WTA

The Latest On Naomi Osaka, Japan’s New Tennis Titan

Naomi Osaka is taking the tennis world by storm. Last year at this time, Japan’s newest tennis super star was ranked No. 72 and now she is on the cusp of becoming No. 1. Here are some info in advance of her Australian Open final.

She is making fourth main draw appearance at Australian Open, where she has advanced to first Australian final and second Grand Slam final.

Her previous best result here was a round of 16 showing in 2018 where she defeated two Top 20 players (No.19 Vesnina and No.17 Barty) before falling to World No.1 and eventual runner-up Simona Halep. Osaka’s 2018 run saw her become the youngest Japanese to reach the round 16 at a Slam since Ai Sugiyama at 1995 Roland Garros (19 yrs, 342 days) and she was the youngest player from Japan to reach this stage at Australian Open since Kimiko Date in 1990 (19 yrs, 122 days).

In other outings at the Australian Open, she made the third round in 2016 (as qualifier, lost to Vika Azarenka) – which marked Grand Slam main draw debut – and a second round in 2017 (losing to Jo Konta).

Having won the US Open in 2018, Osaka is bidding to be the 10th woman to win US Open and Australian Open back-to-back (most recently accomplished by Serena Williams in 2015). She is seeded at No. 4 this fortnight, which is her highest seeding at a Slam, up from No. 18 at 2018 Wimbledon. The No.4 seed has won title in Australia on three occasions in the Open Era: Mary Pierce (1995), Martina Hingis (1997) and Li Na (2014) Osaka is contesting 2019 Australian Open at a career-high of No.4, which was first achieved October 8, 2018.

for new offers to consider when betting, go to https://www.olbg.com/new-betting-sites

Belarussian Aryna Sabalenka Wins Third Career WTA Tour Title In Shenzen, China

World No.13 Aryna Sabalenka’s meteoric rise to the top of women’s tennis looks set to continue this season as the hard-hitting Belarusian overcame a slow start to defeat American Alison Riske 4-6, 7-6(2), 6-3 in two hours and 11 minutes to lift her third WTA Tour career title on the hard courts of the Shenzhen Longgang Sports Centre this afternoon.

The 28-year-old Riske, playing in her third Shenzhen Open final in four years, began the match impressively, hitting decisive and accurate winners that frustrated her 20-year-old opponent, and converted the second of two break points in the third game to take a one set lead.

The 5-foot-11 Sabalenka, playing in her sixth career final and third in China, grew with confidence as the match progressed and converted her first break point in the fourth game of the second set to take a 3-1 lead.

Riske fought hard to get back in the set, saving four break points in the sixth game and two set points in the eighth before breaking her 20-year-old opponent with four points on the trot in the ninth game and holding serve to tie the match at 5-5.

However, in the tiebreak, the American lost focus and gifted her opponent a number of unforced errors to set up a third set for the title.

The momentum was now well and truly with Sabalenka, as the Belarusian broke her opponent twice in the first three games to take a 3-0 lead.

Riske, who has now gone six finals without a win, got a break of her own in the fourth game and threatened to turn the tie around when she got another break opportunity in the eighth game, but it was simply not to be her day once again.

Sabalenka squandered two match points in the final game of the encounter, before finally breaking her opponent’s serve one last time with a powerful forehand drive to lift her second title in China, following last year’s win at Wuhan.

“It was a tough match today, especially coming back after first set down. I just couldn’t find a way to beat her and she played an unbelievable match, with shots down the lines. I am so happy that I found a way to beat her, especially in the final to win my third title. It’s really special, also my second title in China. I’m so happy with this result at the start of the year,” said the Belarusian, who has an early lead in the race to the WTA Finals that will also be held in Shenzhen in October.

“Now I am first but it is only 280 points! But I really want to go on to the WTA Finals. Last year I didn’t make it there and I was so pissed. This year, I am going to do everything to get there. After this good start, hopefully I can do well at the Australian Open,” added Sabalenka.

World No.62 Riske was despondent to have now gone three finals in Shenzhen without a win, but promised to be back once again in future.

