Legendary tennis coach Nick Bollettieri has died at the age of 91.

The American, who coached the likes of Andre Agassi, Serena Williams, Maria Sharapova and Boris Becker, passed away on Sunday.

He founded the Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy, now the IMG Academy, and long since gained a reputation of being one of the most iconic coaches in the sport.

Tommy Haas, who was also coached by Bollettieri, paid an emotional tribute to him on Monday.

The German posted on Instagram: "So many memories, I am not sure where to begin. Nickiiiii, that's how I have called you for the longest time.

"Thank you for your time, knowledge, commitment, expertise, the willingness to share your skill, your personal interest in mentoring me and giving me the best opportunity to follow my dreams.

"You were a dreamer and a doer, and a pioneer in our sport, truly one of a kind.

"I surely will miss you around the academy, our tennis talks, miss showing of [sic] your tan, white teeth and body fat, miss watching you do Tai Chi, miss playing golf with you watching you try to cheat, eating a Snickers bar and running for the bushes, and hearing all about your plans even at the age of 91.

"Thanks again for everything……..

"RIP Nickiiiii."

Monica Seles and Jim Courier were among the other players who were coached by Bollettieri.

Emma Raducanu felt "extremely grateful" after being made an MBE for her services to tennis.

The 20-year-old was presented with the honour by King Charles III in a ceremony at Windsor Castle on Tuesday.

It comes 14 months after Raducanu's fairytale triumph at the US Open, where she became the first British female grand slam champion since Virginia Wade's Wimbledon victory in 1977.

The then 18-year-old was also the first qualifier to land a major after her straight-sets her win over Leylah Fernandez in the championship match at Flushing Meadows.

In a statement released via her agent, Raducanu said: "It's been great to receive my honour today from his Majesty the King - I feel extremely grateful."

Raducanu did not enjoy a fruitful season in 2022, as she failed to win a trophy or progress beyond the second round in any of the grand slams.

Her deepest run in a tournament came in September, when she reached the semi-finals of the Korea Open, but she had to retire hurt from a semi-final tie with Jelena Ostapenko.

Roger Federer believes the intense tennis tour schedule can have a negative impact on the mental health of players.

Federer, now retired, won 20 grand slam titles between 2003 and 2018 before stepping away from the sport in September of this year, and he is well aware of the challenges players face.

A number of big-name stars have spoken out about their mental health, including Naomi Osaka and Nick Kyrgios, and Federer feels the packed tennis calendar does not help players.

"When players retire at a super young age, I totally understand it," Federer told a press conference in Tokyo. "The tour is tough... travel, practice, jetlag.

"Nobody is allowed to say, 'Oh, I'm tired today', because it looks like you're weak, and that's why players end up having sometimes mental problems.

"You're supposed to show strength. But we're also not machines, we’re also just human beings."

Federer played on the tour for 25 years before calling it a day, and he is making the most of being able to finally relax, saying: "As a tennis player you're always thinking about your next practice, your next match. It never lets you go.

"I don't think I was that much aware of it, how much that thought is always there, and it rides with you, until you retire and then you realise that stress all drops away."

He pointed to doping tests, and the fact players must constantly make authorities away of their whereabouts.

"We have to fill out the doping forms every single day, one hour during the day, where you are," Federer said. "You're always aware in the back of your head, they could be coming any moment, especially in that hour.

"Once that all drops away you actually feel quite lighter, relieved that you can actually live normally again after 25 years."

Rafael Nadal and Nick Kyrgios could face off in the inaugural United Cup, while WTA world number one Iga Swiatek will represent Poland.

The United Cup is the new warm-up tournament for the ATP and WTA Tour seasons, and will take place in Australia in December and January.

While ATP world number one Carlos Alcaraz will not feature, compatriot Nadal will be competing for Spain, and they have been drawn alongside Australia and Great Britain in Group D.

Those matches will be played in Perth, with a clash between Nadal and Kyrgios, who have enjoyed an entertaining rivalry down the years, in the offing.

