'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.

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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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Another Defeat For Iga Swiatek – Should Her Fans Start To Worry?

Iga Swiatek unexpectedly lost to Beatrice Haddad Maia in the quarter-finals of the National Bank Open in Toronto. This was the third defeat of the WTA world No.1 in a month and a half. Is there anything to worry about?

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Iga Swiatek - Roland Garros 2022 (photo Roberto Dell'Olivo)

Article written by Dominik Senkowski (@dsenkowski07)

 

It was an extremely close match played in difficult conditions. Swiatek lost to Beatrice Hadad Maia 4:6, 6:3, 5:7 in Toronto.

The Polish woman admitted that she could not deal with the strong wind, saying during her press conference “I think without the wind I would manage. But it was pretty crazy out there.”

Haddad Miai, who is the first Brazilian to reach the last eight of a WTA 1000 event, revealed that she also had problems with the weather.

”We have no influence on the weather, we have to deal with it somehow. I think mentally I managed to overcome it,” she said.

Three failures

This was the third defeat for Swiatek in a month and a half. She had been undefeated since February, winning six tournaments in a row, including a Roland Garros. After that, however, she did not reach the semi-finals even once. In Wimbledon she was eliminated in the third round by Alize Cornet and then in Warsaw in the quarter-finals by Caroline Garcia. Now she did not make it past Beatrice Hadad Maia in Toronto. Do fans of the Polish woman have anything to worry about?

Of course, Swiatek as the top seed should have played better against the Brazilian. However, it must be remembered that she is still only 21 years old and has the right to fluctuate in form. Even the best tennis players of recent years – Roger Federer, Serena Serena, Rafael Nadal, and Novak Djokovic – did not win all the games in their best time. Swiatek still has a phenomenal balance of 49 wins to 5 defeats this year. She is the undisputed leader of the WTA rankings and will probably end the year as number one in the world.

There is no doubt that the rivals are more motivated to clash with Iga. In addition, they increasingly believe that they are able to defeat her since Cornet, Garcia and Hadad Maia did it. But still, it all depends on Iga. If she improves her serve, she can be unstoppable again. Recently with Garcia and Hadad Maia, she had problems with the second serve. She must pay more attention to it.

Time for Iga

Time should play in favour of Swiatek. Before Toronto, she played exceptionally on clay courts in Warsaw in a tournament organized by her father Tomasz. Frequent changes of the surface from grass to clay and hard courts in 1.5 months are not easy at such a young age. In Poland Iga said that she had no experience with it, she was just learning. She continues to learn valuable lessons and still can be better. We should remember it.

It seems that in the coming days she will be training on hard courts. She could feel more confident and come stronger as in spring. In Warsaw Iga said that she treats the first tournament before the US Open swing less seriously. She was aware that she needed more playing time to get better results. Her increasing self-esteem makes her behave calmer, even after defeats. That is why she can return to the right path soon.

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Rafael Nadal Returns To Cincinnati With Shot At No.1 Ranking

This is what the king of clay has to do to reclaim the top position.

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ATP RAFAEL NADAL OF SPAIN - PHOTO: DIEGO SOUTO / MMO

It has been over a month since Rafael Nadal last played a match on the Tour but in the coming days, he will have a chance to return to the top of the ATP rankings.

 

The 22-time Grand Slam champion has been absent from action ever since pulling out of his semi-final match at Wimbledon due to an abdominal tear. He was set to play at this week’s National Bank Open in Montreal but withdrew after feeling a ‘slight bother’ in his abdominal region following training. Nadal decided not to play after consulting with his doctor.

Instead, the Spaniard will return next week at the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati. He confirmed his return in an Instagram post, where he wrote: “Very happy to play again in Cincy. Flying there tomorrow (Thursday).”

Whilst the Spaniard will be finding his feet in the coming days, in Cincinnati he has a chance to dethrone Daniil Medvedev from the world No.1 position. Medvedev lost his opening match in Montreal to Nick Kyrgios. To do this he would need to win the Masters 1000 event for the second time in his career and hope that Medvedev doesn’t make the quarter-finals. Nadal won Cincinnati back in 2013 after defeating John Isner in the final.

So far in his career, Nadal has spent 209 weeks as world No.1 with his longest streak being 56 weeks in a row (2010-2011). In total, he has been at the top of the rankings for eight separate periods and last held the position in February 2020.

Nadal’s No.1 stints
-Aug 18 2008 – Jul 5th 2009 (46 weeks)
-Jun 7 2010 – Jul 3rd 2011 (56 weeks)
-Oct 7th 2013 – Jul 6th 2014 (39 weeks)
-Aug 21 2017 – Feb 18 2018 (26 weeks)
-Apr 2nd 2018 – May 13th 2018 (6 weeks)
-May 21st 2018 – Jun 17th 2018 (4 weeks)
-Jun 25th 2018 – Nov 4th 2018 (19 weeks)
-Nov 4th 2019 – Feb 2nd 2020 (13 weeks)

At present nine out of the world’s top 10 players will participate in the Western and Southern Open. The only exception is Novak Djokovic who is currently banned from entering America because he isn’t vaccinated against Covid-19.

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Jack Draper Considered Skipping Montreal Masters Before Getting Biggest Win Of Career

The rising star completes a trio of British players who have booked their places in the third round of the Masters 1000 event.

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

British qualifier Jack Draper says his decision to play in Montreal this week has paid off after he scored his first-ever win over a top 10 player on Wednesday.

 

The 20-year-old stunned world No.5 and third seed Stefanos Tsitsipas 7-5, 7-6(4), in what is only his fourth appearance in the main draw of a Masters 1000 event. Draper, who is currently ranked 82nd in the world, won 74% of his first service points and blasted 21 winners past his Greek rival. Recovering from a 1-3 deficit in the second set en route to a straight sets victory.

Leading up to this week, Draper and his team considered not playing in Montreal following his 6-4, 6-2, loss to Andrey Rublev in Washington. However, their decision to do so was the right one. After coming through two rounds of qualifying, he beat France’s Hugo Gaston in the first round before knocking out Tsitsipas.

“This is why I put in all the hard work, for nights like this on stages like this,” Draper said in an on-court interview. “Last week [after] Washington, me and my coach probably were thinking we weren’t even going to come here. We were going to maybe train a week, get a bit of confidence. But it paid off coming.”
“I didn’t really have much of a game plan. I just thought I needed to play good tennis to beat Stefanos. He’s at the top of the game for a reason. [He’s] someone I’ve looked up to the last few years. It’s just good to be out here and try to express myself on this stage.” He added.

Draper’s win comes during what has been a solid season for the Brit who has won four Challenger titles. A former top 10 junior player, he won his first main draw Grand Slam match in June at Wimbledon and reached the semi-finals of the Eastbourne International.

Awaiting the youngster in the third round will be French veteran Gael Monfils who is playing in his first tournament since May. Monfils defeated Maxime Cressy 7-6(10), 7-6(8).

Draper is one of three British players to have reached the last 16 in Montreal. Ninth seed Cameron Norrie will next play home favourite Felix Auger-Aliassime and Dan Evans faces Taylor Fritz.

According to the Pepperstone live ATP rankings, Draper will break into the world’s top 70 for the first time next week.

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