Flavia Pennetta Believes Raducanu’s US Open Win Is A Bad Sign For Women’s Tennis - UBITENNIS
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Flavia Pennetta Believes Raducanu’s US Open Win Is A Bad Sign For Women’s Tennis

The former star of Italian tennis explains why she doesn’t like what is currently happening in the sport.

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

The fairytale run of Emma Raducanu to her first ever Grand Slam title at the US Open has been hailed by many. However, one former player isn’t happy about it.

Flavia Pennetta, who reached a ranking high of sixth back in 2015, believes the shock run by the Brit highlights the lack of consistency among women’s players. Raducanu was playing in only her second Grand Slam main draw at the age of 18. Coming through qualifying she didn’t drop a set in 10 matches played, scoring wins over top 20 players Belinda Bencic and Maria Sakkari. In the final she defeated Leylah Fernandez, who was also making her debut in a major final.

“I don’t like it. What is happening, this very strong discontinuity, in my opinion, is not good for tennis,” Pennetta told Corriere della Sera earlier this week.
“In my time it could never have happened that a young girl played from qualifying, like Emma Raducanu in New York, to win a Grand Slam.
“Top athletes made too much difference.
“There is something wrong.
“Charisma is missing, so women’s tennis is more difficult to sell.”

Raducanu has been tipped as the next big thing in the sport with a surge in sponsorships and fans. Her more recent endorsement is French fashion house Dior who has named her as their new ambassador. Raducanu, who is currently ranked 24th in the world, also has a high-profile deal with jewellery brand Tiffany & Co.

It has been five years since a woman successfully defended a Grand Slam singles title which was Serena Williams at Wimbledon back in 2016. Since then, the last 20 major titles have been won by 14 different players. The only women to have won multiple titles during that period is Naomi Osaka (four), Simona Halep (two), Angelique Kerber (two) and Ash Barty (two).

“The youngsters, Raducanu and Fernandez, have still to confirm themselves at that level. A Slam champion can’t totally disappear,” Pennetta replied when asked if a decline in Williams’ form has caused this level of inconsistency. “I have never been among the superstars but I stayed at a high level for 15 years, and the same for Francesca Schiavone.”

39-year-old Pennetta is a former US Open champion herself who also produced a surprise run to the title. Seeded 26th in the 2015 draw she knocked out Petra Kvitova and Halep to set up a final showdown with Roberta Vinci which she won in straight sets. Shortly after her shock triumph she announced her retirement from tennis.

Recently it was announced that Pennetta has been shortlisted for the 2022 Hall of Fame ballot. Besides her US Open trophy, she won an additional 10 Tour titles and reached world No.1 in the doubles during her career. Should she receive nomination into the prestigious Hall of fame, she would become only the third Italian in history to do so after former player Nicola Pietrangeli and journalist Gianni Clerici.

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(VIDEO) What A Weekend For Italian Tennis!

Ubitennis founder Ubaldo Scanagatta looks back on this week’s action on the ATP Tour.

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Jannik Sinner – ATP Halle 2024 (foto via Twitter @atptour)

It has been a memorable Sunday for Italian tennis with the country winning two titles on the ATP Tour. 

In Halle, world No.1 Jannik Sinner claimed his first trophy on the grass with a hard-fought two-set win over Hubert Hurkacz. There was also success in the doubles tournament with top seeds Simone Bolelli and Andrea Vavassori winning the title. Meanwhile, in London, Lorenzo Musetti was unable to make it a hatrick of wins for his country after losing in the final of the Cinch Championships to Tommy Paul.  

So how much can be read into these wins and should we be expecting similar results at Wimbledon which begins a week tomorrow? 

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Jannik Sinner reaches the first grass final of his career in Halle

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Jannik Sinner overcame Zhang Zhizhen 6-4 7-6 (7-3) to reach the first final of his career on grass at the Terra Wortmann in Halle. Sinner achieved his best result on this surface when he reached the semifinal at Wimbledon in 2023. 

Sinner will face a final against his friend Hubert Hurkacz, who beat Alexander Zverev 7-6 (7-2) 6-4 in the first semifinal. The Italian player converted his only break point in the ninth game and fended off the only break point he faced at 5-6 in the second set with a forehand winner, one of his winners of the match. 

The Italian player earned an early mini-break to take a 2-0 lead. Zhang Zhizhen pulled the mini-break back. Sinner earned two mini-breaks in the fourth and eighth points to win the tie-break 7-3. Sinner won the first of the four tie-breaks he played this week.

Sinner finished the match in straight sets after clinching three consecutive three-set wins at the start of his campaign at this year’s edition of the Terra Wortmann in Halle. 

The world number 1 player won three titles on hard court at the Australian Open, Rotterdam and Miami this year. 

“It means a lot. I had four tough matches to go to the final. It was a good match today. Definitely more rallies than yesterday. And that’s definitely what I needed today. I am happy and let’s see what’s coming tomorrow”, said Sinner.  

Earlier this week Zhang Zhizhen had previously beaten Danil Medvedev in the second round and came back from 2-5 down to beat Christopher Eubanks in the quarter finals. 

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Hubert Hurkacz beats Alexander Zverev to reach the second final of his career in Halle

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Hubert Hurkacz moved past this year’s Roland Garros finalist Alexander Zverev 7-6 (7-2) 6-4 in 1 hour and 33 minutes to reach the second final of his career at the Terra Wortmann in Halle. Hurkacz will be aiming to win the second title of his career at this tournament two years after his triumph. 

Hurkacz fired 17 aces and saved all four break points he faced in the first game of the opening set to clinch his fifth top 10 win on grass. The Pole won 81% of his first serve points. 

The first set went on serve en route to the tie-break. Hurkacz earned two mini-breaks to win the tie-break 7-2. Hurkacz his only break in the third game of the second set to win the second set 6-4. 

“I really love grass. The game suits my game and the atmosphere here, having the full crowd is incredible. It brings so much joy to the players”, said Hurkacz. 

Hurkacz improved to 1-3 in his head-to-head matches against Zverev. The Polish player will aim to clinch the ninth ATP Tour title of his career in his 11th ATP Tour final. 

Hurkacz won the Halle tournament in 2022 and reached the semifinal at Wimbledon in 2021. 

Zverev holds a record of 37 wins to 11 defeats this season. 

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