Ons Jabeur defeats Emma Raducanu to advance to the quarter final in Abu Dhabi - UBITENNIS
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Ons Jabeur defeats Emma Raducanu to advance to the quarter final in Abu Dhabi



Three-time Grand Slam finalist Ons Jabeur cruised into her first quarter final of the 2024 season with a 6-4 6-1 win over 2021 US Open champion Emma Raducanu at the Mubadala Abu Dhabi Open. 

Jabeur made her debut at the Abu Dhabi tournament after missing last year’s edition due to a knee injury. 

The Tunisian player clinched her second match win of the 2024 season. She beat qualifier Yulia Starodubtseva before losing 6-2 6-0 to 16-year-old Mirra Andreeva in the second round at the Australian Open. 

Jabeur broke twice in the first and fifth games to race out to a 5-1 lead and held two set points at 5-2 and two more chances at 5-3. 

Raducanu saved three set points before breaking back to trail 3-5. The British player held serve to win her third consecutive game for 4-5. Jabeur held serve at love in the 10th game to win the first set 6-4 in 50 minutes.  

Jabeur converted her fourth break point in the third game of the second set to take a 2-1 lead. She did not lose any more games and broke for the second time in the fifth game to win the second set 6-1. Raducanu missed the last eight months of the 2023 season due to injury problems. The British player is 0-5 against top 10 players. 

“I try to show the best of me on and off the court. I come from a small country that has a lot of potential. I am very proud to be a Tunisian and an Arab woman to show that nothing is impossible”,said Jabeur. 

Jabeur set up a quarter final match against Beatriz Haddad Maia, who beat Magda Linette 7-6 (8-6) 6-7 (1-7) 6-1 after 3 hours and 42 minutes in the longest match of the 2024 season so far. 

“Haddad Maia is an unbelievable player. I know that she is enjoying playing here so much. It’s going to be a tough match but I will try my best, and hopefully I am going to be a tough match, but I will try my best, and hopefully I am going to be ready for this match”, said Jabeur. 

Linette earned an early break in the first game of the opening set. Haddad Maia broke back in the sixth game to draw level to 3-3. Both players traded four mini-breaks in a close tie-break. Haddad Maia earned her fifth mini-break to win the first set. Both players traded breaks in the eighth and ninth games and held their next service games en route to a second tie-break. Linette earned three mini-breaks to win the tie-break 7-1. Haddad Maia broke twice in the decider 6-1 and sealed the win on her fourth match point. 

Anastasia Potapova beat Veronika Kudemertova 7-5 6-7 (7-9) 6-4 in the third round in Brisbane in the previous longest match of the 2024 season. 

Haddad Maia is a specialist of matches that last over three hours. Last year she beat Sara Sorribes Tormo 6-7 (3-7) 6-3 7-5 in the Roland Garros fourth round. 

Haddad Maia has reached her first quarter final of the 2024 season. 

“I think my team need to take care of their hearts. It’s not easy to manage the emotions. In the tie-break, I was a little bit frustrated, and that caused another set. There one quality for me that is very important, and it’s that I never give up and I always try one time”, said Haddad Maia. 

Number 7 seed Daria Kasatkina beat 19-year-old qualifier Ashlyn Krueger. Kasatkina set up a quarter final against Sorana Cristea, who cruised past Maria Sakkari 6-2 6-1 in 1 hour and 16 minutes. Kasatkina broke twice in the first and third games to win the first set 6-2. The Russian player earned three breaks to win the second set 6-1. 

Kasatkina beat Cristea in straight sets in Madrid 2018. Cristea avenged this defeat by beating Kasatkina at 2021 Roland Garros. 

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Ugo Humbert saves three match points to beat Hubert Hurkacz in Dubai



Fifth-seed Ugo Humbert came back from one set down to beat Hubert Hurkacz 3-6 7-6 (10-8) 6-3. Humbert had beaten Hurkacz en route to his title in Marseille. 

Hurkacz converted his third break point in the fourth game to win the first set 6-3. Humbert saved three match points in the tie-break of the second set before converting his first set point to force the match to the decider. Humbert broke twice to seal the third set 6-3. 

“It was a great battle. I tried to battle for every point. In the tie-break I saved three match points, tried to do my best and thanks to those French fans for the amazing support”, said Humbert. 

Humbert set up a semifinal match against Danil Medvedev, who beats Alejandro Davidovich Fokina 6-2 6-3. Humbert leads 2-1 in their head-to-head matches, but Medvedev won their most recent match in three sets at the China Open in their most recent head-to-head match in Beijing last year.

