Kayla Day Talks Injuries, Setbacks And Working With Pat Cash After Roland Garros Victory - UBITENNIS
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Kayla Day Talks Injuries, Setbacks And Working With Pat Cash After Roland Garros Victory

Kayla Day spoke about her incredible journey back to the WTA circuit after stunning Madison Keys at Roland Garros.

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Kayla Day (@TennisChannel - Twitter)

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.”

https://twitter.com/TennisChannel/status/1664236918475816961

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.

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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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Russian World No.78 Elina Avanesyan To Switch Nationalities

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Image via https://x.com/WTAMeridaOpen/

A week after losing her fourth round match at the French Open, a government minister has confirmed that Elina Avanesyan is in the process of changing the nationality of who she plays for. 

The 21-year-old is switching her aligence from Russia to Armenia, according to Armenia’s deputy Minister of International Affairs and communication. Karen Giloyan has told the news agency Armenpress that Avanesyan will soon be representing his country. However, the tennis player has yet to comment on the matter.  Avanesyan was born in Russia but has Armenian parents.

“Elina Avanesyan will compete under the Armenian flag, but there is nothing official yet. We are waiting for her to get the citizenship of the Republic of Armenia so that everything will be official,” Giloyan told Armenpress.

Such a development would be a massive coup for the Armenian tennis federation which currently doesn’t have a player ranked inside the top 500 on either the men’s or women’s Tour. The country has a population of less than 3M. Perhaps their best-known player is Sargis Sargsian who reached the top 40 back in 2004. Others on the Tour also have Armenian heritage but don’t represent the country such as Karen Khachanov.  

Avanesyan is currently ranked 78th in the world, which is 18 places below her career high. This season, she has scored high-profile wins over Maria Sakkari at the Australian Open, Ons Jabeur in Charleston and Qinwen Zhang at the French Open. 

She has yet to play in the final of a WTA tournament.

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Iga Looks To Be In A league All to Herself At Paris

Iga Swiatek claimed her fourth Roland Garros title in Paris.

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(@Eurosport - Twitter)

Just call her Iga. No other identification is needed.

As the years go by, Iga’s notoriety is sure to grow.

She’s probably already earned a spot in tennis’ Hall of Fame.

Yes, Iga Swiatek is a name to remember. A hero in her native Poland, a superstar in the world of sports.

IGA WAS JUST TOO GOOD

Iga just added to her stardom Saturday with an impressive 6-2, 6-1 victory over little-known Italian Jasmine Paolini to win her third straight French Open title. This was Paolini’s chance to make a name for herself, but she didn’t have the game to make it happen.

Iga was just too good. She made it look too easy.

Paolini could hit some great ground strokes, but when she looked up a bigger shot was on its way back. Iga doesn’t look like a power hitter, but she is.

WINNING 10 CONSECUTIVE GAMES

The 23-year-old Polish Wonder finished the first set winning five straight games, then started the second set winning five more games in succession. The 28-year-old Paolini didn’t seem to have a clue on how to upend Swiatek.

It took just 78 minutes for Iga to win her fifth Grand Slam title.

She’s a lot like her French Open hero, Rafa Nadal.

She takes every match seriously.

SWIATEK OWNS THE RED CLAY

No wonder Iga owns a 35-2 record at Roland Garos. Or that she has won 21 straight matches. Or that she owns a 5-0 record in Grand Slam finals.

She only dominated opponents, except for Naomi Osaka in the second round. Swiatek escaped a match point in that one and didn’t look back.

Iga’s game should be just as superb on the green grass of upcoming Wimbledon.

James Beck was the 2003 winner of the USTA National Media Award  for print media. A 1995 MBA graduate of The Citadel, he can be reached at Jamesbecktennis@gmail.com.

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