“Aryna played really well and she proved last season how good she is. In the second set, she started serving a little bit better. I still tried to be aggressive but my shots just weren’t landing in like they were in the first set. So I think that kind of flipped things a little bit and she got on top of me a little bit sooner. Everyone here is just super special and that’s why I keep coming back. The people have made it such a good tournament and place to be. I’m sorry if I let anybody down and I hope they will cheer me on for the next tournaments to come. I will certainly come back again,” said the American, who heads to Melbourne next to prepare for the Australian Open.

In a doubles final match that featured three local Chinese stars, former world No.1 Peng Shuai proved that she was the doubles queen of Shenzhen as she picked up her second doubles title here in three years, this time with first time partner Yang Zhaoxuan.

The second seeded duo defeated the unseeded Chinese-Czech pairing of Duan Yingying and Renata Voracava 6-4, 6-3 in one hour and 14 minutes on Centre Court.

Peng and Yang got off to a shaky start as they relinquished their first service game of the match, but leveled matters in the fourth game and stole the first set with another break in the tenth game.

The second set was tightly contested early on, as the two teams exchanged two breaks each in the first six games, but the No.2 seeds kicked into high gear in the eighth game, winning eight points in a row to break their opponents and then held serve in the next game to lift the doubles trophy in Shenzhen.

The 2019 Shenzhen Open doubles title is the 22nd of 32-year-old’s Peng Shuai’s career and the fourth doubles title that 24-year-old Yang Zhaoxuan has picked up on the WTA Tour.

“We are very happy to be playing together and very happy with the results of this week. We have both helped each other out and we really enjoy playing together. We are now looking forward to play together in future. We will be playing in the Australian Open together,” said Peng after the win.

The Shenzhen Open is organized by the Chinese Tennis Association, Shenzhen Municipal Bureau of Culture, Sport and Tourism. IMG and CCTV-IMG Sports Management Company and is co-organized by the Bureau of Culture, Sport and Tourism of Longgang District, Kaisa Culture & Sports Group and Shenzhen Gemdale Sports Industry Co., Ltd.

The event is proud to have prestigious commercial sponsors that include the premier sponsors Kaisa Group and Gemdale Group, together with Crowne Plaza Shenzhen Longgang City Center, Iqiyi Sports, Erke, Life Fitness, Yonex Head and Master Kong Drinking Water.

The official tournament website www.ShenzhenOpenTennis.com has additional information about the tournament.

Agnieszka Radwanska Announces Retirement

Poland’s Agnieszka Radwanska announced today her retirement from professional tennis. She leaves the game following 20 career WTA singles titles, highlighted by the 2015 BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global trophy.

Radwanska reached her lone Grand Slam singles final at 2012 Wimbledon, which helped her reach a career high ranking of WTA World No.2. She earned over $27.6 million in prize money over her career, which currently ranks seventh on the all-time career prize money earnings list.

“Today, after 13 years of playing tennis competitively, I have decided to end my career,” said Radwanska in her statement. “This was not an easy decision. I am grateful to have so many special memories, including 20 WTA titles, the WTA Championships in Singapore, a Wimbledon final, and so many others.”

In addition to her on court accomplishments, Radwanska, also known as “the Magician” by fans and media due to her crafty style of play, was voted the WTA Fan Favorite for six consecutive years.

“Congratulations to Agnieszka on an outstanding career,” said WTA CEO and Chairman Steve Simon. “Agnieszka embodies the qualities that make a true champion, on the court delivering world class performances and incredible displays of athleticism, and off the court with her poise, professionalism and support for her fellow players. Agnieszka leaves a legacy on the game across the globe and on behalf of the WTA, she will truly be missed.”

Radwanska played her last professional match in September at the KEB Hana Bank Incheon Airport Korea Open in Seoul.

Katatkina Moves To Top 10 With Moscow Victory

Russia’s Daria Kasatkina won her second career title in Moscow beating Tunisian Ons Jabeur in the final in three close sets 2-6, 7-6, 6-4.

“I remember 10 years ago, when I was young, I came here dreaming that one day I would lift the title. Now, I’ve done it. My dream has come true,” Kasatkina said.

Down 2-6, 1-4, Kasatkina used her tactics and mental strength to completely change the match on the way to realizing her dreams. Kasatkina owes her strength in character to her coach, the Belgian Philippe Dehaes, who is known to say the right words to boost and motivate the young champion. Kasatkina and Dehaes are a very strong team who follows the spirit of her sponsor, Tecnifibre, #fightsmart spirit.

