Sorana Cirstea battles past Magda Linette to reach final in Strasbourg - UBITENNIS
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Sorana Cirstea battles past Magda Linette to reach final in Strasbourg

Sorana Cirstea will face Barbora Krejcikova in Saturday’s final in Strasbourg.

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Sorana Cirstea (@WTA_Strasbourg - Twitter)

The Romanian booked her spot in the final after a three set battle that lasted over two hours.

 

It was semifinals day and we had two amazing three set matches to decide who would face off for the title on Saturday featuring Sorana Cirstea against Magda Linette and Barbora Krejcikova playing the German qualifier Jule Niemeier.

The first match featured the Romania vs Poland battle and the first three games went on serve before the world number 48 managed to earn the first breakpoint of the match and take the early 3-1 lead.

That break was enough for her to serve out the first set and take it by the score of 6-3 in 37 minutes.

The second set followed a similar pattern and once again it was the Pole who would earn the first break of the set but couldn’t consolidate the break and the world number 61 broke right back before being broken once again the following game.

At 3-2 the Bucharest, Romania native had a chance to break to go back on serve and after saving the first two she was able to break the Poznan, Poland native to once again go back on serve at 3-3.

The world number 48 saved two more breakpoints with her aggressive forehand before eventually holding serve and at 5-4 with the Pole serving to stay in the set the Romanian would finally capitalize and break to take the second set and send it to a deciding third set.

After holding her opening service game the Romanian had a chance to break in the following service game but again the world number 48 hung in and saved it before holding serve.

At 3-2 the world number 61 had three more chances to break and this time she would get the break and at 5-2 she would break the Pole serve again to win the match in two hours and eight minutes.

After her match Cirstea spoke about how proud she was to battle back from a set down to get the win today against a very tough opponent.

“I’m very proud because I thought it was a very good match with a very high level, we were both hitting our forehands and backhands and for me to stay there and not drop my level and raise it in the important moments, it was a mental win and it gave me a lot of confidence”.

She will face the number five seed in Saturdays final who is Barbora Krejcikova who managed to end the dream run of the German qualifier Jule Niemeier in three tight sets and a match that lasted two hours and 14 minutes.

The first four games of the match went on serve and at 2-2 it was the German who would earn the first breakpoint of the match and break the following point when the world number seven served a double fault.

It stayed on serve again until 5-4 with the world number 216 serving for the first set and it seems she started to get tight and the Czech number five seed managed to earn a breakpoint and break back to go back on serve.

The break didn’t last long as the Dortmund native earned two breakpoints the following game and broke before serving out the first set to take it 7-5. The world number seven started the second set much better and after holding the opening service game managed to get the early break to take a 2-0 lead.

The 21 year old stormed back the following game and after another double fault broke the world number seven to go back on serve but failed to consolidate the break and was broken again.

At 4-1, the German was struggling with her serve and two straight double-faults gave the Czech a breakpoint and the double break to take a commanding 5-1 lead but the world number 216 battled back to get one of the breaks back and at 5-3 the world number seven served out the second set.

Again the third set stayed on serve the first four games and at 2-2 the German would double fault to give two breakpoints but she would manage to save both and hold serve.

At 3-3 it was world number seven who had a chance to break and she did just that and that break was enough for her to serve out the match and book her spot in the final.

After the final Krejcikova gave her thoughts on her German opponent and told the story of a similar experience that happened to her a couple of years back in Germany.

“This week she (Niemeier) was doing really well, I actually remember when I did something similar in 2017 in Nuremberg when I was a qualifier where I actually reached the finals and I was playing players who are higher ranked than me and I was doing good things so she showed she can play big tennis, serving very well, she’s very solid”.

Saturday final is all set as Sorana Cirstea will face Barbora Krejcikova for the title in Strasbourg and and currently the head to head is 1-1 and they most recently played in Dubai last December and it was the Romanian coming out on top.

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Shintaro Mochizuki reaches the qualifying round of qualifying round at Wimbledon

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Japanese Next Gen star Shintaro Mochizuki came back from one set down to beat French Next Gen player Hugo Gaston 1-6 6-2 6-4 reaching the second round of qualifying at Wimbledon. Mochizuki made his return to the grass court of South-West London. 

 

Mochizuki made history at the All England Club in 2019, when he became the first Japanese player to win a Grand Slam boys’ singles title. The young Asian player is now ranked world number 500 and is making his first professional level appearance at a Grand Slam tournament. 

Mochizuki became the first Japanese player to claim a Grand Slam boys’ singles title when he won the Wimbledon Trophy. 

Mochizuki has been based at the IMG Academy in Bradenton since he was 12. The Japanese player almost chose baseball over tennis before moving from Japan to Florida. His father was a tennis coach and Shintaro started holding a raquet at the age of 1. He considered quitiing tennis at the age of 9 and pursuing baseball instead. His tennis idoli s Roger Federer, who won his first Grand Slam title 34 days after Mochizuki was born. 

“I did not think I was going to get a wild card for qualies this year, because it’s 2021 and I won in 2019. I was really when I heard I got the wild card and I was super excited”, said Mochizuki. 

US Next Gen player Brandon Nakashima cruised past Aleksandar Vukic 6-1 6-1. Vukic pushed Denis Shapovalov to two tie-breaks at last week’s cinch Championships. 

Tomas Machac battled past Tommy Robredo 7-5 4-6 10-8. Machac is currently 10th in the ATP Race to Milan. 

Bernard Tomic rallied from one set down to beat Blaz Kavic Kavic 4-6 6-4 6-3. 

Maxime Cressy edged past Thanasi Kokkinakis 7-6 (7-5) 7-6 (7-3). 

