admin-mainApril 16, 2019
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1min990

The African Table Tennis Federation has shown appreciation to Ghana for a successful tournament by honoring the Vice President of Ghana, Dr Mahamadu Bawumia for his support .The award was received by Mawuko Afadzinu on his behalf.

 

The President of Ghana Table Tennis Association, Mawuko Afadzinu and member of the local organizing committee, Ken Ashigbey were also honored.

STORY BY: NANA AKUA FREMAH


admin-mainApril 16, 2019
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3min970

Tennis Foundation Ghana in collaboration with Ghana Tennis Federation held a two week tournament from April 1, 2019 to April 13, 2019 at the Accra Sports Stadium.

It was an exciting experience for most athletes being their first time in Ghana, and were hoping to get back to their homelands with fond memories.

The following were the results obtained during the tournament;

GIRLS DOUBLES

RUNNER UPS

ASTRID CIROTTE (FRANCE)

MARTHA MAKANFANSI (GREECE)

WINNERS

CHELSEA FONTENEL (SWITZERLAND

CHYARA ONIA GEKE (BELGIUM)

BOYS DOUBLES

RUNNER UPS

DAMIEN LAPORTE (SEYCHELLES)

KAAEN SHAH (KENYA)

WINNERS

VENCE N’TCHA (BENIN)

RONAH SAHNI (GREAT BRITAIN)

GIRLS SINGLES

RUNNER UP

ASTRID CIROTTE (FRANCE)

WINNER

BOVY JULIETTE (BELGIUM)

BOYS SINGLES

RUNNER UP

ESHAAN LUMBA (INDIA)

WINNER

MATHIS BONDAZ (FRANCE)

 

The tournament was sponsored by McDan, Hollard, Ann Mineral water, Baboo Sports, Vitamilk   and others.

The McDan Championship will be in  few weeks and we will do well to bring you all the details.

STORY BY: NANA AKUA FREMAH


rickyben anarfiFebruary 26, 2019
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No.3 seed Donna Vekic raced to victory over Misaki Doi in the opening round of the Abierto Mexicano TELCEL presentado por HSBC.

 

ACAPULCO, Mexico — No.3 seed Donna Vekic of Croatia picked up a speedy victory as she kicked off her campaign at the Abierto Mexicano TELCEL presentado por HSBC, zooming past Japan’s Misaki Doi, 6-0, 6-3 to reach the second round in Mexico.

Doi had easily beaten Vekic in their one previous meeting on the clay of Madrid in 2017, but this match was a complete reversal as Vekic breezed to victory after just 64 minutes of play.

Photos: Mexican magic: A decade of Acapulco champions from Venus to Tsurenko

Vekic won 85 percent of points on her first serve and fired four aces, and she never faced a break point in the entire match. At the other end of the court, Doi struggled with her second service, claiming an even 25 percent of points when she was forced to put the second delivery in play.

In the second round, World No.28 Vekic will face the winner of an all-qualifier battle between Christina McHale of the United States and Ysaline Bonaventure of Belgium.

Embedded video

WTA

@WTA

How did @DonnaVekic get that point 🙌

The Croatian started the encounter by taking Doi’s opening service game after the Japanese player double faulted on break point. Vekic then quickly claimed a double-break advantage with an error-forcing crosscourt backhand to lead 3-0.

Vekic used beautiful backhands to keep her momentum rolling, and had no trouble garnering the final three games over an error-prone Doi. The No. 3 seed completed her first-set dominance in just 21 minutes.

Vekic needed three break points but continued her run by claiming Doi’s serve in the opening game of the second set. The Croatian got up to eight games in a row before Doi got on the board for 2-1 by holding with a forehand winner.

The World No.120 finally found her way into the match, being more patient in the rallies before she could find opportunities for winners with her left-handed shots. But by this point, Vekic refused to cede any part of her lead, using tremendous defense and ferocious forehands to keep holding serve comfortably.

Doi held her serve three times in a row before the match concluded, but Vekic never once allowed Doi a look on her serve. Serving at 5-3, Doi saved three match points with bold play, but after she pulled from 0-40 to deuce, Vekic claimed a fourth match point with a forehand winner, and that chance was converted after a Doi error into the net.


rickyben anarfiFebruary 26, 2019
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Former Top 10 player Timea Bacsinszky survived a tough battle with teenage sensation Cori Gauff at the Oracle Challenger Series Indian Wells, a WTA 125K Series event.

