‘A Great Privilege’ - Emma Raducanu Appoints Germany’s Beltz As New Coach - UBITENNIS
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‘A Great Privilege’ – Emma Raducanu Appoints Germany’s Beltz As New Coach

The world No.20 has spoken publicly about her new coach for the first time.

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Emma Raducanu (GBR) celebrates beating Marketa Vondrousova (CZE) in the second round of the Ladies' Singles on Court 18 at The Championships 2021. Held at The All England Lawn Tennis Club, Wimbledon. Day 4 Thursday 01/07/2021. Credit: AELTC/David Gray

US Open champion Emma Raducanu hopes the experience of her new coach will help her build on what has been a breakthrough year for the British teenager.

 

The 18-year-old has officially appointed Torben Beltz to her team after the two were spotted talking together in London earlier in the week. Beltz is a familiar face in women’s tennis after working with Angelique Kerber in three separate stints with the most recent of them ending just this month. He was the coach who guided Kerber to her first Grand Slam title, as well as overseeing her rise to world No.1. He has also worked with Croatia’s Donna Vekic.

Speaking about her collaboration with the 44-year-old for the first time on Tuesday, Raducanu said she was ‘excited’ to be working with somebody who has a wealth of experience. The world No.20 made her WTA Tout debut back in June at the Nottingham Open. Besides her historic US Open triumph where she became the first qualifier in history to win a major title, she has experienced mixed fortunes on the Tour.

“It’s obviously a great privilege to be working with such an experienced coach,” Raducanu told reporters.
“I’m definitely very excited to work with him throughout the pre-season and into next year. I’m feeling excited about all the work that is to come.
“I think he brings a lot of experience. Obviously he’s worked with Kerber, who’s such a great player and has done extremely well, won three slams. I think that experience definitely helps with someone as inexperienced as me.
“He can help guide me through, which I feel really confident about, and also he’s a really positive, cheerful guy who brings great energy to the team so I think that’s also important when you’re travelling on the road for quite a long time on the tour.”

Raducanu’s season came to an end on Tuesday after she lost in the second round of the Linz Open to China’s Wang Xinyu in three sets. Since claiming her first Grand Slam, the Brit has won two out of five matches played. Both of those victories were last week in Romania against Polona Hercog and Ana Bogdan.

Reflecting on her unprecedented rise in the sport within such a short period of time, Raducanu admits that she is still trying to get used to the demanding schedule of the Tour. Within the past month she has played in three different countries across two separate continents.

“A lot has happened this year,” she said. “Where I was in January, February, March, I would have taken it. I have learnt how much room I have to develop physically and what playing on the tour week in, week out actually needs because clearly my body is still trying to get up to speed. I was honestly quite happy with the level I put out and tried to fight back.”

The youngster, who will turn 19 on Saturday, now intends to take some time away before starting her pre-season training with Beltz.

Raducanu’s season timeline

January: Did not play

February: Began the season by playing on the ITF Tour. Lost in the first round of a W25 event in Glasgow but reached the final of another event in Sunderland a week later.

MarchMay: Did not play

June: Made her WTA Tour debut at the Nottingham Open where she lost her opening match to Harriet Dart. She then played a $100,000 event in the same city where she reached the quarter-finals.

July: As a wildcard Raducanu stunned the field at Wimbledon by reaching the fourth round in what was her first ever Grand Slam tournament.

August: Lost in first round of the San Diego Open to Zhang Shuai before going on to have success in a couple lower level tournaments in America. At an ITF $100,000 event in Landisville she reached the quarter-finals and then reached the final of a WTA 125 tournament in Chicago.

September: at the US Open Raducanu came through qualifying to win the biggest title of her career. She won 10 matches in a row without dropping a set, defeating players such as Belinda Bencic and Maria Sakkari.

October: In her first tournament since New York, she lost her opening match at the BNP Paribas Open to Aliaksandra Sasnovich. In her next tournament at the Transylvania Open she fared better with a run to the last eight.

November: The top seed in Linz, Raducanu lost in the second round to China’s Wang Xinyu in what was her last match of the season. Names Torben Beltz as her new coach.

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Jannik Sinner takes the positives from his defeat against Stefanos Tsitsipas

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Jannik Sinner has taken the positives from his straight-set defeat against Stefanos Tsitsipas in the quarter final at the Australian Open. The Italian 20-year-old star believes that the experience will help him to continue improving. 

 

“It’s a positive tournament. I think that what I have to improve is tennis in general. I have to serve better. I have to serve better, I have to do everything more, especially when you play against the top guys. My goal is to play many matches like this, important matches against the best guys in the world, and then we see and then I grow. I think it was good. I played matches, and I had a good experience. Let’s see what I can do here next year. I think I can go back with a positive mindset, knowing that I have to improve many things. There is a lot of work”, said Sinner. 

Sinner praised Tsisipas, who has extended his win-loss record to 3-1 in the four head-to-head matches against his Italian opponent. 

“I think he played better than me than me today. He served better. He moved the ball better than me. He was moving better than me. It’s tough to play against him when he plays like that. I could not generate the power that I would have wanted. I was trying to move him, but I was maybe a little bit too far back because he played incredible today. I didn’t have many chances. Especially he was serving well, so returning his serves was not easy. My return serves were not so good, especially when he had second serves, or I played very short or I missed. This is why he didn’t play so many second serves. I tried to step a little bit closer, tried to open the court, but today it was tough. I know what what I have to improve many things. This was a lesson for me”, said Sinner. 

Sinner, who was making his third appearance at the Australian Open, dropped just one set en route to his second Grand Slam quarter final two years after losing to Rafael Nadal in this stage at Roland Garros in 2020. 

