Qinwen Zheng beats Yastremska, faces defending champion Sabalenka in Title Match - UBITENNIS
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Qinwen Zheng beats Yastremska, faces defending champion Sabalenka in Title Match

Qinwen Zheng will compete in her first Grand Slam final after defeating Dayana Yastremska in straight sets.



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Qinwen Zheng overcame a nervy start to come through in straight sets 6-4, 6-4 against qualifier Dayana Yastremska and became the first Chinese player since Li Na in 2014 to reach Australian Open Final.

Yastremska, who reached a career high ranking of 21 four years ago, came out of the blocks fast and broke serve early for a 2-0 lead with her powerful baseline game, while Zheng’s first serve went missing. However, having never played against each other and with both players into their first Grand Slam semi-final, the tension was there for all to see and the Ukrainian inexplicably threw in four double faults in the next game and was broken straight back.

The right-handed 23-year-old became the first qualifier to reach a Grand Slam semi-final since Emma Raducanu in 2021, largely due to her clean ball striking and her mobility around the court. But she became increasingly erratic as the set progressed while Zheng remained in control and fended off further breakpoints.

Although she had not beaten anyone inside the top 50 to reach this stage, she broke serve to lead 4-3 after converting her fourth breakpoint. Aided by winning 75% of her first serves and eight winners, she closed out the set 6-4 after 55 minutes on her first set point.

The pair traded breaks at the start of the second set before DY edged ahead 3-2 with some heavy hitting drawing unforced errors from Zheng. However, back-to-back aces in the next game locked the players in at three games all.

A poor game followed by Yastremska to hand the initiative back to Zheng who broke serve in the seventh game just as in the opening set. She sat down at the changeover 4-3 ahead and now just two games away from her first Slam Final.

Zheng only conceded five more points and closed out the match with a service winner before realising the magnitude of her achievement. She spoke briefly on court and also thanked her fans in Mandarin. When asked about her victory and the influence of her team, she replied:

It feels unbelievable! I’m super excited to have such a great performance today and arrive in the final. I think Dayana played unbelievable tennis. It’s hard to explain my feelings now. Thanks for all the support and to all my team as well. Of course, we have been working hard, lots of effort on the tennis court and also outside with the fitness and the treatment. It’s the basic stuff but little details help every day. Thanks again to my team – I can’t do it without you guys.”

Yastremska has had a super tournament coming through qualifying and also beating Wimbledon champion Marketa Vondrousova as well as former Australian Open winner Victoria Azarenka. She also leaves with a cheque of almost a million Australian dollars.

Chinese superstar Li Na famously won the Australian Open ten years ago and Zheng will now aim to follow in her footsteps. But she will start Saturday’s final as the underdog against defending champion Aryna Sabalenka who overcame American Coco Gauff in straight sets in the earlier semi-final. Zheng lost their only encounter last year in the US Open quarter finals.


Simona Halep Provides Injury Update On Knee Ahead Of US Open

The return of Simona Halep looks a long way away from happening as a knee injury continues to bother the Romanian.



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Simona Halep has provided an update on her knee injury as she faces a race against time to be fit for the US Open.

The former Roland Garros and Wimbledon champion’s comeback has not gone according to plan so far as she returned from a doping ban in Miami earlier this year.

However playing time has been limited for the Romanian as her second tournament of the year ended in a first round retirement at a Challenger event in Paris.

As a result of her retirement Halep was forced to miss Roland Garros and Wimbledon as she looked to recover from a knee injury.

The injury is more serious than meets the eye though as Halep provided an update on her knee injury and revealed it’s an injury that has been occurring for the last few months, “I wanted to provide a little health update since I have been away from the court lately. It is not the best news, but I wanted to share all the same,” Halep revealed on Instagram.

“For a few months now, I have been struggling with a knee injury. It’s an injury I have never had before and it has been a tough one to manage, with the pain persisting. It has been a very difficult period (almost two years) mentally and emotionally for me and struggling physically on top of that definitely doesn’t help.

“I have decided to take the time needed to recover properly, rather than training and playing through pain. My instinct has always been to try to come back as soon as possible, but I am not a machine, I am a human being and I need time to recover from everything I have gone through.

“I’ll keep you posted and, as always, want to thank you for your permanent support. I hope to be back on court very soon.”

Halep now faces a race against time to be fit for the US Open which starts on the 26th of August.

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Alexander Zverev Commits To Olympics, Speaks About Miscommunication Between Olympics And ATP

Alexander Zverev is preparing for his Olympic title defence.



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Alexander Zverev has spoken out on the miscommunication between the Olympics and the ATP tour with tennis’ top stars set to miss some big events on the tour.

The German is getting ready to defend his Olympic title that he won in Tokyo as Zverev heads to Paris.

After narrowly missing out on Roland Garros glory, Zverev now has an opportunity at redemption as he aims for a second consecutive gold medal at the Olympics.

However there is a dilemma for big players this year as the same week as the tennis event at the Olympics at the ATP 500 event in Washington.

This is an event that Zverev usually plays but will have to miss it due to playing in Paris.

Speaking out on the miscommunication, Zverev said it’s no secret that the ATP are not best friends on the Olympics but has committed to the historic event, “The ITF or the Olympics are not best friends with the ATP, that’s not a secret,” Zverev was quoted by Tennis Infinity as saying.

Everybody continues their own tour. Yes, the Olympics is one of the, if not the, most important events we have in sports. So, the best players in the world are always going to play the Olympics over anything else, over points and over prize money.

All the top players went to Wimbledon a few years back, despite having no points on the line. It’s about prestige, it’s not about points or money. It’s about winning these kinds of titles and having medals for your country.

That’s what it’s about. I would never choose to play a 500 event over the Olympics. There are no thoughts on that, and I think Washington is going to be quite an interesting 500 event, I would say.

The ATP 500 event in Washington will be headlined by Grigor Dimitrov, Ben Shelton, Karen Khachanov and Frances Tiafoe as they are among those that have chosen ranking points over the Olympic experience.

As for Zverev he is continuing his Olympic preparations in Hamburg where he will face Pedro Martinez in the semi-finals.

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Rafael Nadal Reveals Delight At Setting Up Ajdukovic Semi-Final After Four Hour Victory

Rafael Nadal has revealed his delight at reaching the Bastad semi-finals after a four hour victory over Mariano Navone.



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Rafael Nadal has revealed his delight at reaching the semi-finals in Bastad after a four hour victory over Mariano Navone.

The 22-time Grand Slam champion prevailed in a marathon 6-7(2) 7-5 7-5 victory to reach his first semi-final since Wimbledon 2022.

The Spaniard converted ten of his 21 break point opportunities as he reached the semi-finals.

After the match Nadal revealed his delight at reaching the last four and prevailed Navone for his resilient display, “I lost for some moments my concentration, but I was able to hold physically until the end,” Nadal told the ATP website.

“That is so important for me. Let’s see how I am tomorrow, but today I am alive and in the semi-finals, so that’s very important. There were a lot of changing dynamics in every single set. For moments, he was in control. For moments, I was in control. But at the end, no one was in control! That’s true, and I had a good chance in the second with 3-0. Then I was very close to losing the match in the second set.

“In the third [I was ahead] again with 5-2, but he’s a great fighter and he played a great match. I wish him all the very best for the rest of the season.”

Nadal will now play Duje Ajdukovic in the semi-finals as he aims to continue his eight match winning streak in Bastad with this being his first appearance at the tournament since winning the title in 2005.

The other semi-final will be Nuno Borges against Thiago Agustin Tirante with both players reaching their maiden ATP tour semi-final.

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