No Time To Celebrate For New No.1 Aryna Sabalenka At US Open - UBITENNIS
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No Time To Celebrate For New No.1 Aryna Sabalenka At US Open



One of Aryna Sabalenka’s career goals has been achieved at this year’s US Open but she has vowed to not let that distract her. 


As a result of Iga Swiatek’s fourth round loss to Jelena Ostapenko, the Belarussian will become the new world No.1 next Monday for the first time in her career. Sabalenka is the 29th woman to have topped the WTA standings since they were created and the second Belarussian to do so after Victoria Azarenka. It is a key milestone in the career of the 25-year-old who isn’t thinking about celebrating her new status at the moment. 

I’m focusing on the US Open. I don’t want to celebrate anything before the end of the US Open. I just want to focus on this tournament more than on world No. 1.” Sabalenka said after beating Daria Kasatkina 6-1, 6-3, on Monday. 

Sabalenka learned about her upcoming rise to No.1 on the morning of her match against Kasatkina after receiving a series of messages. Describing the situation as a ‘nice wake-up call.’ However, at the time she was concerned that it could disrupt her focus leading to to her latest match. 

The second seed is chasing after a second Grand Slam title of the season in New York after winning the Australian Open. She has reached the semi-finals of the US Open the past two years, losing to Leylah Fernandez in 2021 and then Swiatek in 2022. Sabalenka is the only top-five seed remaining in this year’s draw but is taking nothing for granted. 

“I think I’m playing great tennis. But there are always things to improve,” she evaluated of her game. “There are always things to keep building on and keep getting better with every match you play. But I’m happy with the level I play right now.”

In the semi-finals, Sabalenka will play Zheng Qinwen who is the youngest Chinese woman in the Open Era to reach the last eight of a major tournament at the age of 20. Zheng dropped only six games during her 6-2, 6-4, win over Ons Jabeur, who has recently been battling illness. 

I know if I bring my tennis, I have a chance to win this match,” Sabalenka commented.
“About the world No. 1, it’s not change anything. Yes, I was No. 2, now I’m No. 1. It’s great. Of course, it’s a great achievement. It’s one of the goals. It’s great to say that I’ve been world No. 1. But it’s not changing anything.’
“You still have to bring your best tennis. Sometimes players have nothing to lose against you and they’re playing their best tennis. So sometimes it’s even tougher.”

Sabalenka has now recorded 21 wins at Grand Slam tournaments this year. Since 2000, only seven other WTA players have managed to reach that amount of wins within the same season. 

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Asian Games Champion Qinwen Zheng Reveals Shock Departure Of Coach Fissette



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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. 

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Daria Kasatkina Criticises Decision To Not Use Roof At Sweltering Pan Pacific Open



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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. 

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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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