Top seed Garcia recovers from set down to beat Van Uytvanck in Lyon

By Sports Desk February 02, 2023

Caroline Garcia came from a set behind to beat Alison Van Uytvanck and progress to the quarter-finals of the Lyon Open on Thursday.

The French top seed looked to be in trouble as Belgian Van Uytvanck eased to the first set, before Garcia found her feet to come back and overwhelm her opponent 2-6 6-0 6-1.

She will face Jasmine Paolini in the last eight after the Italian took just over an hour to dispose of Erika Andreeva 6-2 6-3.

Second seed Zhang Shuai is out though after falling to another Belgian in Maryna Zanevska 6-2 6-0.

Fifth seed Anastasia Potapova will face Zanevska next after her 6-4 4-6 6-3 win over Clara Burel, while seventh seed Danka Kovinic is also through after beating Anna Bondar 4-6 6-2 6-3.

At the Thailand Open, top seed Bianca Andreescu had no problems against Anastasia Zakharova, easing through to the quarter-finals 6-2 7-5.

The Canadian will face Marta Kostyuk next after the Ukrainian fifth seed defeated Nao Hibino 6-3 7-6 (9-7).

Sixth seed Tatjana Maria also progressed 6-0 6-4 against Dayana Yastremska, as did Heather Watson as she fought hard to see off Han Na-lae 6-3 5-7 6-4.

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  • 'Best day of my life' – Krejcikova celebrates maiden Wimbledon title 'Best day of my life' – Krejcikova celebrates maiden Wimbledon title

    Barbora Krejcikova said winning Wimbledon marks the best day of her life as she celebrated an unexpected triumph.

    The Czech earned her maiden title at All England Club with a hard-fought 6-2 2-6 6-4 victory over Jasmine Paolini in Saturday's final.

    It brought up Krejcikova's second grand slam title, after the 2021 French Open, making her the seventh player to win their first women's singles finals at both tournaments.

    Having pulled off three major shocks to get to the final, knocking out Danielle Collins, Jelena Ostapenko, and Elena Rybakina, Krejcikova appeared stunned when she finally got her hands on the trophy.

    "I don't have any words right now, it's just unbelievable. It's definitely the best day of my tennis career and also the best day of my life," Krejcikova said.

    "It's super difficult to explain what I'm feeling right now. I would like to congratulate Jasmine and her team. She had a great two weeks, it was a great final, and we were fighting for every point.

    "I think nobody believes that I got to the final and nobody believes that I won Wimbledon. I still can't believe it.

    "I didn't really have a good beginning to the season. It's unbelievable I'm stood here now, and I've won Wimbledon. I have no idea [how it happened]."

    Following her win over Rybakina in the semi-final, Krejcikova paid tribute to Jana Novotna, who passed away in 2017 from ovarian cancer at the age of 49.

    She first met the 1998 Wimbledon winner 10 years ago, and has now emulated her former mentor's achievements.

    "I think that day, knocking on her door, it changed my life," an emotional Krejcikova added. "Because in that period when I finished the juniors, I didn’t know what to do – should I continue playing pro or go into education?

    "She was the one who told me I had the potential, and I should definitely turn pro. Before she passed away, she told me I can win a slam.

    "I achieved that in Paris in 2021 – it was an unbelievable moment for me, and I never really dreamed I would win the same trophy as Jana did in 1998."

  • Schwartzman joins Djokovic-led PTPA to 'fight' ATP over player conditions Schwartzman joins Djokovic-led PTPA to 'fight' ATP over player conditions

    Diego Schwartzman hopes player conditions across the ATP and WTA Tours can improve after pledging his allegiance to the Professional Tennis Players Association (PTPA), co-founded by Novak Djokovic.

    Schwartzman also revealed that Vasek Pospisil was eager to add his name to the star-studded executive committee, which includes Hubert Hurkacz and Ons Jabeur.

    Speaking to Stats Perform, Schwartzman said: "Well, it took a long time for me to decide and go in. Vasek was trying hard to have me there. Also, ATP always, when they have this selection of the ATP council and the players council, they always try to have me in there.

    "My English has been improving over the last few years, so it was good for them to have this kind of combination of a Latin voice, who is English speaking and a strong voice."

    Whether it is the mandatory tour events, the short off-season period or the late nights at grand slams, tennis top stars have long called for improved conditions off the court to allow for better quality on it.

    Schwartzman, who achieved a career-high world ranking of eight in 2020, admits to having his own battles with the ATP, which led to an alignment with the PTPA.

    "I always have strong thoughts, I’m always fighting with the ATP, with the tour managers, with everyone and trying to get better conditions for the players. So, I think that was why I joined PTPA a few months ago," he added.

    Since turning professional in 2010, Schwartzman has seen the highs and lows of the sport across his 14-year stint on the Tour.

    The Argentine remains competitive with the elite and will no doubt hope to add to the four ATP titles already to his name.

    Off the court, he has high hopes that by having 24-time grand slam champion Djokovic at the helm of the PTPA, change across the ATP and WTA Tours is not far away.

    Schwartzman said of Djokovic: "He started pushing hard in 2020, 2019. Without the PTPA at that time, pushing for the players, under COVID-19 conditions, it was very hard for us to play the tournaments, with many different conditions, depending on all the different countries and it was tough for us and he had at that time his voice and he was pushing to help the players.

    "Then Vasek joined him, and to have this combination between the number one and the guy who has his own voice, and Vasek helping other ranking players, so in the end they are growing very fast.

    "I think also with the women now, many different girls have joined PTPA, strong names, and I think that’s very important. As many names as we have, we also have Novak as a main voice. I think that’s very important.

    "It was very difficult for tennis to reach because it’s an individual sport, it's always difficult to think as a collective, a group of players because we come from different situations, different countries and it the end Djokovic helps a lot to make us feel like we have a strong voice."

  • Paolini to 'keep smiling' despite a consecutive grand slam final loss at Wimbledon Paolini to 'keep smiling' despite a consecutive grand slam final loss at Wimbledon

    Jasmine Paolini insists she will try to keep smiling despite falling to her second consecutive grand slam final defeat against Barbora Krejcikova at Wimbledon. 

    Paolini was beaten in the final of the French Open by Iga Swiatek last month and suffered a familiar fate on Centre Court. 

    The Italian rallied in the second set to take the game to a decider, but Krejcikova was able to find the edge in the seventh game to secure her second major crown.

    Paolini's two showpiece match defeats saw her become the sixth woman to lose at both the Roland Garros and All England Club in the same calendar year. 

    Paolini shared a warm embrace at the net with Krejcikova, who became the seventh different winner in the last seven Wimbledon finals. 

    The world number seven was gracious in defeat, thanking her team and finally for what she described as a "crazy" two-month period. 

    "To see this stadium full is a dream come true. Barbora, you played unbelievable. You play such beautiful tennis. Congrats to you and your team," Paolini said. 

    "The last two months have been crazy for me. I want to thank my team, my family. They always support me and I wouldn't be here without them.

    "The crowd have been amazing. I received a lot of support. Just incredible to feel the love from them. I enjoy it so much.

    "Today I am a little bit sad. I try to keep smiling because I have to remember today is still a good day. I made the final of Wimbledon.

    "I remember as a kid watching the final and cheering for Federer, I have to say. It's been a beautiful two weeks and I want to thank everyone who made it possible."

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