Kayla Day has spoken about her injuries and working with Pat Cash after stunning Madison Keys 6-2 4-6 6-4 at Roland Garros.
The world number 138 is into the third round after producing a stunning performance to edge out top 20 player Madison Keys.
It was a stunning win for Day who had to qualify for the event before defeating Kristina Mladenovic in the opening round.
After the match Day admitted it was an amazing victory and talked about the improvement in her movement on clay, “It was a really tough match. It feels amazing to be in the third round,” Day said in her press conference.
“Madison is an incredible player. To get my first top-20 win at Roland Garros, it’s just amazing. I think I just kept fighting until the end, and I played really good defense at really important points. So I think that’s what got me the win today.
“I think I worked so hard to improve my movement on clay, so I think I feel really comfortable on the clay now. I think that’s helped make the biggest
difference in my game to play at this level.”
It’s an incredible win for Day who is into the third round of a Grand Slam for the first time in her career.
Day’s comeback to the tour has been a rollercoaster ride having broken through on the WTA tour in 2017, the American has been through injuries and obstacles in order to get back to level.
The American spoke about the challenges facing her during that time and how the pandemic complicated things even further, “I broke through pretty young at like 17, and then I had a lot of injuries, dealt with a lot of other issues,” Day revealed.
“It just means so much to me to be back at this level. I have worked so hard to get back here. I have really grinded my way back. So it just, I think it means so much to me, so much more to me now that I’ve had my struggles but overcame them.
“I had a ton of injuries, and I also had mono, which made me feel not so well for a very long time. I tore my quad. I fractured my foot. I tore both labrums in my hip. So it was just a lot of bad luck, one thing after another.
“Then by the time I was trying to like make a comeback or I was feeling a lot better, it was COVID. It was really difficult, because all my injuries were, like, I would be out for three, four months, and I never took a protected ranking, so it was so hard for me to come back.
“Every time I tried coming back, it just felt like something else would happen. So then when I started feeling good, it was in 2020 during COVID, and they cancelled all the tournaments and my ranking had dropped to like 600 at that point.
“So it was really tough to even try to get into a tournament to try to play. I think in 2020 I played like three tournaments or something. So it’s just, yeah, like I said, a lot of bad luck and bad timing.”
Day’s path back to the tour has been a painful one having to go through so many obstacles in one go.
However the American’s resilience and fortitude has paid off as she breaks new ground in Paris.
One person who is to thank for Day’s run this week is former Grand Slam champion Pat Cash who has been working with the American.
Day revealed in her press conference that her and Cash have been working for a while, “Well, Pat Cash, who’s here with me, he’s just completely changed my idea on movement and the way I move,” Day explained.
“We did a lot of work before the clay season started together. So he’s made probably the biggest difference in my movement, especially on my backhand side. Before I couldn’t even really hit an open-stance backhand, so he helped me through that, basically.
“He was coaching another player. I don’t want to mess up her name, but Qi Wang. They were training out in California a little bit in 2021 in the offseason and we hit together a few times. From there I kind of saw him around and we, you know, would be friendly with each other.
“Then this year in Australia he offered to help me a little bit before my other coach came. Ever since then it’s just been kind of, we’ve been working together, and it’s been great.”
The partnership has clearly worked as she has achieved her best ever Grand Slam result in Paris.
Next for Day is Anna Karolina Schmiedlova as she looks to reach the second week of Roland Garros.
Asian Games Champion Qinwen Zheng Reveals Shock Departure Of Coach Fissette
China’s Qinwen Zheng says she feels ‘hurt’ by the decision of her former coach to end their collaboration in order to work with another player.
The US Open quarter-finalist had been working with Belgium’s Wim Fissette in recent weeks following the departure of Pere Riba who is now the coach of Coco Gauff. Fissette has a wealth of experience in women’s tennis after working with the likes of Kim Clijsters and Naomi Osaka. However, Zheng says she is now looking for a new mentor.
“I understand his decision, but my family and I feel hurt. Right now I don’t want to talk about this person (Fissette),’ journalist Bendou Zhang quoted her as saying.
Fissette is yet to comment on his departure. He had previously coached former world No.1 Osaka between 2019-2022 and during this period she won two of her four Grand Slam titles. The American-based Japanese player is on maternity leave from the sport and gave birth to her first child in July.
