Iga Swiatek Ousts Osaka To Achieve Rare Sunshine Double In Miami - UBITENNIS
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Iga Swiatek Ousts Osaka To Achieve Rare Sunshine Double In Miami

The Pole has become only the third player in history to win three straight WTA 1000 events within the same season.



Image via https://twitter.com/WTA/

Iga Swiatek has become the youngest female player in history to win both Indian Wells and Miami in the same year after beating Naomi Osaka in the Miami Open final on Saturday.

The world No.2 was in clinical form throughout her 6-4,6-0, win over Osaka who was playing in her first tour final in 13 months. Swiatek overcame a tough opening set before running away with the match, becoming the first player to bagel Osaka since Maria Sakkari did so at the same tournament 12 months ago.

I think putting pressure on Naomi and not letting her dictate the game. She’s a player who likes to attack and take a little bit more risk. I just wanted to (play) really lose,” Swiatek said of the tactics she used in the final during her interview with Amazon Prime.
“I was really stressed during my Indian Wells final and I didn’t want to make the same mistake (in Miami). I thought I had nothing to lose and just went with it.”

The Miami showdown was the first Tour meeting between the two in almost three years. Since then, Swiatek has claimed her maiden Grand Slam title at the French Open and is set to rise to world No.1 on Monday. A position four-time major winner Osaka has previously held for a total of 25 weeks in her career.

Billed as a dream final by some, the match lived up to expectations early on with a series of scintillating baseline exchanges and powerful ball striking from both players. Swiatek proved troublesome for Osaka immediately with the Japanese player forced to battle her way through a seven-deuce opening service game. The Pole continued to fight on court and got her breakthrough in the fifth game when a blistering backhand crosscourt winner enabled her to break for a 4-2 lead.

Working her way to 5-4, Swiatek received her first set point opportunity at the expense of an error from across the court. Prompting a frustrated Osaka to glare towards her camp. She went on to convert with the help of another unforced error from her opponent who hit the ball beyond the baseline.

Gaining momentum, the 20-year-old struck yet another blow at the start of the second frame by breaking twice in a row. From then on, Swiatek stormed towards the title with the help of a noticeable decline in Osaka’s intensity and belief on the court. Serving for the title, an Osaka backhand into the net granted her a duo of championship points and she was able to triumph on her first attempt.

“Honestly, I didn’t think that was possible,” Swiatek said about achieving the sunshine double.
“I know I keep repeating this after every tournament but right now I am trying to see what my limits are.’
“I asked my coach if he ever had a situation when your player played a final in Indian Wells and then suddenly they have to play their next match in three days. He said to me that I shouldn’t worry and that we can do it. During the tournament I believed that I actually had the energy to win.”

Swiatek has become only the third player in WTA history to have won three straight WTA 1000 tournaments in the same season after Caroline Wozniacki in 2010 and Serena Williams in 2013. She has also extended her winning streak on the Tour to a career-best 17 matches. Coincidentally the last WTA player to have won 16 or more matches was Osaka between 2020-2021.

“I want to dedicate this one (the runners-up trophy) to all the people that have supported me and my fans. I know this isn’t the outcome you wanted but I’m having a lot of fun. So I hope I can keep working hard and get more opportunities to be in a situation like this again,” Osaka said during the trophy presentation.
“I want to congratulate Iga. I was just thinking yesterday about when I had dinner with you in Australia. Just watching your journey has been really incredible and I hope you continue having fun.” She added.

Swiatek has become only the fourth woman in history to achieve the sunshine double. On Monday she will officially become the first Polish player (male or female) in history to reach No.1 in the rankings.


Rafael Nadal To Play Laver Cup In Berlin



Rafael Nadal has eased speculation that he might be retiring from the sport soon after signing on to play in the Laver Cup later this year. 

The 22-time Grand Slam champion is the latest player to join the line-up for this year’s team competition which features Europe taking on the rest of the world over three days. It will be Nadal’s fourth appearance in the competition and his first since 2022. He competed in the inaugural edition of the event back in 2017 alongside co-founder Roger Federer. 

“I am very happy to be playing Laver Cup in Berlin for Team Europe,” Nadal said in a press release. “I have some really special memories from my Laver Cup experiences, including all the emotions from London two years ago playing alongside Roger for the last time.”

Nadal’s decision to play comes amid questions about his future in the sport. The former world No.1 has previously indicated that this year could be his last on the Tour but he has stated that no decision has been made. In recent months he has been sidelined from action due to injury setbacks and has only been able to play in two tournaments so far this year. 

“At this stage in my career I really want to go out there and make the most of every opportunity I am given,” he explains.
“Teaming up is always an incredible experience and I have always enjoyed it, the competition is different and exciting. I’m looking forward to going to Berlin and helping Team Europe win back the Laver Cup.”

