Naomi Osaka And Petra Kvitova Headline Olympic Opening Ceremony - UBITENNIS
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Naomi Osaka And Petra Kvitova Headline Olympic Opening Ceremony

Naomi Osaka and Petra Kvitova represented tennis in the opening ceremony.

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Naomi Osaka and Petra Kvitova represented tennis in the opening of ceremony at the Olympic Games.

The event took place in Tokyo without spectators as tennis history was made with Naomi Osaka being the one to light the cauldron to officially kick off the Olympics.

Osaka became the first tennis player in history to achieve the feat, something that meant an awful lot to her given her recent mental health problems.

After the event Osaka took to Twitter to put into words how she was feeling:

https://twitter.com/ComplexSports/status/1418584748608344066

A spine-tingling moment for Osaka who achieved a once in a generation achievement in her home country of Japan. A moment that now will see her as the face of these Olympic Games.

Meanwhile Osaka wasn’t the only one achieving history as Petra Kvitova was one of four tennis flagbearers.

It was a big moment for Kvitova who after being stabbed in her home six or seven years ago now got to achieve her ultimate dream.

https://twitter.com/Petra_Kvitova/status/1418585071800434692

It was a moment that was recognised throughout the tennis community as a thoroughly deserved achievement.

One person that approved of this moment was Maria Sharapova:

Here are some other moments shared by players of their journey through the opening ceremony with action set to begin tomorrow:

https://twitter.com/ITFTennis/status/1418573469374103553
https://twitter.com/ITFTennis/status/1418571701999316996
https://twitter.com/EllenPerez95/status/1418566708353138698
https://twitter.com/ITFTennis/status/1418553517346893825

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Rafael Nadal Announces Wimbledon Withdrawal, Will Play Bastad Ahead Of Olympics

Rafael Nadal has announced his schedule ahead of the Olympic Games.

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Rafael Nadal has announced that he will be playing the ATP 250 event in Bastad ahead of the Olympic Games as he will once again withdraws from Wimbledon.

The Spaniard is set for a massive summer as he competes in singles and doubles at the Olympic Games.

It was announced yesterday that he and Carlos Alcaraz will team up in the doubles event in Paris as Nadal searches for his third gold medal.

However Nadal’s big summer before the Olympics has been slightly altered in order to have the best preparations possible for the big event.

This is as Nadal has announced his withdrawal from Wimbledon with the Spaniard not playing the event since withdrawing from his 2022 semi-final against Nick Kyrgios.

In more surprising news though Nadal announced on social media that he will be playing the ATP 250 event in Bastad, Sweden ahead of the Olympic Games, “During my post match press conference at Roland Garros I was asked about my summer calendar and since then I have been practising on clay. It was announced yesterday that I will play at the summer Olympics in Paris, my last Olympics,” Nadal explained on X.

“With this goal, we believe that the best for my body is not to change surface and keep playing on clay until then. It’s for this reason that I will miss playing at The Championships this year at Wimbledon.

“I am saddened not to be able to live this year the great atmosphere of that amazing event that will always be in my heart, and be with all the British fans that always gave me great support. I will miss you all.

“In order to prepare for the Olympic Games, I will play the tournament in Bastad, Sweden, a tournament that I played earlier in my career and where I had a great time both on and off the court. Looking forward to seeing you all there. Thank you.”

Nadal last competed at Bastad in 2005, where he won the title defeating Tomas Berdych in the final.

The tournament will take place the week after Wimbledon on the 15th of July with world number one Jannik Sinner scheduled to participate there as well.

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Rafael Nadal And Carlos Alcaraz To Team Up In Olympic Gold Bid

Rafael Nadal has been confirmed to compete at his third Olympic Games in Paris.

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Rafael Nadal and Carlos Alcaraz will team up and represent Spain in the upcoming Olympic Games.

The news was announced by Davis Cup captain David Ferrer at a press conference as he stated that Nadal and Alcaraz would team up at the Olympic Games.

Nadal has won Gold at the last two Olympic Games he has participated in and will fancy his chances of further success at Roland Garros, where he won 14 Grand Slam titles.

Meanwhile Alcaraz recently won the Roland Garros title in Paris to claim his third Grand Slam title.

Speaking about the Olympics Alcaraz stated that he is prioritising winning gold in Paris, “The Olympic Games are every four years and it’s a special tournament where you’re not only playing for yourself, but for a country, representing every Spaniard,” Alcaraz was quoted by The Score as saying.

“I think this year I’d choose Olympic gold.”

In addition to Nadal Pablo Carreno Busta, Alejandro Davidovich Fokina and Marcel Granollers complete the team.

On the women’s team Sara Sorribes Tormo and Cristina Bucsa will represent Spain while Paula Badosa has decided to use her last two protected rankings at Wimbledon and US Open, so will not be competing in Paris.

The tennis event at the Olympic Games begins on the 27th of July and concludes on the 4th of August.

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Matteo Berrettini: “It’s all about the matches now, I’m pushing myself to the limit”

Former Wimbledon finalist relishing the journey back to the top.

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After coming through in three tight sets 7-6, 5-7, 7-5 against eighth seed Roman Safiullin, Matteo Berrettini spoke at length with a glint in his eye about the hard work he has put in on his journey back to the top, and the potential rewards that lie ahead.

“It was good that I played so long today. It was good preparation,” he said. “Whenever I go out on court, it’s the most important match for me. Of course, not all are weighted equally. Wimbledon is Wimbledon. But this tournament here is particularly important for me. I’m happy that I had a good match.”

Safiullin is currently ranked 43 and clearly knows his way around the court, having been ranked as high as two in the world on the junior circuit. But Berrettini was grateful for the extra time on court as he experienced match play after a long time out.

“I was expecting a tough match,” said Berrettini. “He served well, I haven’t played much in the last few months. I knew it wasn’t going to be easy. I’m proud of the way I fought my way through. It certainly wasn’t my best level. But that’s important: winning when you’re not playing at your best level. I think I found my rhythm better during the match. You need matches for that. Training is not like a match.”

The Italian, who was the first from his country to reach a Grand Slam final at Wimbledon in 2021 since Adriano Panatta at the 1976 French Open, was not worried about his standard of play, but rather the number of matches he has – or rather has not played this season.

“When I’ve played this year, I’ve played well. It’s not so much about my level. My strokes are there, I feel good on court. It’s just about playing matches. The crowd, the atmosphere, the big points, you only get them in a real match. The more I play, the more confident I become, fatigue is secondary. It’s been so long since I had to fend off a break point. The more I play now, the better it gets.”

While most players talk about the pain of winning tough matches or tournaments, the twenty-eight-year-old instead chose to talk about the agony of not playing while injured: “It was tough not being able to go to the gym or play balls. I’m stronger now. I’m feeling good at the moment, I’ve worked hard to start the grass court season as well as possible. I wouldn’t be here if I wasn’t fit. It’s all about the matches. I’m pushing myself to the limit after all the things that have happened to me.”

Next up, Berrettini faces Canada’s Denis Shapavalov who has beaten him twice in their two meetings. But he feels very much at home on the centre court here in Stuttgart, and has a special bond with the crowd: “There’s been a very special vibe for me here since 2019. It was my first real grass court season back then. I played Nick Kyrgios in the first round, which was tough. But I got great support from the very first match. Not only from the Italian community, but also from the Germans. Every tournament that you win twice is something special.”

Berrettini is one of the few players who likes the faster surface, and with a 37-8 record on grass, he will be quietly relishing his prospects, not only to add a third title here, but also going deep atthe third Grand Slam of the year at Wimbledon in just over two weeks’ time.

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