Tag: alize cornet

WTA Tour wrap: Seeds storm to victory in Germany as Eastbourne faces rain delays

WITH the opening day of Eastbourne delayed due to rain, just the Bad Homburg event played out on Monday, as Day 2 rolled around fast.

All five of the day’s seeds proceeded to the second round, in a successful day for the tournament’s top talents. Top seed Petra Kvitova and fourth seed Angelique Kerber both drew qualifiers, with Kerber claiming the quickest win of the day, sweeping Russian Ekaterina Yashina 6-1 6-1 in just 50 minutes. On home turf, Kerber looked confident and comfortable.

“Of course, it’s a great feeling to win the first match, especially here in Bad Homburg, which is a really special tournament for me,” Kerber said. “To play in front of the home crowd, it’s always something I’m looking forward to and really excited [about]. “It was a good win for me, and I was feeling really well on the centre court tonight.”

But Kvitova had a much tougher time against Poland’s Katarzyna Piter, dropping the first set before firing in the second and holding on in the third to claim the 4-6 6-1 6-4 victory in just under two hours. The Czech was uncharacteristically error-ridden on serve, registering six double faults for 10 aces, but overall was more consistent on serve than her opposition winning 74 per cent of her first serve points.

“I felt kind of a mix of emotions,” Kvitova said post-match. “I was pretty happy to be back on the grass. “On the other hand, I thought I was probably going to play a little bit better. “It was my third hit after my injury, so I probably expected a little bit more from myself than I really showed today.”

“In the end I won, so that’s a pretty good result,” she added. “I found a few games where I really played good grass tennis, and that’s what I will have to take with me.”

Third seed Jessica Pegula was hard to stop in her matchup with Frenchwoman Amandine Hesse, claiming a speedy 6-1 6-2 win in just 65 minutes, followed closely by compatriot Ann Li who overcame German qualifier Anna Zaja 6-0 6-4 in 74 minutes. Meanwhile, eighth seed Laura Siegemund was tested all the way by lucky loser Riya Bhatia in her tour-level main draw debut, as the Indian fought hard through the 2-6 7-6(2) 6-1 clash. Despite Bhatia taking out the first set, Siegemund worked her way back into the contest to dominate the second set tiebreaker and used that momentum to see out the remainder of the two hour and eight-minute matchup. Seventh seed Sara Sorribes Tormo was similarly challenged by Italian Martina Trevisan dropping the second set but recovering well to claim the 6-4 3-6 6-2 result.

The remaining two matches also played out in three, with Frenchwoman Alize Cornet downing Arantxa Rus 6-3 2-6 6-1 in a seesawing battle, while Anna Blinkova was challenged by 18-year-old Clara Tauson, before claiming a 7-6(4) 4-6 6-2 victory in the longest matchup of the day, with the Russian requiring two hours and 16 minutes to shake off the Danish teen.

BAD HOMBURG OPEN ROUND OF 32 RESULTS:

[1] Petra Kvitova (CZE) defeated Katarzyna Piter (POL) 4-6 6-1 6-4
[3] Jessica Pegula (USA) defeated Amandine Hesse (FRA) 6-1 6-2
[4] Angelique Kerber (GER) defeated Ekaterina Yashina (RUS) 6-1 6-1
[7] Sara Sorribes Tormo (ESP) defeated Martina Trevisan (ITA) 6-4 3-6 6-2
[8] Laura Siegemund (GER) defeated Riya Bhatia (IND) 2-6 7-6 6-1
Alize Cornet (FRA) defeated Arantxa Rus (NED) 6-3 2-6 6-1
Ann Li (USA) defeated Anna Zaja (GER) 6-0 6-4
Anna Blinkova (RUS) defeated Clara Tauson (DEN) 7-6 4-6 6-2

 

Picture credit: Sportfoto Zimmer/Maurer

WTA Tour wrap: Samsonova stars with upset win in Bett1Open

THERE was no shortage of excitement at both the Viking Classic and the Bett1Open as a couple of surprise upsets headlined the action particularly in Berlin. With rain plaguing the Viking Classic all of the quarter and semi-finals were played making for plenty of intense battles but in the end it was Ons Jabeur and Daria Kasatkina that set up the final showdown.