They were set to meet in the semi-finals at Wimbledon this year, but Nadal withdrew due to injury, handing Kyrgios a walkover into his first grand slam final, which he lost to Novak Djokovic, who will not be playing in Australia.

Serbia are not among the batch of teams taking part, but even so, there remains doubt whether Djokovic would be able to enter Australia given his stance against the COVID-19 vaccine, which eventually saw him deported from the country after a drawn-out legal battle ahead of this year's Australian Open.

Emma Raducanu has decided against playing for the British team, which also does not feature Andy Murray.

Casper Ruud, the beaten US Open finalist, will play for Norway in Group E, in Brisbane, while Alexander Zverev will be in action for Germany.

Swiatek is the biggest name from the WTA Tour to enter, with the brilliant 21-year-old lining up alongside Hubert Hurkacz for Poland in Group B.

Maria Sakkari and Stefanos Tsitsipas, along with his brother Petros, will team up for Greece in Group A.

Two more countries will be admitted to the tournament later in November.

Caroline Garcia spoke of her "giant happiness" after coming through a "big fight" to defeat Aryna Sabalenka and become the WTA Finals champion.

The 29-year-old became just the second Frenchwoman after Amelie Mauresmo in 2005 to win the season-ending tournament by coming through a bruising encounter 7-6 (7-4) 6-4 in Fort Worth, Texas.

Victory propels Garcia back to a joint-career high ranking of fourth, having been languishing down in the mid-70s as recently as June following a series of injuries.

"It's definitely a lot of giant happiness," Garcia said at her post-match press conference. 

"A crazy final, a lot of intensity on every point. Just really proud of the work we did through all the year. It was a great match – really went for it. I'm really happy to win my biggest title.

"Just very happy about the mindset, to be really calm at every moment. All the negative emotion doesn't affect me, and that was really a big part of taking the few opportunities I had in the tie-breaker and the first game I broke her in the second."

With the win, Garcia pockets $1.57million in prize money and 1,375 ranking points.

Her triumph in Fort Worth is the culmination of sparkling form that has seen her win every final she has played in 2022, while she has won eight of her last nine over the past six years.

It also marks a fine return to the top table. Back in 2017, 11 straight victories to win WTA 1000 events in Wuhan and Beijing saw Garcia first enter the top 10 and earn a maiden trip to the WTA Finals where she lost to Venus Williams in the semi-finals.

"Sometimes you are emotional or things don't go your way," Garcia said. 

"I mean, sometimes there is a big fight, so you have to find your way through it. Some points, where you cannot do anything. You just try to put in the return and to run as fast as you can to the other side.

"And that was one of the biggest points I improved. Today one of the most important things was to stay calm and jump on every opportunity."

Sabalenka had knocked out top seed Iga Swiatek to reach the showpiece match but hit two costly double faults in the first-set breaker – an area that she has struggled with throughout the year.

"I just dropped my level for a little bit. On the tie-break and the first game of the second set. That's it," a rueful Sabalenka reflected.

"I did my best, [but] she played unbelievable tennis."

Caroline Garcia is this season's WTA Finals champion after defeating Aryna Sabalenka 7-6 (7-4) 6-4 in Monday's decider in Fort Worth.

Her road to the final included wins against Coco Gauff, Daria Kasatkina and Maria Sakkari, with her only loss coming against world number one Iga Swiatek, who was eliminated by Sabalenka in the semi-final.

Against Sabalenka, Garcia showed off her powerful serve early as she racked up 10 of her 11 aces in the opening set.

Neither player had a single break point opportunity in the first frame, with both competitors winning exactly 70 per cent of their service points, but after going down a mini-break in the tiebreaker, Garcia rattled off six consecutive points to pull away.

She nabbed the decisive break in the very first game of the second set, serving it out well as she again denied Sabalenka any break point chances.

In one of the biggest matches of her career, Garcia played lights-out, committing just 10 unforced errors with her 24 winners while serving only one double-fault.