At 21 years of age, the native of Togliatti, Russia moved into the Top 10 in her career. Her previous title was in 2917 in Charleston, S.C.

Wide Open Field For WTA Finals In Singapore But Who Is The Favorite?

Karolina Pliskova and Elina Svitolina are the last two player to qualify for the eight-player year-end 2018 BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global that will take place from October 21-28, 2018.

Pliskova and Svitolina round out the singles field, joining Wimbledon champion Angelique Kerber, US Open champion Naomi Osaka, two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova, Dutch star Kiki Bertens, Australian Open champion Caroline Wozniacki and 2017 US Open champion Sloane Stephens in Singapore. The eight players will compete for $7 million in prize money and bragging rights as to who can lay claim to be the “best of the year” for the 2018 season.

Women’s tennis has been as unpredictably exciting the last few years, illustrated by the fact that over the last eight major championships, eight different champions have been crowned.

Pliskova has earned her WTA Finals spot with two wins this season – in Stuttgart and at the Toray Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo. Said Pliskova, “I can’t wait to close out the year competing against the other elite players of 2018.”

Svitolina won three titles in three final-round appearances in 2018, lifting trophies in Brisbane, Dubai and Rome. The Ukrainian reached the quarterfinal stage at the Australian Open and made the round of 16 at the US Open, maintaining her Top 10 ranking all season long.

While many pointed to world No. 1 Simona Halep, the world No. 1, as the favorite, her health has been a major concern, causing her to pull out of the event in Moscow this week as well as Singapore and will not play again until 2019.

Wozniacki, the world No. 2, has shown a return-to-form with her recent victory in Beijing and could be the WTA betting favorite in Singapore because of this, Halep’s injury, and the fact that she is the defending champion, having beaten Venus Williams in Singapore last year. Following her break-through win at the Australian Open, her first major singles title, Wozniacki returned to the No. 1 ranking but struggled to maintain that form for most of the rest of the year, only winning in Eastbourne in June on grass.

Osaka turned the tennis world on its head with her shocking final-round win over Serena Williams at the U.S. Open and has handled the spotlight well since her maiden major victory in New York. She reached the final in Tokyo in her first event after her U.S. Open win, not an easy task, especially under the immense media scrutiny in her home nation. She also reached the semifinals of Beijing. She is trending upwards and could also cap her most impressive year with a title in Singapore.

Said WTA CEO & Chairman Steve Simon of the event, “Singapore will be an exciting week for women’s tennis, as the Top 8 singles players…are ready to compete for this prestigious title while celebrating an amazing five-year legacy in this wonderful city.”

Staged at the Singapore Sports Hub from October 21-28, the 2018 BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global is a 10-day tennis festival featuring the world’s best players vying for a US$7 million in prize money and two of the most prestigious titles in women’s tennis. The Top 8 singles players will compete in a round-robin format with the winner taking home the Billie Jean King Trophy. For more information, go to www.WTAFinals.com

Romanian Mihaela Buzarnescu Wins First WTA Title In San Jose, California

Romanian Mihaela Buzarnescu won her first WTA title in convincing fashion on Sunday at the Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic in San Jose, Calif., defeating 23-year old Greek Maria Sakkari, 6-1, 6-0, in 1 hour, 13 minutes.

The victory will see Buzarnescu break into the Top 20 for the first time at 30 years old. Injuries have affected the Romanian’s career so much so that she was ranked outside the Top 400 as recently as May 2017 and used her time away from tennis to complete a PhD in sports science.

Sakkari, who defeated Venus Williams in the quarterfinals and two-time NCAA singles champion Danielle Collins in the semis, turned in a career-best result by reaching the final.

The US Open Series now brings the world’s best players to Canada in Week 3, with the Rogers Cup in Toronto (men) and Montreal (women). John Isner, Jack Sock, Sam Querrey, Steve Johnson, Frances Tiafoe, Jared Donaldson, Ryan Harrison and qualifier Bradley Klahn are the American men competing in Toronto. Montreal will feature Sloane Stephens, Venus Williams and qualifiers Caroline Dolehide and Christina McHale.

