27.03.2021 - 22:09 Uhr
Die dreimalige Grand-Slam-Siegerin Angelique Kerber (Kiel/Nr. 24) hat beim WTA-Turnier in Miami den Einzug ins Achtelfinale verpasst. Kerber verlor ihr Drittrundenmatch gegen Angstgegnerin Wiktoria Asarenka 5:7, 2:6 und musste im zehnten Duell mit der Belarussin schon die neunte Niederlage einstecken.Dabei legte Kerber, die in ihrem Auftaktmatch die Mexikanerin Renata Zarazua ohne Spielverlust bezwungen hatte, im Duell der ehemaligen Weltranglistenersten ordentlich los, konnte ihre 4:1-Führung aber nicht durchbringen. Die Nummer 26 der Welt leistete sich viele Fehler und agierte oftmals zu passiv - was der zweimaligen Australian-Open-Siegerin Asarenka noch mehr Selbstvertrauen verlieh. Nach 1:31 Stunden verwandelte die dreimalige Turniersiegerin ihren zweiten Matchball.Ausgeschieden waren zuvor schon Andrea Petkovic (Darmstadt), die in Runde zwei Sofia Kenin (USA) in drei Sätzen unterlag, sowie Laura Siegemund (Metzingen), die wegen einer Knieverletzung vor ihrem Zweitrundenmatch gegen Asarenka aussteigen musste.



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Petkovic, Andrea

16.05.2021 - 18:09 Uhr

Tennisprofi Andrea Petkovic (Darmstadt) ist knapp zwei Wochen vor Beginn der French Open weiter auf der Suche nach ihrer Form. Beim WTA-Turnier in Belgrad musste sich die 33-Jährige in der ersten Runde Paula Badosa (Spanien/Nr. 4) mit 2:6, 3:6 geschlagen geben und verpasste den Einzug ins Achtelfinale.Petkovic hat im Jahr 2021 bislang nur zwei Siege bei sechs Turnieren vorzuweisen. Nach dem Aus der Weltranglisten-107. geht das mit 250.000 Euro dotierte Sandplatzturnier in Serbiens Hauptstadt ohne deutsche Beteiligung zu Ende.

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Rafael Nadal says that he is delighted to have captured his 10th Internazionali BNL d'Italia and it’s a reward for all his hard work over the past couples of weeks.“It's amazing to have the trophy with me again, one more time here in Rome,” said Nadal, after he defeated World No. 1 Novak Djokovic 7-5, 1-6, 6-3 on Sunday in the final at the Foro Italico. “I really wanted this 10th here in Rome... After achieving 10 at Roland Garros, 10 in Monte-Carlo, 10 in Barcelona, I really wanted this one. It’s [a] super important tournament for me. “I went through a lot of things during the week. Some positive, some great moments, some lucky moments, suffering moments. At the end I think I played a very solid week of tennis… It's the right moment to win an important title.“I don't put myself extra pressure [on myself] at all. I want to win every day and every tournament that I am playing. Something that I know [is] not going to happen. But the passion and the motivation to try is always the same. I know how to handle the pressure.”Nadal, who equalled Djokovic’s tally of 36 ATP Masters 1000 trophies on Sunday, is now 18-3 on the season, which also includes capturing his 12th Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell crown on 25 April.“I think I have been playing better and better with my forehand in the past couple of weeks, getting [more] confident. Today has been a positive day… That's a huge improvement for me, [a] very important shot. Especially on clay, it's give me confidence. I think my serve is working better, too. I think I had a great week. I played plenty of hours, so I feel good. I feel tired, but [it’s] a very satisfying victory.”Watch Rome Final HighlightsThe 34-year-old will now return to Mallorca to rest, and also prepare for a tilt at a record-breaking 21st Grand Slam championship crown with his 14th Roland Garros title.“[I’ll] take a couple of days off and then start working," said Nadal. "I think I can work on a couple of things that I can do a little bit better. I think I have been improving this week, but I need to keep going with [those] improvements, because when you improve, you're able to do it every day for longer time. Then it [gives you] more confidence and you feel more confident … to do it in the next tournament.“I just need to keep going. I know what I need to work [on over] the next couple of weeks, and I'm going to do it. Work, relax mentally, and work the right way.”

