Ash Barty Ousts Anisimova To Reach Australian Open Quarter-Finals - UBITENNIS
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Ash Barty Ousts Anisimova To Reach Australian Open Quarter-Finals

Ash Barty is into another grand slam quarter-final despite losing her serve against Amanda Anisimova.

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Ash Barty (@Tennis - Twitter)

World number one Ash Barty is into the quarter-finals of the Australian Open after a 6-4 6-3 victory over Amanda Anisimova.

 

The Australian’s hopes of winning a first grand slam on home soil continue after handing the American her first loss of the season.

Barty’s streak of service games won did end at 63 despite the win after being broken at the start of the second set.

The world number one came back though to set up a quarter-final meeting with Jessica Pegula on Tuesday.

Heading into this match Anisimova hadn’t lost this season while Barty was on a 58 game service winning streak so something had to give in this match and it was the world number one who started the better.

Barty’s slice mixed with effective point construction was enough to create break point opportunities early on.

However the American made life difficult for the top seed with big serving and big-hitting to save break point and hold early on.

Much of Anisimova’s good start to the season was more consistent power and knowing when to really go for her shots and that showed in the early exchanges with her patience showing it’s rewards.

At 2-2 it was Barty’s turn to save a couple of break points which she did in style as Anisimova threatened the break.

After failing to break a stubborn Anisimova in the next game, Barty continued her sustained pressure with some sublime shot-making as her slice-forehand combinations were too much for the American.

Eventually on her sixth set point of the set a forehand unforced error from the American gave Barty the break for a 4-3 lead.

That blip didn’t intimidate Anisimova as her powerful shot-making earned another break point but the American was left frustrated as she constantly missed key returns on break points.

Barty held serve and continued to do so as she took the opening set in 39 minutes.

In the second set there was an immediate response from Anisimova as she continued to be smart with her aggressive tactics.

There was reward for her tactics as she broke for a 2-0 lead at the start of the second set with Barty’s 63 game winning streak on serve coming to an end.

However that was the only negative for the world number one as she seized back control of the match with more slice and dice as well as ridiculous forehand speed.

The Australian immediately broke back and set the tempo for the rest of the set as she won four of the next five games to lead 4-3.

There was no response from Anisimova as the unforced errors kept on coming while winners were produced from Barty.

In the end a third break of serve in the set clinched a clinical performance and progress into the last eight without dropping a set.

After the match Barty praised Anisimova, “Amanda is an incredible athlete and incredible competitor. It’s nice to see her back playing her best tennis,” she said in her on-court interview.

“I enjoyed sharing the court with her and testing myself against her. It was nice to be able to hold firm tonight.”

Barty will now meet Jessica Pegula in the quarter-finals on Tuesday as she moves one step closer to a first Australian Open singles title.

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REPORT: French Open Qualifying Match Under Investigation Over Irregular Betting Patterns

An unusual number of bets were placed on the match in three different countries.

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A first round match at this week’s French Open qualifying tournament is being looked into after an abnormally high number of bets was placed, according to a leading French newspaper.

 

L’Equipe have cited police sources saying that the clash between eighth seed Bernabé Zapata Miralles and Dudi Sela has flagged up irregular patterns. Miralles defeated his Israeli rival 6-3, 6-0, in less than an hour. It is understood that the focus of the investigation is on the second set which lasted less than 20 minutes. A total of 32 points was placed in that set with Sela only winning seven of those.

According to the source, an unusually high number of bets were placed on the match in three different countries – Cyprus, Ukraine and Armenia. Prompting judicial authorities to look into the possibility that the match could have been fixed but at present no formal investigation has been confirmed.

“There is no business,” the French Tennis Federation (FFT) was quoted by Le Parisien as saying on the matter.

37-year-old Sela is currently ranked outside the world’s top 400 but managed to get into the qualifying draw with the use of a protected ranking. He has only played in two singles tournaments so far this season with the other being at the Australian Open where he also lost in the first round of qualifying.

Sela confirmed in January that 2022 would be his last as a professional. A former top 30 player, he has reached the final of two ATP events in China (2008) and Atlanta (2014). He also reached the fourth round at Wimbledon in 2009 and has beaten three top 10 players during his career.

Meanwhile, Miralles sealed his place in the French Open main draw on Thursday after coming from a set down to beat Luca Nardi 3-6, 6-4, 6-1.

