Wimbledon Top Seed Ash Barty Was In ‘Best Ever Form’ Prior To Recent Injury Setback, Says Coach - UBITENNIS
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Wimbledon Top Seed Ash Barty Was In ‘Best Ever Form’ Prior To Recent Injury Setback, Says Coach

Craig Tyzzer says the world No.1 is getting better but they have ‘one more job to do’ with Wimbledon glory within touching distance.

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Ashleigh Barty (AUS) reaches for the ball in her match against Anna Blinkova (RUS) in the second round of the Ladies' Singles on Centre Court at The Championships 2021. Held at The All England Lawn Tennis Club, Wimbledon. Day 4 Thursday 01/07/2021. Credit: AELTC/David Gray

The coach of Ash Barty admits that he didn’t know what to expect from the world No.1 heading into this year’s Wimbledon Championships following what he described as a ‘freakish’ injury.

 

Barty has become the first Australian woman to reach the final at The All England Club since 1980 after beating Angelique Kerber in the semifinals on Thursday. Despite being the top seed in the draw, there was uncertainty over how she would fare after withdrawing from the French Open with a left hip injury. Resulting in her just having over three weeks to recover and prepare for the grass-court major.

Guiding Barty back into shape is long-time coach Craig Tyzzer who has been working alongside her since 2016. He is a former player who played on the ATP Tour between 1979-1983.

“I felt she was in the best form I’ve seen her in prior to a tournament coming into that (the French Open),” Tyzzer told reporters on Friday. “It was a bit of a freakish thing that happened and put her out.’
“It’s been really different here (at Wimbledon). We weren’t able to do a lot of court time in the build-up coming in on court. Did a lot of rehab and a lot of building her strength back up. So it’s been a different preparation.”

Whilst the preparation has been different to what was initially planned by Barty’s camp, it seems to have done wonders for her. She is yet to drop a set at Wimbledon on what is the 10th anniversary of her junior triumph at the same event. Prior to Kerber, she defeated compatriot Ajla Tomljanović and reigning French Open champion Barbora Krejčíková.

Her confidence level has been really good. She’s been playing good tennis. She’s been building, it’s getting better. We’ve got one more job to do,” Tyzzer commented.

Barty already has the experience of what it is like playing in a major final following her run to the Roland Garros title back in 2019. Since then the 25-year-old has won six additional titles but none of those have been in a major. Although she has been ranked continuously at the top of the rankings for almost 50 weeks.

Standing in her way of the Wimbledon title will be former world No.1 Karolina Pliskova who has also previously played in a major final herself. Like Barty, the Czech has also had a roller-coaster journey into the tournament but for a different reason. Pliskova lost in the first round of Berlin and Eastbourne, as well as falling in the first round of the French Open.

She’s an incredible player. She’s got a phenomenal serve and got a big game off the ground as well,” Barty’s coach said of Pliskova.
“She’s obviously had a great tournament. You don’t get to the final of Wimbledon without playing well. She’s been playing some great tennis. It’s going to be an extremely difficult match. I know Ash is looking forward to it.”

It isn’t just Barty’s physical side which Tyzzer said has improved in recent times, it is also her mentality. In the past she has opened up about dealing with mental health issues and even took a break from the sport to reset. During that break she had a stint in women’s cricket and played in the Big Bash League.

There have been times when she just questioned herself. I think all athletes go through that sort of thing. I think there’s a lot more acceptance of that and understanding of all that,” he said.
“She’s handling that stuff a lot better. It’s an ongoing thing. It’s like hitting a forehand and backhand, you just keep working on it, you keep building. She’s getting better and better at those things all the time.”

Barty leads Pliskova 5-2 in their head-to-head going into Saturday’s Wimbledon final.

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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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