'Speechless' Sabalenka Praises Confidence And Emotional Control After Defending Australian Open Crown - UBITENNIS
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‘Speechless’ Sabalenka Praises Confidence And Emotional Control After Defending Australian Open Crown

Aryna Sabalenka admitted she is ‘speechless’ after claiming a second consecutive Australian Open title.

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Aryna Sabalenka praised her emotional control and confidence after claiming a second consecutive Australian Open title.

The world number two successfully defended her Australian Open title with a 6-3 6-2 win over 12th seed Qinwen Zheng.

Sabalenka was aggressive and proactive as she claimed her second Grand Slam title of her career.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VZrpOtkhBHQ

After the match Sabalenka admitted she was ‘speechless’ and said she was pleased with the performance, “Yeah, I’m speechless right now. I don’t know how to describe my emotions,” Sabalenka explained in her press conference.

“But definitely I’m super, super happy and proud of everything I was able to achieve so far. Yeah, just happy with the level I played today. She’s a great player and very tough opponent. I’m super happy that I was able to get this win today.”

An incredible achievement for Sabalenka to successfully defend the title especially given the fact that she didn’t drop a set all tournament.

Some players can drop their level after winning a maiden Grand Slam title as they have achieved their dream in the sport.

However Sabalenka admitted that she didn’t want to be known as someone who just won one Grand Slam title and was determined to prove her versatility and consistency, “Yeah, actually it’s been in my mind that I didn’t want to be that player who win it and then disappeared,” Sabalenka explained.

“I just wanted to show that I’m able to be consistently there and I’m able to win another one. I really hope that more, more than two right now, but for me was really important. That’s why, no matter what the result, like, win or lose, we are always working hard, we always looking for things to improve in my game.

“Yeah, it’s all about the process and make sure that, about the discipline, make sure that you’re always there, you always show up, and you always work hard.”

Sabalenka’s discipline and hard work has paid off as she will now look to win Grand Slams on other surfaces.

That’s a goal that Sabalenka has her sights firmly fixed on as she looks to add more titles to her collection, “Well, I think last year I proved that I can play on each surface. I think those two semifinals I get super emotional,” Sabalenka reflected.

“I lost, not like my matches. I played against incredible players, and they just played unbelievable level, but I felt like I got super emotional and I just let that semis go away. But I definitely think that if I’m going to keep working like I’m working right now, and if we’re going to keep building what we are building right now, I’m definitely able to do the same on the clay and on the grass.

“So then I’ll just keep working hard and hopefully this year I’ll achieve the same goal on the clay or on the grass.”

The world number two will aim to keep her emotions in check as that’s what secured her the Australian Open title.

The two-time Grand Slam champion reflected on keeping her emotions in check and how confidence was a key factor in winning the title in Melbourne, “I would say that it was a little bit different. I think I wasn’t that emotional on court, but before the match, it was the same. You know, like you still are waiting for it, you can’t wait to start. You’re super excited,” Sabalenka said when comparing the fortnight to previous Grand Slam experiences.

“It’s still emotional off the court, but as soon as I step in on the court, I felt like, okay, I think I’m in control, and I think I’m, how to say, emotionally ready for it. So compared to last year, it’s completely different me. Compared to the US Open, once again, it’s a different me.

“As I said, I’m more controlled and kind of like don’t let the rest of the things come to my mind, and I was focusing on myself. So I think it’s a big difference.

“I think it’s very important to be open. I feel like I really want to be connected with my fans and make sure that they know my story and probably my story will inspire someone else and will help someone else.

“Now having two Grand Slam titles, it’s definitely give me more confidence and believe in myself. I just have this knowing that all my life it wasn’t, like, wasting of time and I was doing the right thing. I’m where I’m meant to be, so that’s really important.”

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Daniil Medvedev Suffers Wimbledon Setback In Halle

Daniil Medvedev preparations for Wimbledon suffered a setback in Halle.

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Daniil Medvedev has suffered a setback ahead of Wimbledon after he was beaten in the second round in Halle by Zhizhen Zhang.

The world number five entered Halle having lost in the fourth round of Roland Garros to Alex De Minaur.

Medvedev doesn’t have the best record on grass and that once again was the case in his 6-3 2-6 7-6(5) defeat to Zhang.

The third seed broke serve on more occasions than his Chinese opponent but ultimately lacked quality in the final set tiebreak.

After the match Zhang was happy with the way he handled the tiebreak, “A really tough match. Last time I lost a third-set tie-break [in Stuttgart last week]. And today again, a third-set tie-break. I was thinking, ‘Okay, it’s time. The perfect moment to get revenge’,” Zhang explained.

“I’m super happy that today I handled it to the end.”

Now Medvedev heads to Wimbledon, where he had his best result last year losing to Carlos Alcaraz in the semi-finals.

Meanwhile Zhang will now face Christopher Eubanks in the quarter-finals after the American knocked out defending champion Alexander Bublik.

The other quarter-final confirmed will see Arthur Fils taking on Alexander Zverev.

Zverev defeated Lorenzo Sonego 6-4 7-6(5) and said the following after his victory, “Extremely happy with my performance,” Zverev told the ATP website.

“I felt like it was good tennis and I’m happy to be in the quarters. I’m enjoying the moments on these beautiful courts, happy to be playing the way I am. Hopefully I can continue building, continue playing better.”

