Iga Swiatek Draws Inspiration From Nadal In Sensational Madrid Open Win - UBITENNIS
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Iga Swiatek Draws Inspiration From Nadal In Sensational Madrid Open Win



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

Iga Swiatek says her comeback win in the final of the Madrid Open was partly inspired by Rafael Nadal and his mental strength. 

The world No.1 endured a marathon battle against Aryna Sabalenka before prevailing 7-5, 4-6, 7-6(9), after more than three hours of play. During what was a rollercoaster thriller at the Caja Magica, Swiatek clawed her way back from a 1-3 deficit in the decider before going on to save three match points. Overall, there were 10 breaks of serve during the final. 

“I’m really proud of myself and really happy because when you have matches like that and when you have to fight through some stuff, it makes it even better. So I’m really proud of myself.” Swiatek said of her latest triumph. 
“I think it was the most intense and crazy final I played.” She later added. 

The 22-year-old has now won 20 WTA titles so far in her career which makes her the youngest player to achieve this tally on the Tour since Caroline Wozniacki in 2012. She is also the youngest player to win eight or more clay court events since Arantxa Sanchez Vicario in 1994. 

Reflecting on her most recent triumph, the Pole credits fellow player Nadal for helping inspire her comeback. Referring to his Australian Open win over Daniil Medvedev where the Spaniard bounced back from two sets down to win the Grand Slam two years ago. 

“I was surprised that in the third set I felt the best mentally,” she said. 
“One thing that came through my mind was that I think Rafa had a couple of matches like that.
“I remember exactly when he was playing (Daniil) Medvedev in Australia (Open final in 2022) and it clicked for him. He also struggled for a bit of time, he was tense and I think stressed. That kind of gave me hope that maybe it will click, even after two hours.”

Madrid had been the only major clay court event that Swiatek was yet to win. She is already a three-time French Open champion and two-time Italian Open champion. 

Meanwhile, runner-up Sabalenka is taking positives away from her defeat. She currently trails their head-to-head 3-7 but has won two out of their five most recent meetings. 

“I’m super proud of myself, that I was able to take myself out of such a tough situation and be able to fight again and be able to show my best tennis,” said Sabalenka. 
“Even though it was a really close, tight match and it went to Iga’s side, I’m happy with the level I played, with the effort I put into this match and into this week. 
“It’s a lot of good things to take out of this tournament, and I think I’m leaving Madrid with positive thoughts.”

Both players will now travel to Rome for the Italian Open. Should Swiatek also win the title there, she would become the first player to win both tournaments within the same season since Serena Williams did so in 2013. 

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Emma Raducanu Confident Of Full Fitness Ahead Of Grass Swing



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



Image via https://x.com/WTAMeridaOpen/

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.



(@Eurosport - Twitter)

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 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.


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.


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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