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.

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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.

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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