‘Time To Kick Some Ass’ - Elina Svitolina Loses Comeback Match In Charleston - UBITENNIS
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‘Time To Kick Some Ass’ – Elina Svitolina Loses Comeback Match In Charleston



Elina Svitolina (@rolandgarros on Twitter)

Elina Svitolina says her first round defeat at the Charleston Open has helped her identify areas of her game that she needs to work on over the coming weeks. 


Svitolina, who has been ranked as high as No.3 in the world, played her first match in 12 months against Kazakhstan’s Yulia Putintseva on Monday. In what was a marathon encounter that lasted almost three hours, the Ukrainian fell 6-7, 6-2, 6-4, to the world No.47. Clearly showing signs of rust due to her absence, she only managed to win 38% of her second service points and was broken seven times. 

Despite her defeat, Svitolina believes there are plenty of positives to take from her first match played on the Tour as a mother. She gave birth to her first child Skai last October who is not with her at the tournament this week. Her daughter is at home with Svitolina’s partner Gael Monfils.  

“It’s time to get back on court and kick some ass,” she told Tennis Channel in an interview after her loss. “I had goosebumps. It was a really, really sweet atmosphere out there. It was so nice to see many people cheering me on, push me through some tough moments, because it was not easy physically today.”
“In the end, I’m really happy with the way I played, today, and now I can see more clear what I need to improve to be better. I think I’m hitting the ball well. I just have to work more on my fitness. I think a few bits here and there are going to help me to keep the focus more consistently, to be there in the moment. I think a few things here and there are going to make a difference for me.”

The 28-year-old returns to the sport with her new coach Raemon Sluiter who is the former mentor of Kiki Baertens. Her goal is to return to the top of her game over the coming months. Svitolina has won 16 Tour titles during her career, including the 2018 WTA Finals. She has also registered 35 wins over top 10 players.

During her time in America, Svitolina also took part in the Tennis Plays for Peace fundraiser which is an initiative to support those affected by the Ukrainian war. The tennis star also serves as an ambassador for the United 24 foundation which was set up by President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to collect financial donations for Ukraine in the wake of the war.  

“It was really tough trip for me, but at the same time, I was the happiest person to see my grandmother, to see the other half of my family as well,” Svitolina said of her recent trip to her native country. “It’s really tough to see my homeland in this state … constantly. I went to some destroyed cities, completely destroyed from the missiles, so this was a really heartbreaking moment for me, so that’s why I try to do my best for Ukrainian people, for Ukraine, for rebuilding Ukraine, because it’s really needed now these days. We try to make everything possible to raise money, to raise awareness that the war is still there … We’re here, we’re Ukrainian, so we try to do everything that’s in our power.”

Svitolina will now return to Europe where she will play in a duo of ITF events. Next week she will play at the ITF W60 Chiasso Open in Switzerland followed by a 100K ITF event in Oeiras, Portugal.

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Elena Rybakina cruises past Zheng Qinwen in Beijing



Former Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina cruised past Chinese number 1 player Zheng Qinwen 6-1 6-2 in exactly one hour in the first round at the China Open in Beijing. 


Rybakina was playing her first match since her third round defeat against Sorana Cristea at the US Open last month. Zheng won the Asian Games on home soil in Hangzhou. 

Rybakina has won two WTA 1000 titles in Indian Wells and Rome and 24 matches at WTA 1000 tournaments. 

Rybakina beat Zheng 7-6 (7-5) 7-5 in the third round at Wimbledon 2022 en route to her first 

Rybakina won the first nine points and broke twice in the second and fourth games to race out to a 4-0 lead. Zheng held on her service game, as she was serving at 5-0, but Rybakina closed out the first set with a forehand winner. 

Rybakina broke twice in the third and fifth games and closed out the match with a love hold. 

Rybakina set up a semifinal match against Tatjana Maria, who lost to Ons Jabeur in the semifinal of the 2022 Wimbledon tournament. 

