Jannik Sinner: "It feels good, but the road is long" - UBITENNIS
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Jannik Sinner: “It feels good, but the road is long”

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Jannik Sinner has reached the first Masters 1000 final of his career after beating Roberto Bautista Agut in a very tight final. What makes this achievement so amazing is that Sinner is playing his third Masters 1000 main draw and the first on hard courts. 

“It feels unbelievable. It’s always tough to play against Roberto. Two weeks ago we played in Dubai. We had a tough match there. Now we played a tough match here. I am very happy about reaching the final in Miami”,said Sinner. 

Sinner will be looking to become the second Italian player to win a Masters 1000 title two years after Fabio Fognini triumphed on another Easter Sunday in Monte-Carlo. 

The 19-year-old Italian Next Gen star has become the fourth teenage player to reach the Miami final after legends André Agassi, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic. In Sunday’s final against his friend Hubert Hurkacz he could become the youngest Miami champion in the 36-year history of the US hard-court tournament. Agassi and Djokovic won this tournament as teenagers. 

Sinner was ranked world number 322 two years ago and is now close to breaking into the top 20 if he wins the Miami final against Hurkacz, who was Sinner’s doubles partner in Dubai earlier this year. The young Italian is more focused on continuing his development rather than being distracted by the attention of the media, who predict him a future as world number 1. 

“It feels great obviously, but as I always say, I am 19. The road to have this big name is long. It’s not done in one week or tournament. It’s a long process to come there. I think it’s nice to play in the final here in Miami, but it doesn’t mean anything, that you are going to win other tournaments. The road is long. I felt well from the beginning of the week on court. Obviously it’s a great result, but first I have one more match in front of me. I know it. My team knows that. Often my coaches put me in situations that I don’t like, where I struggle, because this is the only way to learn. When you train even if you are concentrated, you know that there is nothing to lose while in the game you have to stay there, find solutions, stay focused.”, said Sinner. 

Sinner has been guided by Riccardo Piatti since he deciced to move to Bordighera at the age of 13 to train at the Piatti Tennic Centre at the age of 13. Piatti, who also coached Novak Djokovic in the early stages of his career and Ivan Ljubicic, Renzo Furlan, Cristiano Caratti and Omar Camporese, Richard Gasquet and Borna Coric, thinks that Sinner is just at the beginning of a long road. 

“A tennis player becomes a professional after playing at least 150 matches on the circuit. Jannik is over a third of the way”, said Piatti. 

Sinner inherited the work’s ethic from his father Johan, who works as chef, and his mother Siglinde, a waitress in a restaurant in Val Fiscalina in the German speaking region in Sud Tyrol. “I have it from my parents because they are working every day a simple job. They know what it means to work hard. They gave me this kind of mindset, always trying your best day after day, and trying to not lose energy during your job”, said Sinner.

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Linda Noskova cruises past Jelena Ostapenko in Stuttgart to clinch her third top 10 win

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Linda Noskova cruised past number 8 seed Jelena Ostapenko 6-3 6-1 on her debut at this tournament in just 68 minutes to reach the second round at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart.

Noskova has claimed her third top 10 win this year. She beat Iga Swiatek in the third round of the Australian Open en route to her first Grand Slam quarter final and Maria Sakkari in Doha. 

Noskova raced out to a 5-1 lead with two breaks of serve in the first and third games. Ostapenko pulled one break back in the eighth game for 3-5. Noskova earned three set points in the ninth game with a return winner and converted her first chance to clinch the first set 6-3. 

Noskova broke twice in the second and fourth games to cruise through the second set 6-1. 

Noskova converted all her five break points. 

Marketa Vondrousova beat Donna Vekic 6-4 6-3 in 1 hour and 26 minutes to reach the second round. The reigning Wimbledon champion converted four of her eight break points. 

Vondrousova went down 2-4 down in the first round, but she came back by winning four games to clinch the first set 6-4. Vondrousova broke in the fourth game of the second set to take a 3-1 lead. The Czech player earned three game points to lead 4-1, but Vekic pulled back on serve at 3-2 with a passing winner. Vondrousova earned another break to take a 5-3 lead after a drop-shot misfire by Vekic and served out the win with two consecutive aces. Vondrousova now leads 2-1 in her head-to-head matches against Vekic. 

Elise Mertens overcame Tatjana Maria 6-1 4-6 6-0 to set up the first clash of her career against world number 1 Iga Swiatek. 

“At the age of 22, it’s unbelievable what Swiatek has already achieved. Definitely in the future, she will achieve a lot more. She is a bit like an all-court, all-around player, so you don’t really find a lot of weaknesses. That’s why she is world number 1”, said Mertens. 