There is currently no evidence to suggest that either player has been involved in match-fixing. According to statistics from L’Equipe, there has been a 177% increase in online bets concerning the French Open over a five-year period to 128M euros in 2021.

This year players who lose in the first round of qualifying at the French Open will earn €14,000, which is a 40% increase on 2021.

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“Healthy Mind In A Healthy Body”: Asics To Include Psychological Support In Sponsored Players’ Contracts

Matteo Berrettini and Iga Swiatek are among those who will benefit from the help of mental health experts

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Iga Swiatek - Roma 2022 (foto Roberto dell'Olivo)

by Andrea Mastronuzzi, translated by Massimo Volpati

The more the years pass, the more professional sport assumes the contours of a job like many others (certainly more profitable, but in some ways even more stressful), and the more officials realise how essential it is to be able to count on mental coaches or psychologists. Both to withstand external pressures and to achieve one’s goals and therefore endure another type of pressure, which comes from one’s inner self. 

 

Tennis players increasingly talk about their difficulties in terms of mental strength and underline the crucial role played by the psychologists who support them: From women’s world No.1 Iga Swiatek (she also spoke about it in the press conference after her victory over Andreescu in the quarterfinals of the Italian Open) to Denis Shapovalov, Alex de Minaur and Naomi Osaka. The new queen of women’s tennis, signed up by ASICS, will be able to take full benefit from psychological support provided by the Japanese company.

It is no coincidence that ASICS is the first sponsor to include this aid in the partnership agreements it has entered into with its tennis players. The company name is in fact the acronym of a variant of the famous Latin phrase “mens (which becomes anima) sana in corpore sano”, namely “healthy mind in healthy body.” The brand collaborated with some researchers from Kings College London on the realisation of a study (“State of Mind”) which allowed to identify a positive link between tennis and mental health. In the wake of these results, ASICS has set up a facility in Paris where fans are offered the opportunity to play tennis and deal with their psychological state at the same time.

In addition to its initiatives centred on mental health, ASICS has kicked off a mental health support project involving their sponsored professional tennis players. Among these there are Matteo Berrettini, David Goffin and de Minaur. Everyone will rely on a team of experts made available by the Japanese brand and led by Daria Abramovicz (who spoke with ubitennis.net last year) who has been working with Swiatek for some time. The young psychologist said that “by offering confidential support, it is possible to help normalize what is normal and assist players along their journey towards a healthy mind in a healthy body”.

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Richard Gasquet upsets Danil Medvedev in Geneva

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Richard Gasquet upset Danil Medvedev 6-2 7-6 (7-5) with three breaks of serve in 90 minutes to reach the second round at the Gonet Geneva Open. 

 

Gasquet scored his first win over an opponent ranked in the top 2 since he beat world number 1 Roger Federer at the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters 2005. 

Medvedev had beaten Gasquet in their only previous head-to-head match at the 2021 US Open en route to his first Grand Slam title. 

Medvedev was playing his first match since Miami in March after undegoing hernia surgery.

Gasquet won six consecutive games from 2-2 in the first set and built up a 6-2 2-0 lead.  

Medveved dropped his serve after three double faults with three double faults. The Russian player broke back in the sixth game to draw level to 3-3 and held serve at love with an ace. 

Medvedev recovered from a mini-break down in the tie-break. Gasquet earned his third mini-break to win the tie-break 7-5. 

The Frenchman will face Kamil Majchrzak, who cruised past Marco Cecchinato 6-2 6-3.

Thanasi Kokkinakis earned his first win on clay in seven years with a 6-4 6-3 win over Fabio Fognini in 1 hour and 28 minutes. 

Kokkinakis went up a break to take a 4-1 lead. Fognini broke back in the seventh game to draw level to 4-4.  Kokkinakis broke serve at love in the tenth game to claim the first set 6-4. 

Fognini made two double faults and missed three game points before dropping serve in the second game of the second set. Kokkinakis did not face any break points in his remaining four service games. 

Christopher O’Connell edged past Albert Ramos Vinolas 7-6 (7-5) 6-4 to set up a second round match against Reilly Opelka. 

Paulo Sousa cruised past 2021 semifinalist Pablo Andujar 6-1 6-4. Sousa will face Nikoloz Basilashvili, who was leading 6-4 before Facundo Bagnis retired from the match.

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