Ons Jabeur Believes Title Favorite Swiatek Is ‘Beatable’ At WTA Finals - UBITENNIS
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Ons Jabeur Believes Title Favorite Swiatek Is ‘Beatable’ At WTA Finals

The world No.2 is bidding to claim the biggest trophy of her career this week at the Dickies Stadium in Fort Worth.

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Ons Jabeur (TUN) playing against Aryna Sabalenka (BLR) in the quarter-final of the Ladies' Singles on Centre Court at The Championships 2021. Held at The All England Lawn Tennis Club, Wimbledon. Day 8 Tuesday 06/07/2021. Credit: AELTC/Florian Eisele

Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur says she is focusing on her own game ahead of what will be a historic appearance at the WTA Finals in Texas. 

 

The 28-year-old is the first Arab player in history to have qualified for the prestigious end-of-season event which this year has a prize money pool of $5M and up to 1500 ranking points on offer. Jabeur has earned her place in the tournament following what has been a breakthrough season for her. She won her first WTA 1000 title in Madrid before triumphing at the German Open a couple of months later. In the Grand Slams, she was runner-up at both Wimbledon and the US Open.

“It felt like a great reward for me, just to hear all of that; especially the first Arab, the only this, the first that… that’s really amazing and hopefully we’ll get to do more. It definitely encourages me to do better in the future,” Jabeur told The National about qualifying for the WTA Finals. 

Jabeur is seeded second in the tournament behind the formidable Iga Swiatek who has won more matches than any other player this year on the Women’s Tour. The Pole has recorded 64 wins in 2022 which is 18 more than Jabeur who is second on the list. She has already won eight tournaments this season. 

Despite Swiatek’s success, her Tunisian rival believes the world No.1 isn’t untouchable and can be beaten this week. Jabeur has defeated Swiatek twice on the Tour last year but trails their overall head-to-head 2-3.

“I prefer to focus on myself and improve things in myself. Because in stressful moments, what really helps and what really works is your game and how you can impose your game and if you can maintain that certain level, you can beat anyone,” she explains. 
“I think that will be my focus. But definitely Iga is on another level right now. It’s great for her, she’s pushing us to do better as players behind her. For me, the main thing is to really focus on myself.
“She is [beatable]. They did beat her before, the winning streak she had in the beginning of the year maybe not, but now, she lost a few matches recently, so anything is possible right now.”

As they have been drawn into opposite groups, the two players will only clash should they both progress to the knockout stages. Jabeur is in the same group as Jessica Pegula, Maria Sakkari and Aryna Sabalenka. Meanwhile, Swiatek faces Coco Gauff, Daria Kasatkina and Caroline Garcia. The top two players of each group will make it to the semi-finals. 

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Caroline Garcia continues working with Juan Pablo Guzman for the 2023 season

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Caroline Garcia will continue working with Argentine coach Juan Pablo Guzman during the 2023 season. However, Guzman will not travel with the French player in every tournament. 

 

Garcia won the WTA Finals title in Fort Worth last November beating Maria Sakkari in the semifinal and Aryna Sabalenka in the final. The Lyon-based player moved up to world number 4 in the singles ranking. During her great season Garcia won the Cincinnati WTA 1000 title and lost to Ons Jabeur in the semifinals of the US Open. 

After a well-deserved holiday Garcia will continue her preparation in Dubai. She will play in an exhibition tournament there and will play against Roland Garros and US Open champion Iga Swiatek, 2021 Indian Wells champion Paula Badosa and 2022 Wimbledon winner Elena Rybakina. She will open her WTA season in Adelaide next January in the build-up to the Australian Open in Melbourne from 16 to 29 January 2023. 

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Rafael Nadal ‘Excited’ For Showdown With Alcaraz In Las Vegas 

‘The Slam: Nadal Vs. Alcaraz’ will take place in the lead-up to Indian Wells with a charity fundraising event also being held. 

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MONTE-CARLO, MONACO - APRIL 23: Rafael Nadal of Spain celebrates a point against Albert Ramos-Vinolas of Spain in the final on day eight of the Monte Carlo Rolex Masters at Monte-Carlo Sporting Club on April 23, 2017 in Monte-Carlo, Monaco. (Photo via https://newsroom.mgmresorts.com)

The current top two players in men’s tennis will lock horns in Nevada next March after agreeing to take part in an exhibition match organized by MGM Rewards. 

 

Carlos Alcaraz and Rafael Nadal will play against each other at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on March 5th which will be hosted by MGM Resorts International. The 16,800-seat multi-purpose venue has also previously hosted a series of boxing matches, as well as this year’s Grammy Awards ceremony. 

The two Spanish tennis giants will also participate in a 90-minute individual VIP clinic before taking to the court. There will also be a ‘celebrity’ doubles match which will feature both of the Bryan brothers. One of the most successful double pairings in history who have won 16 Grand Slam titles together. 

“I’m very excited for my first visit to Las Vegas, one of the most iconic and entertaining cities in the world,” Nadal said in a press release. “I’ll be playing with my fellow countryman Carlos Alcaraz who’s had an amazing year. It should be a great night of tennis at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.”

19-year-old Alcaraz is the youngest player in ATP history to achieve the year-end No.1 ranking and is viewed as the successor to 22-time major winner Nadal. The duo have clashed three times on the Tour with Nadal winning two of those meetings. Although Alcaraz was triumphant the last time they clashed at the Madrid Masters. 

“I’m honored and so happy to be sharing the court with Rafa in Las Vegas. He’s an all-time great, of course, and his records and achievements speak for themselves. Rafa also is one of the nicest guys on Tour and I look forward to our match on March 5.” Said Alcaraz.

Immediately after their match on March 5th, THE SLAM Gala will be held at Rivea and Skyfall at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. The fundraising event has been created to raise money for Nadal’s foundation, as well as the MGM Resorts Foundation and National Tennis Foundation. 

Tickets for Alcaraz’s match with Nadal will go on sale from December 9th and are priced at $75 upwards. 

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The Hopman Cup returns in 2023 in Nice

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The Hopman Cup will return in 2023 and will be held on clay court at the Lawn Tennis Club in Nice from 19th to 23rd July after Wimbledon. This tennis team tournament pairs one woman and one man from each participating country. 

 

This tournament was last staged in 2019 in Perth and had been hosted in Australia since its first edition in 1989. It was held at the beginning of the season before the Australian Open in January. 

Each match-up will feature one women’s singles match, one men’s singles match and one mixed doubles match. 

Six teams will take part at the Hopman Cup in 2023 and 2024, but the field will be expanded to eight in 2025. France will compete as a host team each year. “We are thrilled to partner with Tennium and that the Hopman Cup will return in 2023. We are already looking forward to visiting the beautiful city of Nice next July. The Hopman Cup, as a unique mixed team event, has always enjoyed a special place in the hearts of tennis fans. I am sure that spectators in Nice will relish the chance to see some of the world’s men and women players on the same court. I would like to thank our event partners, Tennium, for helping us reintroduce the Hopman Cup to the tennis calendar, and we look forward to working together over the coming months and years”, said ITF President David Heggerty.

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