 Former World No.9 Timea Bacsinszky of Switzerland had to draw on all of her experience to get through her opening-round match at Oracle Challenger Series Indian Wells, a WTA 125K Series event, on Monday.

Bacsinszky fought back from 0-4 down in the final set to overcome 14-year-old American wild card Cori Gauff, 6-3, 1-6, 6-4, after two hours and 19 minutes of play, and advance to a second-round match with another former Top 10 player, No. 4 seed Kristina Mladenovic of France.

Gauff is one of the most promising up-and-coming players, becoming the youngest-ever US Open girls’ singles finalist in 2017, then winning the girls’ singles title at Roland Garros in 2018. But it was Bacsinszky who drew from her up-and-down career to turn the tide of their match and pick off the last six games in a row, holding at love to seal victory.

Bacsinszky got 71 percent of her first serves into play and had a slightly higher winning percentage on first serve than the teenager. The 114th-ranked Swiss, on the comeback trail from hand surgery, thus claims a crucial comeback win as she aims to re-enter the Top 100 with a solid showing this week.

Oracle Challenger Series@OracleChallngrs

The battle between Bacsinszky and Gauff was just one of the numerous three-set tussles which took place in Monday’s opening-round matches at Indian Wells. 18-year-old Olga Danilovic of Serbia, who won her first WTA singles title aged 17 at the Moscow River Cup last year, fought back for a 4-6, 6-3, 6-1 victory over American Caroline Dolehide, overcoming nine double faults.

Kristie Ahn survived a topsy-turvy all-American battle with 2017 French Open girls’ singles champion Whitney Osuigwe, 3-6, 7-6 (5), 7-5. Osuigwe served for the match three times in the second set before Ahn won it in a tiebreak. Ahn then clinched the final set 7-5, having led 4-1, to earn a grueling two-hour and 28-minute victory.

Russia’s Natalia Vikhlyantseva also needed two hours and 28 minutes before outlasting American Lauren Davis, 5-7, 6-4, 6-4. American wild card Catherine McNally won over Bulgaria’s Sesil Karatantcheva by that exact same scoreline, after two hours and 17 minutes of play.

Allie Kiick of the United States eliminated the defending champion, former World No.5 and 2012 French Open finalist Sara Errani of Italy, 6-3, 5-7, 6-2. And former Top 15 player Yanina Wickmayer of Belgium also claimed a three-set win, beating France’s Fiona Ferro, 1-6, 6-3, 6-3.

Two Americans had straight-set wins. Sachia Vickery defeated Israel’s Julia Glushko, 6-3, 6-2. And Jennifer Brady, back in the Top 100 after a round-of-16 showing in Dubai, ousted 17-year-old compatriot Katie Volynets, 6-3, 6-3.


rickyben anarfiFebruary 26, 2019
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8min1240

Top seed Sloane Stephens lands at the Abierto Mexicano TELCEL presentado por HSBC, while Auckland finalist Bianca Andreescu returns and Danielle Collins takes on Victoria Azarenka in other first-round action. Scroll down for full order of play.

MATCH POINTS

No.1 seed Sloane Stephens and Pauline Parmentier face off in the first round of Acapulco for the second year in a row. Stephens won last year’s tilt 6-4, 6-0, and leads the overall head-to-head 3-1, including 2-0 on hard courts; the Frenchwoman’s sole victory was a 6-3, 1-6, 6-4 win in the second round of Strasbourg in 2016.

No.2 seed Danielle Collins and wildcard Victoria Azarenka have only clashed once before – a tightly contested match unfortunately cut short when Azarenka was forced to retire with a back injury while leading 7-6(4), 0-3 in last year’s San Jose quarterfinals.

Laura Siegemund leads No.8 seed Johanna Konta 2-1 – but the Briton won the most recent of those matches, also their only hard court encounter, 6-2, 7-5 in the first round of New Haven last year. Siegemund’s pair of victories were both on clay – 6-0, 6-2 in the semifinals of the Pelham ITF W25 event in 2015 and 3-6, 7-5, 6-4 in the first round of Madrid in 2017. The pair are also doubles partners this week.

