Iga Swiatek Ready To Embrace Pressure Of Being World No.1 - UBITENNIS
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Iga Swiatek Ready To Embrace Pressure Of Being World No.1

The Pole is set to become the youngest player to debut at world No.1 on the WTA Tour since Caroline Wozniacki back in 2010.

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Iga Swiatek admits she doesn’t know what will happen when she officially rises to the top of the WTA rankings but she believes she is in the right mindset to handle the responsibility.

 

The 20-year-old will officially become world No.1 next week following the conclusion of the Miami Open where she is bidding to achieve the sunshine double after winning Indian Wells earlier in the month. Swiatek will replace the recently retired Ash Barty at the top of the rankings. The rise comes less than a month after she broke into the world’s top three for the first time in her career.

Given Barty’s unexpected retirement decision, the Pole now finds herself having to cope with a likely surge of interest in her by both the media and commercial enquiries. Nevertheless, she feels she will be able to deal with the demand thanks to her team.

“I don’t really know how that feels exactly because I have never been a No. 1. We are going to have to see and react probably,” she said following her fourth round win over Coco Gauff at the Miami Open.
“But I feel right now pretty good. I always had a kind of ease to cut off the rankings and the numbers and just focus on playing. This season I have much more joy from being on court and playing and competing, so I think if I’m going to keep up with the same attitude, it’s going to be fine.’
“You never know what’s gonna happen because I never been in such situations.”

Swiatek first rose to prominence at the 2019 French Open when she stunned the field to win the title. Becoming the first player from her country to win a major and the youngest French Open champion since Monica Seles in 1992. Following the triumph, the Pole has won four more Tour titles with three of those being at WTA 1000 events.

Reflecting on her past achievements on the court, Swiatek is confident that the experience of her Grand Slam triumph will help her deal with the pressure of becoming world No.1.

“There is more excitement because after winning Roland Garros I felt a lot of doubt and I didn’t really know what’s gonna happen and how I’m gonna handle that,” she said.
“But right now I feel more prepared and I feel like I’m in a better place. So there is more excitement and more satisfaction because after Roland Garros, it was really a mess.”

Swiatek believes part of her success on the Tour has been down to the work on her mental strength with her sports psychologist Daria Abramowicz. She says she is now better prepared in dealing with any adverse situations occurring such as disappointing losses on the Tour.

As for the immediate future, Swiatek has played down the idea of using her new No.1 ranking to be a global ambassador for the sport. Explaining that she doesn’t want to place too much pressure on her shoulder at a young age. Although she does have another goal in her mind.

My goal from the beginning when I started (playing) was to make tennis more popular in Poland, and I’m going to for sure be focusing on that,” she states.
“For sure now I also have more impact worldwide. But honestly, I don’t want to put too much baggage on my shoulders. I know handling this is something that’s pretty tough, so I’m going to give myself a little bit of time and continue what I was doing in Poland.’
“Maybe some day I’m going to feel strong enough to also be like a tennis representative for the whole world.”

Swiatek will play two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova in the quarter-finals of the Miami Open.

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‘She Got lucky’ – Jelena Ostapenko Has Dig At Opponent After Wimbledon Exit

The top 20 star was also not happy with the umpire following her latest loss.

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Jelena Ostapenko (LAT) - Credit: AELTC/Florian Eisele

Former Grand Slam champion Jelena Ostapenko believes her exit from Wimbledon was nothing but a stroke of bad luck after criticizing her match umpire.

 

Ostapenko, who was the 12th seed in the tournament, fell 5-7, 7-5, 7-5, to Germany’s Tatjana Maria. The clash was a frustrating encounter for the Latvian who had an array of chances to establish a strong lead. After winning the opener, she boasted a break advantage in each of the next two sets before losing them. Then at 5-4 in the third, she failed to convert two match points before losing the final two games of the match.

“I thought it was like my match. I had to win it and she got just so lucky in some moments so she could come back. I felt I was the player who had to win this match today,” said Ostapenko.

Claiming that she felt she was playing at a better level than Maria,  Ostapenko has taken a swipe at the match official for making in her view ‘a huge mistake.’   She is not the first player to criticize the court officials with Nick Kyrgios expressing his frustration about them multiple times at the tournament.

“She got lucky, she framed it, put the ball on the line,” she commented on how her match ended. “Then the chair umpire made a huge mistake on 5-All in the third set when it was breakpoint on my serve and I had no challenges left. People who watched the match texted me that it was quite big out.”
“All those small things together, they come and you can lose such a match. Of course, I’m really disappointed because if I lost against an amazing player who just beat me in a great match, but I just lost my match.”

