World No.1 Iga Swiatek Questions WTA’s Scheduling Of Tournaments - UBITENNIS
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World No.1 Iga Swiatek Questions WTA’s Scheduling Of Tournaments

The current lack of playing opportunities for other players on the Tour is a concern for the Pole.

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Iga Swiatek - Roland Garros 2022 (photo Roberto Dell'Olivo)

Three-time Grand Slam champion Iga Swiatek has described the decision to schedule only one WTA event this week as an ‘unfortunate situation’ and has called for there to be more variety.

The world’s best women’s players are currently playing at the Qatar Total Open in Doha which only has a capacity of 32 players in its main draw. As a consequence, high-profile names such as Karolina Pliskova had to come through qualifying in order to seal a place in the main draw. There are also no WTA 125 events taking place which means if players who don’t make the cut for Doha want to play their only option is on the lower-level ITF circuit. 

Swiatek says she has the luxury of not having to worry about the current situation due to her ranking but has voiced her concerns about others. This month seven WTA tournaments are being held across the world – four WTA 250’s, two WTA 500’s and the most prestigious event being next week’s Dubai Tennis Championships which is categorized as a WTA 1000 (non-mandatory) event. This week is the only one where multiple tournaments are not taking place. 

“I don’t know what caused this situation, there were great players who had to go through the qualies and others who didn’t enter directly, it’s a rather unfortunate situation,” Swiatek said following her win over Danielle Collins. 
“It would be nice if there was more variety, I’m in a position where I know I’ll be in every tournament, but not all of them have that privilege. I feel sorry for those most affected because they could also be playing this week, earning points and money, but they can’t.’
“It is enough to see how our first round has been to understand the toughness of the draw, each game is very difficult, but I would like there to be more variety, to have another tournament in a different city.”

In comparison, the men’s ATP Tour is staging almost twice as many events as the WTA in February. A total of 12 tournaments will be held across Europe, North America, South America and the Middle East with three being staged each week. Meanwhile, on the Challenger circuit, 12 additional events will also be held. 

Another topic constantly raised about the WTA Tour is the amount of consistency there is among players. Although Swiatek quashed some of this criticism with her dominant 2022 season that saw her claim eight Tour titles and at one stage she won 37 matches in a row. 

“My goal is to be consistent, it has been from the beginning,” Swiatek states. “I wish I could maintain this high level for a long time, always be in the semifinals and finals. Last season I showed that I can do it. But right now I want to get back to balance, I know I’m not going to win every tournament.’
“Regarding other players, I don’t know if something has changed or not, maybe it’s a coincidence or maybe we have players who are a little more ambitious and stable, it’s hard to judge.”

Swiatek is through to the semi-finals in Doha after Belinda Bencic was forced to pull out of their upcoming match on Thursday due to illness. She is bidding to win the tournament for a second year running which hasn’t been achieved since Victoria Azarenka won the title in 2012 and 2013. 

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Sebastian Korda reaches his second semifinal of the season in s’Hertogenbosh

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Sebastian Korda beat Tommy Paul 6-4 6-2 in 67 minutes to reach his second ATP Tour semifinal of the season at Libema Open in s’Hertogenbosh. 

Korda hit 18 winners and won 84% of his first serve points. Korda earned his first break in the third game of the first set to take a 2-1 lead. Paul broke straight back in the sixth game to draw level to 3-3. Korda broke for the second time in the seventh game to win the first set 6-4. Korda broke twice in the third and seventh game to close out the second set 6-2. 

Korda has improved his head-to-head record against Paul to 4-1. 

Korda reached the semifinal on grass at Queen’s in 2023. The US player is is aiming to win his first ATP Tour title since 2021, when he won in Parma on clay. 

Korda set up a semifinal clash against defending champion Tallon Griekspoor, who ccame back from one set down to beat Alexandar Vukic 4-6 6-3 7-6 (7-3). Griekspoor has won his past eight matches at this tournament. 

Vukic broke in the ninth game to win the first set 6-4. Griekspoor earned his first break in the sixth game of the second set to win the second set 6-3. The third set went on serve with no breaks en route to the tie-break. Griekspoor earned two mini-breaks to open up a 4-1 lead in the tie-break. Vukic pulled one of the two mini-breaks, but Griekspoor held on his serve and sealed the tie-break on his first match point.