Wildcard Jil Teichmann won her only previous encounter with Bianca Andreescu – a 3-6, 6-4, 7-6(4) epic in the second round of last year’s ITF W25 in La Bisbal d’Empordà, Spain on clay. Andreescu has opened 2019 with an 18-2 record so far, including a giant-killing run to the Auckland final and a title at the Newport Beach 125K.

Either No.4 seed Mihaela Buzarnescu or Daria Gavrilova will win their first match of 2019 today. Buzarnescu is on an 11-match losing streak dating back to her unfortunate ankle injury in Montréal last August, while Gavrilova has lost all five of her matches this season so far.

Last year’s runner-up Stefanie Voegele is yet to drop a set to Tatjana Maria in three previous meetings – including a 6-2, 7-5 win in the first round here last year, their only match to take place on outdoor hard courts.

Rebecca Peterson reached her maiden WTA semifinal in Acapulco last year, and is also 1-0 against No.5 seed Sofia Kenin, having come from a set and a break down to defeat the American 5-7, 7-5, 6-3 in New Haven qualifying last year.

Wildcard Renata Zarazua captured her first WTA main draw win here a year ago over Kristyna Pliskova, and faces No.7 seed Zheng Saisai today.

ORDER OF PLAY (all courts start 4pm)

CANCHA CENTRAL
Sloane STEPHENS (USA) [1] vs Pauline PARMENTIER (FRA)

GRAND STAND CALIENTE
After 2 ATP matches
[WC] Victoria AZARENKA (BLR) vs Danielle COLLINS (USA) [2]

COURT 2
Daria GAVRILOVA (AUS) vs Mihaela BUZARNESCU (ROU) [4]
Laura SIEGEMUND (GER) vs Johanna KONTA (GBR) [8]
ZHENG Saisai (CHN) [7] vs [WC] Renata ZARAZUA (MEX)
Amanda ANISIMOVA (USA) vs [Q] Varvara FLINK (RUS)

COURT 3
Tatjana MARIA (GER) vs Stefanie VOEGELE (SUI)
Timea BABOS (HUN) vs Dalila JAKUPOVIC (SLO)
[WC] Jil TEICHMANN (SUI) vs Bianca ANDREESCU (CAN)
Sofia KENIN (USA) [5] vs Rebecca PETERSON (SWE)

COURT 4
After 3 ATP matches
Sharon FICHMAN (CAN) / Maria SANCHEZ (USA) vs [WC] Victoria RODRIGUEZ (MEX) / Ana Sofia SÁNCHEZ (MEX)

COURT 1
After 1 ATP match
[Q] Ysaline BONAVENTURE (BEL) vs [Q] Christina MCHALE (USA)


rickyben anarfiFebruary 26, 2019
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7min1250

Petra Kvitova and Belinda Bencic, the finalists in Dubai, both enjoyed upward mobility on the WTA Rankings this week.

Belinda Bencic’s dream push to win the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships has seen her climb to WTA World No.23.

A Top 10 player back in 2016, the Swiss enjoyed the best week of her career to date to take out a succession of stars en route to winning her second WTA Tour title after the Canadian Open of 2015.

READ MORE: Bencic on trying to emulate Roger Federer

After overcoming No.8 seed Aryna Sabalenka in a dramatic third-set tiebreak, she went on to beat Top 10 players Simona Halep, Elina Svitolina and Petra Kvitova to lift the crown.

Her reward is a jump of 22 spots up the WTA Rankings.

Kvitova was beaten, 6-3, 1-6, 6-2 in the final by the 21-year-old Swiss, yet the Czech also enjoyed a productive week, moving one place higher to WTA World No.3.

Like Bencic, the Czech also won a succession of three-set duels, defeating Katerina Siniakova, Jennifer Brady and Hsieh Su-Wei before eventually losing out at the last hurdle.

Here are the other notable movers from the last week:

Kiki Bertens (+1, No.8 to No.7): A new career high for the Dutchwoman, despite losing out in the round of 32 in Dubai.

