'Dream' Wimbledon Defeat Sends Former Semi-Finalist Kirsten Flipkens Into Singles Retirement - UBITENNIS
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‘Dream’ Wimbledon Defeat Sends Former Semi-Finalist Kirsten Flipkens Into Singles Retirement

The former world No.13 spoke at length about her decision to walk away now, her career achievements and how much longer she may continue her doubles career.



image via https://www.facebook.com/FlipperKF/

Thursday at Wimbledon marked the end of an era for Kirsten Flipkens and her 21-year career on the WTA Tour as a singles player.

Now ranked 190th in the world, the Belgian fell 7-5, 6-4, to former champion Simona Halep despite having the advantage in both sets. Flipkens boasted a 5-2 lead in the first and a 4-1 advantage in the second before losing both of those. The encounter was her 28th main draw match at Wimbledon and her last.

Heading into this year’s Grand Slam, she confirmed that it will be at Wimbledon where her career in singles would come to an end. At her best, she was ranked 13th in the world and won one Tour title at the 2012 Quebec Open. During her career, she has beaten a top 10 player on five occasions with the most recent of those being against Venus Williams at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

“A lot of emotions are going through my body. For everything there is an end in life, and I’m about to start a new chapter. It’s a special feeling.” She said following her loss to Halep.
“I would have dreamed of a goodbye like today. I was really close to even taking a set from a champion like Simona.‘
“It’s not that I cannot play my best anymore with a champion like her or with other players. It’s just when you’re 36 years old, you have been through so much in your career, ups and downs. It was just a perfect way for me to end.”


Flipkens ends her career with 199 Tour wins with 47 of those being on a grass court. Her decision to stop comes after what was a turbulent 2021 season when she missed five months of tennis due to an ankle injury. The year prior to that she went 2-8 at Tour events.

After receiving a heartwarming farewell from fans at SW19, the 36-year-old says it is the spectators who she is going to miss the most. Although having spent her life as an athlete for over 20 years it is also going to be hard to lose her competitive mindset.

“The adrenaline, like going out on the court, being focused. There is much more that I would not miss any more than that I will miss, but I think definitely the interaction with the fans and the adrenaline going through your body with ups and downs.” She explains.

It was only fitting that Flipkens ended a chapter of her life at Wimbledon which is the venue of what she describes as her ‘biggest achievement’ as a player. Seeded 20th in 2013 she defeated Flavia Panetta and Petra Kvitova en route to the semi-finals. She was knocked out of the tournament by Marion Bartoli who went on to win the title.

“I got a couple more (achievements) I’m pretty proud of. Playing Fed Cup finals with Kim (Clijsters) and Justine (Henin) is a really nice memory. My WTA title in Quebec. I’ve got plenty of nice memories. But if there is one that I have to pick, of course it’s the quarterfinals against Petra at Wimbledon back in ’13.” 

Flipkens will still be seen on the Tour as she intends to continue her doubles career. When asked how much longer for, she admits she is unsure. For certain, she plans to play up until the US Open before having another reflection on if she wants to continue playing. Encouragingly when speaking of the discipline she said ‘I’m enjoying myself from the first till the last ball.’

Whilst it is unclear how much longer Flipkens will continue playing, she sums up her career with a very brief but meaningful phrase.

“It’s been a hell of a ride.” She concludes. 

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Hamad Medjedovic wins the Next Gen Finals title in Jeddah



Hamad Medjedovic came back from one set down to beat Arthur Fils 3-4 (6-8) 4-1 4-2 3-4 (9-11) 4-1 after 2 hours and 11 minutes at the Next Gen ATP Finals at King Abdullah Sports City in Jeddah. 


Medjedovic hit 38 winners to 21 unforced errors. 

The first set went on serve en route to the tie-break. Medjedovic earned a mini-break to take a 3-2 lead and held two set points at 6-4, but he was not able to convert them. Fils won four consecutive points to win the tie-break 8-6. 

Medjedovic earned a break in the second game to win the second set 4-1. 

Medjedovic becomes the sixth Next Gen ATP Finals champion, joining top 10 players Stefanos Tsitsipas, Jannik Sinner and Carlos Alcaraz. The 20-year-old Serbian player is the lowest-ranked champion in tournament history. 

Medjedovic started the third set with an early break in the first game. The Serbian player held on his serve to seal the set 4-2. 

Medjedovic recovered from squandering two match points at 6-4 in a thrilling tie-break of the fourth set at 5-6 and 7-8. Fils saved both chances on second serves and won four of the next five points to win the tie-break 11-9 forcing the match to a deciding set. 

to win the first five-set final in tournament history. The Serbian player won 88% and converted his third match point to clinch the biggest title of his career so far. 

