Ons Jabeur continues to learn and develop at Grand Slam level after reaching the second week at the US Open for the first time.
The Tunisian is into the last 16 in New York for the first time after beating Shelby Rogers 4-6 6-4 6-3 in a brutal match.
It means Jabeur has achieved her goal of being in the second week of the US Open for the first time and now fancies her chances to go all the way.
After the match Jabeur admitted she was relieved to be in the last 16 at the US Open and told the press that she wants to go further, “Just means a lot. You know, I know that I don’t play the best on hard court, but it’s always amazing to see how I’m improving, how I’m pushing my limits,” Jabeur said in her press conference.
“I just don’t want to stop here. You know how much I love New York, how much I want to be here. Just amazing to put the hard work, even though the preparation for the hard court season wasn’t great.
“But, you know, just the main reason to be here and the main goal for me is always to play good here. I’m just gonna keep fighting and keep pushing and breaking records here.”
Jabeur has had an unbelievable season and all that is missing from the Tunisian’s 2022 is a Grand Slam title.
So far this season Jabeur has had a Wimbledon final to her name as well as losing in the opening round at Roland Garros.
The fifth seed admitted that this season has been a learning experience for her, “You know, just learning a lot from playing like tournaments and how exhausting could be mentally and physically to be in a Grand Slam,” Jabeur said.
“French Open was tough, you know, especially after having great results in Madrid and Rome. I’m figuring this out. Every time someone wins before the Grand Slam it’s tough to do great results there.
“The positive thing is next year I don’t have any defending points, and no Australian Open and no French Open and no Wimbledon, apparently. So
it’s going to be great (smiling).
“You know, the thing is I’m just learning. This is my second – well, almost second year as a top-10 player, and it’s really just I’m gonna cherish this and keep working hard. The good news is there is a lot of room to improve here.”
Jabeur will continue her search for improvement on Sunday as she takes on Veronika Kudermetova.
Kudermetova currently leads the head-to-head 3-0 with the Russian winning their last meeting in San Jose a few weeks ago.
In-Form Liudmila Samsonova Storms To Tokyo Title
Tokyo is the second tournament this year the Russian has won without dropping a set.
Liudmila Samsonova has continued her rapid surge on the Tour by defeating China’s Qinwen Zheng 7-5, 7-5, to win the Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo.
The world No.30 dropped serve only once and hit four aces as she edged her way past rising star Zheng who is the first Chinese teenager to reach the final of a Tour-level singles event. Overall, Samsonova won 68% of her service points en route to becoming the first Russian player to win the tournament since Nadia Petrova in 2012.
“It’s amazing, I don’t have too many words right now. I need a little bit of time,” said Samsonova, who beat Grand Slam champions Elena Rybakina and Garbine Muguruza earlier in the draw.
“It was a really tough match. She is playing amazing. It was a nervous match, we were fighting every point. It was tough.”
Samsonova is becoming a formidable force in the women’s game and has now won 18 out of her past 19 matches. Last month she also won titles in Washington and Cleveland before reaching the last 16 of the US Open for the first time in her career at the age of 23. She is now 4-0 in tournament finals and didn’t drop a set in Tokyo this week.
“I played a high level in all my five matches. I am incredibly happy about how I managed it,” she said.
There is also a reason for Zheng to celebrate with her run in Tokyo securing her place in the world’s top 30 for the first time on Monday when the rankings are updated. Making her the first Chinese player to do so as a teenager. She is also only the second teenager to reach the final of a WTA 500 event or higher this season after Coco Gauff at the French Open.
Samsonova will also rise to a ranking high on Monday to just outside the world’s top 20.
Naomi Osaka Seeks Resurgence At Home Event After Rollercoaster Year
Former world No.1 Naomi Osaka admits that there have been more downs than ups for her this year but she is maintaining a positive outlook.
The four-time Grand Slam champion has played 22 matches so far this season with her win-loss record currently standing at 13-9. However, at her six most recent tournaments she has failed to win back-to-back matches and is currently on a four-match losing streak. Osaka also missed this year’s Wimbledon Championships due to an achilles injury.
Currently ranked 44th in the world, Osaka is hoping to break her slump at this week’s Toray Pan Pacific Open which will be held in Tokyo. It will be the first time she has played since losing to Danielle Collins in the first round of the US Open.
“I think, of course, the year has (not been) the best year for me,” Osaka said during her pre-tournament press conference. “But I think overall I’ve learned a lot about myself and I’m just happy to be healthy. Because in Europe, I did injure myself, and that was like my first injury that took me that long to get healed.
“I think life is kind of ups and downs and this one was kind of more down than up, but overall I’m pretty happy with where I am now.”
Osaka is the defending champion in Tokyo, even though she won the tournament back in 2019. The event has been cancelled for the past two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic. A lot has happened to the Japanese player since she won the title, both on and off the court. Osaka has spoken publicly about her mental health issues and took time away from the sport because of them.
“It feels really weird to hear that I’m the defending champion because it was the last time I played in 2019,” she said. “I would love to win it again, but I think just taking it one match at a time … and also just playing in front of a crowd in Tokyo again, because the Olympics was crowdless, so it will just be nice to see people.”
