Ukrainian Qualifier Dayana Yastremska Upsets Two-Time Champion Azarenka, Svitolina Retires - UBITENNIS
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Ukrainian Qualifier Dayana Yastremska Upsets Two-Time Champion Azarenka, Svitolina Retires



Dayana Yastremska - Australian Open 2024 (foto X @AustralianOpen)

Dayana Yastremska says she felt she was going to lose her match ’25 times’ before pulling off a shock win over Victoria Azarenka in the fourth round of the Australian Open.

The world No.93 weathered the storm to beat Azarenka 7-6(6), 6-4, in what was a rollercoaster encounter. During the first set, Yastremska had a break advantage before later falling behind 3-5. Then after clawing her way back to draw level, she saved two set points when down 5-6 and then went on to edge out her rival in the tiebreaker. The challenges continued in the second set with the Ukrainian down 0-3 before winning six straight sets to seal a place in the last eight of a Grand Slam for the first time in her career. 

“I thought that I lost this match, like, 25 times,” said Yastremska.
“In some moments I felt I was too nervous and too emotional, but then I just relaxed. Just try to play each ball.”

Yastremska has become only the second player to have beaten two Grand Slam champions at a major after coming through qualifying. The first to do so was Jelena Dokic at the 1999 Wimbledon Championships. Besides Azarenka, the 23-year-old has also beaten Marketa Vondrousovsa. 

The fairytale run is a reminder of Yastremska’s potential on the Tour. At a young age, she was tipped to be the next big thing after winning a trio of WTA titles before her 20th birthday. Then she was provisionally suspended for a doping violation before being later cleared of any wrongdoing. 

She admits that in recent years her game has been affected by pressure and the ongoing war in her country. 

“A lot of things affected me, and because of that I couldn’t really play like I wanted. Plus I put a lot of pressure on myself, as well,” she said.
“The war, of course, it’s affected us a lot because you cannot go home like you wanted, when you wanted, like it was before. You always read the news. You always see the videos.
“As I said before, for example, when I was in Brisbane (this month), the rocket arrived on my grandmother’s house. It’s tough emotionally to play.”

Meanwhile, Azarenka has criticised her performance after crashing out of the tournament. 

“Not a good day for me playing-wise. I feel like I just wasn’t able to connect my game fully.” She said.
“I feel like I had a lot of opportunities still and just didn’t take advantage of them.”

Injury ends Svitolina’s bid 

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There was disappointment for another Ukrainian player after Elina Svitolina had to retire from her match against Czech teenager Linda Noskova. The former top 10 player was trailing 0-3 in the opening set before calling it quits due to a back injury. 

“I never had that before, the shooting pain like this.” Svitolina later commented.
“I had some injuries to my back before where it just was tiredness, but this one was out of nowhere. I felt like someone shot me in the back.
“Hopefully it’s short-term, maybe a spasm or something, and hopefully I will be back training maybe in one week.”

Meanwhile, Noskova has become the fifth Czech teenager to have reached the last eight at Melbourne Park. Following in the footsteps of Helena Sukova, Nicole Vaidisova, Lucie Safarova and Martina Navratilova. 

The youngster will next take on Yastremska in what will be their first Tour-level meeting. 

“I don’t really know the way she plays, but I think she’s more of an aggressive tennis player,” Noskova said of Yastremska.
“So I guess we won’t have a lot of rallies, but I think that I will just have to be prepared for anything because I don’t really know her style.”

Their quarter-final match will take place on Wednesday. 

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Krejcikova Comes Alive With Her Serve To Win 12th Grand Slam Title At Wimbledon



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It must have seemed like the whole world was against her when Barbora Krejcikova served for the match for a third time against crowd favorite Jasmine Paolini.

But Krejcikova was only going for her 12th Grand Slam title. She was well prepared.

So, she released her patented way-out-wide serve to the smallish Paolini’s backhand, and the best the Italian could do was get her racket on the ball enough to return the serve far off the court, long and wide.


The weight of the world was gone as Krejcikova threw her arms over her head and calmly walked to the net to greet the Wimbledon runner-up.

Now, Krejcikova was half-way home to a career Grand Slam in singles. She already owns a career Grand Slam in doubles among her dozen Grand Slam titles that also include one mixed doubles Grand Slam title.

She has won the hard ones, the French Open on clay and Wimbledon on grass.

At 28 years old, anything must look possible to this 5-10 Czech.


Paolini simply was out played in a second straight Grand Slam final, on clay and on grass. Now she faces the real tests, two straight Grand Slam tournaments on hard surfaces that might not be overly friendly to the 5-4 Paolini.

But there it was, a 6-2, 2-6, 6-4 victory for Krejcikova on Wimbledon’s famed Center Court.

