‘No Worthy Competitor’ - Radwanska Backs Iga Swiatek To Continue Dominance - UBITENNIS
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‘No Worthy Competitor’ – Radwanska Backs Iga Swiatek To Continue Dominance

Radwanska says there is currently no other player on an ‘equal footing’ with the world No.1.

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Iga Swiatek - Stoccarda 2022 (foto Twitter @PorscheTennis)

Former Wimbledon finalist Agnieszka Radwanska believes no other player on the women’s Tour has the consistency to match that of Iga Swiatek. 

Radwanska, who peaked at a career-high of No.2 back in 2012, has hailed the achievements of her compatriot during what has been a breakout season. Earlier in the year Swiatek won 37 matches in a row and has already won seven titles, including two Grand Slam tournaments. Overall she has achieved 60 Tour wins in 2022 which makes her the first female player to reach that milestone within a calendar year since Caroline Wozniacki in 2017. 

“I did not expect that after I finish my adventure with professional tennis, we would have a tennis player in the world top so quickly,” Radwanska said during an interview with Telewizja Polska
“Iga is excellent. She has been number one for a long time. It represents a style at a very high level. At the moment there is no worthy competitor. No one is able to maintain its level in the long run. There are mishaps, like everyone else, but most can count on winning at most one set. With such a high intensity, girls “fall”. It’s a bit of a shame that so far there are no historic matches in her performance, such as Roger Federer vs. Rafael Nadal used to be.”

Swiatek’s most recent match was in the final of the Ostrava Open where she lost to Barbora Krejcikova in a marathon encounter that lasted more than three hours. This was the first time since 2019 she had lost in a tournament final and only the second in her entire career on the WTA Tour. 

Despite the defeat, Agnieszka believes Swiatek still stands out as the better player compared to her peers. Out of her eight defeats this year, five of those were to a player who has previously played in the final of a Grand Slam tournament. The other three losses were to Alize Cornet, Beatriz Haddad Maia and Caroline Garcia. 

“At the moment, there is a lack of players who could compete with her on an equal footing. I’m not talking about making her life difficult. I’m more concerned with epic encounters,” said Radwanska. 
“Most of the girls in the lead were by chance or did not grow up to the level of Iga. In tennis, there came a moment when many girls ended their careers at a similar time. A void in the lead was created. Swiatek can dominate. I don’t see a player who can play with her as an equal. In the long run, she can lose to herself, which of course I don’t want her to do. In sport, anything can happen.”

So how has Swiatek managed to become such a dominant force on the women’s Tour? Radwanska says it is the experience she has generated which has been pivotal in her rise. 

“She is Mature. She understood many tennis details. The experience she gained over two years makes her a completely different player. Every entry to the court is now different than it was then in France (when she won the 2019 French Open title). She faces constant pressure all the time. She hears from every side that she has to win by going out on the court. There are two sides of the coin.” She commented. 

Swiatek is now travelling to America where she will play in the San Diego Open later this week. 

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World No.634 Laura Samson Reaches First WTA Quarter-Final At 16

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Laura Samon - image via itftennis.com/ photo credi: Manuel Queimadelos

Laura Samson has become the first player born in 2008 to reach the quarter-finals of a WTA event after producing a surprise win on Tuesday. 

The 16-year-old wildcard stunned second seed Katerina Siniakova 1-6, 7-5, 6-3, in the second round at the Prague Open. Her triumph occurred a day after she dropped just two games against Tara Wurth in her opening match. This week is Samson’s Tour debut after playing 10 events on the lower-level ITF circuit. 

“I’m extremely surprised,” she said during her on-court interview after beating Siniakova. “I didn’t go into it as favorite. I’m so proud of myself and I hope I will continue to play like this. As I was going into the second set I thought, ‘I have nothing to lose, I didn’t play good in the first set.’ I’m not really sure when [I thought I could win], I just believed myself in the third set.” 

Samson is the latest Czech player to break through following a sucessful junior career. Last year she won the Wimbledon girls’ doubles title and was runner-up in the French Open singles tournament in June. She is currently No.3 in the ITF junior rankings but has been ranked as high as No.1. 

Earlier this year, Samson decided to change her name on the Tour by dropping the last three letters (ova). The reason why she did so was to avoid getting confused with another player. 

“I first noticed it last year, there was a problem that I was getting strings (the) of Lyudmila Samsonova,” she told tenisovysvet.cz.