“I am very happy to be through. It was a very tough match once again. I think Alexandar played unbelievable grass court tennis, so it was not easy and I am very happy to find my way in the third set. I am enjoying the crowd, the atmosphere and the whole tournament”, said Korda. 

Alex De Minaur beat Milos Raonic7-5 6-2 in 1 hour and 26 minutes. De Minaur has improved to 3-0 in his head-to-head matches against Raonic, who was playing in just his fourth tournament of he year.

De Minaur earned his first break in the fifth game to take a 3-2 lead. Raonic broke straight back to draw level to 3-3. De Minaur broke for the second time in the 11th game and served out on his first set point after saving three break points in the 12th game. De Minaur broke twice in the fifth and seventh games to win the second set 6-2. 

De Minaur is aiming to win the second title of his career on career following his win in Eastbourne in 2021.  

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Emma Raducanu Confident Of Full Fitness Ahead Of Grass Swing

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Emma Raducanu - Cincinnati 2022 (foto Twitter @cincytennis)

Emma Raducanu has no regrets about her decision to skip the French Open and now believes she is in a ‘really fit place’ ahead of Wimbledon. 

The former US Open champion opted to end her clay season earlier than other players to focus on fitness and training with her coach. Raducanu stated earlier this year that her primary focus in 2024 is on her health after undergoing a series of wrist and ankle surgeries last year which sidelined her for months. 

Raducanu will return to action this week at the Nottingham Open, which is the event where she made her WTA main draw debut back in 2021. Despite her lack of match play in recent weeks, the Brit is feeling good and relishing her return to the grass.

“Body-wise, physical-wise, I feel really healthy,” she said on Monday.
“I’ve done amazing work with my trainer over the last few months, since surgery. I’m in a really fit place. I’m healthy and just looking forward to starting playing.”

Shedding more light on her health, Raducanu says she has full confidence in her wrists and believes they are in top condition. Making her feel more at ease when playing matches on the Tour. 

“I think my wrists are actually in a better position than they ever were. So there’s zero doubt or apprehension whether I’m hitting the ball or designing my schedule,” she explained.
“It’s more about being proactive and not wanting to put yourself in any unnecessary situations. I don’t need to rush and try to win the French Open, it wasn’t my goal this year.
“I had to prioritise where I wanted to target and it was just a good block for me to get some physical work done.”

Raducanu has played seven WTA events so far this season with her best run being to the quarter-finals of the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart, where she was beaten by world No.1 Iga Swiatek. The 21-year-old is currently ranked 209th in the world. 

At the Nottingham Open, she will play her first match on Tuesday against Japanese qualifier Ena Shibahara. 

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Jack Draper Wins In Stuttgart, Potentially Faces Andy Murray in Round Two

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Jack Draper – ATP Monaco di Baviera 2024 (foto via Twitter @atptour)

Britain’s Jack Draper tight first round win headlined the opening day’s results at the Boss Open 2024 in Stuttgart – and possibly faces a second-round match with Andy Murray who takes on Marcos Giron tomorrow.

Less than 24 hours from the last ball being hit at Roland Garros, the ATP Tour had already switched surfaces onto the grass, and 22-year-old Draper was well tested but ultimately came through in two tie-breakers over Sebastian Ofner.

The sixth seed’s 7-6, 7-6 win contained just one break of serve each, both coming in the second set, as serve dominated proceedings on the faster grass courts in Germany.

While the Austrian won 75% on his first serve, Draper won a whopping 89% behind his first delivery as well as hitting eight aces. These kind of service stats will surely take him far during the grass court season.

“I thought it was a really good match,” Eurosport quoted Draper saying after his match. 
“Both of us played really clean tennis, executing really well.
“When it came down to it, I’m glad I competed really well and got over the line – it’s good to be back on the grass as well.”

There were also wins for Germany’s Yannick Hanfmann who won 6-3, 6-3 over wildcard Henri Squire, while compatriot Dominik Koepfer won in three sets over China’s Zhizhen Zhang 4-6, 7-6, 7-6. 

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