Elina Svitolina Upsets No.1 Swiatek To Reach Wimbledon Semis - UBITENNIS
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Elina Svitolina Upsets No.1 Swiatek To Reach Wimbledon Semis

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Elina Svitolina (@Wimbledon on Twitter)

Just four months after returning to the Tour from maternity leave, Elina Svitolina has reached her second Wimbledon semi-final after knocking out top seed Iga Swiatek.

The wild card struggled at times with her serve but used the support of the animated crowd to guide her to a shock 7-5, 6-7(5), 6-2, win over the Pole. It is the seventh time in her career that she has defeated a world No.1 player but it is only the third time she has beaten a top 10 player at a major tournament.

Incredibly four out of Svitolina’s five wins at SW19 this year have been over Grand Slam winners. Earlier in the tournament she knocked out Venus Williams, Sofia Kenin and Victoria Azarenka. 

“I’m going to have a beer, probably!” she joked after her latest win.
“I don’t know what is happening right now in my head.’
“I’m really happy I got this chance to play here again, playing this great match in a great atmosphere – it was a really unbelievable feeling for me.”

Two days after coming through her marathon clash with Belinda Bencic, Swiatek found herself facing another stern test against former world No.3 Svitolina in what was their first meeting since Rome 2021. At the start of their latest match on Center Court, both players struggled to hold their serve with three out of the first five games being breaks of serve. Although crucially two of those breaks were in Swiatek’s favor as she rallied to a 5-3 lead. 

Yet the crowd appeared to be largely on Svitolina’s side after they let out a huge roar when the Ukrainian fired a thunderous forehand winner down the line to hold for 4-5. This reception appeared to have rejuvenated her as she drew level once again in what was a rollercoaster opener. 

Switek’s error count mounted which paved the way for Svitoliva to snatch a 7-5 lead. The Pole produced a total of 16 unforced eros during the first set which was twice the number of her opponent.

As the rain started to fall, proceedings came to a brief halt for the roof to be activated. Then when they resumed the cat-and-mouse chase continued with Swiatek working her way to 3-1 before getting pegged back. Eventually, her perseverance paid off in the tiebreak when she edged her way to a 6-5 lead before a Svitolina shot landed beyond the baseline and granted her the second set. 

However, Swiatek’s comeback was short-lived thanks to some inspired and gutsy play from a fired-up Svitolina who race through the decider by winning five out of six games played. Serving for the match, she surged to 40-0 after hitting a clean backhand down the line before triumphing on her second match point after a Swiatek forehand crashed into the net. 

“Iga is not only a great champion, she is an unbelievable person,” Svitolina said in reference to her rivals support for Ukraine since the Russian invasion. “It is not easy to play someone with whom you share a lot of good moments.”

Awaiting Svitolina in the semi-finals will be Czech Republic’s Marketa Vondrousova who pulled off an upset of her own. The former French Open finalist defeated fourth seed Jessica Pegula 6-4, 2-6, 6-4. 

“I don’t know what happened. I was 1-4 down (in the third set). It’s an amazing feeling. Thank you guys for the support, it was amazing.” Said Vondrousova.
“My best result here was the second round. I just got better. I’m just loving grass now.” She later added. 

Svitolina leads Vondrousova 3-2 in their head-to-head but they have not played against each other on the Tour since 2021. 

Should Svitolina go on to clinch the Wimbledon title she would become only the second woman in history to win a major title as a wild card. The first to do so was Kim Clijsters in 2009 at the US Open.

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Roland Garros 2024: Naomi Osaka Edges Past Bronzetti In Opening Round Test

Naomi Osaka stumbled past Lucia Bronzetti to set up a potential second round clash with Iga Swiatek.

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Naomi Osaka began her Roland Garros campaign with a 6-1 4-6 7-5 victory over Lucia Bronzetti.

The multiple-time Grand Slam champion was making her first appearance at Roland Garros since 2022 and was bidding to secure her eighth victory of her career at the event.

It was a fast start from the world number 134 who broke twice in the opening set on her way to a 6-1 set.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A-NhGfGlXI4

There was accurate and aggressive counter-attacking tennis from Osaka who took advantage of some cheap unforced errors from Bronzetti.

In the second set, there was more stable and convincing serving from the Italian as Osaka had minimal opportunities to secure the break.

A big opportunity did present itself to Osaka in the seventh game as she found the angles to force errors from Bronzetti, creating two break points.

That big opportunity was wasted as Bronzetti continued to extend the rallies and tested Osaka’s stamina.

The move paid off for Bronzetti as she broke in the tenth game, taking advantage of some inconsistent serving from Osaka with the Italian converting her second set point.

In the final set it looked like Osaka was going to run away with the match as she secured an early double break lead as she went 4-0 ahead.