“I also talked about it with her and, for example, according to the schedule, she also sometimes thought she was playing, but it was me,” 

“I would have liked the ending -ová, but unfortunately it turned out like this.”

The teenager will next take on world No.248 Oksana Selekhmeteva with the winner of that match progressing to their first WTA semi-final.  21-year-old Selekhmeteva is a former top 10 junior player who came through two rounds of qualifying to reach the main draw. She is a two-time junior Grand Slam champion in doubles. 

There are five seeds remaining in the tournament, including top seed Linda Nosková who will play Germany’s Ella Seidel in her next match. 

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Alex De Minaur Overcomes Injury To Fulfil Olympic Dream

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ASlex de Minaur - Roland Garros 2022 (foto Roberto dell'Olivo)

Alex de Minaur says it is a ‘dream come true’ for him to represent Australia in the Olympic Games after missing the event three years ago.

The world No.6 had been in a race against time to be fit for the Olympic tennis event after suffering an agonising injury setback at Wimbledon earlier this month. At the All England Club de Minaur reached the quarter-final stage for the first time and was set to take on Novak Djokovic. However, he was forced to withdraw from the match after tearing the fibre cartilage in his hip region after suffering a ‘freak’ injury. At the time of the announcement, it was estimated that he would be sidelined from the Tour for three to six weeks. 

However, the 25-year-old appears to have recovered fairly quickly in time for Paris with the tennis tournament starting on Saturday. It will be de Minaur’s debut in the Olympics after he was forced to pull out of the Tokyo Games due to a positive COVID-19 test. 

“To finally be able to represent Australia in the Olympics is a dream come true,” he wrote on Instagram on Tuesday morning.

“I’m very passionate when I play for my country and wear the green and gold, so this is another one of those moments. 

“I’m extremely excited to lace up for Paris 2024.”

De Minaur is bidding to become the first male player from his country to win an Olympic medal in the singles event. He has already won two ATP titles this year in Alcapulco and s-Hertogenbosch. Since the start of January, he has won five out of 11 meetings against top 10 players. 

“It’s really great news – we’re actually expecting Alex to arrive in the village ahead of the official draw (on Thursday) and we know he’s been working with his rehab team quite extensively since the conclusion of Wimbledon,” Australian chef de mission Anna Meares told the Australian Associated Press (AAP).

“He’s hungry to be here, he wants to be a part of this team and we will offer as much support as we can in that process.

“He’s coming – we will wait to see that process. He still has time … injury can be a really stressful thing for an athlete and the more you rush it, the more problems you can potentially cause.

“We’re leaving it in the hands of Alex and his rehabilitation team … it will be a decision purely by them.” 

De Minaur is one of five Australian men playing in the Paris Olympics. The others are Alexei Popyrin, Matthew Ebden, John Peers and Rinky Hijikata. 

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Wrist Injury Threatening To End Holger Rune’s Olympic Dream

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Holger Rune will have a second medical opinion on Monday before deciding if he is fit enough to play at the Olympic Games, according to his team. 

The Danish world No.17 recently retired from his quarter-final match at the Hamburg Open due to a knee injury. The hope at the time was that his withdrawal would be just a precautionary measure ahead of the Olympics. However, he is also dealing with a second issue that appears to be more serious.

According to TV 2 Sport, Rune has been struggling with a wrist issue and underwent a scan on Sunday which his mother Aneke says ‘doesn’t look promising.’ Aneke is also the manager of her son’s career. Rune’s Olympic dreams now rest on the outcome of a second medical expert that he will visit tomorrow who has a better understanding of the sport. 

“Unfortunately, it does not look promising after the first medical opinion after the review of the scan of the wrist,” Aneke Rune told TV 2 Sport.

“We are waiting for two tennis-specific doctors who will give a second opinion tomorrow (Monday). Tennis wrists look different from regular wrists, so we’ll hold out hope for one more day.” 

Rune is one of three Danish players entered into the Olympic tennis event along with Caroline Wozniacki and Clara Tauson. The country has only won one medal in tennis before which was at the 1912 Games when Sofie Castenschiold won silver in the women’s indoor singles event. 

So far this season, the 21-year-old has won 27 matches on the Tour but is yet to claim a title. He reached the final of the Brisbane International and then the semi-finals of three more events. In the Grand Slams, he made it to the fourth round of the French Open and Wimbledon. 

It is not known when a final decision regarding Rune’s participation in Paris will be made.

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