Jule Niemeier Continues Cinderella Run In Strasbourg - UBITENNIS
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Jule Niemeier Continues Cinderella Run In Strasbourg

The 21-year-old German is yet to break into the world’s top 200 but she is making waves in Strasbourg this week.

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image via https://twitter.com/WTA_Strasbourg

It was quarter-finals day at the International Strasbourg Open on Thursday and four matches scheduled plus one second round match that was cancelled due to the rain yesterday and one second round match needed to be finished.

First up on Center court was the Romanian Sorana Cirstea taking on the tournament number six seed Shuai Zhang from China. The world number 61 managed pull off the upset 6-2, 6-1 in dominating fashion. Even though technically this match was a second round encounter Cirstea will automatically move on to the semi finals due to the withdrawal of Bianca Andreescu.

After her match in her post match press conference Cirstea gave her thoughts on the match and how pleased she was to get a win against a seeded opponent.

“I think the beginning of the match was quite level and it was quite important and I was happy I was able to stay strong, she plays flat and deep and also I hadn’t played her in a while so I had to adjust, I think both sides on the forehand and the backhand worked quite well, I was serving good today and once I got going it was quite good”. She said.

Next on court was another second round match that was suspended due to the rain between the American Shelby Rodgers and the German qualifier Jule Niemeir. It was the German who would get the win beating Rodgers 6-4, 7-6 (6) to book her spot in the quarter-finals to be played last on center court on Thursday.

The third match on court was a battle between the number four seed Yulia Putintseva and the number eight seed Magda Linette. Linette came out on top quite comfortably in straight sets 6-3, 6-3. After her match Linette spoke about how difficult it was for her despite the comfortable scoreline.

” It just looks comfortable and it never is comfortable against Yulia (Putintseva) because you never know when she is going to get fired up again so I had to be careful, patient, and calm to to make sure that I am staying there with my tennis and choosing the right shots for the entire match so I’m really happy I managed to do that even though she started coming back in the second set”.

Barbora Krejcikova booked her spot in the semi finals on Friday beating Ekaterina Alexandrova in straight sets 7-6, 6-1 in 90 minutes. After the match she outlined the keys to winning against a tough opponent.

” Hold the serve and break her” she joked ” I know Ekaterina (Alexandrova) because we played many times, she lives in Prague and we used to play under 16 and 18 but what made the difference is I was fighting for every ball because she is very unpredictable, she was playing very well but all of a sudden she can miss a lot of balls so I think consistency was the key as well and winning the first set tiebreak calmed me down”. Said Krejcikova.

The final match on court featured the German qualifier Jule Niemeier who was playing her second match of the day playing against Aranxta Rus from the Netherlands.

Niemeier is the first qualifier to reach the quarterfinals at the International Strasbourg since 2014 when Silvia Soler Espinosa made the final before losing to Monica Puig.

The German would book her spot in the semis pulling out an impressive 6-4, 6-1 win over her Dutch opponent. After her match, she gave her thoughts on becoming the first qualifier to reach the semifinals since 2014.

” It’s always good to play a semifinal and the fact that I played qualies was to get matches and that I qualified was really good for me, I was really happy and now that I am in the semifinals it is even better”. Niemeier told reporters.

The semifinals are set and on Friday starting at 2:00pm. Sorana Cirstea will play Magda Linette and Babora Krejcikova will play Jule Nimeier.

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Emma Raducanu Finding Positives Ahead Of Eastbourne Return And ‘Pristine’ Wimbledon Experience

Emma Raducanu will play Eastbourne for the first time this week.

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Emma Raducanu is finding the positives as she looks forward to a big next few weeks.

The former US Open champion is preparing to play Wimbledon for the first time in two years.

Last year, Raducanu was undergoing multiple wrist surgeries but now the Brit returns to her home Grand Slam.

In an exclusive interview with Porsche Raducanu described Wimbledon as ‘Pristine’ as she prepares for a big two weeks at SW19, “I’m looking forward to competing at Wimbledon this year,” Raducanu explained.

“Obviously, Wimbledon is Wimbledon, and that speaks for itself, but I’m most looking forward to the stage which I missed last year and now I’m looking forward to coming back and being in a better place than I was in 2022!

“For me, it’s always about the rich history and traditions, like the pristine grass courts and iconic white dress code. It’s always the tournament that every player dreams of winning.

“The courts at Wimbledon are obviously pristine and look beautiful. The aesthetics and tradition that come with the tournament are unparalleled. Being a British player at Wimbledon is incredible, the atmosphere is hard to put into words.

“I particularly love court 1 because I feel the fans get more involved, that coupled with everything else that Wimbledon brings gives you extra motivation to perform well.”

Heading into Wimbledon, Raducanu enters the tournament with a semi-final in Nottingham and is now prepared to play in Eastbourne for the first time.

Ahead of Eastbourne, Raducanu admitted she is finding the positives in her preparation and is looking forward to her experience in Eastbourne, “Preparation has been going well thanks. I have had a good last few days training in London before Eastbourne this week so excited to get going,” Raducanu stated.

