Bianca Andresscu Exceeding Expectations In Comeback - UBITENNIS
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Bianca Andresscu Exceeding Expectations In Comeback

The world No.57 says she has been pleasantly surprised by the progress she is making.




Former US Open champion Bianca Andreesu says she is on the right path back to the top of her game after booking a place in the second round of the San Diego Open. 


The Canadian didn’t begin her 2022 season until April after taking time away from the sport to focus on her mental health. Since peaking at a ranking high of No.4 back in 2019, Andreescu has also been hampered with a variety of injury issues related to her shoulder, back, knee, abdomen and more. 

Despite those setbacks, the 22-year-old has been making steady progress in recent months with a run to the final of the Bad Homburg Open back in June. More recently she reached the third round of both the Canadian Open and US Open. Bringing her current win-loss record for the year to 17-10. 

“I think I’m doing better than I expected,” Andreescu told WTA Insider. “I try not to have any expectations going into this season but it’s definitely better than I thought. Taking so much time off, you never know what you’re going to do.”
“For me, this is the bigger picture kind of thinking that I’m doing with my coach. So it’s not short term, it’s more long term. It’s way less pressure.”

After opting to skip tournaments in Europe to focus on training, Andreescu has returned to action this week in the San Diego Open where she managed to enter the main draw with the help of her protected ranking. In her opening match, she outlasted world No.23 Liudmila Samsonova 7-6(1), 4-6, 6-2, after more than two-and-a-half hours of play. 

“The match was very tight and it could have gone either way,” Andreescu said. “I felt towards the end I felt I was putting a little bit more pressure that she was and I was a little bit more consistent.”

In her latest match, Andreescu converted five out of her 15 break point opportunities and won 67% of her first service points. She could play sixth seed Coco Gauff in the next round should the American defeat Robin Montgomery in her opening match.

Elsewhere at the tournament, Danielle Collins upset French seventh seed Caroline Garcia 6-2, 7-6(4). This week is the first time the Australian Open finalist has played a tournament since the US Open. She will play Italy’s Martina Trevisan in the next round. 

Louisa Chirico will be the first player No.2 seed Paula Badosa plays. The qualifier knocked out Alison Riske-Amritraj 1-6, 7-5, 7-6(5), who is ranked more than 150 places higher than her. 

As for top seed Iga Swiatek, she has a bye in the first round and will play her opening match later this week. The Pole faces either Garbine Muguruza or Elena Rybakina who are both Grand Slam champions. 

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Carlos Alcaraz beats Yannick Hanfmann on his debut at the China Open



This year’s Wimbledon champion Carlos Alcaraz beat Yannick Hanfmann 6-4 6-3 in 1 hour and 37 minutes on his debut at the China Open in Beijing three weeks after reaching the semifinal at the US Open. 


Alcaraz has improved his win-loss record to 59-7, leading the ATP Tour. The Spanish player leads the ATP Tour with 8 titles and 5 finals. 

Hanfmann saved eight of the eleven break points and broke twice in the first set. 

Alcaraz earned an early break in the third game to take a 2-1 lead, but Hanfmann broke straight back in the fourth game to draw level to 2-2. Alcaraz converted his fourth break point in the fifth game to take a 3-2 lead. Hanfmann pulled back on serve in the eighth game to draw level to 4-4. Alcaraz earned his third break with a forehand at 4-4 to seal the first set. 

Alcaraz broke twice in the third and ninth games to close out the second set 6-3. The two-time Grand Slam champion did not face a break point in the second set. 

Alcaraz converted five of the sixteen break points he faced. 

Alcaraz set up a second round match against Lorenzo Musetti, who beat Karen Khachanov 6-3 1-6 6-2. Khachanov won at the Zhuhai Open last week beating Yoshihito Nishioka  in the final. 

“Hopefully I have a lot of years to come here to China. Creating my chapter here in China would be great for me. To finally be able to come here to China and show my tennis in front of the Chinese people is something that I wanted a long time ago and I am really happy to do it, hopefully the first of many here”, said Alcaraz. 

Musetti converted his second break point in the second game to take a 3-0 lead. Khachanov broke back in the fifth game to draw level to 3-3. Musetti broke for the second time in the eighth game to seal the first set 6-3. 

Khachanov broke twice in the second and sixth games to close out the second set 6-1. 

Musetti broke Khachanov twice in the sixth and eighth games to seal the third set 6-2. 

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Jessica Pegula and Maria Sakkari advance to the semifinal in Tokyo



Number 2 seed Jessica Pegula cruised past Daria Kasatkina 6-1 6-0 in just 59 minutes at the Toray Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo to reach her seventh semifinal of the 2023 season.


Kasatkina earned an early break in the opening game of the match, but Pegula reeled off 12 consecutive games. The US player hit 25 winners and broke six times. She saved three break points as she served out the first set. Kasatkina was not able to convert eight game points across her first two service games. 

Pegula has scored her second win in as many matches against Kasatkina after beating her Russian opponent 7-5 6-3 in the first round in Rome 2021. 

Pegula has improved to 10-9 against top 20 rivals in 2023. 

Pegula set up a semifinal match against Maria Sakkari, who beat Caroline Garcia 6-2 6-2 in the quarter final. Sakkari claimed her second win in a week over her French rival equalling her career-best streak of seven consecutive match wins. Last week Sakkari beat Garcia 6-3 6-0 in the semifinal of the Guadalajara Open.  

Sakkari hit 15 winners to eight unforced errors and saved all six break points. 

The US player will meet her Greek rival for the ninth time in her career and for the third time this season. Sakkari leads 5-3 in her head-to-head matches against Pegula. They are 1-1 in their 2023 clashes. Pegula took the win 6-2 4-6 6-1 in the semifinal in Doha, but Sakkari turned the tables by winning the Washington semifinal 6-3 4-6 6-2. 

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Asian Games Champion Qinwen Zheng Reveals Shock Departure Of Coach Fissette



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China’s Qinwen Zheng says she feels ‘hurt’ by the decision of her former coach to end their collaboration in order to work with another player. 


The US Open quarter-finalist had been working with Belgium’s Wim Fissette in recent weeks following the departure of Pere Riba who is now the coach of Coco Gauff. Fissette has a wealth of experience in women’s tennis after working with the likes of Kim Clijsters and Naomi Osaka. However, Zheng says she is now looking for a new mentor.

“I understand his decision, but my family and I feel hurt. Right now I don’t want to talk about this person (Fissette),’ journalist Bendou Zhang quoted her as saying. 

Fissette is yet to comment on his departure. He had previously coached former world No.1 Osaka between 2019-2022 and during this period she won two of her four Grand Slam titles. The American-based Japanese player is on maternity leave from the sport and gave birth to her first child in July.

20-year-old Zheng is currently ranked 23rd in the world and won her maiden WTA title in Palermo earlier this year. She is the youngest player from her country to have reached the quarter-finals of a Grand Slam in the Open Era following her run at Flushing Medows. This year she has beaten top 10 players Ons Jabeur and Daria Kasatkina. 

Zheng’s latest career milestone is winning gold at the Asian Games on Friday. in the final, she defeated Zhu Lin 6-2, 6-4, in the blistering Hangzhou heat.

“The feeling was incredible,” Zheng said. “I’m really happy about that. That was not an easy match today and also yesterday (in semifinal against Alex Eala). All of them are good fighters.”

It is not clear who Zheng will be working with during the Asian swing. 

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