Hsieh Su-Wei (+4, N.31 to No.27): Back at her best ever position following a dramatic run to the semifinals of Dubai, where she beat Angelique Kerber and Karolina Pliskova on back-to-back days.

Sofia Kenin (+2, No.37 to No.35): Wins over Mihaela Buzarnescu and No.11 seed Daria Kasatkina in Dubai have carried the American to a new high point in her career.

Alison Riske (+4, No.51 to No.47): In the Top 50 for the first time since September 2017 after reaching the last 16 in Dubai, where she notably took out No.13 seed Julia Goerges.

Marketa Vondrousova (+19, No.81 to No.62): The pain of losing the final of Budapest from a set up to Alison Van Uytvanck may be eased for the 19-year-old with a big jump in her ranking.

Anastasia Potapova (+15, No.87 to No.72): Reached the semis in Budapest before falling to Vondrousova but can be consoled by her best ranking to date in her young career.

Jennifer Brady (+23, No.117 to No.94): Back in the Top 100 after a four-month absence following her run to the last 16 in Dubai, where she was eventually beaten by Kvitova.

Sorana Cirstea (+10, No.108 to No.98): Leapt into the Top 100 thanks to her quarterfinal appearance in Budapest, where she beat No.4 seed Aleksandra Krunic.

Ylena In-Albon (+58, No.245 to No.183): The Swiss 19-year-old has smashed into the Top 200 for the first time after winning an ITF event in Kyoto.


rickyben anarfiFebruary 26, 2019
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Dubai champion Belinda Bencic zooms into the Top 4 while Petra Kvitova claims the No.1 position in this week’s edition of the Porsche Race to Shenzhen.

Some big moves occur in the Top 8 of the Porsche Race to Shenzhen now that the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships are in the books.

Notably, Dubai champion Belinda Bencic flies right into the thick of things, shooting from No.20 to No.4 on the strength of her first WTA singles title since 2015.

Photos: Story of Dubai 2019: Bencic’s magical run

The Swiss star ended the event with four straight Top 10 wins — a feat which would translate perfectly to the year-ending championships against the Top 8 players in the world, if Bencic can hold her position all the way through to the end of the season.

There is also a new No.1 in the Porsche Race to Shenzhen, as Australian Open runner-up Petra Kvitova displaces Australian Open champion Naomi Osaka at the top of the chart.

Belinda Bencic

@BelindaBencic

Petra Kvitova

@Petra_Kvitova

Two matches. Two different results but still two players smiling. I’m proud of myself for
finding a way this week and want to congratulate @BelindaBencic 👏

Thanks @DDFTennis for a beautiful tournament – see you next year! #belindasvictims

View image on Twitter

Kvitova had a stellar week of her own in Dubai, blasting her way to her WTA-leading third final of the year before falling to Bencic in the championship match.

Simona Halep’s quarter-final showing in Dubai moves the Romanian up four spots from No.12, putting her just inside the elite eight for the first time this season. Bencic and Halep’s entries into the Top 8 knock Ashleigh Barty and Doha champion Elise Mertens to No.9 and No.10 respectively.

Additionally, Dubai semi-finalist Elina Svitolina climbs 3 spots higher on the list, securing a Top 5 spot from her previous position of No.8.

Also, be on the lookout for Hsieh Su-wei, whose semifinal run in Dubai propelled her 13 spots to No.12, and Alison van Uytvanck, whose successful title defense in Budapest caused her to rocket up 82 positions to No.26.

Here’s how the Porsche Race to Shenzhen in singles stands as of February 25:


admin-mainFebruary 22, 2019
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2min1570

Ghana has been given the opportunity to host two main International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) tournaments in April.

The two World Championships; the World Junior Circuit (WJC) and African Junior and Cadet Championship (AJCC), would take place in Accra from the April 1-5 and April 7 to 13, 2019 respectively

This decision was made when a delegation from the African Table Tennis Federation (ATTF), led by its President, Khaled El-Salhy heed a courtesy call on the Minister of Youth and Sports, Mr. Isaac Asiamah, who stated that, the government was willing to replace its lost glory by staging the tournaments and added being grateful to the ITTF and ATTF for choosing Ghana in hosting such important tournaments since the country possess great potentials in tennis.

