Iga Swiatek Dominates Collins In Doha, Jessica Pegula Executes Ostapenko Comeback - UBITENNIS
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Iga Swiatek Dominates Collins In Doha, Jessica Pegula Executes Ostapenko Comeback

Iga Swiatek and Jessica Pegula had contrasting journeys to the Doha quarter-finals.

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Iga Swiatek (@RelevantTennis - Twitter)

Iga Swiatek dominated Danielle Collins in 54 minutes to reach the quarter-finals in Doha while Jessica Pegula edged out Jelena Ostapenko in three sets.

Starting with Swiatek, the world number one was playing her first match since the Australian Open.

Swiatek was knocked out in the last 16 in Melbourne to Elena Rybakina but showed no signs of a lack of confidence as the Pole dismantled Collins in 54 minutes.

The top seed broke on five occasions as she dictated play from the return while shutting out any sign of attack from the American.

Collins didn’t create a single break point as the former Australian Open finalist was heavily beaten, winning only one game.

After the match Swiatek told the WTA website about how her confidence was the key to victory, “[I felt] pretty confident,” Swiatek explained.

I’m happy that I was kind of composed and from the beginning till the end pretty focused and disciplined with tactics. I didn’t really let Danielle get into the rhythm. I wanted to be aggressive. I’m pretty happy that I did that well.”

Swiatek faces a big task in the last eight as she takes on the in-form Belinda Bencic.

Bencic is on a six match winning streak after winning Abu Dhabi last week but had to work hard to defeat Victoria Azarenka.

The Swiss made a poor start to the match which allowed the former Grand Slam champion use her power to dictate play from the baseline.

Azarenka stormed through the opening set, 6-1 and took an early double break lead in the second set at 4-1 as Bencic started to doubt whether today would be her day.

However Bencic’s recent confidence and red-hot start to the season allowed her to find her range eventually as she mentally zoned in on being more aggressive and consistent.

Bencic won four games to take a 5-4 lead as the world number nine’s resilience was rewarded with a second set tiebreak.

It was Bencic who took more risks in the bigger moments as she took the tiebreak 7-4 and levelled the match at one set all.

That would be the crucial momentum shift as Azarenka was broken in the opening game of the final set as the Swiss held her nerve to secure a showdown with Swiatek.

Pegula Mounts Comeback Victory

Bencic wasn’t the only player to secure a comeback victory in Doha as Jessica Pegula also came back from a severe deficit to reach the quarter-finals.

Pegula played former Grand Slam champion Jelena Ostapenko as the American was playing her first tournament since reaching the Australian Open semi-finals.

After splitting the opening two sets 6-2, there was a real danger that Pegula was going to exit the tournament as Ostapenko took control of the match gaining an early break at 2-0.

However from 5-2 down, Pegula raised her level as she saved two match points and secured two breaks as well as five games in a row to secure victory.

Next for Pegula is Beatriz Haddad Maia who beat Daria Kasatkina in straight sets.

Other noteworthy results include Coco Gauff defeating Petra Kvitova in straight sets while Veronika Kudermetova defeated Sofia Kenin in straight sets.

Thursday will see the quarter-finals take shape which will see the following matches take place:

Iga Swiatek v Belinda Bencic

Coco Gauff v Veronika Kudermetova

Maria Sakkari v Karolina Muchova or Caroline Garcia

Beatriz Haddad Maia v Jessica Pegula.

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Andy Murray Makes Retirement Hint After 500th Hard Court Win In Dubai

Andy Murray won his 500th hard court match in Dubai, placing him fifth on the all-time list.

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Andy Murray further hinted at retirement after securing a 500th hard court win of his career in Dubai.

The former world number one picked up his second win of the year with a 4-6 7-6(5) 6-3 victory over Denis Shapovalov.

In typical Andy Murray fashion, the Brit came back from a set down to defeat the out-of-sorts Canadian as he progressed to the second round.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RUVj537F-wQ

The win means Murray now has 500 career wins on a hard court and that is an achievement the world number 67 is proud of, “It’s not bad,” Murray told the ATP website as he sits fifth on the all-time list of hard court wins.