But once again Osaka took her foot off the gas with Bronzetti gaining the two breaks back and winning four games on the bounce.

Too many tactical errors nearly cost Osaka but the former Australian Open and US Open champion managed to notch up her first Grand Slam win for two years by claiming the last two games.

Now Osaka could face world number one and defending champion Iga Swiatek in the second round should the Pole get past Leolia Jeanjean.

So far on day one Dayana Yastremska came from a set down to defeat Ajla Tomljanovic 3-6 6-3 6-3 while Marie Bouzkova knocked out 29th seed Veronika Kudermetova 6-2 6-4.

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Roland Garros 2024: ‘Proud’ Iga Swiatek Seeks Consistent Improvement

Iga Swiatek continues to find improvement despite her dominance ahead of her Roland Garros opener.

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Ubitennis/Francesca Micheli

Iga Swiatek had admitted she is ‘proud’ of her clay court season but is seeking consistent improvement over the rest of the season.

The world number one is aiming for a third consecutive Roland Garros title and heads into Paris in dominant form.

Titles in Madrid and Rome with two contrasting wins over Aryna Sabalenka means she is the overwhelming favourite heading into the fortnight.

Speaking ahead of her opening match Swiatek spoke about how she is a better tennis player from 2022 and how proud she is of her clay court season so far, “I think I’m a better player because I just grew and I worked hard during the past two years,” Swiatek explained in her press conference.

“I feel like I’m progressing, so I guess I should be a better tennis player. Comparing the results, or my feelings, two years ago it was all kind of new for me, and I think I won so many matches also because nobody really expected it.

“When the streak started, I wasn’t even second in the rankings, so I think other players were also unprepared maybe for my game sometimes. Now it’s different. Now they are prepared, and I feel like I keep having a target on my back, because I’m No. 1. So I think actually I’m more proud of what’s happening right now and winning all these titles this year already has shown that we are going on the right path.”

Despite her recent dominance, Swiatek isn’t resting on her laurels as she continues to seek improvement.

The Pole has been working on several areas on her game including the serve as she has become a more aggressive player over the last couple of years.

Swiatek spoke on the changes she has made with her coach as she seeks more consistent improvement, “Changing the technique, I think it allowed me to serve faster. We worked on my placement as well, so it got better for sure. I feel like I have more options when I’m serving,” Swiatek told the Roland Garros website.

“As you could see in Rome, for example, I had many situations when I was a break point down, and I was able to kind of save the game with my first serve. So this tournament showed that we are going in the right direction. Next goal is to keep my serve at a consistent level throughout the whole season. We’ll see how that’s going to go.

“But I think overall my coach from the beginning had a great idea about my serve. The other thing is me implementing it, so we are working hard for the movement to be smooth and to get muscle memory, so even under the biggest pressure and stress, I’m going to be serving the same way.”

Swiatek will begin her campaign against qualifier Leolia Jeanjean in her opening round match on Monday with potentially Naomi Osaka awaiting in round two.

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Roland Garros 2024: Coco Gauff Preparing For Uncomfortable Changes In Paris

Coco Gauff is ready to make uncomfortable changes to her game ahead of Roland Garros.

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Coco Gauff has said that she is ready to make uncomfortable changes to her game as she prepares for Roland Garros.

The American is a former finalist having reached the final in 2022 but has struggled with her game throughout the clay court season.

However there was hope in Rome as she did reach the semi-finals in Italy before losing comfortably to Iga Swiatek in the last four.

Speaking ahead of the start of the tournament Gauff is confident of a good run in Paris after an encouraging display in Italy, “I have been here for a couple days now, and I feel like I have been preparing great,” the American was quoted by Reuters as saying on media day.

“Had a good tournament in Rome, so I’m excited, hope I can have good vibes here. Last week I felt like from the start of the week till the end of the week I improved a lot. It gave me a lot of confidence for this tournament.”

Despite a recent poor run of form, Gauff has had an incredible last 12 months and is looking to reach a third consecutive Grand Slam semi-final.

However Gauff would like to be more competitive when facing her rivals at the big events which is something that hasn’t improved since she won her first Grand Slam title at the US Open.

Now the 20 year-old has admitted that she will have to make some uncomfortable changes to her game as she prepares for her Roland Garros campaign, “I feel like, overall, if I want to be the player that I want to become, I have to be uncomfortable and make changes to my game, not just to my serve, but other things, as well,” Gauff explained.

“I have been trying to improve it with every tournament, from the start of the clay to Rome. My last match it was a lot better in terms of percentage and the double faults. I think I’m confident.

“I feel like it’s getting better but it’s obviously a shot that is tough to change because when you’re tight you revert back to what you know works. Sometimes it’s tough to push yourself to do the uncomfortable things which you know in the long term are better for you.”

Gauff will begin her campaign against a qualifier on Monday.

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