Roland Garros: 'Happy' Paolini Aiming To Maintain Consistency After Reaching Maiden Grand Slam Final - UBITENNIS
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Roland Garros: ‘Happy’ Paolini Aiming To Maintain Consistency After Reaching Maiden Grand Slam Final

Jasmine Paolini reflected on her run to the Roland Garros final.

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Jasmine Paolini is ‘happy’ about her Roland Garros run despite her 6-2 6-1 defeat to Iga Swiatek.

It wasn’t to be for Paolini as she lost 12 of the last 13 games in her convincing defeat to the world number one.

Despite the loss, Paolini became the first Italian female since Roberta Vinci in 2015 to reach a Grand Slam final.

Speaking after her defeat to Swiatek, Paolini said this was a ‘happy moment’ for her after reaching a maiden Grand Slam final, “Yeah, of course I’m really happy,” Paolini stated.

“Now it’s a strange feeling. I just lost the final, but I think I have to be happy of those two weeks, you know, and my new ranking. It’s a happy moment for me. It’s not a sad moment. Yeah, I have to admit to try to see the things like that.”

Although the tournament was a happy one, it was a tough match to lose for Paolini who started by breaking the world number one’s serve but ultimately was outclassed by the now four-time champion.

After the match Paolini detailed what makes Swiatek such a tough player on clay and whether she could have done anything better, “I mean, she’s playing unbelievable here,” Paolini said in praise of Swiatek.

“She’s taking the balls early, taking time to you, but also using rotation. She can defend really, really well. On clay, she’s unbelievable. Also on hard court, come on, she won so many tournaments this year.

“But I think to play her here, it’s something different. She won already four titles, and she’s still 22 years old. These numbers are not, let’s say, normal, are something unbelievable. Yeah, I think she’s unbelievable player.

“I tried my best today. Maybe. Maybe I could do some, I don’t know, more games to try to be more in the match. I don’t know. Maybe she could do more mistakes; maybe not. Because she was playing unbelievable level I think all the match. No mistakes, hitting winners.

“I mean, I tried to play my best, but it’s not easy I think also to play at that intensity. I never played a player that has this intensity before in my life. So was my first time facing a player that, yeah, is taking time as much as she does, but also hitting winners and be close on the court, you know. So for me, right now, yeah, I think it was the most challenging match I played in my entire career.”

A tough defeat but a proud moment for Paolini who will be a top ten player for the first time in her career on Monday.

Now the next goal for the Italian is to maintain her consistency and level throughout the rest of the season, “I think that my goal right now is to try to keep this level, to let’s say play against Iga one more time,” Paolini analysed.

“I don’t know where. It can be second round, can be first round. I don’t care. I think to play against her can give me something to add things to my game. You know, it’s challenging, but the same time, I can understand more what I have to improve, what I have to add to my game.

“So I am enjoying the moment. As I said, I love to play at this level with those players. I played Rybakina, which is world No. 4. I played Iga, which is World No. 1. I don’t know where the future can bring me. I don’t know which one is my next dream. But, you know, I’m enjoying the moment, I’m in the present, and I think it’s nice to discover, you know, step by step.”

Paolini will now look to end her Roland Garros campaign on a high when she plays the women’s doubles final alongside Sara Errani on Sunday.

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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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