“The first matches are always difficult. I played my last match at the US Open, so I was a bit nervous because I did not have so many matches in the past few weeks. I was feeling well on the practices. I was just trying to focus point by point, focus on my serve, which is not affected by the opponent. I started the match pretty well, so it gave me confidence for the whole game”, said Rybakina. 

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Tennis Player Disqualified From Shanghai Qualifying Match Two Points Away From Victory



Image via https://twitter.com/ATPChallenger/

It will be a match that Australia’s Marc Polmans will never forget but for all the wrong reasons.


The World No.140 looked to be on the verge of victory against Italy’s Stefano Napolitano when leading their match 7-6(3), 6-6(6-5), in the final round of qualifying at the Shanghai Masters. However, disaster struck at the next point when Polmans temper got the better of him and subsequently cost him.

With match point, he approached the net to hit a backhand shot but it ended up in the net. Prompting the frustrated 26-year-old to hit a tennis ball that unfortunately hit the umpire. As a result of that action, he was automatically disqualified from the match which handed Napolitano the victory and a place in the main draw.

It is not the first time a tennis player has been disqualified for such an incident. During a 2017 Davis Cup tie between Canada and Great Britain, Denis Shapovalov was disqualified for firing a tennis ball that hit the umpire’s eye. Novak Djokovic was also disqualified from the 2020 US Open after hitting a ball that accidentally struck a lines judge.

“Players shall not violently, dangerously or with anger hit, kick or throw
a tennis ball while on the grounds of the tournament site except in the reasonable pursuit of a point during a match (including warm-up),
” the 2023 ATP rulebook outlines.
“For purposes of this rule, abuse of balls is defined as intentionally or reckless- ly hitting a ball out of the enclosure of the court, hitting a ball dangerously or recklessly within the court or hitting a ball with disregard of the conse- quences.’
“Violation of this section shall subject a player to a fine of up to $350 for each violation. In addition, if such violation occurs during a match, the player shall be penalized in accordance with the Point Penalty Schedule.”

It is a tough lesson for Polmans to learn. He was on the verge of playing in the main draw of a Masters 1000 event for the first time in his career. He is currently the 10th highest-ranked Australian player on the ATP Tour and reached the final of a Challenger event in Guangzhou, China last month.

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Grand Slam

Australian Open To Become 15-Day Event In Bid To Minimise Late-Night Finishes



Next year’s Australian Open will get underway on a Sunday following feedback from both players and fans.


For the first time in history, the Melbourne Grand Slam will take place over 15 days in a move that has been done to minimize the chances of late-night finishes at the tournament. In the past players and fans have criticised organisers for matches going on until the early hours. In this year’s edition, Andy Murray’s second round clash against Thanassi Kokkinakis didn’t finish until 4am.

Under the plan, first round matches will be spread over three days instead of two. Something that is already done in Paris at the French Open. Some data has shown that there is a growing trend in matches lasting longer.

“We’ve listened to feedback from the players and fans and are excited to deliver a solution to minimise late finishes while continuing to provide a fair and equitable schedule on the stadium courts,” Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley said.
“The additional day will achieve this, benefiting scheduling for fans and players alike. The first round will now be played over three days instead of two, also giving fans an extra day of unbelievable tennis, entertainment, food and family fun.
“Every year our team works hard to bring fans an event that feels new and exciting, and this is another opportunity to grow what is already the biggest annual sporting event in the world in January.”

Another change is that day sessions on the Rod Laver Arena and Margaret Court Arena will feature a minimum of two matches instead of three. However, the night sessions will remain the same at two matches and no changes will be made to the John Cain Arena schedule. Overall, the number of sessions in the three areas will increase from 47 to 52 in 2024.

Meanwhile, organizers said next week a raft of exciting initiatives will be announced by the Australian Open before tickets go on sale on October 12th. It is unclear as to what these initiatives will be.

The 2024 Australian Open will take place at Melbourne Park between 14-28 January. Novak Djokovic and Aryna Sabalenka are the current champions.

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