REPORT: Russian World No.54 Varvara Gracheva To Switch Allegiance To France - UBITENNIS
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REPORT: Russian World No.54 Varvara Gracheva To Switch Allegiance To France

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Moscow-born player Varvara Gracheva is understood to be in the process of switching her citizenship to France with the hope that she will be able to represent her new country at Roland Garros later this year, according to reports

Newspaper L’Equipe and Bein Sports have both confirmed that the 22-year-old is in the process of finalizing her application to become a French citizen after passing her exam last November. It is understood that the file was completed on March 5th and has been sent to the Ministry of Interior which is the government department that decides on citizenship applications. However, it is unknown when a final decision will be made.

Gracheva, who is currently at a ranking high of No.54 in the world, has been training in the French city of Cannes since 2016 and has lived in France for seven years. It is understood that the tennis player has been thinking about applying for Citizenship for some time and her decision to do so is unrelated to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine which began last year.

Should Gracheva receive approval, she could become the second-highest French tennis player on the WTA Tour after Caroline Garcia. The country currently has three players in the top 100 – Garcia at No.4, Alize Cornet at No.66 and Oceane Dodin at No.93. 

She is currently playing at the Miami Open where she will play Petra Kvitova in the fourth round on Monday. Gracheva, who is yet to win a WTA title, has already scored three wins over top 10 opposition this season. She has defeated Daria Kasatkina twice, as well as Ons Jabeur.

Reacting to the report, the head of the Russian Tennis Federation has brushed aside the significance of potentially losing Gracheva. Shamil Tarpischev told RBC-Sport that such a situation happening will not be a ‘heavy loss’ for his federation due to their depth of players.

“While I am at the training camp in Turkey, I have no information about the transition of Varvara Gracheva, so I cannot comment on anything. In any case, there are no heavy losses for us,he said.
“We have a lot of talented guys. We are working for the next generation.”

Gracheva is yet to publicly comment on the matter. Earlier this year she contested her first WTA Final in Austin which she lost in straight sets to Marta Kostyuk. 

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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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