ESPN2’s coverage of both Rogers Cup events begins with second-round matches on Thursday and continues through Friday’s quarterfinals, Saturday’s semifinals and Sunday’s finals. The women’s final from Montreal will air at 1:30 p.m. ET, while the men’s final from Toronto will air at 4 p.m. ET. Additionally, Tennis Channel will have weeklong ATP World Tour coverage from Toronto, beginning on Monday and continuing through Sunday’s doubles final, wihle beIN Sports will air early-round matches in Montreal, beginning on Monday and continuing through Thursday.

Top 5 Tennis Betting Mistakes You Must Steer Clear Of!

Once you master a few tennis betting strategies you might feel like betting on every single match. However, it’s often seen that people start betting irresponsibly and aggressively, or using dirty techniques, sometimes even altering their strategies significantly.

Although you can make use of various Tennis free betting offers to test the waters first, taking your tennis betting skills from average to professional would require you to pay a lot of attention to the logic, numbers and equations. If you’re someone serious about taking his/her tennis betting to the next level, go through the following five tennis betting mistakes and stay away from them at all cost.

Betting on every single match
Let’s admit it, betting on tennis takes the game’s thrill factor to an altogether new high. Even though this is something natural and native to gambling, you’d need to overcome it to profit from tennis betting in the long-term.

There is no need to bet on every single tennis match. It might seem tempting, but not required. The tendency of betting with fresh winnings or some spare cash just because there’s a tennis match coming up soon is silly, and far from intelligent betting. This tendency can quickly slip into the impulse betting territory.

Not analysing enough
It’s important to analyse the matches properly. You should go through the concerned players’ past performances, recent form, playing styles and other factors thoroughly.

In tennis betting, you must look at every match from different angles. All such information can be gathered easily from the Internet these days.

Opting for handicaps
It might be good to reconsider taking frequent handicaps as tennis is one sport where players improve constantly and tremendously. Though you can refer to the statistics and figure if the favourites are likely to win their matches or not, things can always take unexpected turns, and put you in unwanted situations.

It’s a good idea to avoid handicaps if they seem too good to be true or unreasonable, but they can be a huge saviour in some cases. Use them to your advantage whenever possible and stay away from them when not needed.

Indulging in accumulators
Play big accumulators if you’re someone who wants to lose every single penny and go bankrupt in quick time. Well, that’s what a lot of experts say. It’s correct too in a lot of ways.

If you wish to make good money from tennis betting and want to simultaneously keep a tight hold on your winnings, try sticking to single bets only. In case you just can’t avoid accumulators, don’t include more than three matches in your bets. There is no way people can consistently win with accumulators, simply because sports betting is highly unpredictable in nature.

Being biased
Once you’ve spent a considerable time betting on tennis, you’d know that it’s mostly about statistics, logic and figures. Hence, the worst thing anyone can do is bet based on his/her biases and emotions. For instance, a lot of Roger Federer fans would blindly back him at the French Open, even if it was Rafael Nadal, the King of clay on the opposite end of the court!

In fact, logic is all about taking any personal bias out of the equation completely. You’d be setting yourself up for major disaster if you allow your feelings to get the better of you.

Caroline Wozniacki Back To No. 1 With Australian Open Title

The Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) announced that Denmark’s Caroline Wozniacki will reclaim the WTA World No.1 ranking when the official WTA rankings are released on Monday, January 29.

Wozniacki ascends to the No.1 spot for the first time since January 2012 after defeating the reigning World No.1 Simona Halep to lift her first Grand Slam trophy at the Australian Open on Saturday. Wozniacki’s return to the top of the game marks exactly six years since she held the top spot, the longest gap since computer rankings were introduced in November 1975.

Since the start of the 2017 season, Wozniacki has won 71 matches, more than any other player, and also owns the most wins on hardcourts within that period (52). During this successful run, she defended her title at the Toray Pan Pacific Open (Tokyo) and won the prestigious 2017 BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global. She reached a further six finals last season and started her 2018 campaign with a runner-up finish at the ASB Classic (Auckland).