“Yes, I took a lot of positives from Nottingham. I performed well, and it showed me that my game is strong on the grass, so yes, it’s given me positivity heading into Wimbledon. Most importantly for me though at Wimbledon I feel in a place where I’m in love with the sport. Whatever happens this Wimbledon, I have full belief in myself for the years to come too.

“I’ve never played in Eastbourne, it’s on the water which I like, minus the wind maybe and it’s another home tournament where I get to play in front of a home crowd! That’s the best part.”

Raducanu will face fellow Grand Slam champion Sloane Stephens in a blockbuster opening round match on Tuesday.

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Tommy Paul Downs Lorenzo Musetti Wins Maiden Grass Court Title At Queen’s Club

Tommy Paul is the new American number one!

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Tommy Paul has won his maiden grass court title at Queen’s Club after defeating Lorenzo Musetti 6-1 7-6(8).

The fifth seed was too good for the Italian who never really got going as Paul claimed his first title at ATP 500 level.

It was Paul’s third ATP title of his career and moves to world number 12 after an impressive week.

Heading into the final, Paul had beaten Jack Draper and Sebastian Korda and the American continued his red-hot form in the opening set.

Incredible movement on the grass as Paul played efficient counter-attacking tennis as he frustrated Musetti early on.

The American secured the early break for a 3-0 lead as the world number 13 dictated with power and touch.

Looking for a response, Musetti aimed to dictate play on the backhand and the Italian’s serve was firing in the next game as he secured his only hold of the match.

However, Paul was too consistent and solid as the American broke again and would soon win the opening set 6-1.

In the second set, Musetti started more positively as he was more proactive and aggressive as he looked to control his power more.

Paul managed to outlast Musetti’s early power to keep moving the Italian about and creating angles to hit winners into.

After a controlled start, Musetti produced a reckless seventh game as erratic unforced errors saw Paul break for a 4-3 lead.

The American was calm and collected for the majority of the match but when serving for the match Paul faltered under pressure.

Too many missed first serves saw Musetti with an opportunity to break back and the Italian didn’t need a second invitation as a crisp backhand return winner sealed the break back to level the set at 5-5.

An inspired Musetti applied pressure on Paul with some phenomenal hitting from the baseline as he secured consistent winners.

The American held his nerve to force a second set tiebreak as the American looked to overcome some jitters.

It looked like Musetti was going to cruise to the tiebreak but the Italian squandered a 4-1 lead in what was a highly entertaining tiebreak.

In the end Paul would win the tiebreak 10-8 and secure his first ATP 500 title as well as becoming the new American number one.

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Jannik Sinner Wins Maiden Grass-Court Title In Halle

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Jannik Sinner - Parigi 2024 (foto X @ATPTour_ES)

Jannik Sinner has reached another milestone in his blossoming career after claiming his first title on grass at the Terra Wortmann Open in Halle. 

The world No.1 ousted fifth seed and doubles partner Hubert Hurkacz 7-6(8), 7-6,(2), in a tightly contested encounter. Sinner was sternly tested by the big-hitting Pole who knocked French Open finalist Alexander Zverev out of the tournament on Saturday. Nevertheless, he managed to come out on top to become only the eighth player in PIF ATP ranking history to claim a trophy in his first tournament as world No.1.

“This means a lot,” Sinner told TennisTV. “It was a tough match against Hubi. I knew that I had to serve really well. You play only a couple of really important points throughout the whole set. I tried to produce in the best possible way in the important moments. 
“I’m very happy about this tournament because it’s my first time winning (a title) on a grass court. It’s a good feeling.”

Proceedings got underway with a 53-minuite opening set which saw no breaks of serves during the first 12 games played. However, each player had one opportunity to do so during the early stages. In the tiebreak, Sinner continued to be troubled by Hurkacz after failing to maintain a 5-2 lead. Then at 6-5, he was unable to convert his first set point due to an ace from his opponent. He missed a second opportunity to do so before prevailing on his third by hitting a shot deep to the baseline that his rival returned into the net. Making Sinner the first player to take a set off Hurkacz this week. 

It was a case of deja vu in the second frame with both players standing strong behind their serve. Hurkacz was unable to find a way to break but he did win over the crowd after hitting a fantastic over-the-shoulder passing shot without looking to win a point. 

Meanwhile, Sinner continued to weather the storm as he closed in on victory. The second tiebreaker saw him capitalised on back-to-back unforced errors from his rival en route to a 5-1 lead. Two points later he earned his first match point with the help of another costly mistake from across the court before closing the match out with ease.

Sinner’s latest victory is only the second time he has beaten a top 10 player on the grass with his first triumph being against Carlos Alcaraz at Wimbledon two years ago. He is also the second player to win Halle whilst ranked No.1 in the world after Roger Federer. 

Heading into Wimbledon, the 22-year-old has won four ATP trophies so far this season on three different surfaces. He has now won 38 out of his last 41 matches played. 

“I’m looking forward to it,” Sinner said of the next Grand Slam. “Last year I made the semis and played some good tennis. So let’s see what’s coming this year. 
“For sure I’m more confident on this surface. Obviously, the grass here (in Halle) might be a bit different to Wimbledon but I have a week to prepare so hopefully it is going to be a good tournament.”

Sinner is the 17th active male player to win a tour-level title on all three surfaces. 

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