Lesia Tsurenko Talks About Ukraine And Lack Of Player Support - UBITENNIS
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Lesia Tsurenko Talks About Ukraine And Lack Of Player Support

Lesia Tsurenko is focused on other things at the moment as her home country never leaves her mind.

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Lesia Tsurenko (@USOpen - Twitter)

Lesia Tsurenko talked about her home country Ukraine and the lack of player support she’s received since Russia’s invasion.

 

Tsurenko spoke after her 54 minute defeat to world number one Iga Swiatek today where the Ukrainian only won two games.

The Ukrainian’s grand slam season has seen her qualify in impressive fashion for both the Australian Open and Roland Garros only to lose in convincing fashion to the world number ones in the opening round.

In Melbourne it was Ash Barty and in her press conference, Tsurenko compared the two players, “I think they play quite similar, just Ash using more slice on the backhand, but the speed is quite the same, the speed of the serve and the placement of the serve is the same,” Tsurenko said.

“I think there is a reason why they are number one. So I did not feel great, I’ll be honest. And especially getting Ash Barty when she’s not losing a match and playing unbelievable, and the same story with Iga.”

It’s been a difficult last few months for Tsurenko with all that has been going on in her home country after Russia’s invasion of the country.

The Ukrainian qualifier admitted that at first she did not want to compete at tournaments and wanted to go back at home, “I’ll be honest, I don’t feel great playing,” Tsurenko admitted.

“My first idea was to go home when it all started, and I had a long conversation inside of me that should I stay and play or should I just go to Ukraine and try to help there in some way, I don’t know in which way, but
just in some way.

“You know, I have where to go, where to practice, where to live, should I continue playing. Just because I’m not 20 years old any more and I’m old enough to understand a little bit more about this world and I understand that there is something much bigger than just a tennis match.

“I just decided that I will continue playing and I will try to win some matches, I will try to enjoy. I don’t want to put too much pressure on myself. I just want to enjoy every match.

“The Wimbledon decision, of course as a Ukrainian, I think that I should show as much support for my country as I can, and I think it was the right decision from Wimbledon just to show some support from the tennis world.”

Difficult circumstances mean that Tsurenko’s season has been disrupted as she tries to find the right balance between caring about her tennis and perspective.

Finally Tsurenko talked about the cold feeling she has in the locker room from her colleagues since Russia’s invasion.

Tsurenko feels there is a lack of support from but praised Swiatek and the connection between Ukraine and Poland right now, “That’s what I’m saying and this is, well, it is, for me personally it’s tough to be here, just because I don’t get much words said about the support of my country and this is, yeah, it’s just tough to be with people who looks like they don’t understand,” the Ukrainian let her frustrations known.

“It’s just tough. It’s just because it’s me, I’m Ukrainian, and there’s a war in my country and it’s tough. I think five players spoke to me, maybe four or five. Maybe few more coach. So, yeah, this, for me, as, again, it’s me, I would like to get more support probably, but what can I do?

“And I really appreciate the support that Iga is showing and I know that Poland in general is doing so much for Ukraine and that, I mean, they are amazing in general, the people, the president of Poland, the politics, everyone, just amazing support for Ukrainian people for Ukrainian refugees and what I see on the TV, the friendship between Ukraine and Poland is, it’s amazing.”

Tsurenko’s attention will turn to the grass court season while Swiatek will face Alison Riske in the second round.

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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