The Dane first captured the No.1 ranking on October 11, 2010 and became the 20th woman overall and the first representing Denmark. Her second and most recent stint at the top lasted 49-straight weeks from February 2011 to January 2012. Including this upcoming week, Wozniacki will sit at No.9 on the all-time list for weeks at No.1, with 68.

At the start of the 2018 Australian Open, six players had a chance at leaving Melbourne Park with the No.1 ranking. By capturing her first Grand Slam title in Melbourne, the Dane ensures her ascension to the top spot.

“It was a dream come true to rise to World No.1 in 2010, but, to do so again after so many years really makes me proud,” said Wozniacki. “To become World No.1 again after winning my first-ever Grand Slam here in Melbourne is one of the happiest and proudest moments of my career.”

“This is a special moment for Caroline and I congratulate her on this deserving feat,” said WTA CEO and Chairman Steve Simon. “Caroline’s journey and career has been remarkable and inspiring to fans around the world. Her hard work and determination has paid off and we at the WTA are very proud to see her attain the very special ranking of World No.1.”

Wozniacki will be presented with the WTA World No.1 Trophy, the focal point of which is a silver “star-map” tennis ball that represents the tennis universe. All world No.1s, past and present, are depicted by a diamond in the sky, which represents each champion’s mark on the sport.

Click here to read more on Wozniacki’s historic achievement.

Wozniacki is one of 25 players to reach the pinnacle of women’s professional tennis since the computer rankings were created in 1975.

Simona Halep Wins Shenzhen Open Title In China

Romanian World No.1 Simona Halep enjoyed a winning start to her season as she lifted the Shenzhen Open singles title with a strong 6-1, 2-6, 6-0 victory over defending champion Katerina Siniakova in 74 minutes.

After a four hour rain delay, the match was played at the indoor tennis stadium of the Shenzhen Longgang Sports Centre.

The singles top seed did not face a single break point and won 70% of her service points in a powerful first set display but had her serve broken three times in the second as her 21-year-old Czech opponent staged a comeback.

However, 26-year-old Halep showed just why she was the world No.1 in the final set, winning 24 out of 30 points as she served her opponent a bagel to complete the victory in some style. The trophy marks Halep’s sixteenth career title and second here in Shenzhen after her win in 2015.

“It’s been a great week for me as I’ve been playing very well. It was a difficult match and (Siniakova) played very well. She beat Sharapova which is great – I know that feeling. I think we had a great match today. I tried everything to win. I was a little bit less nervous and just tried to enjoy the moment even if we are playing indoors. It’s not easy but we did our job and I’m happy that I could win the first title of the year,” said Halep.

En route to the title, Halep defeated American Nicole Gibbs in the first round, China’ Duan Ying-Ying in the second, Belarus’ Aryna Sabalenka in the quarterfinal and fourth seeded compatriot Irina-Camelia Begu in yesterday’s semifinal. The Romanian only dropped two sets the entire tournament.

World No. 47 Siniakova, who defeated Halep in the second round here last year, paid tribute to her opponent’s performance.

“I didn’t play as well as I did last year in the final but Simona really played well today. It’s a good start to the season for me, but of course, a better start for Simona. Last season I won two titles after making the final here so hopefully I can get more titles again this year,” said Siniakova, who was the singles sixth seed.

Both Halep and Siniakova are also in the doubles finals with their respective partners Begu and Barbora Krejcikova. The match commenced just over thirty minutes after the singles final was completed.

The Shenzhen Open is organized by the Chinese Tennis Association, Shenzhen Municipal Bureau of Culture, Sport and Tourism and CCTV-IMG Sports Management Company and is co-organized by the Bureau of Culture, Sport and Tourism of Longgang District, Shenzhen Gemdale Sports Industry Co. Ltd. and Kaisa Culture Sports & Tourism Group.

The event is proud to have prestigious commercial sponsors that include the premier sponsors Kaisa Group and Gemdale Group together with Crowne Plaza Shenzhen Longgang City Center, Iqiyi Sports, Erke, Life Fitness, Yonex, Head and Master Kong You Yue Purified Drinking Water.