A win would have elevated Ostapenko into the last eight of a major for the first time since Wimbledon 2018. The 25-year-old is currently ranked 17th in the world but has been as high as fifth before.

It was visible how annoyed she was with the match immediately afterward when she threw her water bottle onto her chair out of anger, knocking it out. Prompting an inevitable reaction of boos from the crowd.

“I’m an emotional player. I hate losing because I’m such a competitive person,” said Ostapenko.
“So I think it’s normal. Of course, maybe I shouldn’t have done this, but it’s easy to say from the outside when you are not in my place, it’s easy to judge.”

As for Maria, she will play compatriot Jule Niemeier in the quarter-finals. 

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Who Is Marie Bouzková? Six Things To Know About The Wimbledon Quarter-Finalist

After previously never going beyond the second round of a major, the Czech is making a name for herself at The All England Club.

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Czech Republic’s Maria Bouzkova has broken new ground at Wimbledon by reaching the quarter-finals on Sunday. 

 

Coming into the tournament, the 23-year-old has failed to win back-to-back matches in 12 Grand Slam appearances. However, the past week has seen her breakthrough with a surprise run to the quarter-finals. She secured a place in the last eight with a 7-5, 6-2, win over France’s Caroline Garcia. The player who defeated Emma Raducanu in the second round.

In her latest match, Bouzkova was by far the most consistent player on the court as she produced just four unforced errors against 13 winners. In comparison, Garcia’s tally was 25 against 24. She broke the Frenchwoman four times in the match en route to victory. 

“I don’t know how I got here,” said Bouzkova.
“Now we will celebrate with strawberries and cream. It’s one of our 100 routines at Wimbledon.”

Bouzkova’s run at Wimbledon has brought the Czech into the limelight for the first time. Although some may not be too familiar with the right-hander who plays with a two-handed backhand. Here are five things to know about the underdog. 

  1. As a junior, she won the 2014 US Open title and reached the final of the Wimbledon doubles event that same year. 
  2. Wimbledon is where Bouzkova won her first Grand Slam main draw match back in 2019 after defeating Mona Barthel in the first round. 
  3. Prior to Garcia, she defeated Danielle Collins, Ann Li and Alison Riske-Amritraj this week. Collins was the sixth top 20 player she has defeated and second this year after Karolina Pliskova.
  4. She was ranked as low as 97th in the world earlier this season but is currently up to 66. Her career-best is 46. 
  5. Has reached three WTA finals in as many years in Guadalajara (2022), Melbourne 250 (2021) and Monterey (2020).
  6. She has a win-loss record of 18-9 so far this season. Although prior to Wimbledon, she has not won any matches on the grass after losing in the first round of Eastbourne to Shelby Rogers. 

Bouzkova will play either second seed Ons Jabeur or Elise Mertens in the quarter-finals.

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Rafael Nadal Apologizes To Opponent After Wimbledon Win

The Spaniard admits he made a mistake.

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Rafael Nadal said he was ‘wrong’ to call his opponent to the net during the third set of their third round match at Wimbledon.

The 22-time Grand Slam champion booked his place in the last 16 of the tournament by defeating Lorenzo Sonego 6-1, 6-2, 6-4. Nadal, who hasn’t won Wimbledon for more than a decade, was out in full flow as he raced to a two-set and 4-2 lead. At that point, Sonego managed to get the roof to be closed due to poor lighting.

After speaking to the umpire, Nadal called his opponent to the net for a discussion over what is believed to be about the noise he was making during the match. After losing his 4-2 advantage, Nadal battled back by breaking once again to secure victory.

“Well, first of all, I have to say that I was wrong. Probably I should not call him on the net. So I apologize for that. My mistake in that. No problem. I recognise that,” said Nadal.
Then after that, all the stuff during the match that I don’t want to comment (on), because is something that I spoke with him in the locker room and it stays there. Only thing I can say is I saw him personally. I apologise for that.
“My intention was never to bother him at all. Just to tell one thing that was bothering me that I think he was doing in that moment, but that’s it.
“I think there is some code between players. Yeah, we had some issues there. But that’s it.”


The two shared a lengthy exchange at the net after the conclusion of the match and there were no hard feelings between either player.

Controversy aside, Nadal has hailed what he believed is his best performance at The All England Club yet. Against Soego, he won 73% of his service points and hit 24 winners.

“It was my best match, without a doubt, since the tournament started,” said Nadal. “I have made improvements and I’m very happy.’
“I’ve made I think a lot of things much better than the previous days, the determination, the way that I manage to play more aggressively and going to the net plenty of times.”

 

Nadal will play Dutch world number 25 Botic van de Zandschulp in the last 16. 

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