Former world number 10 Ernests Gulbis overcame Dmitry Popko 6-3 5-7 6-4.

Viktor Troicki fought past Christopher Eubanks 6-4 6-7 (6-8) 7-5. 

Zdenek Kolar eased past Martin Klizan 6-1 6-2. Klizan was the final match of his career. 

Roman Safiulin eased past Ivo Karlovic 6-4 6-2. This year’s Buenos Aires finalist Francisco Cerundolo saw off Felipe Meligeni Rodrigues Alves 6-4 6-2. 

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Novak Djokovic Confirmed For Olympics But Del Potro Pulls Out After Medical Advice

The Serbian will be bidding to win gold in Tokyo later this year for the first time in his career.

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This year’s Olympic tennis tournament has been given a boost after officials confirmed world No.1 Novak Djokovic will be playing at the Games.

 

The 19-time Grand Slam champion had been contemplating whether to play at the event or not amid ongoing COVID-19 conditions. Djokovic previously said he would reconsider travelling to Tokyo if fans weren’t allowed to attend. Since that comment, organisers have given the green light for up to 10,000 domestic fans to attend Olympic venues. Although foreign fans are banned from attending this year due to the pandemic.

Amid questions over Djokovic’s participation, the Serbian Tennis Federation has told Sportski Zurnal that he has pledged to play. It will be the fourth time the 34-year-old has represented his country in the Olympics. So far in his career, Djokovic has only won one medal which was bronze back in 2008. He also finished fourth in 2012.

“Novak has confirmed his desire to participate in the Olympic Games and we have already sent a list with his name on it to the Olympic Committee of Serbia. It will be forwarded from there,” the Tennis federation told Sportski Zurnal.

As it currently stands Djokovic is on course to achieve the calendar ‘golden slam.’ A rare achievement where a player wins all four Grand Slam titles, as well as the Olympics, within the same year. In singles competition the only person to have ever achieved this was Stefi Graf back in 1988.

“Everything is possible, and I did put myself in a good position to go for the Golden Slam,” Djokovic said after winning the French Open
“But, you know, I was in this position in 2016 as well. It ended up in a third-round loss in Wimbledon. This year we have only two weeks between the first round of Wimbledon and the finals here, which is not ideal because you go from really two completely different surfaces, trying to make that transition as smooth as possible, as quickly and efficiently as possible.
“So obviously I will enjoy this win and then think about Wimbledon in a few days’ time. I don’t have an issue to say that I’m going for the title in Wimbledon. Of course, I am.”

Del Potro’s comeback delayed again

There is less positive news for Juan Martin del Potro, who was the player who beat Djokovic to win a bronze medal back in 2012. The Argentine hasn’t played a competitive match on the Tour since June 2019 due to a troublesome knee injury. Back in March the former US Open champion said playing at the Olympics again was motivating him during his rehabilitation.

However, since then progress has been slower than what Del Potro would have liked. As a result, he has been advised not to play in the event and continue his recovery.

Delpo won’t be able to play the Olympics Games. The knee rehab is going well according to the doctor’s plan but he suggested Juan Martin to go on with his rehab process and training, and skip Tokyo 2020,” a statement from Del Potro’s communication team reads.

Since 2010, the former world No.3 and two-time Olympic medallist has undergone eight surgeries.One on his right wrist, three on his left wrist and four on his knee. He has won a total of 22 ATP titles so far in his career.

The Olympic Tennis event will start on July 24th at the Ariake Coliseum.

RELATED STORY: Why Are So Many Tennis Players Skipping The Olympics?

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Dayana Yastremska Cleared Of Wrongdoing Over Failed Drugs Tests

The tennis has star had been provisionally suspended from the Tour since 7 January 2021.

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Ukraine’s Dayana Yastremska said she looks forward to ‘returning to her passion’ after getting her doping ban lifted with immediate effect following a hearing.

 

The former world No.21 has been sidelined from the sport with a provisional suspension after testing positive for the banned substance mesterolone which is prohibited under category S1 of the 2020 WADA Prohibited List (Anabolic Agents). The positive test came from a sample which was taken on November 24th that Yastremska argued was linked to cross-contamination. She had appealed for her provisional ban to be lifted earlier this year but was denied.

Following her official hearing on May 21st, the Independent Tribunal under the Tennis Anti-Doping Programme has concluded that the tennis star didn’t deliberately take performance enhancing drugs. In their ruling, the panel says they ‘accept’ how the substance managed to get into Yasstremska’s body. She has previously claimed to have ‘scientific evidence’ of cross contamination.

Ms. Yastremska’s provisional suspension is lifted with immediate effect, and she will not serve any period of Ineligibility for her violation. For the avoidance of doubt, Ms. Yastremska is eligible to resume competition immediately.” The ITF stated.

In a statement, Yastremska says she has struggled over the past six months with the negative comments related to her suspension from the sport. Earlier this year she flew to the Australian Open hoping to compete, but wasn’t allowed to under anti-doping rules.

“I’ve been through a lot in the last 6 months and found it difficult to deal with all the negative comments,” she wrote.
“I want to thank my family, my lawyers, my agent and the entire Top Five Management team for their continued and unwavering support. I would also like to thank my fans for the love and messages that I received during this difficult period.’
“Now I look forward to returning to my passion – tennis. It was taken away from me for too long, I can’t wait to get back on tour.”

The 21-year-old has won three WTA Premier titles so far in her career with her most recent triumph occurring at the 2019 Strasbourg Open. Her best run in a Grand Slam was two years ago at Wimbledon, where she reached the fourth round before losing to Zhang Shuai of China.

Yastremska is currently ranked 37th in the world. She has not given any details about when or where she plans to return to competitive tennis yet.

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