Ons Jabeur Consoled By Clijsters After Wimbledon Heartbreak - UBITENNIS
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Ons Jabeur Consoled By Clijsters After Wimbledon Heartbreak



Ons Jabeur (TUN) - Credit: AELTC/Florian Eisele

Moments after missing out on the Wimbledon title for a second year running, Ons Jabeur revealed that a former Grand Slam champion came to speak with her. 

Jabeur, who was seeking to become the first African woman in history to win a Grand Slam title, fell in straight sets to Marketa Vondrousova. A player ranked more than 30 places lower than her who had only ever won two Tour-level matches on the grass before this year. It was a case of deja vu for the Tunisian who also lost the 2022 final to a lower-ranked opponent, Elena Rybakina. 

Overall, Jabeur has now had to settle for runner-up on three occasions at major events but admitted that her latest defeat is the one which hurt her the most. Given the circumstance, perhaps the best person to console the tennis star is somebody who had been in a similar situation. 

Fortunately for her, Kim Clijsters came to her rescue. The Belgian former world No.1 lost her first four Grand Slam finals between 2001-2005 before triumphing. She eventually went on to win the US Open three times and the Australian Open once.

“We were crying together in the locker room,” Jabeur said during her press conference.
“I love Kim so much. She’s a great inspiration to me. I grew up watching her a bit.’
“The fact that she takes the time to give me advice and to hug me, always be there for me, I think it’s priceless.”
“That’s the positive out of it. You cannot force things. It wasn’t meant to be. It wasn’t meant to be.”

The 28-year-old said Vondrousova ‘played the right match’ to beat her on Center Court. Although she was far from satisfied with her performance which featured 31 unforced errors and she won less than 50% of her service points. 

“I didn’t think I played good today,” she said. “There were so many things that I should have done and not serving well did not help.’
“Marketa returns every ball. Even if I did a good serve, she was there. That didn’t help my serve much.’
“My backhand wasn’t there. Also, I think playing two different players the last few matches did not help.”

Looking at the positive side to her Wimbledon campaign, she did manage to score three wins over top 10 players which is something that was last done at the tournament back in 2012 by Serena Williams. Furthermore, she has now reached the final of three out of the last major tournaments. 

Looking at the bigger picture, Jabeur sees her tennis as a work in progress as she eyes to win not one but multiple major titles before retirement. 

“My goal is to be a good and consistent player Whenever it’s going to come. I will learn from this match and I want to be one of the players that could win Grand Slams, not just one.” She concluded.

Jabeur will remain in sixth palace when the WTA rankings are updated on Monday which is four places ahead of Vondrousova. 

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Maria Sakkari Appoints Witt As Coach For American Swing



Maria Sakkari - WTA Washington 2023 (foto Twitter @mubadalacitidc)

Maria Sakkari has enlisted the help of Jessica Pegula’s former long-time coach in a bid to regain her form on the Tour. 

Greek media has confirmed that the world No.9 has begun a partnership with David Witt, who has also previously coached Venus Williams. Witt had worked with Pegula since 2019 before the tennis star decided to end their collaboration earlier this year. During their time together he oversaw the American win two WTA 1000 events, reached the quarter-final of a grand Slam on six occasions and peaked at a ranking high of No.3. 

Sakkari’s appointment comes after she ended her six-year working relationship with Tom Hill. Highlights of their partnership include winning two Tour titles, reaching a Grand Slam semi-final twice and spending more than two years in the top 10. 

“Tom, thank you for all the emotions, the support on and off the court, and the belief you had in me since day one,” Sakkari wrote on Instagram last month. “We grew together, and you helped me realize that everything is possible.

“Not only did you make me a better tennis player, but you also made me a better person. Thank you for always wanting the best for me and for always having my back! Good luck on the next chapter in your career.”

Sakkari is looking to get back on track after what has been a disappointing start to 2024. She had won just two matches in her first four singles tournaments played and is yet to face an opponent ranked in the world’s top 20. However, she faired better at the United Cup, where she won three matches in the team event, including victories over Lelylah Fernandez and Angelique Kerber. 

It is understood that Sakkari will be working with Witt at both Indian Wells and Miami. If their partnership is successful, it could be extended further into the clay swing. The other members of her team will remain in the same roles. 

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Ugo Humbert saves three match points to beat Hubert Hurkacz in Dubai



Fifth-seed Ugo Humbert came back from one set down to beat Hubert Hurkacz 3-6 7-6 (10-8) 6-3. Humbert had beaten Hurkacz en route to his title in Marseille. 

Hurkacz converted his third break point in the fourth game to win the first set 6-3. Humbert saved three match points in the tie-break of the second set before converting his first set point to force the match to the decider. Humbert broke twice to seal the third set 6-3. 

“It was a great battle. I tried to battle for every point. In the tie-break I saved three match points, tried to do my best and thanks to those French fans for the amazing support”, said Humbert. 

Humbert set up a semifinal match against Danil Medvedev, who beats Alejandro Davidovich Fokina 6-2 6-3. Humbert leads 2-1 in their head-to-head matches, but Medvedev won their most recent match in three sets at the China Open in their most recent head-to-head match in Beijing last year.

“It’s going to be a great challenge against Danil tomorrow. We had a few great fights. Hopefully I will recover well to be ready for this match”, said Humbert. 

Aleksander Bublik was leading Jiri Lehecka 6-4 4-1 when the Czech player was forced to retire due to an injury. Bublik set up a match against Andrey Rublev, who was leading Sebastian Korda 6-4 4-3  when the Czech player withdrew due to injury. 

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Brazilian Rising Star Joao Fonseca Waives College Eligibility To Turn Pro



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

One of Brazil’s most promising young tennis players has made the bold decision to abandon a dream of his to play college tennis in America to turn pro. 

17-year-old Jaoao Fonseca was committed to playing college tennis at the University of Virginia but says professional tennis has called him in a way he couldn’t refuse. The rising star has played just two Tour-level events so far in his career and is currently ranked 343rd in the world. 

At last week’s Rio Open, he became the second-youngest player after Alexander Zverev to reach the quarter-finals of an ATP 500 event since the category was introduced. In his home tournament, the Brazillian beat Arthur Fils and Cristian Garin before losing to Mariano Navone.

“It was an incredibly tough decision for me and my family as I have been dreaming about living a college life in Charlottesville, playing the sport that l love with a wonderful team and coach, but, in the last months, professional tennis called me in a way that I simply couldn’t say no,” Fonseca wrote in a statement published on Instagram
“Although I will not be attending school, I think it is an extremely valuable and viable path for young players in their way to professional careers,” he added.

Fonseca has already enjoyed success on the junior circuit. Last year he was runner-up in the doubles tournament at the Australian Open boy’s event. Then at the US Open, he won his first Grand Slam junior title in singles. He is also a former ITF Junior World No.1 and is currently ranked second in the standings. 

The youngster has already been hailed by compatriot Beatriz Haddad Maia, who is currently ranked 13th on the WTA Tour. Speaking to reporters at the San Diego Open, she has offered her support to Fonseca if he needs it. 

“João is a nice person. He has a great future, if he keeps working hard and keeps doing what he’s doing. I think he has a very aggressive mentality and tennis.” She said.

“We sometimes text each other, but not that much. But I’m always following.. not only him.. but the Brazilians. I’m proud of what he’s doing. He has a long way and he needs to understand that it’s a marathon, it’s not a 100 meter race.’
“Tennis has its ups and downs. I wish him all the best, for sure. I’ll be here whenever he wants. I’m happy with what he’s doing.” 

Fonseca played at the Chile Open this week but lost in the first round to Thiago Agustin Tirante.

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