“It’s going to be a great challenge against Danil tomorrow. We had a few great fights. Hopefully I will recover well to be ready for this match”, said Humbert. 

Aleksander Bublik was leading Jiri Lehecka 6-4 4-1 when the Czech player was forced to retire due to an injury. Bublik set up a match against Andrey Rublev, who was leading Sebastian Korda 6-4 4-3  when the Czech player withdrew due to injury. 

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Brazilian Rising Star Joao Fonseca Waives College Eligibility To Turn Pro



Image via https://twitter.com/RioOpenOficial/

One of Brazil’s most promising young tennis players has made the bold decision to abandon a dream of his to play college tennis in America to turn pro. 

17-year-old Jaoao Fonseca was committed to playing college tennis at the University of Virginia but says professional tennis has called him in a way he couldn’t refuse. The rising star has played just two Tour-level events so far in his career and is currently ranked 343rd in the world. 

At last week’s Rio Open, he became the second-youngest player after Alexander Zverev to reach the quarter-finals of an ATP 500 event since the category was introduced. In his home tournament, the Brazillian beat Arthur Fils and Cristian Garin before losing to Mariano Navone.

“It was an incredibly tough decision for me and my family as I have been dreaming about living a college life in Charlottesville, playing the sport that l love with a wonderful team and coach, but, in the last months, professional tennis called me in a way that I simply couldn’t say no,” Fonseca wrote in a statement published on Instagram
“Although I will not be attending school, I think it is an extremely valuable and viable path for young players in their way to professional careers,” he added.

Fonseca has already enjoyed success on the junior circuit. Last year he was runner-up in the doubles tournament at the Australian Open boy’s event. Then at the US Open, he won his first Grand Slam junior title in singles. He is also a former ITF Junior World No.1 and is currently ranked second in the standings. 

The youngster has already been hailed by compatriot Beatriz Haddad Maia, who is currently ranked 13th on the WTA Tour. Speaking to reporters at the San Diego Open, she has offered her support to Fonseca if he needs it. 

“João is a nice person. He has a great future, if he keeps working hard and keeps doing what he’s doing. I think he has a very aggressive mentality and tennis.” She said.

“We sometimes text each other, but not that much. But I’m always following.. not only him.. but the Brazilians. I’m proud of what he’s doing. He has a long way and he needs to understand that it’s a marathon, it’s not a 100 meter race.’
“Tennis has its ups and downs. I wish him all the best, for sure. I’ll be here whenever he wants. I’m happy with what he’s doing.” 

Fonseca played at the Chile Open this week but lost in the first round to Thiago Agustin Tirante.

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Emma Raducanu Among Trio of Grand Slam Winners Handed Miami Open Wild Cards



Emma Raducanu - Cincinnati 2022 (foto Twitter @cincytennis)

Emma Raducanu has avoided the possibility of having to go through qualifying at the Miami Open after being awarded a wild card for the event on Thursday. 

The 2021 US Open champion is among four players to have received passes into the main draw of the prestigious event, which is classed as a WTA 1000 for the women and as a Masters 1000 for the men. It will be the third straight year that Raducanu has played in Miami but she is yet to win a match there. In 2022 she lost her opening match to Katerina Siniakova before getting beaten by Bianca Andreescu 12 months later. 

Raducanu has won two out of five Tour-level matches played so far this year. Recently her agent, Max Eisenbud, hit back at those who have criticised the tennis star’s results since winning the US Open. Raducanu also missed a chunk of last season due to injury after undergoing wrist and ankle surgery. 

“The girl did everything backward. She skipped every step. She won the US Open, she went to the next tournament, she didn’t even know where the player lounge was, she didn’t know where the practice courts were,” Eisenbud told the Served With Andy Roddick podcast.
“I don’t think just being tough on her or critical on her like any other player [is wrong]. But she is still figuring it out. I just think that people should not be malicious.”

Other players to have received wild cards into Miami include Venus Williams, who is a three-time champion at the event but hasn’t won the title since 2001. The 43-year-old hasn’t played on the Tour since August and is currently ranked outside the world’s top 400. 

Carolina Wozniacki completes the line-up of former Grand Slam winners being given wild cards. The Dane was a Miami finalist back in 2017 and has made 12 appearances at the tournament. Earlier this week, she suffered a 1-6, 6-4, 6-1, loss to Anna Blinkova in the first round of the San Diego Open. 

As for the men’s tournament, the only confirmed wild card recipient is Kei Nishikori who will be making his first competitive start since July 2023. Recently the injury-stricken Japanese player added Thomas Johansson to his team. 

The Miami Open will get underway on March 17th.

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