Iga Swiatek Thrashes Keys To Set Up Semi-Final Clash With Halep In Indian Wells - UBITENNIS
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Iga Swiatek Thrashes Keys To Set Up Semi-Final Clash With Halep In Indian Wells

The world No.4 believes her run in Indian Wells this year has been aided by a change in her mindset during matches.

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Iga Swiatek’s bid to become the first Polish player in history to win the BNP Paribas Open is gaining momentum after she crushed Madison Keys in the quarter-finals.

 

Swiatek, who is the highest seed remaining in the women’s draw, required less than an hour to brush aside her American rival 6-1, 6-0. The world No.4 won 84% of her first service points as she broke Keys in five out of her six service games in what was her most one-sided win of the season so far.

“I think it was a great performance from me. I think it was my best match here. For sure it was a little bit easier to find my rhythm when it was a little bit colder,” Swiatek said during her press conference.
“That was on my advantage. I think I just was really focused and consistent.”

Her dominant display is a stark contrast to her other matches in the tournament this year. Prior to the quarter-finals, Swiatek had to come back from a set down three times in a row to beat Anhelina Kalinina, Clara Tucson and Angelique Kerber. This year is only the second in her career the 20-year-old is playing in Indian Wells after reaching the fourth round in 2021.

Reflecting on her run so far, Swiatek believes her ability to come back from the brink of losing is due to a change in her mental approach to the game in recent months. Drawing inspiration from that of world No.1 Ash Barty who is set to return to action next month on the clay. Barty pulled out of Indian Wells due to fitness concerns.

“Right now I’m more focused on finding solutions and I want every match to be a lesson for me,” she explains.
“I think Ash Barty has this kind of mindset. When she feels like the match is really tight, she treats it like a great experience because she can find solutions, actually be focused on that. It’s a great challenge for her.’
“I’m also trying to find fun when I’m playing, when the score is pretty tight.”

Next up for Swiatek will be Simona Halep, who is through to the semi-finals in Indian Wells for the fourth time in her career. Halep, who has dropped just one set in the tournament so far, breezed past Petra Martic 6-1, 6-1. The Romanian is bidding to win her second Tour title of the season after Melbourne and her first WTA 1000 event since Rome 2020.

“It’s going to be a little more difficult. She’s very solid. She’s consistent. It will be a tough battle. But it’s a new day, a new match. I’m expecting a tough one,” Halep said of playing Swiatek.

Swiatek leads Halep 2-1 in their head-to-head. In their last meeting at the 2021 Australian Open she came back from a set down to win.

Grand Slam

(VIDEO EXCLUSIVE) The Wimbledon Clash Between Djokovic And Sinner Could Have Been Better

It was an epic five-set clash but imagine how better the match would have been if both were playing well at the same time…

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Hall of Famer Steve Flink and Ubitennis’ Ubaldo Scanagatta analyse the dramatic events that unfolded on Tuesday at Wimbledon.

 

Top seed Novak Djokovic staged an epic comeback to oust Jannik Sinner in a match of two halves. Meanwhile, Cameron Norrie brought delight to the British fans.

On the other side of the draw, how will Rafael Nadal fair against the in-form Taylor Fritz? The Spaniard recently sidestepped a question about a potential new injury. 

As for the women’s draw, Ons Jabeur made history by becoming the first Arab player to reach a major quarter-final. She will next play 34-year-old mum-of-two Tatjana Maria who had never been beyond the third round of a major until now. 

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WIMBLEDON: 10 Facts About Semi-Finalist Ons Jabeur

All you need to know about the Trailblazing Tunisian who has created history at The All England Club.

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Second seed Ons Jabeur achieved a new milestone for both her and her country at Wimbledon on Tuesday. 

 

The world No.2 battled back from a set down to defeat Marie Bouzkova 3-6, 6-1, 6-1, to reach the last four of a major event for the first time in her career. Jabeur has now dropped only one set in five matches played and is the highest ranked player remaining in the draw. Her major breakthrough comes seven years after she made her Grand Slam debut at the 2015 Australian Open. 