The official tournament website www.ShenzhenOpenTennis.com has additional information about the tournament.

beINSPORTS Announces Coverage of WTA Tour, ATP Tour Tennis for 2018

Are you a tennis fan in the United States searching for TV coverage of the WTA Tour? Check out beIN SPORTS  The network released its programming lineup for the 2018 season of the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) and the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) events.

beIN SPORTS will offer exclusive live coverage of 44 tennis tournaments, (39 WTA + 5 ATP), from 26 different countries. The coverage will be easily accessible across beIN SPORTS television channels and on beIN SPORTS CONNECT, the network’s online streaming service, which features a dedicated tennis channel (beIN SPORTS CONNECT 10).

The championship matches of the Premier events in Doha, Dubai, Stuttgart, Madrid, Rome, Wuhan, Beijing and Singapore will air live on the beIN SPORTS US YouTube channel, which will be embedded on the beIN SPORTS homepage. Furthermore, finals of Premier events and events in Hispanic countries will also be broadcasted on beIN SPORTS en Español.

Coverage begins on Monday, January 1st, with the Brisbane Tournament, live from Australia. For live match schedules, please visit www.beinsports.com/us/tv-guide.

Below please find the beIN SPORTS schedule for the WTA 2018 season.

WTA 2018 Schedule
DATETOURNAMENTLOCATIONTYPE
January 1Brisbane InternationalBrisbane, AustraliaPremier
January 1Shenzhen OpenShenzhen, ChinaInternational
January 2ASB ClassicAuckland, New ZealandInternational
January 8Sydney InternationalSydney, AustraliaPremier
January 8Hobart InternationalHobart, AustraliaInternational
January 29St. Petersburg Ladies TrophySt. Petersburg, RussiaPremier 5
February 4Taiwan OpenTaipei, TaiwanInternational
February 12Qatar OpenDoha, QatarPremier
February 19Dubai Duty Free Tennis ChampionshipsDubai, United Arab EmiratesPremier
February 26Abierto MexicanoAcapulco, MexicoInternational
April 3Abierto Monterrey AfirmeMonterrey, MexicoInternational
April 10Claro Open ColsanitasBogota, ColombiaInternational
April 10Ladies Open LuganoLugano, SwitzerlandInternational
April 23Porsche Tennis Grand PrixStuttgart, GermanyPremier
April 26TEB BNP Paribas Istanbul CupIstanbul, TurkeyInternational
May 2J&T Banka Prague OpenPrague, Czech RepublicInternational
May 2Grand Prix SAR La Princesse Lalla MeryemRabat, MoroccoInternational
May 7Mutus Madrid OpenMadrid, SpainPremier Mandatory
May 14International BNL d’ItaliaRome, ItalyPremier 5
May 23Internationaoux de StrasbourgStrasbourg, FranceInternational
June 14Ricoh Open‘s-Hertogenbosch, NetherlandsInternational
June 18Aegon Classic BirminghamBirmingham, EnglandPremier
June 19Mallorca OpenMallorca, SpainInternational
June 25The InternationalEastbourne, EnglandPremier
July 19Bucharest OpenBucharest, RomaniaInternational
July 2301 Properties Moscow OpenMoscow, RussiaInternational
July 23Jiangxi OpenNanchang, ChinaInternational
August 6Rogers CupMontreal, CanadaPremier 5
September 13Japan Women’s Open TennisHiroshima, JapanInternational
September 17Toray Pan Pacific OpenTokyo, JapanPremier
September 19Guangzhou International Women’s OpenGuangzhou, ChinaInternational
September 20Korea OpenSeoul, South KoreaInternational
September 24Wuhan OpenWuhan, ChinaPremier 5
September 26Tashkent OpenTashkent, UzbekistanInternational
October 1China OpenBeijing, ChinaInternational
October 11Prudential Hong Kong Tennis OpenHong Kong, ChinaInternational
October 15Kremlin CupMoscow, RussiaPremier
October 17BGL BNP Paribas Luxembourg OpenLuxembourg City, LuxembourgInternational
October 22BNP Paribas WTA Finals SingaporeSingapore, MalaysiaPremier

 

For more information, visit www.beINSPORTS.com. Follow us on Social Media:

Twitter: @beINSPORTSUSA and/or @ESbeINSPORTS; Facebook: beIN SPORTS USA and/or beIN SPORTS En Español; Instagram: @beINSPORTSUSA; Snapchat: @beINSPORTSUSA.