Emma Raducanu Ends Britain’s 44-Year Wait For A Female Grand Slam Champion At US Open - UBITENNIS
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Emma Raducanu Ends Britain’s 44-Year Wait For A Female Grand Slam Champion At US Open

Playing in the main draw of a major tournament for only the second time in her career, the teenage sensation has clinched the New York crown without dropping a single set in 10 matches played.




2021 US Open Women's Singles Champion Emma Raducanu at the 2021 US Open, Saturday, Sep. 11, 2021 in Flushing, NY. (Darren Carroll/USTA)

In what is one of the most remarkable runs in Grand Slam history Emma Raducanu has become the first qualifier to win the US Open after defeating Leylah Fernandez in a thrilling encounter at Flushing Meadows. 


The 18-year-old produced a level of tennis that exceeded her age as she battled past her Canadian rival 6-4, 6-3, who put up a valiant fight on the Arthur Ashe stadium. Raducanu has become the first British woman to win the US Open since 1968 and the first to win a major title since 1977. 

“I really want to congratulate Leylah and her team on an incredible fortnight. She’s played some incredible tennis and beaten some of the top players in the world,” the new champion said during her on-court interview.
“It was an incredibly difficult match. I thought the level was extremely high. I hope we play each other in many more tournaments and in finals.

The showdown in New York was a historic occasion with it being the first time a major final in women’s tennis had been contested by two unseeded players. Raducanu and Fernandez have clashed before but that was back in the Wimbledon junior tournament three years ago. Taking to the court to play the biggest match of their lives, neither player looked to be intimidated by the occasion. Paving the way to what was a high-quality first set of tennis.

Raducanu, who was playing in just her fourth WTA-level tournament, was the first to draw blood by breaking two games into the final on her sixth break point. However, Fernandez responded instantly to draw level once again in what was a roller-coaster opener. With both producing their best tennis, it would be the Brit who would prevail. Leading 5-4, Raducanu once again increased her intensity to apply pressure onto her opponent’s service game. Three chances to close the set out came and went before she triumphed on her fourth with the help of a blistering forehand winner down the line. Prompting Raducanu to let out her first sign of real emotion as she tried to orchestrate the crowd to get behind her. 

In recent days Fernandez has been renowned for her fighting spirit after scoring a trio of wins over top-five seeds, as well as former champion Angelique Kerber. It looked as if the Canadian would repeat this in the second frame after grabbing an early break in her favor. However, Raducanu was unfazed by the momentum change as she hit back with a vengeance by claiming four straight games to be on the verge of a historic win. 

Serving for the title after missing two championship points in the previous game, Raducanu’s fairytale victory happened in a dramatic fashion. Engaged in yet another gut-busting rally with Fernandez, she grazed her leg on the ground which forced it to bleed. Prompting the match to be halted at a time when Fernandez had a break-back point.  Resuming play, she took the match back to deuce before working her way to another match point. This time Raducanu prevailed with an ace which prompted her to drop to the ground out of sheer joy and disbelief. 

Leylah always plays great tennis and is always going to fight. That’s just the competitor she is and that’s why she’s here in the final,” she explained.
“I knew I had to dig deep. I fell somehow and I thought that would throw myself off balance because I was going to have to serve. I was just praying for a double fault but we got through it.’
“I think staying in the moment, focusing on what I had to do and my process just really helped in those tough times.”

Raducanu’s unprecedented run in Flushing Meadows is even more extraordinary given the fact it was only her second appearance in the main draw of a Grand Slam. Only one other woman has ever reached the final of a major on her second appearance, which was Pam Schriver in 1978. Furthermore, only Kim Clijsters has managed to reach the title match with a lower ranking than Raducanu.

“The future of women’s tennis and the depth right now is so great,” said Raducanu. “I think every single player in the women’s draw has a shot of winning any tournament so I hope the next generation can follow in the footsteps of some of the legends (of the game).

The triumph has transformed the landscape of British women’s tennis. It had been 44 years since the last female player from the host nation of Wimbledon last won a major, which was Virginia Wade, who was in the crowd watching Saturday’s final showdown. Raducanu will now surge to a ranking high of 32nd in the world and claim the British No.1 status just nine months after being ranked outside of the world’s top 300.  


Alexander Zverev Pushed But Manages To Beat Isner As Europe Storms To Lead In Laver Cup

The German gave Team Europe a massive lead after winning a tight match.




image via https://twitter.com/LaverCup/

Alexander Zverev needed a trademark ” Laver Breaker” to beat the 6ft 10 Amercian John Isner 7-6, 6-7, 10-5 in two hours and 17 minutes on the saecond day of the Laver Cup.


The German hit 13 aces in the match, meanwhile Isner went 0 for 3 on breakpoints.

” I think in this format playing John (Isner) is one of the toughest opponents there can be and he is the best server of all time plus he was hitting the ball extremely hard and well today,” said Zverev.
To be honest I played a pretty good match,” he added.

In the first set, both players had zero issues holding serve. In the opening tiebreak it was extremely tight but the world number four managed to get the crucial break at 4-3 and that was enough for him to serve out the first set.

The second frame stayed on serve until 3-3 when the American had two chances to break but the Hamburg native managed to save both. In the following game he responded by earning three break points of his very own but Isner saved all three and held serve.

Isner had another chance at 5-5 but was unable to convert and again proceedings went into another tiebreaker to decide the second set. In that breaker, the world number 22 jumped out to a 3-0 lead before the German responded winning the next three points to make it 3-3.

After that, it stayed on serve until 7-6 and it was the American who managed to break Zverev to win the second set and force a match tiebreak to decide the match.