After what might be called a throw-away second set for Krejcikova, she came alive in the third set, pinning Paolini to the deep corners while nailing low hard-hit balls to both corners.

Krejcikova got off to 40-0 starts on her first four service games of the decisive set and ended all four with service winners to take a 5-3 lead (with the aid of the only service break of the third set). She yielded only one point in those four service games, a double fault at 40-0 that was followed by an ace.

Of course, it was the serve again that saved the day for Krejcikova and gave her set points two and three, then sealed the deal for a spot in Wimbledon history.

James Beck was the 2003 winner of the USTA National Media Award  for print media. A 1995 MBA graduate of The Citadel, he can be reached at 

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Wimbledon Finalist Jasmine Paolini – ‘I’m A Little Bit Scared To Dream Too Much’



After coming close to her maiden Grand Slam title at Wimbledon, Jasmine Paolini believes consistency is key to having another shot at glory.

The 28-year-old dropped only one set en route to becoming the first Italian woman to reach a Wimbledon final. However, she was denied the title by Barbora Krejcikova, who won in three sets. Paolini was broken once in the decider which was due to a double fault from the Italian following an unsuccessful hawk-eye challenge made on her first serve. Then she failed to convert two break points when down 4-5 before Krejcikova held to seal glory.

“I started bad,” she reflected afterwards.

“I took some time and try to relax and to come back in the second set stronger to try to push the ball more because I was a little bit controlling too much, and I missed a lot of shots.

“She was playing, honestly, very good the first set. She was serving really, really good. High percentage of first serves.

“It was tough but I think I did better than the last final (at the French Open), but still it’s not enough.”

Prior to Saturday, Paolini had scored wins over former US Open champion Bianca Andreescu, Medison Keys (via retirement) and a marathon victory over Donna Vedic. She has now won 15 Grand Slam matches in 2024 compared to just one last season.

The defeat comes less than two months after the French Open where Paolini contested her first major final but lost in two sets to world No.1 Iga Swiatek. Since the start of this season, she has risen more than 20 places in the rankings and will reach No.5 on Monday.

Despite being in her late 20s, the Italian is producing some of her best tennis on the Tour. Something she credits to a combination of things. 

“I improved my game a little bit. I believe more in myself. I improved my serve. I think I improve the return.” She explained.

“I think physically I’m better than two years ago. I’ve been working with a new fitness coach for one-and-a-half years.

“There are many things, I think. Not just one. I think also winning matches helps a lot.”

Whilst she is heading in the right direction on the Tour, Paolini has vowed not to get too ahead of herself.

“Sometimes I’m a little bit scared to dream too much.” she said.

“I’m going back, trying to practice and stay in the present. This is the goal for me and my team, to try to keep this level as much as possible.

“If I keep this level, I think I can have the chance to do great things.

“Today I was dreaming of holding the (Wimbledon) trophy but it didn’t go well.

“I’m just enjoying the position where I am right now.”

Paolini has won 30 out of 43 matches on the Tour so far this season.

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Jasmine Paolini’s Wimbledon Run Hailed By Italian Prime Minister



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The Prime Minister of Italy has praised Jasmine Paolini for lighting up the hearts of others during her Wimbledon run. 

Paolini missed out on her first Grand Slam title to Barbora Krejcikova, who prevailed in three sets to capture her second major trophy. Despite her defeat, she has made history at the tournament by becoming the first female player from her country to reach the final. Until this year, she had never won a Tour-level main draw match on the grass. 

Whilst disappointed about missing out on the biggest title of her career, Italian Premier Giorgia Meloni posted a tribute to Paolini on social media just moments after the final had concluded.

“Proud of Jasmine Paolini,” The Agenzia Nazionale Stampa Associata (ANSA) quotes Meloni as saying. 

“The first Italian tennis player to reach the final of the prestigious Wimbledon tournament. 

“Despite the defeat, you lit up the hearts of the Italian people, succeeding in conveying grit and passion to all of us who supported you”. 

Paolini is the first player ranked outside the top five to reach the final of both Wimbledon and the French Open within the same year since the ranking system was introduced in 1975. She is also only the fourth female player in the Open Era to have reached her first two Grand Slam finals in the same year at Roland Garros and Wimbledon after Chris Evert (1973), Olga Morozova (1974) and Steffi Graf (1987). 

Should she win three or more matches at the US Open later this year, she will also set a new Open Era record for the most Grand Slam wins achieved by an Italian female player in a single season. 

“The last two months have been crazy for me. I want to thank my team, and my family. They always support me and I wouldn’t be here without them. The crowd have been amazing. I received a lot of support. Just incredible to feel the love from them, I enjoy it so much.” Paolini said following her Wimbledon defeat. 

The 28-year-old will rise to a ranking high of No.3 on Monday. 

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