“Obviously hard court has been a great surface for me over the years and 500 is a lot of matches so I’m very proud of that. There are not many players that have done that, so great to get to 500 before I’m done.”

However those post-match comments weren’t the most shocking ones as Murray once again hinted at retirement this season.

The Brit has made subtle remarks that this year may be his last one but Murray’s comments today suggests that he may have already made his decision, “I probably don’t have too long left but I’ll do as best as I can these last few months,” Murray was quoted by ESPN as saying.

“I still love competing and still love the game but it gets harder and harder to compete the older you get, to keep your body fit and fresh.”

If the end is near for Murray than the Brit will look to end his career on a high for the next few months.

Before thinking about retirement Murray will look to go further in Dubai when he takes on either Ugo Humbert or Gael Monfils in the second round.

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Perspective And Fatigue: The Two Sides Of Iga Swiatek’s Dubai Defeat

Iga Swiatek spoke about perspective and fatigue after her semi-final exit in Dubai.

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Iga Swiatek showed two sides to her defeat in Dubai as the world number one surprisingly failed to win the title despite being the favourite in the semi-finals.

Heading into her semi-final in Dubai, Swiatek was heavy favourite to win her second consecutive WTA title after claiming the title in Doha the week before.

However Swiatek was unsuccessful in her bid to reach the final as she lost to Anna Kalinskaya 6-4 6-4.

It was a bitterly disappointing defeat for Swiatek who missed a golden opportunity to establish even more dominance ahead of Indian Wells.

As all champions do Swiatek offered perspective to her defeat as she looks ahead to the rest of the season, “I mean, I’m angry but on the other hand, there aren’t many players that actually survive these kinds of tournaments so I just kind of have to let it go and accept it,” Swiatek was quoted by Tennis Majors.

There was not only perspective offered but also fatigue as expectations and pressure can force simple mistakes from the best players in the world.

The world number one acknowledged Kalinskaya’s performance but did admit her own performance contributed to the defeat, “Today I would say, I mean she [Kalinskaya] played well and for sure she deserves to be in the final, but I feel like it was more about me and my level,” Swiatek told Tennis Majors.

“I wanted to be focused on myself and I wasn’t really able to implement any tactics that I had. Usually, when I tell myself what to do, I can improve my game but today I was so out of power and tired that I just couldn’t. Day by day, it was a little bit worse.”

Swiatek will hope to re-energize herself ahead of the sunshine double in America.

Last year Swiatek lost to eventual champion Elena Rybakina in the semi-finals at Indian Wells before withdrawing from Miami.

The Pole will look to improve last year’s performance when she plays Indian Wells, which starts on the 6th of March.

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‘Speechless’ Mensik Reaches Maiden ATP Final In Doha

Jakub Mensik is into his first ATP final in Doha.

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Jakub Mensik admitted he was left speechless after reaching his first ATP final in Doha.

The 18 year-old continued his remarkable week with a 6-4 1-6 6-3 semi-final victory over Gael Monfils.

The Czech Republican produced clinical tennis as he beat the 2018 champion to reach his maiden ATP final.

After the match Mensik admitted he was left ‘speechless’ and spoke about the influence Monfils had on his career, “It is amazing. Hopefully not the last one [final]. Incredible week so far,” Mensik told the ATP website.

“Today again with Gael, he played unbelievable. I know it is tough to play against him, especially with his good movement. For me every point I have to play my best game.

“I have to say this performance was one of the best in my entire life. I am so glad I reached this level in the semis, so hopefully tomorrow I play like this. An amazing feeling with my first ATP final. I am speechless.

“I told him when I was young I watched him a lot on the TV. One of the biggest showman on court. He is a great guy, so hopefully in the future we will meet once again. The rallies were so fun with him.”

Mensik has so far beaten three former champions this week as he also defeated Andy Murray and Andrey Rublev this week.

Now Mensik will aim to win his first ATP title as he takes on Karen Khachanov in Saturday’s final.

Should Mensik win the title he could climb to 75 in the world as he started the week at 116 in the world.

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