This year Osaka does not have a seeding in the Tokyo draw which is in stark contrast to three years ago when she was the highest-ranked player in the tournament. She will begin her campaign against Australia’s Daria Saville and could then face fifth seed, Beatriz Haddad Maia, in the last 16.
“I think every year for me since the first Slam, there’s been a lot of changes,” Osaka said. “But I think this year it has definitely been a real growing year for me. I think tennis-wise, I don’t really think I can go in a wrong direction. I feel like me as a player, my base is pretty solid. I can only really learn more about myself. I know that I am an aggressive player and I can only hope to keep doing that.”
Away from the Tour, the 24-year-old remains one of the highest-earning players in the sport. According to a report published by Forbes in August, she earned in the region of £56.2M over 12 months with $55M of that coming from off-court ventures. She has also set up her own sports agency with long-time agent Stuart Duguid, signing Nick Kyrgios as one of her clients.
“For everything off court, I think it’s really cool how tennis has let me get so many opportunities in things that I’m interested in, and it’s something I’m really happy and grateful for and I can only hope it keeps evolving.” She commented.
This week Osaka is seeking to win her first title of any sort since the 2021 Australian Open.
Simona Halep Ends 2022 Season With Nose Surgery And Mental Exhaustion
Simona Halep will return to the court in 2023.
Simona Halep has ended her season after having nose surgery and suffering from mental exhaustion in recent months.
The two-time Grand Slam champion has had a mixed season this year with the Romanian almost quitting the sport in February.
However the former world number one reunited with Patrick Mouratoglou and produced a world-class grass court season and US Hard court swing to get back into the world’s top ten.
Despite this, Halep has also had her troubles having had a panic attack at Roland Garros and struggled with anxiety.
This was all produced by the Romanian in her statement when she announced she would not play the rest of the season due to a nose surgery which has been linked to her breathing.
Now Halep will look to recover mentally and physically in time for January’s Australian Open as she will look to become a Grand Slam champion for the third time in her career.
Simona Halep’s 2022 Season:
Melbourne Summer Set 1: Champion
Australian Open: R4 l. Cornet
Dubai: Semi-Finals l. Ostapenko
Qatar: R1 l. Garcia
Indian Wells: Semi-Finals l. Swiatek
Madrid: Quarter-Finals l. Jabeur
Rome: R2 l. Collins
Roland Garros: R2 l. Q. Zheng
Birmingham: Semi-Finals l. Haddad Maia
Bad Homburg: Semi-Finals l. Andreescu
Wimbledon: Semi-Finals l. Rybakina
Washington: R2 l. Kalinskaya
Cincinnati: R2 – Withdrew
US Open: R1 l. Snigur
‘A Long Time Coming’ – Injury-Stricken Hyeon Chung Ready To End Two-Year Absence
Should Roger Federer Become A Super Coach? Djokovic And Murray Give Their View
Novak Djokovic ‘Worried’ By Wrist Issue After Laver Cup Defeat
Lorenzo Sonego claims the title in Metz
Tiafoe Topples Tsitsipas, Auger-Aliassime sinks Djokovic As Team World Clinches First Laver Cup Title
Roger Federer To Make Last-Minute Decision Over Laver Cup Participation, Says Coach
Juan Martin Del Potro Reveals Physical And Mental Trauma From Tennis Retirement
Andy Murray Calls For Earlier Start To Davis Cup Ties After Great Britain Loses Late-Night Thriller
Serena Williams’ Spectacular US Open Outfit Includes Diamond-Encrusted Shoes
US Open 2022: John McEnroe Lashes Out At Journalist In Midst Of Nadal Row
(VIDEO EXCLUSIVE) ITF President David Haggerty ’Satisfied’ With Davis Cup Format Despite Issues
(VIDEO EXCLUSIVE) ITF President David Haggerty Reacts To Federer’s Retirement
(VIDEO EXCLUSIVE) Elena Rybakina’s Wimbledon Win Was Good But The Level Wasn’t Great
(VIDEO EXCLUSIVE): Novak Djokovic Battles Past Norrie, Faces Kyrgios In The Final
(VIDEO EXCLUSIVE) Brad Gilbert Makes A Bold prediction on Sinner, Backs Kyrgios To Trouble Nadal
ATP3 days ago
Laver Cup Daily Preview: Novak Djokovic to Play Singles and Doubles on Saturday
Latest news3 days ago
Stan Wawrinka sets up semifinal against Alexander Bublik in Metz
Focus2 days ago
Roger Federer Claims Happiness Over Tennis Retirement In Emotional Last Match
Hot Topics2 days ago
Laver Cup: Matteo Berrettini Grateful for Roger Federer’s Support En Route to Victory
Latest news2 days ago
Zheng Qinwen sets up final against Liudmila Samsonova in Tokyo
ATP2 days ago
Laver Cup Daily Preview: Team Europe Goes for a Fifth Straight Laver Cup
Latest news2 days ago
Jelena Ostapenko and Ekaterina Alexandrova reach the final in Seoul
Latest news2 days ago
Lorenzo Sonego reaches the fifth ATP Tour final of his career with a win over Hubert Hurkacz