Other European players confirmed to be playing are Carlos Alcaraz, Daniil Medvedev and Alexander Zverev. Meanwhile, Alex de Minaur, Taylor Fritz and Tommy Paul have agreed to play for Team World. This year’s event will be held in Belin at the Uber Arena between September 20-22. 

The Laver Cup was inspired by golf’s Ryder Cup. It was co-founded by Federer’s Team8 management company (which he formed with agent Tony Godsick), businessman Jorge Paulo Lemann and Tennis Australia. In 2019 it became an official ATP sanction event and now has a place on the official calendar. 

Nadal is set to return to competitive action at the Madrid Masters which he has won on five previous occasions. He has been drawn to play teenage wild card Darwin Blanch in the first round. If he wins, Nadal will then play Alex de Minaur who knocked him out of the Barcelona Open last week. 

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Iga Swiatek beats Emma Raducanu to extend her winning streak to ten consecutive matches in Stuttgart



Two-time defending champion Iga Swiatek held off 2021 US Open champion Emma Raducanu 7-6 (7-2) 6-3 after 2 hours and 3 minutes to extend her winning streak to 10 consecutive matches at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart. 

Swiatek set up a semifinal match against 2022 Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina, who came back from a break down in the third set to beat this year’s Dubai champion Jasmine Paolini.

Raducanu came back from 0-40 down to earn the first break of the opening set. Swiatek converted her third break point in the second game in a seven-deuce second game. Raducanu saved the only other break point at deuce in the sixth game. Swiatek won the first four points and five of the first six points to win the tie-break 7-2. 

Swiatek earned five break points in the second, sixth and in the 12thgame, but she converted only one opportunity. Raducanu converted her only break point in the first game. Swiatek won nine more points than Swiatek. 

Swiatek broke Raducanu in the second game to open up a 2-0 lead. This break was decisive, as both players held on their next serve in their next games. 

Swiatek earned six break points in the third, fifth and ninth games, but she converted one chance. The Pole did not face a single break point and won eight more points than Raducanu.

“Raducanu started playing at the beginning pretty loose, like she had nothing to lose, and I totally get that. Sometimes it is like that. I knew I was questioning if she is going to be able to keep the same intensity throughout the whole match. It was not about service games or return games. I was just waiting for my chances to break back and I was sure that I am going to get them”, said Swiatek.

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Stefanos Tsitsipas beats Sebastian Ofner in Barcelona to extend his winning streak



Stefanos Tsitsipas beat Sebastian Ofner 6-4 7-5 at the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell to extend his winning streak to seven consecutive matches after claiming his third title at the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters last week. 

Tsitsipas earned an immediate break in the first game. Ofner broke straight back to draw level to 1-1. Tsitsipas earned his second break  in the seventh game to take a 4-3 lead and served out the first set 6-4 with a hold at 15. 

Tsitsipas broke in the fifth game to take a 3-2 lead. Ofner won three consecutive games with two breaks of serve to take a 5-3 lead. Tsitsipas came back by winning four consecutive games with two breaks of serve to seal the second set 7-5.

Tsitsipas has a record of 17 wins to 5 defeats in Barcelona. The Greek player reached three finals at this tournament in 2018, 2021 and 2023.  

“I feel pretty good, but it is still early in the tournament. The conditions here are very different to Monte-Carlo and I felt it today when I was playing. My job is to adapt and to ensure I can bring my A game again in Barcelona this week. Today was a great test to see where I stand. I am hoping to keep on improving and getting good wins like this under my belt”, said Tsitsipas. 

Tsitssipas set up a third round match against Roberto Carballes Baena, who beat Lorenzo Musetti 7-6 (7-4) 6-4 in 2 hours and 15 minutes. 

Musetti saved three break points in the first game of the opening set. The Italian player earned two break points with a backhand down the line. Musetti saved two break points in the seventh game. Both players went on serve un the 12th game when Carballes Baena saved a set point. Carballes Baena went up a 5-1 lead with two mini-breaks in the tie-break. Musetti won three consecutive points to reduce to 4-5. Carballes Baena won the final two points to take the tie-break 7-4. 

Carballes Baena converted his fourth break point in the fourth game to take a 3-1 lead. Musetti broke back in the fifth game. Carballes Baena saved a break point in the sixth game. The Spanish player sealed the win with a break on his second match. 

Last week’s Monte-Carlo finalist Casper Ruud beat Alexandre Muller 6-3 6-4 to claim his 25th tour-level win of the season. Ruud has drawn level with Jannik Sinner for the most wins in 2024 on the ATP Tour. 

Ruud set up a third round match against Jordan Thompson, who beat Jaume Munar 6-4 2-4 6-4. Roberto Bautista Agut beat Andrea Vavassori 4-6 6-4 6-1 to claim his milestone 400th match win on the ATP Tour. Bautista Agut set up a third round match against Cameron Norrie. 

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