She was outside of the top-70 in the world rankings at this time last year, but with the win, Garcia will rise and equal her career-best ranking of fourth in the world.

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS

Garcia - 11/1

Sabalenka - 4/3

WINNERS/DOUBLE FAULTS

Garcia - 24/10

Sabalenka - 15/11

BREAK POINTS WON

Garcia - 1/1

Sabalenka - 0/0

Aryna Sabalenka eliminated world number one Iga Swiatek 6-2 2-6 6-1 on Sunday to advance to the decider of the WTA Finals.

Swiatek had not lost a set during her week in Fort Worth entering the contest, earning her spot in the semi-final after straight-sets wins against Coco Gauff, Caroline Garcia and Daria Kasatkina.

Needing to start well to give herself a chance against the in-form Polish star, Sabalenka did just that, breaking Swiatek in her first service game.

Swiatek broke back instantly, but she had no response when the BelaruSsian secured two more breaks of serve in the opening frame to wrap it up in 40 minutes.

After winning only 43 per cent (12-of-28) of her service points in the first set, Swiatek seemed to figure things out in the second, raising that number to 61 per cent (17-of-28) to win the first four games and run away with it and send the match to a decider.

But Swiatek's uncharacteristic errors came back to bite her, committing two double faults in each of the three sets, and after posting a combined 21 winners with 17 unforced errors in the first two frames, she mustered only five winners with nine unforced errors in the last.

Sabalenka rattled off five consecutive games to close out the match, utilising her imposing serve to get the job done, serving 12 aces to Swiatek's one.

She will now face Caroline Garcia in the final after the Frenchwoman proved too strong for Maria Sakkari in a 6-3 6-2 victory earlier in the day.

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS

Sabalenka - 12/9
Swiatek - 1/6

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS

Sabalenka - 23/19
Swiatek - 26/26

BREAK POINTS WON

Sabalenka - 6/13
Swiatek - 4/10

Caroline Garcia produced a dominant performance to overcome Maria Sakkari 6-3 6-2 in the last four of the WTA Finals in Fort Worth on Sunday.

Garcia emerged as the victor of a topsy-turvy tussle with Daria Kasatkina on Saturday, but enjoyed a far more routine outing as she sealed her first final appearance at the competition.

Sakkari had cruised through the Nancy Richey Group with three straight-sets victories, but fell some way short of those lofty standards as she failed to force a single break-point in the opener.

Garcia took 80 per cent of points on her first serve in the opening set, breaking in the fourth game and dictating proceedings from the baseline in impressive fashion.

The match resembled something of a procession after Garcia claimed consecutive breaks to seize the initiative in the second set, and the French Open champion sealed the victory when Sakkari's weak return clipped the net. 

Garcia has now won seven matches against top-10 opponents in 2022, becoming the first French player to post seven such victories in a calendar year since Amelie Mauresmo in 2009.

The world number six is also the first player to reach the title match at the WTA Finals after turning 29 years old since Venus Williams did so in 2017, and will now bid to cap a tremendous year with victory over either Iga Swiatek or Aryna Sabalenka.

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS

Garcia – 21/17

Sakkari – 8/19

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS

Garcia – 6/1

Sakkari – 0/1

BREAK POINTS WON

Garcia – 4/5

Sakkari – 1/3 

World number one Iga Swiatek won the Tracy Austin Group in style with a comprehensive straight-sets victory over Coco Gauff in the WTA Finals in Fort Worth on Saturday.

Swiatek made it three wins out of three matches in the group stage without dropping a set, getting past fourth seed Gauff 6-3 6-0 in one hour and 10 minutes.

The 2022 US Open and French Open champion advances and will take on seventh seed Aryna Sabalenka in the WTA Finals semi-finals on Sunday.

The Pole made light work of Gauff, improving her head-to-head dominance to 5-0, with her 28-minute second set representing the 22nd bagel she has doled out this season.