The first four points went on serve and it was the German who got the first break and jumped out to a 6-3 and that lead was enough for him to serve out the match and give Team Europe a 7-1 lead.

After the match in his on-court interview, Zverev spoke about the second set and the level both he and Isner was playing at.

” Even the second set that I lost I didn’t do many things wrong so it shows that the match was very high level and obviously happy to give Team Europe the lead”. He said.

Day 2 results :

In the first match of the day, the Aussie Nick Kyrgios faced Stefanos Tsitsipas and it was the world number three who took the match in straight sets 6-3, 6-4 in one hour and 26 minutes.

After the match, Krygios mentioned in his post-match press conference that the Laver Cup would be the last event he played in 2021, stating that his mother’s health is not doing well and he is planning to return to Australia to be with her.

In the night session Danil Medvedev, the current US Open champion, took on Denis Shapovalov and the Russian only needed one hour and 15 minutes to beat him 6-4, 6-0 to give Team Europe a 9-1 lead.

In the last match of the day, a doubles clash featuring Tsitsipas and Andrey Rublev took on Isner and Krygios, and again it was the Europeans who managed to win 6-7, 6-3, 10-4.

Day 3 Preview :

On Sunday Team Europe will have a chance to clinch the trophy in their first match as they only need two more points and on Sunday a win is worth three. The day will start with a doubles match featuring Rublev and Zverev taking on Shapovalov and Rielly Opelka.

In singles, Zverev will face Felix Auger Aliassime, Medvedev will face Diego Schwartzman, and the last match scheduled is Isner vs Tsitsipas.

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James Duckworth beats Ilya Ivashka to reach the final in Nur Sultan




James Duckworth has reached his first ATP Tour after his 6-3 7-6 (7-4) win over Ilya Ivashka after 2 hours and 2 minutes at the Astana Open in Nur Sultan. 


Duckworth converted his third break point in the fourth game to win the first set 6-3.

Ivashka broke serve in the fourth game of the second set to take a 3-1 lead. Duckworth broke straight back in the fifth game. Duckworth fended off two set points at 4-5 in the second set.  Ivashka saved two break points. Duckworth got two mini-breaks to earn three match points at 6-3. Ivashka pulled one of the two mini-breaks, but Duckworth sealed the tie-break 7-4 on his second match point. 

“I am really excited. I am thrilled. It was a really tough match. Ilya has been playing some great tennis. We have played twice already this year. Both times went to three sets”, said Duckworth. 

Ivashka won the title in Winston Salem and claimed 11 of his past 12 matches before today’s match against Duckworth. 

Duckworth set up a final against Sonwoo Kwon, who rallied from one set down to beat Alexander Bublik 3-6 7-5 6-3 after two hours and four minutes to advance to his first ATP Tour final. 

Bublik earned the first break of the match in the eighth game to win the first set 6-3. Kwon broke in the second game to take a 2-0 lead. Bublik converted his sixth break-back point in the third game to hold serve. Kwon saved a break point in the ninth game before breaking serve in the 12th game to close out the second set 7-5. Kwon broke serve in the fourth game to win the third set 6-3. 

“It will be a tough match. Kwon is more of a baseliner. I will have to be ready. I am just going to recover the best I can and come out tomorrow and see what happens”, said Duckworth.

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Maria Sakari reaches her first WTA Tour final since 2019 in Ostrava




Maria Sakkari has reached her first WTA Tour final since 2019 after nine consecutive tour-level semifinal defeats, by beating number 1 seed Iga Swiatek 6-4 7-5 after 1 hour and 51 minutes at the J&T Banka Ostrava Open. 


Sakkari won her only title on the clay court of Rabat. Swiatek had never lost a tour-level semifinal and had a win-loss record of 2-0 in her semifinals played in 2021. The Greek player lost to Victoria Azarenka in the semifinals in Ostrava last year. 

Sakkari has extended her win-loss record to 2-0 in her head-to-head matches against Swiatek. In their only previous match Sakkari beat Swiatek in the French Open quarter final last June ending the Pole’s Roland Garros title defense. 

Sakkari won 77% of her first service points and hit 22 winners to 19 unforced errors. 

Sakkari hit a forehand winner to earn her only break in the opening game of the first set. The Greek player did not face a single break point in the first set. 

Sakkari had to save a break point at the start of the second set before holding serve for 2-2. Sakkari earned the break in the fifth game to take a 3-2 lead. Swiatek broke back in the eighth game to draw level to 4-4. 

Sakkari converted her third break point with a forehand winner down the line to take a 6-5 lead and sealed the win on her first match point. 

Sakkari set up a final against Estonia’s Anett Kontaveit, who cruised past Petra Kvitova 6-0 6-4 after 1 hour and 11 minutes. The Estonian player scored her third top 10 win of the year after beating Sofia Kenin in Stuttgart and Bianca Andreescu in Eastbourne. She has reached her fourth final in 2021 after winning her second career title in Cleveland, finishing runner-up to Jelena Ostapenko in Eastbourne and sharing the Grampians Trophy with Ann Li after the final was not played due to a scheduling delay. 

Kontaveit hit 18 winners to just 7 unforced errors. Kvitova made 28 unforced errors to 11 winners. Kontaveit broke serve three times to take a bagel win in the first set, as Kvitova made 16 unforced errors to just 2 winners. 

Kvitova won her first game in the opening game of the second set. Kontaveit broke serve at love in the fifth game with a backhand winner to take a 3-2 lead.Kvitova saved a match point to hold serve to hold serve for 5-4 and hit a lob to earn her first break point of the match in the next game, as Kontaveit was serving for the win. Kontaveit saved it and closed out the match by forcing a final eror from Kvitova with a big backhand.  

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