcia will continue her preparation in Dubai. She will play in an exhibition tournament there and will play against Roland Garros and US Open champion Iga Swiatek, 2021 Indian Wells champion Paula Badosa and 2022 Wimbledon winner Elena Rybakina. She will open her WTA season in Adelaide next January in the build-up to the Australian Open in Melbourne from 16 to 29 January 2023. 

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Rafael Nadal ‘Excited’ For Showdown With Alcaraz In Las Vegas 

‘The Slam: Nadal Vs. Alcaraz’ will take place in the lead-up to Indian Wells with a charity fundraising event also being held. 

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MONTE-CARLO, MONACO - APRIL 23: Rafael Nadal of Spain celebrates a point against Albert Ramos-Vinolas of Spain in the final on day eight of the Monte Carlo Rolex Masters at Monte-Carlo Sporting Club on April 23, 2017 in Monte-Carlo, Monaco. (Photo via https://newsroom.mgmresorts.com)

The current top two players in men’s tennis will lock horns in Nevada next March after agreeing to take part in an exhibition match organized by MGM Rewards. 

 

Carlos Alcaraz and Rafael Nadal will play against each other at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on March 5th which will be hosted by MGM Resorts International. The 16,800-seat multi-purpose venue has also previously hosted a series of boxing matches, as well as this year’s Grammy Awards ceremony. 

The two Spanish tennis giants will also participate in a 90-minute individual VIP clinic before taking to the court. There will also be a ‘celebrity’ doubles match which will feature both of the Bryan brothers. One of the most successful double pairings in history who have won 16 Grand Slam titles together. 

“I’m very excited for my first visit to Las Vegas, one of the most iconic and entertaining cities in the world,” Nadal said in a press release. “I’ll be playing with my fellow countryman Carlos Alcaraz who’s had an amazing year. It should be a great night of tennis at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.”

19-year-old Alcaraz is the youngest player in ATP history to achieve the year-end No.1 ranking and is viewed as the successor to 22-time major winner Nadal. The duo have clashed three times on the Tour with Nadal winning two of those meetings. Although Alcaraz was triumphant the last time they clashed at the Madrid Masters. 

“I’m honored and so happy to be sharing the court with Rafa in Las Vegas. He’s an all-time great, of course, and his records and achievements speak for themselves. Rafa also is one of the nicest guys on Tour and I look forward to our match on March 5.” Said Alcaraz.

Immediately after their match on March 5th, THE SLAM Gala will be held at Rivea and Skyfall at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. The fundraising event has been created to raise money for Nadal’s foundation, as well as the MGM Resorts Foundation and National Tennis Foundation. 

Tickets for Alcaraz’s match with Nadal will go on sale from December 9th and are priced at $75 upwards. 

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The Hopman Cup returns in 2023 in Nice

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The Hopman Cup will return in 2023 and will be held on clay court at the Lawn Tennis Club in Nice from 19th to 23rd July after Wimbledon. This tennis team tournament pairs one woman and one man from each participating country. 

 

This tournament was last staged in 2019 in Perth and had been hosted in Australia since its first edition in 1989. It was held at the beginning of the season before the Australian Open in January. 

Each match-up will feature one women’s singles match, one men’s singles match and one mixed doubles match. 

Six teams will take part at the Hopman Cup in 2023 and 2024, but the field will be expanded to eight in 2025. France will compete as a host team each year. “We are thrilled to partner with Tennium and that the Hopman Cup will return in 2023. We are already looking forward to visiting the beautiful city of Nice next July. The Hopman Cup, as a unique mixed team event, has always enjoyed a special place in the hearts of tennis fans. I am sure that spectators in Nice will relish the chance to see some of the world’s men and women players on the same court. I would like to thank our event partners, Tennium, for helping us reintroduce the Hopman Cup to the tennis calendar, and we look forward to working together over the coming months and years”, said ITF President David Heggerty.

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