Former Champion Angelique Kerber Looks On The Bright Side Despite Defeat At Wimbledon - UBITENNIS
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Former Champion Angelique Kerber Looks On The Bright Side Despite Defeat At Wimbledon

The former world No.1 exits the Grand Slam with a fresh burst of confidence after turning around her fortunes on the Tour.

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Angelique Kerber (GER) celebrates her win against Aliaksandra Sasnovich (BLR) in the third round of the Ladies' Singles on No.2 Court at The Championships 2021. Held at The All England Lawn Tennis Club, Wimbledon. Day 6 Saturday 03/07/2021. Credit: AELTC/Simon Bruty

Germany’s Angelique Kerber has experienced a turbulent 2021 season and she is still only half way through it.

 

The former world No.1 didn’t appear to be in the kind of form to challenge for a Grand Slam title a few weeks ago after starting the year by winning back-to-back matches in two out of 10 tournaments played. In the first round of the French Open she fell to a qualifier ranked 139th in the world. However, once she set foot on the grass a dramatic turnaround occurred.

It started in her home country where she won the Bad Homburg Open in what was her first title for almost three years. Carrying that momentum into Wimbledon, she defeated players such as Coco Gauff and Karolína Muchová to reach the semi-finals. Making it her best run in a major since she lifted the Wimbledon title back in 2018. Her journey came to an end on Thursday after a straight sets loss to world No.1 Ash Barty. Immediately after that loss, one eagle eye journalist noticed the German smiling as she walked towards the net to shake hands.

“I came back after such a long time, I was able to turn everything around, I won the tournament at home in Germany, I played unbelievable tennis, I put so many emotions and my heart on the court,” Kerber replied when asked about her emotions.
“If you go out and you have a standing ovation at the Centre Court in Wimbledon, I mean, that’s the best feeling you can have even if you lose.’
“I tried everything. I put everything on court today.”

Whilst the 33-year-old may not be the most decorated player on the Tour. Her results on the grass speaks for itself. Impressively, only Serena Williams and Venus Williams have won more matches than her on the surface among active players. At Wimbledon alone, she has won 36 matches out of 48 played.

Now playing as one of the oldest on the Tour, Kerber is reluctant to compare her current level of tennis to that of the past. For her, there is another reason why she continues to play.

“For me, it’s more that I still have the passion for the sport, that I played well, that I played great matches against the best players in the world,” she said.
“I know that I also improved my game in a few things. But still I have my game style. I think it’s similar to 2018.”

It remains to be seen how Kerber’s resurgence will fair when she switches to the hardcourts. Unsure about her Olympic participation, she will be consulting with her team over the coming days concerning her schedule. She is coached by Torben Beltz who has also previously worked with Donna Vekic.

“I think it’s important that I really take the confidence with me from the last three weeks,” she states. “I know that I’m on the right way. I know how it is to work hard and now to continue my play.’
“I think this will be the challenge to stay on this level and playing good matches again on hard court.”

Kerber will move up to 22nd in the WTA rankings next Monday.

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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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Carlos Alcaraz reaches the semifinal in Umag

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Spanish Next Gen star Carlos Alcaraz edged past third seed Filip Krajinovic 7-6 (7-3) 3-6 6-1 after 2 hours and 18 minutes to reach his second tour-level semifinal at the Playa Laguna Croatia Open in Umag. 

 

Alcaraz has become the second youngest semifinalist in Umag tournament history. Nadal was the only player who reached the semifinal in Umag at a younger age. Nadal achieved this feat at the age of 17. 

Alcaraz broke serve in the fourth game at deuce to open up a 4-1 lead. Krajinovic broke back in the seventh game to claw his way back to 3-4. Both players traded breaks in the eighth and ninth games and held their next service games en route to the tie-break. Alcaraz earned four mini-breaks to take a 7-3 lead. 

Krajinovic broke twice in the second and eighth games to win the second set 6-2. Alcaraz got three breaks to claim the third set 6-1. The Spaniard attacked a second serve on break point in his first return game of the third set and hit a forehand volley to earn the break. Alcaraz did no drop his serve in his next service games to set up a semifinal against his compatriot Albert Ramos Vinolas, who cruised past Stefano Travaglia 6-1 6-1 after 68 minutes. Ramos Vinolas went up a 2-0 lead with an early break. Travaglia broke straight back in the third game. Ramos Vinolas broke twice in the fourth and eighth games to win the second set 6-2. 

The Spaniard earned two more breaks in the second and sixth games to claim the third set 6-2. 

Richard Gasquet edged past Damir Dzumhur 6-3 7-6 (9-7). Gasquet fended off a break point in the opening game before breaking serve in the second game. Dzumhur earned another break point in the fifth game but Gasquet saved it to open up a 4-1 lead. Gasquet served out for the first set in the ninth game. 

The Frenchman broke Dzumhur in the third game to take a 2-1 lead and earned a chance for the double break, but Dzumhur saved three break points to claw his way back to 3-4.

Gasquet was not able to convert any of his three break points in the seventh game and Dzumhur broke back in the eighth game. 

Gasquet broke serve in the ninth game to take a 5-4 lead, but he was no able to serve out for the match in the 10th game. Gasquet earned a chance to get another break in the 11th game, but Dzumhur saved two break points to take a 6-5 lead. 

Gasquet served out the 12th game to force a tie-break. Gasquet converted his third match point to reach the semifinal. 

Gasquet set up a semifinal clash against Daniel Altmeier, who beat Dusan Lajovic 6-2 6-3. Gasquet has become the oldest semifinal in the tournament’s 31-year history behind Paolo Lorenzi, who reached the 2017 semifinal. 

“I started well. I could not manage to break him at 4-2 in the second set and then I struggled a little bit on my serve. It was tough, but I fought a lot to finish the match in the second set. It was a great tie-break and important to win. I need to be physically ready to go further, as I try to reach the final”, said Gasquet. 

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Astra Sharma beats Natalya Vikhlyantseva to reach the quarter final in Palermo

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Astra Sharma beat Natalya Vikhlyantseva 6-4 7-5 at the Ladies Open in Palermo to reach the quarter finals for the first time since her Charleston title. 

 

Vikhlyantseva made 11 double faults, including six in the second set. Sharma came back from 0-4 down by winning six consecutive game to take the first set 6-4. The Australian player was broken back, when she was serving for the match. 

Sharma set up a quarter final against Danielle Collins, who beat Maddison Inglis from Australia 6-4 6-1 after 1 hour and 20 minutes. Sharma has never met Collins before. 

After three trades of break Collins broke serve at love in the 10th game to win the first set 6-4. Collins broke twice in the first and sixth games to win the second set 6-1. 

Olga Danilovic beat Katarina Zavatska 7-6 (7-4) 7-5. Both players traded breaks twice in the first set en route to the tie-break. Danilovic won a tight tieak with three mini-breaks. Zavatska went up a break in the fifth game to take a 3-2 lead. Danilovic broke straight back in the sixth game. The next games went on serve until the 12th game when Danillovic got the decisive break to win the second set 7-5. 

Lucia Bronzetti beat 2011 US Open Junior champion Grace Min 6-3 6-1. Bronzetti broke serve in the second game of the first set to take a 2-0 lead. Min broke straight back in the third game. Bronzetti converted her third break point in the eighth game to win the first set 6-3. 

Bronzetti went up a 3-0 lead with two breaks after two very long games. Min pulled back one break back in the fourth game, but Bronzetti earned two breaks in the fifth and seventh games to win the second set 6-1. 

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