Mr. Khaled El-Salhy, President of ATTF in his statement said, Ghana is one of the powerhouses of table tennis in the 1970s and in the last five years

STORY BY: NANA AKUA FREMAH/TENNIS DESK


rickyben anarfiFebruary 21, 2019
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6min1190

Novak Djokovic says he contemplated leaving tennis as he struggled to find the “purpose” during his initial struggle to rediscover his best form on his return from injury last year.

The world No 1 returned from a six-month injury lay-off at last year’s Australian Open but was knocked out in the fourth round by Hyeon Chung.

Despite undergoing surgery on his elbow after the tournament, he suffered subsequent shock defeats against Taro Daniel and Benoit Paire at Indian Wells and Miami respectively, before announcing his split with Andre Agassi.

Djokovic then reunited with former coach Marian Vaijda and has since returned to world No 1 and won three successive Grand Slam titles, with his record seventh Australian Open moving him ahead of Pete Sampras into third on the men’s all-time list of Grand Slam titles with 15.

View image on Twitter

Novak Djokovic

@DjokerNole

Honored to receive the Sportsman of the Year award 🙏 Thank you @LaureusSport for a wonderful evening celebrating our journeys and the power of sport to change the world.

But the 31-year-old Serb, speaking after being named Laureus sportsman of the year on Monday, said: “I did think about leaving tennis.

“I did not find myself in a good balance. It took me several months to find that purpose and meaning again. This award reflects and symbolises this journey.

“Reflecting on the journey it seems like a fairytale story.”

Elsewhere at the ceremony in the principality, Naomi Osaka won the Breakthrough award following her maiden Grand Slam victory at the US Open.


rickyben anarfiFebruary 21, 2019
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Martina Navratilova has been dropped by Athlete Ally, an organisation that supports LGBT+ athletes, following her comments on transgender inclusion.

In a newspaper opinion column at the weekend, the 18-time Grand Slam tennis singles champion referred to trans women as men who “decide to be female”, and said allowing them to compete with women who were assigned female at birth is “cheating and unfair”.

Athlete Ally, a US non-profit founded in 2011 that campaigns for greater LGBT+ inclusion in sport, say her comments are “transphobic” and have removed the 62-year-old from their advisory board and as an ambassador.

In a statement, the organisation said: “Athlete Ally unequivocally stands on the side of trans athletes and their right to access and compete in sport free from discrimination.

Athlete Ally

@AthleteAlly

Navratilova’s Statements Transphobic and Counter to our Work, Vision and Values

Martina Navratilova’s recent comments on trans athletes are transphobic, based on a false understanding of science and data, and perpetuate dangerous myths.

athleteally.org

“Martina Navratilova’s recent comments on trans athletes are transphobic, based on a false understanding of science and data, and perpetuate dangerous myths that lead to the ongoing targeting of trans people through discriminatory laws, hateful stereotypes and disproportionate violence.

“As an organisation dedicated to addressing root causes of homophobia and transphobia in and through sport, we will only affiliate with those committed to the same goal, and not those who further misinformation or discrimination in any way.”

Navratilova first drew criticism in December when she tweeted “you can’t just proclaim yourself a female and be able to compete against women”.

She returned to the topic in her recent article for the Sunday Times, saying that her views have “strengthened” after doing some research.

Navratilova wrote: “To put the argument at its most basic: a man can decide to be female, take hormones if required by whatever sporting organisation is concerned, win everything in sight and perhaps earn a small fortune, and then reverse his decision and go back to making babies if he so desires.

“It’s insane and it’s cheating. I am happy to address a transgender woman in whatever form she prefers, but I would not be happy to compete against her. It would not be fair.”

Navratilova has been invited by Athlete Ally 'to study the data on trans athletes in sport'
Navratilova has been invited by Athlete Ally ‘to study the data on trans athletes in sport’

Athlete Ally claims it approached Navratilova after she posted her tweet in December regarding athletes who are trans and are participating in competitive sport, in order to discuss her views further.

“We reached out directly offering to be a resource as she sought further education, and we never heard back,” the statement continued.

“We believe that growth is possible, and we extend once again to Martina the invitation to learn from this experience, to study the data on trans athletes in sport, and to examine how statements like hers further stigma and discrimination.”



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