Medjedovic earned a break in the second game of the fifth set. Fils earned himself a penalty point for a smash of his raquet and went down 0-3. Medjedovic held on his next service games and converted his third match point. 

“Two of us from Serbia. Djokovic won the big Masters, the real one, and I won the Next Gen. Obviously it’s a huge thing and I am happy to follow in his footsteps in some way. I can’t believe I have won this title. It’s going to give me a lot of confidence for 2024. Arthur is an amazing player. He is top 40 for a reason”, said Medjedovic. 

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Elena Rybakina headlines a strong line-up in Adelaide



Elena Rybakina, Zheng Qinwen, Carolina Garcia and Angelique Kerber will highlight the Adelaide International, a WTA 500 tournament.


Rybakina reached the final at the Adelaide International on her tournament debut in 2022, losing to now retired Ashleigh Barty. Rybakina went on to win her first Grand Slam title at Wimbledon later last year. The Kazakh player finished runner-up to Aryna Sabalenka in the Australian Open final in 2023. 

Zheng won her first WTA 500 title in Zhengzhou and reached the final in Zhuhai, ending the 2023 season at a career-high of world number 15. 

Angelique Kerber will make her come-back to the WTA Tour at the United Cup before playing her first WTA draw in Adelaide. Kerber gave birth to her daughter Liana last February. The German player won titles at the 2016 Australian Open and in Sydney 2018 and reached in Sydney 2014 and in Brisbane 2018. 

Kerber is one of the three former number 1 players, who are making her come-back on the WTA Tour after giving birth to their children. 

Caroline Wozniacki lost to eventual champion Coco Gauff in the Round of 16 at the US Open in her third tournament back. 

Four-time Grand Slam champion Naomi Osaka is planning to make her return next January after giving back to her child Shai last July. 

“It’s definitely way more tournaments than I used to play. So I think some people will be happy with that. I realized that I don’t know how the beginning of the year is going to go for me. I don’t know the level of player and I think I have to ease into it. At the very least, I will set myself up for a very good end of the year”, said Osaka.

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Arthur Fils beats Luca Van Assche in all-French semifinal at the Next Gen ATP Finals in Jeddah



World number 36 Arthur Fils beat his friend Luca Van Assche 2-4 4-1 4-3 (7-1) 4-3 (8-6) in an all-French clash after 1 hour and 37 minutes to reach the final at the Next Gen ATP Finals in Jeddah. 


Van Assche, who was born in Belgium but moved to Belgium when he was three years old, broke serve in the fifth game to take a 3-2 lead and served out the first set to 15. Van Assche won 12 of the last 14 points. 

Fils hit a couple of big forehands to earn three break points at 2-1 15-40. Van Assche saved one break point with a volley, but Fils converted his second chance to open up a 3-1 lead, as Van Assche netted a backhand. Fils served out with a hold at 15 to level the match at one set apiece. 

The first five games of the third set went on serve. Van Assche led 2-3 30-40 on Fils’serve to earn two set points. 

Fils saved them before racing out to a 5-0 lead. Van Assche won his first point with a forehand. Fils earned five set points and closed it out when Van Assche netted a backhand. 

Fils won 22 consecutive points on his first serve until 2-1 in the fourth set. Van Assche faced a match point at 2-3, but Van Assche saved it to force another tie-break. Fils opened up a 4-1 with a mini-break. Van Assche won three points to 4-4 before saving two match points at 4-6 and 5-6. Fils hit a forehand to earn a fourth match point and converted it when Van Assche sent a backhand over the baseline. 

Van Assche beat Fils in the boys’ singles final at 2021 Roland Garros. Fils won his first title in Lyon last May. 

“I played every point trying everything with my forehand, moving very good. I was very happy with the tie-break. Today was a tough match against a great friend. We have known each other since we were nine, so it was a little bit tough and I am happy with the win. I came onto the court with the mindset that I can win. The first set was tough, he was playing very good and defending so well, running very fast. I kept my focus and I am really happy with the win”, said Fils. 

Fils set up a final clash against Hamad Medjedovic, who advanced to the championships match, when Dominic Stricker was forced to withdraw in the second set due to a back injury in the semifinal. 

Medjedovic was leading 4-3 (7-5) 2-1 when Stricker walked to the net and ended the match. 

Medjedovic hit 12 winners to 3 unforced errors. The Serbian player won three matches in the round-robin group. 

Medjedovic won 93% of his first serve points in the first set. Stricker did not drop a point on his first serve. Medjedovic earned his only mini-break to seal the tie-break 7-5. 

Medjedovic earned an early break in the third game of the second set to take a 2-1 lead before Stricker retired from the match. 

Medjedovic reached two semifinals in Gstaad and Astana. He is coached by Viktor Troicki. Stricker advanced to the semifinals at the 2022 Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan. 

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