Swiatek committed 15 unforced errors in the first set, but made only two in a lopsided second frame where she won 26 of 36 points.

Gauff had pushed Swiatek to 3-3 in the first set, before the top seed broke her twice to clinch the opening frame, putting her foot to the throat in the second.

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS

Swiatek - 20/17
Gauff - 5/15

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS

Swiatek - 0/1
Gauff - 4/1

BREAK POINTS WON

Swiatek - 5/10
Gauff - 0/3

13 - Only Justine Henin in 2007 (11) has won the group dropping fewest games in the Round Robin at the WTA Finals since the current format was re-introduced in 2003 than Iga Swiatek this season (13). Tornado.@WTA @WTA_insider @WTAFinals pic.twitter.com/cAd0dnfQ3k

— OptaAce (@OptaAce) November 6, 2022

Caroline Garcia came out on top in an almighty battle with Daria Kasatkina to complete the WTA Finals semi-final line-up on Saturday.

The winner of the Tracy Austin Group match in Fort Worth knew they would face Maria Sakkari in the last four and it was world number six Garcia who got the job done.

Frenchwoman Garcia won 4-6 6-1 7-6 (7-5) in a topsy-turvy contest that was finally settled in two hours and 27 minutes.

Kasatkina won four games in a row to take the opening set, but sixth seed Garcia stormed back to level the match in emphatic fashion as her aggressive approach paid off.

Russian Kasatkina twice came from a break down in a tense decider and fended off six break points in the ninth game of the final set to hold for a 5-4 lead, but Garcia held her nerve in the tie-break to advance.

Garcia and Sakkari will do battle for a place in the final on Sunday, with the winner facing either Iga Swiatek or Aryna Sabalenka.

 

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS

Garcia- 42/48
Kasatkina - 16/26

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS

Garcia - 4/2
Kasatkina - 1/8

BREAK POINTS WON

Garcia - 6/14
Kasatkina - 5/7

Maria Sakkari had no issues in her last WTA Finals group stage match against Ons Jabeur, cruising through to the final-four with a 6-2 6-3 victory on Friday.

Sakkari needed only 69 minutes for the straight-sets win, making it her third straight-sets triumph in the Nancy Richey Group after also blowing past Aryna Sabalenka and Jessica Pegula.

Greece's Sakkari took advantage of some wastefulness from Jabeur, with the Tunisian posting 19 unforced errors with just eight errors. Her efficiency did not improve in the second set, managing only three winners with 12 unforced errors.

Sakkari's serve was a weapon throughout, landing 70 per cent of her first-serves fair and converting 82 per cent of those chances (27-of-33) into points.

Jabeur could have advanced through to the next round with a win, but instead Aryna Sabalenka will advance with Sakkari out of the Nancy Richey Group.

The only other player yet to lose a set in the tournament is Iga Swiatek in the Tracy Austin Group – who has only played two matches so far.

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS

Sakkari - 11/10

Jabeur - 11/31

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS

Sakkari - 2/2

Jabeur - 0/3

BREAK POINTS WON

Sakkari - 4/7

Jabeur - 1/2

Aryna Sabalenka kept her hopes of progressing to last four of the WTA Finals alive with a straight-sets win over Jessica Pegula.

Sabalenka claimed her second win in three matches with a 6-3 7-5 triumph against her American opponent in Fort Worth, Texas. 

Having dominated the opening set, Sabalenka twice failed to consolidate a break of serve in the second.

However, she struck for a third and final time to claim a win that means she will go through in second place in Group Nancy Richey if Maria Sakkari, who is already through, wins a set against Ons Jabeur in the final round-robin match. Pegula exits having lost all three of her matches.

"I’m just happy that I was really focused from the beginning to the end and I was able to finish this match in two sets," Sabalenka said afterwards.

Sabalenka struck 31 winners en route to victory, hitting at least 30 for the 16th match this season.