Two weeks ago, it was Juan Manuel Cerundolo claiming his maiden ATP Challenger Tour crown. On Saturday, another #NextGenATP Argentine made a major statement with a title of his own. Buenos Aires native Sebastian Baez will join Cerundolo in the Top 200 of the FedEx ATP Rankings after lifting the trophy in Zagreb. And the duo are leading the South American charge in their quest to qualify for the Next Gen ATP Finals, with Baez moving to seventh in the ATP Race To Milan.Baez, a qualifier, rallied from a set down to defeat Juan Pablo Varillas 3-6, 6-3, 6-1 in the championship clash. It marked his third comeback victory of the week, after also dropping the opening set against former World No. 23 Damir Dzumhur and second seed Pedro Martinez."It was an amazing week," said Baez. "The truth is that it's something incredible to start in qualifying and to be able to lift the trophy. Thanks to my coach Sebastian for preparing me on court. It was just a good tournament with really good matches for me."A dogged defender with the agility to stop his opponents from all corners of the court, the 20-year-old is earning serious attention on the ATP Challenger Tour in 2021. Not only does he own a tour-leading 94.1 win percentage (16-1 record), but his three trophies move him atop the titles leaderboard alongside Jenson Brooksby.Standing at 5'7", where Baez lacks in height, he more than makes up for with unyielding aggression and determination. Just like his 5'7" countryman Diego Schwartzman. With his victory on Saturday, Baez etched his name in the ATP Challenger history books for his native Argentina. At 20 years and four months, he joins Juan Martin del Potro, Guillermo Coria, Guillermo Canas and Gaston Gaudio as the only Argentines to win three Challenger titles before their 21st birthday. In addition, he became the youngest player from his country to win three titles in a single season since an 18-year-old Coria in 2000. Youngest Argentines To Win Three Challenger Titles Player Age Third Title Juan Martin del Potro 17 years, 10 months 2006 Segovia Guillermo Coria 18 years, 10 months 2000 Montevideo Guillermo Canas 19 years, 10 months 1997 Santiago Gaston Gaudio 20 years, 4 months, 10 days 1999 Nice Sebastian Baez 20 years, 4 months, 17 days 2021 Zagreb Baez, who opened the season outside the Top 300 of the FedEx ATP Rankings, has surged to a projected career-high of No. 183. A pair of titles on Chilean soil - in Concepcion and Santiago - gave him a perfect 10-0 start to 2021, before taking his talents to Europe and triumphing on the clay of Zagreb. He would prevail at the Zagreb Open as a qualifier, winning seven matches in seven days, including his first career victory over a Top 100 opponent (Martinez).A former Roland Garros junior finalist in 2018, Baez has his sights set on qualifying for his first Grand Slam in Paris in one week.

Novak Djokovic was disappointed to fall short in the Internazionali BNL d’Italia final on Sunday against his great rival, Rafael Nadal. But the Serbian departs Rome as confident as he has been all clay-court season.“[We played] almost three hours of high-quality tennis. Of course I'm disappointed not to win it, but at the same time I'm very pleased with the level of tennis that I managed to find in the later stages of this tournament,” Djokovic said. “Going into Paris brings me good sensation. I actually now [am starting] to feel like I actually want to feel on clay. So I think if I manage to play the way I played last night and today, I think I have a good chance to go all the way in Paris.” Djokovic had a difficult path to the championship match, earning two victories on Saturday just to earn a shot against Nadal, who is now a 10-time champion at the Foro Italico. “I could have easily went out from this tournament in quarters. I'm very pleased with my fighting spirit. The level of tennis was higher and higher, actually.Yesterday I played great. Today I thought I also played a high level,” Djokovic said. “Unfortunately [the] decisive moments in the first and third sets [today] just went his way. It was a bit unfortunate.”Had Djokovic showed signs of fatigue against Nadal, it would have been understandable given he spent four hours and 56 minutes on court on Saturday. But the Serbian came out swinging after losing the second set, and he had a chance to surge into a lead in the decider. “Not at all. I did not feel any fatigue. He managed to break my serve and played better, that's it. As I said, [until] the last shot it was quite close. I had my shot to win it, but [it] wasn't meant to be. I didn't feel fatigue,” Djokovic said. “Actually, I was very happy with the way I felt on the court. I could have gone for another few hours.”Although Djokovic fell short of lifting his sixth Rome trophy, he earned a series of mental victories throughout the tournament, and he will also climb to second in the FedEx ATP Race To Turin. According to the Serbian, rallying past Stefanos Tsitsipas in a thrilling quarter-final that was played across Friday and Saturday due to rain, ranks high on that list.“Mentally it means a lot to overcome a huge obstacle against Tsitsipas. I was a set and a break down. He was serving for the match. He had everything to finish that match, like probably Shapovalov had everything to finish the match against Rafa,” Djokovic said. “We both dug ourselves out of quite a big hole and managed to reach [the] final.“He was just [the] better player in the decisive moments, and he took the victory away from me, but [it] was very close. I have a lot of positives to take away from today.”Djokovic will next compete at the Belgrade Open the week before Roland Garros. Last month, he played at the same venue in the Serbia Open, but lost against Aslan Karatsev in the semi-finals. The Serbian will take some time to recover before trying to lift a trophy on home soil.“I’m going to rest as much as I can, because I had enough time with the racquet on the court. So I'm just going to rejuvenate, regroup, and then start training again some days before the start of the Belgrade Open,” Djokovic said. “I'm hoping I can go all the way there, playing at home. Most likely we are going to see the crowd in the stands, so that's going to be fantastic to feed off that energy, to go to Paris with good feelings on the court, off the court, spend some time with the family additionally, which I wouldn't get if I go earlier to Paris.“I have to obviously keep the momentum going I feel with the quality of tennis. Do more training, of course, and [play a] few more matches. I think I'm on the right way. Actually, the past couple days really gave me the confidence boost for the clay. I found the game. So now I just have to maintain that level and peak in Paris.”