Daria Kasatkina Questions Doha Scheduling After Reaching Abu Dhabi Final - UBITENNIS
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Daria Kasatkina Questions Doha Scheduling After Reaching Abu Dhabi Final

Daria Kasatkina was furious at the scheduling of her first round match in Doha after reaching the Abu Dhabi final.

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Daria Kasatkina has questioned the scheduling of her opening round match in Doha after she reached the final in Abu Dhabi.

Kasatkina is into her second final of the season after a two hour and 59 victory over Beatriz Haddad Maia.

The world number 14 defeated Haddad Maia 6-3 4-6 7-6(2) with a mixture of aggressive and varied tennis as she secured a place in the final in Abu Dhabi.

However it wasn’t all smiles for Kasatkina as she left the court finding out that she has to play her first round match in Doha the day after the final in Abu Dhabi.

Speaking after her match Kasatkina expressed her frustration and is hoping a solution will be reached in the future, “It’s terrible scheduling, honestly,” Kasatkina was quoted by France 24 as saying.

“I don’t know how you can schedule the finals of the tournament on Sunday, wanting to finish the next tournament on Saturday, so you start it on Sunday, and like this, the player, if like me, you don’t have a bye in Doha, I have to play on Monday. And I play finals tomorrow at 5pm.

“We don’t have yet this technology that I can just do like this (snaps her fingers) and be in Doha in five seconds. I have a question, I don’t know to who, to WTA or the tournaments, like, are you guys trying to make players die, or to get injured often?

“I might have to fly Monday and step on the court the same day, after playing five matches here at the highest level. So I’m sorry but that’s something we have to talk about and consider.

“I hope this question will be addressed to the right people. And I’m not crying, I’m just saying the facts and the facts are saying that it’s impossible, it cannot be like that.”

Last year in Asia the WTA gave performance byes to players who had a short recovery between two big tournaments.

However they have not done that this time around to Kasatkina’s dismay as before the Russian gets to Doha, she will have to concentrate on the final in Abu Dhabi.

Taking on Kasatkina in the final is world number five Elena Rybakina after the Kazakh defeated Liudmila Samsonova 6-0 4-6 6-2.

It was the first time Rybakina defeated Samsonova in her career and now the former Wimbledon champion is looking forward to a tough match against Kasatkina, “It was a really tough battle and I’m really happy that I managed to win in the end,” Kasatkina was quoted by France 24 as saying.

“I started pretty well the match, a few shots went my way, but in the second set my focus went a little down. It’s going to be a very tough match against Kasatkina. A completely different style of the game. I have to have really good footwork and play aggressively.”

Currently the head-to-head is tied at 2-2 heading into tomorrow’s final.

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Emma Raducanu Confident Of Full Fitness Ahead Of Grass Swing

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Emma Raducanu - Cincinnati 2022 (foto Twitter @cincytennis)

Emma Raducanu has no regrets about her decision to skip the French Open and now believes she is in a ‘really fit place’ ahead of Wimbledon. 

The former US Open champion opted to end her clay season earlier than other players to focus on fitness and training with her coach. Raducanu stated earlier this year that her primary focus in 2024 is on her health after undergoing a series of wrist and ankle surgeries last year which sidelined her for months. 

Raducanu will return to action this week at the Nottingham Open, which is the event where she made her WTA main draw debut back in 2021. Despite her lack of match play in recent weeks, the Brit is feeling good and relishing her return to the grass.

“Body-wise, physical-wise, I feel really healthy,” she said on Monday.
“I’ve done amazing work with my trainer over the last few months, since surgery. I’m in a really fit place. I’m healthy and just looking forward to starting playing.”

Shedding more light on her health, Raducanu says she has full confidence in her wrists and believes they are in top condition. Making her feel more at ease when playing matches on the Tour. 

“I think my wrists are actually in a better position than they ever were. So there’s zero doubt or apprehension whether I’m hitting the ball or designing my schedule,” she explained.
“It’s more about being proactive and not wanting to put yourself in any unnecessary situations. I don’t need to rush and try to win the French Open, it wasn’t my goal this year.
“I had to prioritise where I wanted to target and it was just a good block for me to get some physical work done.”

Raducanu has played seven WTA events so far this season with her best run being to the quarter-finals of the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart, where she was beaten by world No.1 Iga Swiatek. The 21-year-old is currently ranked 209th in the world. 

At the Nottingham Open, she will play her first match on Tuesday against Japanese qualifier Ena Shibahara. 

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Russian World No.78 Elina Avanesyan To Switch Nationalities

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A week after losing her fourth round match at the French Open, a government minister has confirmed that Elina Avanesyan is in the process of changing the nationality of who she plays for. 

The 21-year-old is switching her aligence from Russia to Armenia, according to Armenia’s deputy Minister of International Affairs and communication. Karen Giloyan has told the news agency Armenpress that Avanesyan will soon be representing his country. However, the tennis player has yet to comment on the matter.  Avanesyan was born in Russia but has Armenian parents.

“Elina Avanesyan will compete under the Armenian flag, but there is nothing official yet. We are waiting for her to get the citizenship of the Republic of Armenia so that everything will be official,” Giloyan told Armenpress.

Such a development would be a massive coup for the Armenian tennis federation which currently doesn’t have a player ranked inside the top 500 on either the men’s or women’s Tour. The country has a population of less than 3M. Perhaps their best-known player is Sargis Sargsian who reached the top 40 back in 2004. Others on the Tour also have Armenian heritage but don’t represent the country such as Karen Khachanov.  

Avanesyan is currently ranked 78th in the world, which is 18 places below her career high. This season, she has scored high-profile wins over Maria Sakkari at the Australian Open, Ons Jabeur in Charleston and Qinwen Zhang at the French Open. 

She has yet to play in the final of a WTA tournament.

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Iga Looks To Be In A league All to Herself At Paris

Iga Swiatek claimed her fourth Roland Garros title in Paris.

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Just call her Iga. No other identification is needed.

As the years go by, Iga’s notoriety is sure to grow.

She’s probably already earned a spot in tennis’ Hall of Fame.

Yes, Iga Swiatek is a name to remember. A hero in her native Poland, a superstar in the world of sports.

IGA WAS JUST TOO GOOD

Iga just added to her stardom Saturday with an impressive 6-2, 6-1 victory over little-known Italian Jasmine Paolini to win her third straight French Open title. This was Paolini’s chance to make a name for herself, but she didn’t have the game to make it happen.

Iga was just too good. She made it look too easy.

Paolini could hit some great ground strokes, but when she looked up a bigger shot was on its way back. Iga doesn’t look like a power hitter, but she is.

WINNING 10 CONSECUTIVE GAMES

The 23-year-old Polish Wonder finished the first set winning five straight games, then started the second set winning five more games in succession. The 28-year-old Paolini didn’t seem to have a clue on how to upend Swiatek.

It took just 78 minutes for Iga to win her fifth Grand Slam title.

She’s a lot like her French Open hero, Rafa Nadal.

She takes every match seriously.

SWIATEK OWNS THE RED CLAY

No wonder Iga owns a 35-2 record at Roland Garos. Or that she has won 21 straight matches. Or that she owns a 5-0 record in Grand Slam finals.

She only dominated opponents, except for Naomi Osaka in the second round. Swiatek escaped a match point in that one and didn’t look back.

Iga’s game should be just as superb on the green grass of upcoming Wimbledon.

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 Jamesbecktennis@gmail.com.

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