20-year-old Zheng is currently ranked 23rd in the world and won her maiden WTA title in Palermo earlier this year. She is the youngest player from her country to have reached the quarter-finals of a Grand Slam in the Open Era following her run at Flushing Medows. This year she has beaten top 10 players Ons Jabeur and Daria Kasatkina.
Zheng’s latest career milestone is winning gold at the Asian Games on Friday. in the final, she defeated Zhu Lin 6-2, 6-4, in the blistering Hangzhou heat.
“The feeling was incredible,” Zheng said. “I’m really happy about that. That was not an easy match today and also yesterday (in semifinal against Alex Eala). All of them are good fighters.”
It is not clear who Zheng will be working with during the Asian swing.
Daria Kasatkina Criticises Decision To Not Use Roof At Sweltering Pan Pacific Open
Daria Kasatkina has taken a swipe at organizers at the Toray Pan Pacific Open for not using the roof to cover their premier court on Thursday due to the heat.
The Russian played her second round match against Despina Papamichail in temperatures around 30 degrees with the humidity making it feel even warmer. Kasatkina battled to a 6-4, 6-4, win after spending more than two hours on the court. She dropped serve four times in the match but managed to break Papamichail seven times en route to victory.
Speaking on the court following his latest tour win, the world No.13 admitted that she struggled in the conditions and implied that she believed the roof should have been closed to shield the players from the sun. Tokyo, which is where the tournament is staged, has experienced a record-breaking number of ‘extremely hot’ days this year with their autumn season being warmer than usual. Something that some warn could be a more regular occurrence due to climate change.
“We cannot do much about it. We are using the ice towels and some supplements to keep you hydrated. By at the end, you cannot fight with something you cannot control,” Kasatkina commented on the conditions during her on-court interview.
“I think in these kinds of conditions, if you have a roof, better maybe to close it. If you have these opportunities, better to use it than to make players almost die on the field.” She added.
Kasatkina is through to her seventh Tour quarter-final of the season. Awaiting her in the next round will be second seed Jessica Pegula who beat Spain’s Cristina Bucșa 6-1, 6-2, in her second round match on Wednesday. It will be only the second Tour meeting between the two players and their first on a hard court.
Elsewhere in Tokyo, another player to reach the last eight in France’s Caroline Garcia who beat Anhelina Kahlinina 6-4, 6-3. Meanwhile, Anastasia Pavlychenkova defeated Czech Republic’s Linda Noskova 6-3, 4-6, 6-0.
Barbora Krejcikova Does The Double In San Jose
After what has been a challenging past few weeks on the Tour, Barbora Krejcikova has returned to the winner’s circle by claiming both the singles and doubles titles at the San Diego Open.
The world No.13 battled to a marathon 6-4, 2-6, 6-4, win over Sofia Kenin in what was a clash of the former Grand Slam champions. Krejcikova was pushed to her limits throughout the two-and-a-half-hour clash with there being no break in the decider until the final game. It is the second singles title the Czech has won on the WTA Tour this season after Dubai and her seventh overall.
“Normally I wouldn’t be here,” said Krejcikova, who received a wild card to play in the tournament “I really want to thank them (the tournament organisers). It was very special. I really enjoyed my stay here.”
Krejcikova’s run to the trophy has also seen her score wins over Beatriz Haddad Maia and Danielle Collins earlier in the week. She is the first player from her country to win the tournament.
Following on from that triumph, the 27-year-old then clinched the doubles title alongside compatriot Katerina Siniakova. The duo beat Collins and Coco Vandeweghe 6-1, 6-4.
Krejcikova came into San Jose on a four-match losing streak which started at Wimbledon where she was forced to withdraw from her secound round clash due to a left leg injury.
“I came here with not really good statistics after my injury, I didn’t actually win any matches,” she said. “So I just came here and I pretty much was hoping and believing that I could get the first win and go from there. It’s pretty special to be sitting here having won [the title].”
It is only the second time in Krejcikova’s career that she has won both the singles and doubles titles at the same event. The first time she did so was at the 2021 French Open where her partner in the doubles was also Siniakova.
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