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Former Champion Ash Barty To Make Wimbledon Return In Invitational Doubles

Ash Barty is set to return to tennis at Wimbledon.

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Former Wimbledon champion Ash Barty will return to the tennis court at SW19.

The Australian hasn’t played tennis since announcing her retirement from the sport after winning the Australian Open in 2022.

Barty defeated Danielle Collins in the final and stunningly announced that she would retire from competitive tennis at 25 years old.

Since then the former world number one has had a child as well as competing in exhibition golf tournaments.

However, it now seems like Barty is ready to phase herself back into the tennis world as it has now been announced that she will return to Wimbledon to play the invitational doubles.

It’s unclear who her partner will be at this point but it will be the Australian’s first appearance at SW19 since winning the Wimbledon title in 2021.

Fans will be hoping that this could lead to a potential return to the tour just like Caroline Wozniacki did at last year’s Wimbledon before returning a few months later.

That does look unlikely though given Barty’s mindset and comfortability with her current lifestyle.

Furthermore, Barty will also be joining BBC’s punditry team for the actual Championships.

The main tournament will start on the first of July with the invitational doubles starting on Tuesday 9th of July.

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Andy Murray Retires against Thompson; Third Seed Dimitrov Also Out at Queens

Andy Murray suffered a heart-breaking exit. Taylor Fritz downs Raonic, while Rinky Hijikata also progresses to last eight.

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Former Wimbledon champion Andy Murray retired after just five games against Australian Jordan Thompson with a back injury that has been niggling him for the last few weeks.

He had been trying his best to manage it, but ultimately succumbed to a loss of strength and coordination and control in his right leg.

The 37-year-old Scot has been on the tour for eighteen years and completed his 1,000th match in the round before, but it was evident during his warm up that something was off. He was not stretching up fully when practising serves, whilst also landed tentatively on his feet.

In fact, former five-time champion Murray looked in some difficulty even walking down the steps walking towards the court. “When I walked up the stairs before going out, and in the pre-match warm up, my back was uncomfortable,” said Murray in a BBC interview afterwards. “I don’t know exactly what the problem is. I hadn’t experienced that before. I have no idea how long it will take to get better and what the treatment options are.”

It was clear that Murray regretted choosing to play today. “The atmosphere was pretty awkward on court; everyone can see there is a problem I don’t know whether I should play or stop. It’s disappointing for the crowd and everyone who has paid to come and watch. In hindsight I wish I hadn’t gone out.”

The pair had met once before back in 2017, also at Queens. But Murray had won Wimbledon the year before; his body was seven years younger than now and far less battered and bruised. It remains to be seen whether the former world number one can be fit in time for this year’s Championships.

Meanwhile Sebastian Korda put in a gritty display to overcome an under-par Grigor Dimitrov in three tough sets 6-4, 3-6, 7-5.

In a very even match with winners and unforced errors almost equal, it was former champion Dimitrov who was regularly under pressure in his service games and offered 14 breakpoints in total. He was behind in numerous baseline duels dropping the ball short many times, enabling Korda, who reached the semi-finals last year, to come in and attack first. The American was also very solid from the forecourt winning 73% at net, as well as winning 83% of points behind his first serve.

The third set looked like it was heading to a tie-break but Korda hit a razor-sharp forehand down the line winner at 30-30 in the final game before world number ten Dimitrov overcooked a forehand to hand the victory to his younger opponent.

“It was a big struggle,” said Korda on court afterwards. “We were both serving really well and holding serve and waiting for our chances. There weren’t many but the ones that came, we tried to get one.”

He downplayed his recent wrist injury and instead was grateful to be playing on the centre court grass: “it’s incredible to play at Queens, definitely one of my favourite tournaments to come to, everything is so amazing. I’m very happy with how it’s going so far. I am super happy. Hopefully I can keep playing some good tennis this week and leading into Wimbledon as well.”

In today’s opening match, qualifier Rinky Hijikata squeezed past Matteo Arnaldi 7-6 (7-0), 7-6 (9-7). While the Italian blasted 37 winners, Hijikata remarkably only offered five unforced errors throughout the two sets. The Australian cruised through the opening breaker without losing a point. However, the second set decider was far closer.

Hijikata squandered five match points and a 6-3 lead in the second set tie-break. A wild forehand miss meant the players crossed at six points each and another put him set point down. But he regrouped after a tremendous rally and won the final three points to reach the quarter finals on his debut at Queens.

“I was pretty nervous,” said Hijikata after the win. “I definitely made it tough for myself today but Matteo was coming up with some really good stuff under pressure and he is a quality player and pretty tricky to put away, but I’m glad to get through today. It’s pretty sweet playing on this court, so thank you to everyone for coming out today.”

Hijikata has been struggling for match wins of late and highlighted his resilience and also gave thanks to his coach: “It’s been a tricky couple of months but I’ve been trying to persevere and keep working hard with my coach, so a lot of the credit goes to him. It hasn’t been easy but a week like this makes it all worthwhile. I was looking forward to the grass swing for the last few months and I always love playing on this surface at a tournament like this, let’s see what I can do for the rest of the grass court season.”

In the last match of the day, American Taylor Fritz defeated Milos Raonic, who had smashed 47 aces in the round before, in straight sets 7-6 (7-5), 6-4. There were no breaks of serve in the first set, lasting 44 minutes, while fourth seed Fritz broke to go 5-4 up in the second and then served out a love game and faces Thompson for a place in the semi-finals.

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