History could be in the making at the Viking Classic with Jabeur securing hard fought wins against Anastasia Potapova (6-4, 6-0) and Heather Watson (6-3, 6-3) to progress to the final day of play and gifting her a chance to win her first WTA title.

Jabeur made light work of her opponent in Potapova disposing of her in 56 minutes as the second seed went about her business in a highly clinical manner. Down early on in the match, the Tunisian knuckled down to dominate and win 11 of 12 games to topple the up and coming youngster.

“I tried not to waste my time on court, to keep my energy for a long day,” Jabeur said.

It was a slightly different story for Kasatkina who spent a little while longer out on court than Jabeur, taking an hour and 44 minutes to down Tereza Martincova 6-4 2-6 6-0 and just as long to overcome Coco Vandeweghe 6-2 6-4. The three set thriller was hard work with Kasatkina forced to work for every shot as the young Czech. Kasatkina will now play Jabeur in the final with the former looking for her third title this year in what is set to be an absolute thriller.

It has been a fairytale week for Liudmila Samsonova who has continued her run of hot form at the Bett1Open this time knocking out former world number one Victoria Azarenka 6-4 6-2. It was a clinical performance from Samsonova who stifled Azarenka, getting the job done in one hour and six minutes.

The win sees her advance into her first career WTA singles final when she takes on Belinda Bencic in the main event. The Russian dug deep in her outing against the number seven seed in Azarenka with her big hitting well and truly coming to the fore.

“It’s all incredible for me, it’s so new, and I’m very happy for it,” Samsonova said, after her win. “It’s unbelievable for me.”

Samsonova had a good day out on the park with her cleanliness causing all sorts of headaches for Azarenka. In fact the win is only her second in her entire career over a Top 20 talent and she did so in style producing 24 winners including 11 aces and only making a mere six unforced errors.

She now looks ahead to Bencic who also progressed through to the final day of action thanks to a strong performance against Alizé Cornet.

“I’m sure it’s going to be a tough match because [Bencic] plays very good on this surface, and she’s a good player,” Samsonova said. “I will try to do my best and focus on my game, and we will see.”

Bencic got the job done in two sets against Cornet 7-5 6-4 to move through to yet another final. The Swiss talent has been in strong form this year and this battle was no different hitting 29 winners and only racking up 19 unforced errors for the match.

“Of course it gives me a lot of confidence,” Bencic said, after her win. “It’s always great to have this confirmation on grass that it’s working well.”

It took just under two hours for the match to be decided with both players working in overdrive as the world number 12 in Bencic dug into her bag of tricks to try and outsmart the world number 63 to advance to the final stage.

VIKING CLASSIC SEMI FINALS RESULTS:

[4] Daria Kasatkina (RUS) defeated Coco Vandeweghe (USA) 6-2 6-4
[2] Ons Jabeur (TUN) defeated Heather Watson (GBR) 6-3 6-3

BETT1OPEN QUARTER FINALS RESULTS:

Liudmila Samsonova (RUS) defeated [7] Victoria Azarenka (BLR) 6-4 6-2
[5] Belinda Bencic (SUI) defeated Alize Cornet (FRA) 7-5 6-4

Photo credit: WTA/Jimmie48

WTA Tour wrap: Mixed bag of results across grass court events

IT was a bit of a mixed bag of results across the WTA Tour’s two grass court events yesterday, with two seeds making their way through in each of the Viking Classic and Bett1Open quarter finals, whilst in the other two matches the underdog prevailed. In Berlin, fifth seed Belinda Bencic advanced through to the final four with a hard-fought three-set win over Russian Ekaterina Alexandrova 6-4 4-6 7-6, needing two hours and 31 minutes to dismiss her opponent.

The Swiss star will now face Frenchwoman Alize Cornet who stunned Grand Slam winner and sixth seed Garbine Muguruza in an epic contest, winning in a third set tiebreaker, 7-5. The overall match saw Cornet come from behind to post a 4-6 6-3 7-6 win over the Spanish seed in two hours and 40 minutes to claim her spot in the final four. Cornet won 76.6 per cent of his first serve points and broke twice from her two chances, whilst rallied hard against a solid Muguruza who broke twice form four chances, and won 67.9 and 70 per cent of her first and second serve points.