Only Caroline Garcia (18) and Elena Rybakina (17) have had more such matches on the WTA Tour in 2022, indicating that, if Sabalenka does go through, she has the firepower to threaten to claim the trophy.

BREAK POINTS WON

Sabalenka - 6/12

Pegula - 3/5

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS

Swiatek - 1/3

Kasatkina - 1/1

Eighth seed Daria Kasatkina claimed her first win at this year's WTA Finals after fighting back for a comprehensive straight-sets victory over Coco Gauff in Fort Worth on Thursday.

Kasatkina trailed 4-1 in the first set but rallied to win the opening frame in a tiebreak, before dominating the second set to win 7-6 (8-6) 6-3 in one hour and 40 minutes.

The victory is Kasatkina's 41st of the year and 25th on the hard-court surface this season. Kasatkina is 29-0 this season when she wins the first set.

Gauff has now suffered two singles losses and two doubles defeats in Fort Worth this week, producing an erratic performance, where she committed 34 unforced errors compared to the Russian's 10.

Kasatkina had to earn the victory, with the first set lasting 66 minutes, as the eighth seed rallied from 3-0 down in the tiebreak to take the frame with her third set point.

The second set was more dominant, with Kasatkina claiming it in 35 minutes, although it included five straight broken games. Kasatkina converted her first match point from another Gauff error.

BREAK POINTS WON
Kasatkina - 6/10
Gauff - 5/8

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS
Kasatkina - 2/2
Gauff - 1/2

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS
Kasatkina - 10/10
Gauff - 25/34

Iga Swiatek moved onto the verge of sealing her place in the final four of the WTA Finals as she cruised to a 6-3 6-2 triumph over Caroline Garcia at Fort Worth on Thursday.

Garcia was the only WTA Finals player to have beaten Swiatek this year, but the world number one swept her aside with an impressive display in one hour and 23 minutes.

Swiatek remains yet to lose a set at Fort Worth and will qualify for the semi-finals should Coco Gauff fail to beat Daria Kasatkina in two sets, or if Kasatkina wins.

Garcia managed the first break in the third game of the opener, but Swiatek broke back immediately before finding another at 4-3 up, kicking on from there to take the opening set.

The Pole was excellent in the second set, breaking Garcia twice to secure another victory and inch closer to the final four.

Swiatek gets some measure of revenge for the 6-1 1-6 6-4 defeat to Garcia at the Warsaw Open quarter-finals in July, her only loss on clay over the season.

A Kasatkina win against Gauff will see Swiatek advance as group winner, while a Gauff win in three sets will seal her progression but leave her position in the group undecided.

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS

Swiatek - 17/8
Garcia - 16/14

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS

Swiatek - 1/2
Garcia - 3/3

BREAK POINTS WON

Swiatek - 4/5
Garcia - 1/6

Maria Sakkari is yet to lose a set through two WTA Finals games, defeating Aryna Sabalenka 6-2 6-4 on Wednesday to advance through the Nancy Richey Group into the final-four.

The first set was relatively smooth sailing for the Greek, taking advantage of Sabalenka's errors to break twice.

Belarus' Sabalenka did create some chances herself, with two break opportunities compared to Sakkari's four, but could not take either. She also committed the only two double faults of the opening frame, and had 13 unforced errors with her seven winners, while Sakkari had an even four unforced errors and four winners.

The second set was more of the same, with Sabalenka committing 16 unforced errors with only eight winners as Sakkari collected an early double-break to go up 3-0, seemingly coasting to victory.

But Sabalenka fought back, winning the next four games in a row to briefly take the lead in the set. Unfortunately for her, the see-sawing contest saw Sakkari rattle off the next three games to close out the win.

Sabalenka is still a chance to advance to the next round after defeating Ons Jabeur in her opening fixture.

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS

Sakkari - 15/16

Sabalenka - 15/29

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS

Sakkari - 1/1

Sabalenka - 0/4

BREAK POINTS WON

Sakkari - 5/7

Sabalenka - 2/7

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