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California governor emphasizes wildfires show reality of climate change Heres why Trader Joe’s employees are so peppy Svitolina says best preparation on clay in years not adding to pressure
(Reuters) - Elina Svitolina said her extended preparation for the claycourt swing after opting out of the U.S.
Open was not a guarantee of success and she will not put herself under pressure ahead of the French Open this month. © Reuters/CLIVE BRUNSKILL WTA Premier 5 - Italian Open
Svitolina beat Marie Bouzkova to seize her first title of the season at the Monterrey Open in Mexico in March before the season was suspended due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.
The world number six then joined a number of top players in opting out of the U.S. Open and made her return at the Italian Open on Wednesday, where she beat Russia's Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-3 7-6(4).
"For sure, it was different as I had probably the longest preparation ever for the claycourt (season)... To be fair I feel quite comfortable or at least I'm giving myself a good chance to move better," two-times Rome winner Svitolina told reporters.
"I try to not put so much pressure on myself, that others were not able to play on clay, because it's important to focus on your game and try to play as good as you can.
"In the end, I'm happy because it feels easier on the clay, I would say, than other years but we'll see. It's a good chance that I can play well but there's never a guarantee that you'll win here or there."
The 26-year-old said that she had worked on her touch and movement ahead of Roland Garros, which starts on Sept. 27.
"I was trying drop shots ... movement was one of the most important things for me so that was my priority," she said.
"When you're training for so long on clay, you start to slide more, mix up things, so that was what I was doing."
(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Robert Birsel)
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Fifth seed Kiki Bertens leaves court in wheelchair following win at French Open
(CNN)Fifth seed Kiki Bertens left the court in a wheelchair Wednesday after her grueling, fiery three-set victory over Sara Errani in the second round of the French Open.
Bertens struggled with cramps as the final set developed, eventually sinking to the clay in relief and pain following her 7-6 (7-5), 3-6, 9-7 victory, which took three hours and 11 minutes.The Dutchwoman had to overcome a 5-2 deficit and save a match-point in the third set while struggling with cramps that became so bad she needed the wheelchair at Roland Garros.
Errani, who appeared to mock Bertens' cramp during the game, left the court without tapping racquets at the net as is customary, and also shouted an obscenity as she departed. "After one hour, she's injured but then she's running around like never before," Errani, runner-up at the French Open in 2012, told the media.Read More"She leaves the court in a chair and now she's in the locker room and eating in the restaurant, perfect. She exaggerated. It made me very angry. So, well done to her, but she can win without doing that."READ: 'Wouldn't give to a dog to chew': Tennis players complain about new balls at French Open
Bertens is taken off the court in a wheelchair after winning her marathon match
against Errani.Easing throughFor the clay-court expert Rafael Nadal, it was more of the same Wednesday. The Spaniard dropped just four games as he breezed past American Mackenzie McDonald to advance to the third round, winning 6-1, 6-0, 6-3. It took Nadal just 35 minutes to win the first set and, after breaking McDonald's opening service game of the second set, he dominated the match.The 34-year-old faced zero break points and hit only 15 unforced errors.
Nadal plays a forehand during his match against McDonald."I am just trying my best every single day. I am working hard in every practice to try to be better and better in every match," Nadal said. "Today was not that cold, so that's the main thing. Not that cold, the conditions are not that bad."Nadal has won the French Open a record 12 times and has lost only two French Open matches since 2005. Visit CNN.com/sport for more news, features, and videos
The 19-time Grand Slam winner is aiming to lift the trophy for the fourth year in a row.The world No. 2 will face Kei Nishikori or Italian Stefano Travaglia in the next round.