“It was a long match with a lot of emotion, especially in the tiebreak,” Cornet said post-match. “I can’t believe I made it at the end. She’s a champion, she never gives up. I should have gone for a it a bit more, I was waiting for a mistake and I was a bit tight – it’s normal. But I was very resilient too, I was always behind in the score in the third set but I kept grinding, I kept fighting to the end and it’s a really nice victory.

“I had a really tough clay season, I couldn’t play well and I don’t know why – but to play well on grass, it’s unexpected but beautiful.”

VIKING CLASSIC QUARTER FINALS RESULTS:

[2] Ons Jabeur (TUN) defeated Leylah Fernandez (CAN) 6-4 3-6 7-6
[4] Daria Kasatkina (RUS) defeated Marta Kostyuk (UKR) 6-2 7-5
Tereza Martincova (CZE) defeated [5] Jelena Ostapenko (LAT) 7-6 4-6 6-2
Anastasia Potapova (RUS) defeated Kristina Mladenovic (FRA) 6-3 6-3

BETT1OPEN QUARTER FINALS RESULTS:

[5] Belinda Bencic (SUI) defeated Ekaterina Alexandrova (RUS) 6-4 4-6 7-6
Alize Cornet (FRA) defeated [6] Garbine Muguruza (ESP) 4-6 6-3 7-6
[7] Victoria Azarenka (BLR) defeated Jessica Pegula (USA) 6-2 5-7 6-4
Liudmila Samsonova (RUS) defeated Madison Keys (USA) 7-6 2-6 7-6

Picture credit: Jimmie48/WTA

WTA Tour wrap: Carnage in Berlin as top three seeds ousted

IT was almost beyond belief as the bett1Open draw was blown wide open following some massive upsets on a huge day of grass court action. The top three seeds were all ousted for the tournament in upset results to leave the title race at the event up in the air. The only seed to advance through to the quarter finals thus far was fifth seed Belinda Bencic who toppled Croatian Petra Martic in straight sets, 6-3 6-4.

In the other matches, American Madison Keys caused a boilover against top seed Aryna Sabalenka, with the Belarusian newly crowned world number four losing in one hour and 56 minutes. Keys served eight aces and won 71.7 per cent of her first serve points off a 67.9 per cent clip, also saving four of six break point opportunities.

By comparison, Sabalenka won 68.3 per cent of her first serve points, and whilst she also won 47.7 per cent of her second serve points, only served at a 57.7 per cent efficiency. She also faced 14 break points, and whilst she saved 10 of them, went down in three sets, 6-4 1-6 7-5.

Keys hit 31 winners to just 17 unforced errors in the match, standing up against the powerful Sabalenka. Most impressively, despite a disappointing second set, Keys bounced back to win the third and deciding set, breaking Sabalenka in he final game of the match off the back of a couple of unforced errors from the Belarusian.

Meanwhile fellow top three seeds, Elina Svitolina and Bianca Andreescu also suffered defeats at the hands of lower ranked opponents. Svitolina went down to Ekaterina Alexandrova, with the Ukrainian second seed unable to overcome her Russian opponent, losing 6-4 7-5. Canadian third seed Andreescu fell to Frenchwoman Alize Cornet in straight sets 7-6 7-5.

At the Viking Classic, third seed Donna Vekic was the highest ranked player out on court, and she made her way through to the quarter finals with a come-from-behind win over Italian Camila Giorgi. Vekic won 2-6 6-3 6-4 to book her spot in the quarter finals following a huge two hours and 28 minutes on court. The Croatian was one of three winners to advance following two-hour plus victories.

