Second Seed Anett Kontaveit Relishing Serena Williams Showdown At US Open - UBITENNIS
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Second Seed Anett Kontaveit Relishing Serena Williams Showdown At US Open

The world No.2 says she has no pressure going into the match.

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Taking on one of the most successful tennis players in history is a daunting process but Estonia’s Anett Kontaveit sees it as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

The world No.2 has set up a showdown with 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams at the US Open after defeating Jaqueline Cristian 6-3, 6-0, in her opening match. A much-needed confidence boost for Kontaveit who has only managed to win three matches at her three most recent tournaments leading up to the Grand Slam. It is the fourth year in a row she has managed to win her opening match at Flushing Meadows.

Kontaveit will now prepare for her first-ever meeting against Williams, who might be playing in the last tournament of her career. In an article for Vogue, the American said she is starting to ‘evolve’ away from tennis but has kept coy about her exact plans.

The upcoming clash is expected to be held at the premier Arthur Ashe stadium which has a capacity of more than 23,000 seats. Despite being the second seed in the draw, Kontaveit says she is not feeling any pressure going into the match on Wednesday.

“I’m really excited. I was rooting for her to win (against Kovinic). I’ve never played against her. I mean, this is the last chance. Better late than never,” she told reporters on Monday.
“I think the atmosphere is going to be amazing. I’m looking forward to it. I think it’s going to be one of those matches this year that I haven’t had too many where I just have no pressure on me. I’ll just get to enjoy and play as good as I can on the day.”

Hailing Williams as ‘the greatest of all time,’ Kontaveit said she will have to fight for every point to be in with a shot of beating the former world No.1. She was born in 1995 which is the same year her upcoming opponent first turned professional.

“She hits the ball really hard and she has such great hands so she can direct it anywhere,” Kontaveit said of Williams. “I’ll just have to be ready for really hard-hitting, some heavy serving. Just play very consistent and fight very hard, play a consistent match. I think that’s how I’m going to approach it.”

Should Kontaveit prevail, she could end Williams’ singles career. However, there is still a bit of an enigma surrounding her future intentions. After beating Danka Kovinic in straight sets, the 40-year-old gave a coy response when asked if the US Open will be the final tournament of her career.

“I’ve been pretty vague about it, right? I’m going to stay vague because you never know.” She said.

Kontaveit has won 11 main draw matches at the US Open in her career compared to Williams’ tally of 107.

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French Open: Jack Draper Serves Up Trouble and is Upset by Dutch Qualifier De Jong

Brit Draper loses his longest ever tennis match in only his second five-setter of his career.

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Jack Draper crashed out at the first hurdle at the French Open after a 7-5, 6-4, 6-7 (3-7), 3-6, 6-3 loss to world number 176 Jesper de Jong – a qualifier who had come through three rounds to reach the main draw – who next faces third seed Carlos Alcaraz. 

In a titanic tussle lasting over four hours, the British number two could not find any rhythm on his serve, getting just 50% of his first deliveries in while winning only 51% of his second serves – resulting in him being broken an alarming nine times over the five sets.

“My serve has been a problem this year,” said Draper after the match. “I’m trying to change it to make it better, and obviously I’ve made those changes in the last few weeks. So, it’s not comfortable, especially in a grand slam playing in a fifth set on a second serve. You know, the confidence isn’t there at the moment on my serve, and it’s a problem I’m going to have to work on with coaches and see where I can make it more consistent because, yeah, it’s really letting me down.”

Dutchman De Jong took the opening two sets and was heading for a surprising routine victory before Draper showed some admirable fight to win the third on a tie-breaker before taking control of the fourth to push the match into a decider after a one-hour rain delay.

Draper, still only 22 with huge potential, still has time to understand how to navigate the fluctuations of long five setters and will be disappointed with the outcome of the fifth when he threw in yet another double-fault at 30-40 down in the seventh game to hand his opponent the initiative.  “I battled my way back, started playing a decent level. There was a lot of ebbs and flows in the match. That’s five-set tennis. I’m kind of learning that the more I play,” he added. 

Elsewhere in other results, sixth seed Andrey Rublev dropped a set in a tough battle against Japan’s Taro Daniel and next faces Spain’s Pedro Martinez, while eighth seed Hubert Hurkacz survived going two sets to one down before coming through easily in five against Shintaro Mochizuki from Japan. 

Bulgaria’s 10th seed Grigor Dimitrov recorded a routine win against American Aleksandar Kovacevic and French veteran, and wildcard Richard Gasquet was arguably more impressive in his straight sets win over Borna Coric of Croatia and potentially plays second seed Jannik Sinner next. 

However, in perhaps the biggest upset of the day, French number one and 17th seed Ugo Humbert lost 6-4, 2-6, 6-4, 6-3 to Italy’s Lorenzo Sonego in a match close to three hours and in front of home fans on Suzanne-Lenglen stadium court. 

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Giovanni Mpetchi Perricard claims his first ATP title in Lyon

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Giovanni Mpetchi Perricard battled past sixth seed Tomas Martin Etcheverry 6-4 1-6 7-6 (9-7) in a thrilling final at the Open Parc tournament in Lyon. 

Mpetchi Perricard saved four break points in the first game of the opening set to hold serve at deuce. Etcheverry converted his third break point in the fifth game and held serve at love to take a 4-2 lead. Mpetchi Perricard won four consecutive games to clinch the first set 6-4. 

Etcheverry broke three times to win the second set 6-1. 

The third set went on serve until the 11th game when Mpetchi Perricard converted his third break point to take a 6-5 lead. Etcheverry broke straight back to draw level to 6-6. Mpetchi Perricard was a point away from defeat at 6-7 in the tie-break of the third set, but he reeled off the final three points to win the tie-break 9-7 on his second championship point. 

Mpetchi Perricard won three Challenger Tour titles this year in Nottingham, Cuernavaca and Acapulco. He beat Lorenzo Sonego, Yoshihito Nishioka, Hugo Gaston and Alexander Bublik en route to his first ATP Tour title in Lyon.

Mpetchi Perricard is the son of footballer player Ghislain Mpetchi, who is of Congolese origin. He sister Daphnée Perricard is also a tennis player. 

“It was crazy. It was a very good final. I was down in the second set, but I managed to do better. I am very happy to win this tournament and now I have a lot of confidence for Roland Garros”, said Mpetchi Perricard.

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Casper Ruud claims the third title of his career in Geneva

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Casper Ruud claimed the third title of his career at the Gonet Geneva Open after his previous triumphs at this tournament in 2021 and 2022. 

Ruud did double duty after rain postponed his semifinal match to Saturday. Ruud saved a match point to beat Flavio Cobolli 1-6 6-1 7-6 (7-4) in the semifinal. He returned less than three hours to defeat Tomas Machac 7-5 6-3 in the final. Ruud clinched the ATP Tour title of his career. 

Machac went up a break in the third game of the first set to take a 3-1 lead. Ruud won three consecutive games from 4-5 down with two breaks in the first set after Machac committed a double fault while he was holding a set point on serve at 5-4. 

Ruud broke serve in the second game of the second set. The Norwegian player held on his next service games and served out the win on his first match point in 1 hour and 47 minutes. 

Ruud improved to 2-0 in his two head-to-head matches against Machac. “It was a challenging week. All the matches are tough, no matter who will play. It was tough to find a groove. The weather has been a bit challenging all week, but today was fantastic. I feel very happy to win again to win again here in Geneva. It’s been a very good season so far”, said Ruud. 

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