“In the past few months I have matured as a player in many aspects, but above alla s a person. This is the most important aspect. 

Sinner has become the fifth Italian male player to advance to the last eight in Melbourne after Matteo Berrettini, who beat Gael Monfils in five sets reaching the semifinal the previous day. Berrettini has reached at least the quarter finals at all four Grand Slam tournaments. With a win over Rafael Nadal in the semifinal of the Australian Open, Berrrettini would become joint second Italian player for most Grand Slam semifinals in history alongside Adriano Panatta, who won Roland Garros in 1976. Sinner reached a career-high world number 10 last November. When Berrettini was that age, he had never been inside the top 500. 

Sinner has a bigger respect for his friend Berrettini on and off the court. 

“I enjoy watching Matteo’s matches. I admire him as a player and as a person. We are good friends I wish him all the best for the next matches. During the ATP Cup we practiced on the court and I now know him better. I have learnt a lot from training with him. Matteo is a very good guy. We get along well. Our rivalry is helping us to push beyond our limits”, said Sinner.

Sinner will return to the court to play at the Rotterdam ATP 500 indoor-court tournament. 

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Nick Kyrgios and Thanasi Kokkinakis secure the semifinal spot in the Australian Open doubles tournament

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Australian wild cards Thanasi Kokkinakis and Nick Kyrgios knocked out sixth seeds Tim Puetz and Michael Venus 7-5 3-6 6-3 after 2 hours and 15 minutes to advance to the semifinals in the doubles tournament on Kia Arena at the Australian Open in Melbourne. 

 

Kokkinakis and Kyrgios hit 25 aces and won 86% of their first service points. 

Kokkinakis and Kirgyos, who won the Wimbledon Junior title in the doubles together, earned the only break in the 11th game to claim the first set 7-5. The Aussies fired 13 aces and won 91% of his first serve points. 

Puetz and Venus broke Kyrgios in the second game at deuce in the second game and saved four break points to hold serve at deuce for 3-0. The early break was enough for Puetz and Venus to seal the second set. 

Kyrgios and Kokkinakis broke Puetz to love to open up a 3-1 lead. The home team fended off a break point in the seventh game to move ahead 5-2 and closed out the third set 6-3 with a double break in the ninth game.

The Aussie doubles team have never won a doubles Grand Slam title, but have won a singles ATP title each with different players. Kyrgios won the 2018 ATP Tour title with Jack Sock, while Kokkinakis claimed the Brisbane International with Jordan Thompson in 2017. 

“We are stoked with the win. We came big in the big points”, said Kokkinakis. 

Kokkinakis and Kyrgios recorded their third consecutive win against a seeded team to reach their first Grand Slam semifinal. 

“It’s been incredible. Another tough win. I think that’s probably the toghest pair that we have played. They brought some serious tennis today and it wasn’t easy”, said Kyrgios. 

Kyrgios and Kokkinakis set up a semifinal clash against Marcel Granollers and Horacio Zeballos, who took down John Peers and Filip Polasek 7-6 (7-5) 6-4 in 1 hour and 49 minutes. Granollers and Zeballos fended off a set point on serve at 5-6 30-40 in the first set, before breaking twice in the second set to close out the match. The Argentine and Spanish team have won six titles as a team, including four Masters 1000 tournaments in Montreal 2019, Rome 2020, Madrid and Cincinnati in 2021. 

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“It was crazy” – Kaia Kanepi Ousts Australian Open Second Seed Aryna Sabalenka In An Epic

The Estonian is through to the last eight at Melbourne Park for the first time in her career.

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World number 115 Kaia Kanepi produced one of the shocks of the tournament to send Aryna Sabalenka crashing out.

 

The 36-year-old Estonian saw three match points come and go but prevailed in the super tie-break to seal it; 5-7, 6-2, 7-6 (10-7).

Through to the quarter finals for the first time in her career, she will face Poland’s Iga Świątek. The 2020 French Open champion saw off Sorana Cîrstea in three sets.

https://twitter.com/AustralianOpen/status/1485600320264847364

The first set saw power tennis from both players out on Margaret Court Arena. 

Kanepi held serve right up till 5-5, when Sabalenka turned the screw.

The Belarussian was pushed to deuce on her own service game but did enough to edge ahead.

She then applied enough pressure, opening up three break-points and only needing one, took the first set 7-5.

But the veteran Estonian roared back in the second set, nailing a huge break of serve to go 1-0 ahead.

Kanepi secured the double break, soon steaming ahead at 4-0 and eventually pocketed the set 6-2.

The 23-year-old from Minsk was beginning to look jaded in the deciding set, as Kanepi took an immediate break of serve.

She soon went 4-2 ahead but Sabalenka fought back for 4-4, as the set went back on serve.

Kanepi got the decisive break to move 5-4 ahead and serve for the match.

Nerves got to the Estonian, however, as Sabalenka saved four match points.

Three times at deuce, and on her third break point, Sabalenka levelled the set for 5-5.

Both players held serve, under enormous pressure, to send the match to a super tie-break.

Kanepi surged into a 5-2 lead but Sabalenka played clutch to level at 5-5.

It was soon 7-7, but the pressure got to Sabalenka, and Kanepi won three straight points to win the biggest match of her career.

https://twitter.com/KanepiKaia/status/1485614786473861122

Kanepi said she was shocked to have won. “Actually, I thought I was going to lose it after the match points I had on my serve.”

“It was really difficult to come back. I don’t know how I managed to do it.

“I was really tight. My hand was shaking when I started serving. I didn’t make any first serves in, and that added to the pressure. It was crazy.”

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