This year’s Abu Dhabi champion Jasmine Paolini cruised past her doubles partner Sara Errani 6-1 6-0 with three breaks of serve in each set. 

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Rafael Nadal makes a winning come-back against Flavio Cobolli in Barcelona

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Rafael Nadal made a winning come-back by beating Italy’s Flavio Cobolli 6-2 6-3 in 1 hour and 26 minutes at the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell. The twelve-time Barcelona champion won his third match this year. 

Nadal is playing just his second tournament of the year and his first since last January, when he reached the quarter final in Brisbane. 

Nadal converted two of his eight break points and held four service games in the first set. The Spaniard held serve from 0-30 down in the first set. Cobolli faced two break points in the fourth game and saved them. The Italian player wasted a game point and was broken on Nadal’s third break point after a backhand error. Nadal consolidated the break by holding serve with a service winner to take a 4-1 lead. Cobolli faced four break points in the sixth game, but he saved three of these break points with service winners and held serve with a powerful serve to reduce the gap to 2-4. Nadal held serve at love in the seventh game with a service winner.

Cobolli missed a game point after Nadal’s backhand crosscourt winner, as he was serving to stay in the set in the eighth game. Nadal earned a set point after a forehand error from Cobolli and converted it, when the Italian player netted a forehand. 

Cobolli earned his first break point in the opening game of the second set. Nadal fended it off with a drop shot winner to hold serve after Cobolli’s forehand error. 

Nadal earned two break points, as Cobolli netted a backhand in the second game. The home star converted his break point to open up a 2-0 lead, as Cobolli hit a forehand long. Cobolli broke back in the third game after Nadal made a backhand error. 

Nadal broke serve again in the fourth game to open up a 3-1 lead, when Cobolli made a double fault. The former world number 1 player held his service game with a service winner in the fifth game to open up a 4-1 lead. 

Cobolli held serve to love in the sixth game with a forehand winner to reduce the gap to 2-4. Nadal held serve in the seventh game after a forehand error from Cobolli to open up a 5-2 lead forcing the Italian player to serve  to stay in the match. Cobolli held at love to cut the deficit to 3-5. 

Nadal served out the win with a hold at 15 after Cobolli’s backhand error. Cobolli made 41 unforced errors, including 27 in the opening set. 

Nadal set up a second round match against Alex De Minaur. The 92-time titlist leads 3-1 in his four head-to-head matches against his Australian opponent. 

“Every time it is more difficult and especially when you are at an advanced age. It makes things even tougher. I am going through tough moments but at the same time, when I am able to be on Tour for a few days and practise with the guys then be able to compete a little bit, it means a lot to me. It’s still enjoyable enough to keep going. I am happy to start with a victory without a doubt”, said Nadal.

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Rising Star Mirra Andreeva Teams Up With Wimbledon Champion Martinez

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Mirra Andreeva – Australian Open 2024 (foto: X @WTA)

Teenage sensation Mirra Andreeva has begun working with a former Grand Slam champion on a trial basis ahead of the French Open.

The 16-year-old has linked up with Conchita Martinez, who is overseeing her run at this week’s Rouen Open in France. Martinez peaked at a ranking high of No.2 during her career and won 33 WTA titles. After retiring from the sport, she has coached Garbine Muguruza and Karolina Pliskova. 

Andreeva’s latest partnership was formed with the help of her agent ‘two or three weeks ago.’ According to the WTA website, their practice week went well and now they are testing working together during a tournament. 

“So far, so good,” said Andreeva“I like it, I hope she likes it too. We will see how it will go and then we will decide about our next tournaments. I cannot say there are special aspects we are working on. But the first thing we worked on was my slice, because she was a good slicer. So she told me some tricks, and I’m trying to use it when I have time and a good possibility on court.”

Andreeva is currently ranked 43rd in the world and is the youngest player in the top 100. She has already reached the fourth round of both Wimbledon and the Australian Open but is yet to win a WTA title. So far this year the Russian’s best result was a quarter-final appearance at the Brisbane International. 

Martinez, who also reached the last 16 of a major at the age of 16, spoke about the teenager with Ubitennis during last year’s Wimbledon Championships. At the time she pointed out that consistency is key for the youngster.

“The most important thing is that she keeps practising and focusing on what she has to do to get better. It’s great what she is doing now but she has to maintain it,” she commented.

Andreeva kicked off her campaign in Rouen with a 6-1, 6-3, win over Nadia Podoroska. 

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