“I played really good from beginning of the second set, especially having a early break kind of helps me gain confidence,” said Jabeur.
“I know it wasn’t easy playing Marie. She gets all the balls and doesn’t make, to win a point, easy for me. I’m glad I stepped in with my game. I was more aggressive in the second set, and especially tactically I was playing some angles that she didn’t like much.”

To mark Jabeur’s Wimbledon milestone, here are 10 facts to know about her:-

  1. She is the first North African player – male or female – to reach a Grand Slam semi-final. The last woman from the entire African continent to reach a major semi-final was Amanda Coetzer at the 1997 French Open. 
  2. Her win over Bouzkova is Jabeur’s 26th Tour-level win on the grass.
  3. Jabeur has now won 83 matches over the past two seasons. This is more than any other player on the WTA Tour. 
  4. Has won 21 out of her last 23 matches.
  5. She is the only Tunisian woman currently ranked in the world’s top 700.
  6. Jabeur had failed to win back-to-back matches on her three out of her four previous appearances at Wimbledon in 2017, 2018 and 2019. She reached the quarter-finals in 2021.
  7. Coming into Wimbledon she has already earned more than $6.2m in prize money in her career.
  8. She has won three Tour titles in Birmingham (2021), Madrid (2022) and Berlin (2022). 
  9. Has beaten a top 10 player four times in her career – Dominika Cibulkova (2017 French Open), Simona Halep (Beijing 2018), Sloane Stephens (Moscow 2018) and Karolina Pliskova (Doha 2020).
  10. In October 2021 she became the first Arab player (mae or female) to crack the world’s top 10 in tennis. 

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Tatjana Maria – Reaching Wimbledon Semi-Finals is ‘Amazing’ But It Doesn’t Beat Parenthood

The underdog is enjoying her best-ever run at a major 15 years after making her debut.

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Germany’s Tatjana Maria reveals people once doubted her ability to return to tennis after having her first child. Now a mother-of-two, she has secured a place in the Wimbledon semifinals. 

 

The fairytale run of the world No.103 continued on Tuesday when she ousted compatriot Jule Niemeier 6-4, 2-6, 7-5, in her quarter-final match. Until the tournament, Maria had never been beyond the third round of a major event. However, that changed with high-profile wins over Sorana Cirstea, Maria Sakkari and Jelena Ostapenko prior to Niemeier.

“It’s amazing. I mean, I tried to calm down a little bit in the locker room and to realize something, but it’s still hard to realize it,” she said of reaching the last four at Wimbledon.

Whilst some players prepare for their Grand Slam matches in the gym, Maria’s routine is somewhat unique. She began her day by taking her 8-year-old daughter to her tennis lesson. It wasn’t enough to keep her busy, she also has a 15-month-old baby.

“Outside of the court, nothing changes for me for the moment,” she said.  “I try to keep this going, everything the same. We keep going (to the tennis lessons) even if I’m playing the semifinals.”

Incredibly the 34-year-old returned to the circuit following maternity leave less than a year ago. It was during that absence that she decided to switch to a one-handed backhand. She has been ranked as high as 46th in the world and has two Tour titles to her name. 

“A lot of people who never believed I would come back. This was already after Charlotte and when I changed my backhand,” she said.
“I showed it last time already that I am back. I reached the top 50 with Charlotte, and now I’m back with my second child. Still, everybody was doubting.’
“I’m still here and I’m a fighter, and I keep going and I keep dreaming.”

Relishing in her best-ever performance at a major event, Maria is another example of a player having a breakthrough later in their career. To put her run in perspective, in the Open Era only five other women have reached the semifinals at Wimbledon after turning 34.

However, in Maria’s eyes, her achievements on the court can’t beat her top priority off the court.

“To be a mum is for me on the top of my life. So I think it helps me in tennis too because now my priority is my kids,” she explains. “I play tennis, I want to do my best, that’s all that I want. But my kids are the priority.’
“If I go out there, I want my kids to be happy, that they are healthy, that everything is okay. That’s the most important thing for me in my life.”

Maria made her Grand Slam debut back at Wimbledon in 2007. 

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