Iga Swiatek Passes On chance To Attend Champions League Final To Focus On French Open Bid - UBITENNIS
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Iga Swiatek Passes On chance To Attend Champions League Final To Focus On French Open Bid

The world No.1 explains why she decided against attending one of football’s most talked about matches after recording her 31st Tour win in a row at Roland Garros.

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Photo by Roberto Dell'Olivo

There are two mega sporting events taking place in Paris on Saturday which have attracted thousands of people from around the world. As well as the prestigious French Open, nearby the Stade de France will host the Champions League Final between Liverpool and Real Madrid.

 

On the day the two sports collided, Iga Swiatek continued her dominant run at Roland Garros with a 6-3, 7-5, win over Danka Kovinic. Despite the straightforward scoreline, the top seed endured her toughest test yet at the Grand Slam. After clinching the opener with relative ease and then opening up a 4-2 lead in the second, Swiatek came unstuck for the first time as she dropped serve twice in a row. In her previous two matches, she was only broken once. Despite the blip the Pole managed to bounce back to seal victory.

I felt like she used my power in some moments so I had to adjust a little bit more to what she was playing, and for sure played a little bit smarter,” Swiatek said of Kovinic.
“I changed the tactics in second set a little bit to play less risky but then I made some mistakes. I lost my breaks. I’m not perfectly happy with that, but overall I’m happy with the performance, and that I came back in the second set.”

The 20-year-old has now won 31 matches in a row, which is the longest streak on the WTA Tour since 2013 when Serena Williams claimed 34 straight wins. Even more impressive for the Pole is that she has won 48 out of the past 49 sets played.

From my point of view I don’t really mind the streak. I’m just playing my tennis. I gained so many points this season already that I try to look at it from that perspective that I actually have nothing to lose here,” she said.
“I had many tight matches in Stuttgart…Rome. It’s not that I forgot how to play these kinds of sets. So it’s okay.”

Immediately after her win over Kovinic, Swiatek made reference to the big football final by writing ‘Real Madrid or Liverpool??’ on the camera lens. There is roughly a distance of around 15km between Roland Garros and the Stade de France where thousands will be gathering tonight but not all of them have tickets.

However, Swiatek found herself in a different scenario. Admitting that she is yet to watch a football match ‘at a really good level,’ she had the opportunity to attend but opted against doing so. Saying she wants to maintain her focus on the French Open where she is seeking her second major title.

“I really wanted (to go). It was actually possible for me but I’m not that sure yet if it’s going to interfere with my rhythm and the tournament,” Swiatek explains.
“So I talked with my team about it yesterday that maybe in like two, three years, I’m going to be able to go in like some exciting events during (Grand Slams) and I’m still going to be able to focus. But for now it’s still pretty tricky for me, so I decided it’s better to keep the routines.”

Swiatek will play China’s Zheng Qinwen in the fourth round who was leading Alize Cornet 6-0, 3-0, in her match before the Frenchwoman was forced to retire. Qinwen, who reached the semi-finals of the girls tournament back in 2019, is through to the last 16 of a major for the first time in her career.

So far in her career, Swiatek has won 17 out of 19 matches played at the French Open.

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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image via twitter.com/wimbledon

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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Image via twitter.com/wta

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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