Clara Tauson scores the biggest win of her career beating Anett Kontaveit in Melbourne - UBITENNIS
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Clara Tauson scores the biggest win of her career beating Anett Kontaveit in Melbourne

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Danish 19-year-old rising star Clara Tauson beat 2020 Australian Open quarter finalist Anett Kontaveit 6-2 6-4 in 1 hour and 19 minutes to reach the third round of a Grand Slam tournament for the the first time in her career in Melbourne. 

 

Former world junior number 1 player Clara Tauson started the 2021 season outside the top 100 and won her first two WTA Tour titles in Lyon and Luxembourg. Kontaveit had won 28 of her past 32 matches in 2021 to break into the top 10 in the WTA Ranking. 

Tauson hit 20 winners to 13 unforced errors. The Dane broke her Estonian opponent in the first game of the opening set. She broke serve with her service returns to open up a 5-2 lead and held serve at love with a backhand winner to close out the first set 6-2. 

Both players traded breaks twice in the second set to draw level to 4-4. Tauson converted her third break point in the ninth game after a wide forehand by Kontaveit. 

Tauson earned three match points, as she was serving for the match, and sealed the win after a forehand error by Kontaveit. 

The Dane recorded the biggest win of her career by ranking. 

“It’s the first time I am in the third round of a Grand Slam tournament. It’s a big achievement for me. Obviously it was one of the things I really wanted to do, to beat the good players in the bigger tournaments. Doing it in a Slam is a really great feeling. It’s just a lot of hard work that I have put into it. That it’s here already in one of the first tournaments of the year is a really nice feeling, but I still have some work to do. I cannot be too happy with the win today, but I am really happy”, said Tauson. 

Tauson set up a third round match against 2019 Australian Open semifinalist Danielle Collins, who beat Ana Konjuh 6-4 6-3. 

Former Roland Garros champion Iga Swiatek won 8 of her 10 games en route to her 6-2 6-2 win over Rebecca Peterson in just 67 minutes to advance to the third round at the Australian Open for the the third consecutive year. 

Swiatek recorded her second win against Peterson at Grand Slam level after beating her Swedish opponent in the second round of last year’s Roland Garros. 

“Just starting the match with confidence was pretty important for me. I felt like I was dominating from the beginning, and after getting a couple of breaks. It was much easier to go forward. That was the key”, said Swiatek. 

Swiatek will face Russia’s Daria Kasatkina, who eased past Polish player Magda Linette 6-2 6-3. Kasatkina beat Swiatek in three sets on grass in Eastboune last summer. 

Aryna Sabalenka fought back from one set down to beat Wang Xinyu 1-6 6-4 6-2. 

Anastasya Pavlyuchenkova beat 37-year-old Australian player Samantha Stosur 6-2 6-2. Stosur bid her farewell to her singles career and was honoured on court with a video and video tribute by Ashleigh Barty, Simona Halep, Victoria Azarenka and Ajla Tomljanovic. 

Pavlyuchenkova set up a third round match against Sorana Cristea, who beat Slovakia’s Kristina Kucova 6-2 6-4. 

Simona Halep eased past Beatriz Haddad Maia 6-2 6-0 with five breaks of serve in just 66 minutes setting up a third round match against Danka Kovinic, who beat Emma Raducanu in three sets. Halep dropped just nine points on serve and never faced a break point. The two-time Grand Slam champion hit 15 winners to 22 unforced errors. The Romanian player claimed her 23rd career title at the Melbourne Summer Set 1 two weeks ago and has extended her winning streak to seven consecutive matches.

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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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