Coco Vandeweghe overcame Australian Ajla Tomljanovic in the battle of the unseeded talents, with the American bouncing back in a come-from-behind win, 4-6 6-4 6-3 in two hours and 18 minutes. Similarly, Kristina Mladenovic also won in a come-from-behind situation, overcoming compatriot and seventh seed Fiona Ferro in an all-French duel, saluting 3-6 6-3 6-4 in two hours and 11 minutes. The other Frenchwoman out on court – Caroline Garcia – did not have as much fun, bundled out by eighth seed Czech Marie Bouzkova who won easily 6-3 6-0. In the other match, home nation player Heather Watson won via retirement with a 5-2 triumph over Zhang Shuai.

BETT1OPEN ROUND OF 16 RESULTS:

Madison Keys (USA) defeated [1] Aryna Sabalenka (BLR) 6-4 1-6 7-5
Ekaterina Alexandrova (RUS) defeated [2] Elina Svitolina (UKR) 6-4 7-5
Alize Cornet (FRA) defeated [3] Bianca Andreescu (CAN) 7-6 7-5
[5] Belinda Bencic (SUI) defeated Petra Martic (CRO) 6-3 6-4

VIKING CLASSIC ROUND OF 16 RESULTS:

[3] Donna Vekic (CRO) defeated Camila Giorgi (ITA) 2-6 6-3 6-4
Heather Watson (GBR) defeated Zhang Shuai (CHN) 5-2 RET
Kristina Mladenovic (FRA) defeated [7] Fiona Ferro (FRA) 3-6- 6-3 6-4
[8] Marie Bouzkova (CZE) defeated Caroline Garcia (FRA) 6-3 6-0
Coco Vandeweghe (USA) defeated Ajla Tomljanovic (AUS) 4-6 6-4 6-3

Picture credit: Jimmie48/WTA

WTA Tour wrap: Grass events begin in lead-up to Wimbledon

THE grass court events have begun over the past week, with one victor already crowned at the first of two tournaments in Nottingham, as Johanna Konta claimed her fourth career title on home soil. With the first of the grass events out of the way for the first time since 2019, we now cast our eye to the WTA 500 bett1open Berlin tournament and the WTA 250 Viking Classic Birmingham, which follows up last week’s Viking Open.

The bett1open results were fairly comprehensive, with just the one seed competing and realistically the only player really challenged on Day 1. Jule Niemeier put up a tough effort against sixth seed Swiss talent Belinda Bencic, stealing away the first serve with a handy break, before Bencic bit back in the second to take it to one apiece. The decider was a hard contest with neither player willing to give an inch, however Bencic’s impressive service game got the job done, winning 90.5 per cent of her first serve points off a 65.6 per cent clip to turn the tides and claim the eventual 4-6 6-4 7-5 result in two hours and 12 minutes.

Overall, both players were influential on serve, but while Niemeier hit 12 aces to Bencic’s 10, she also had elevated double faults (11-7) which were ultimately in her way of a victory.

“She’s a great opponent,” Bencic said post-match. “I knew she was capable of great tennis, and she’s playing her best tennis right now, so I was expecting a tough match.”

World number 28 Madison Keys also got her grass season off to a quick start, disposing of Pole Magdalena Frech in straight sets, requiring just 75 minutes to claim the 6-3 6-4 encounter. Despite holding a 5-2 lead on serve in the second, Frech surged to break the American and claim back a couple of games, before Keys reeled off four straight points to love to claim the match.

“I think [Frech] played a couple of good points in my [second-to-last] service game, and she came out and had another good service game on her side,” Keys said “I was happy I made it a little less complicated in the last game.”

In the remaining two matches, Alize Cornet and Ekaterina Alexandrova both won in straight sets, with the latter claiming the quickest result of the day requiring just 63 minutes to down wildcard compatriot, Anna Kalinskaya.

At Birmingham, the two seeds looked confident as Donna Vekic downed Francesca Jones in just 67 minutes, 6-1 6-3, while Marie Bouzkova had a shaky start but was hard to deny in the remainder of her clash with Hsieh Su-Wei, claiming the 3-6 6-1 6-2 clash in two hours and one minute.

Camila Giorgi and Tereza Martincova both swept their opposition withe the former disposing of compatriot Giulia Gatto-Monticone in just 67 minutes, as Martincova well and truly shook Australian Sam Stosur, who failed to really fire in their 6-3 6-4 clash. Viktorija Golubic stole the first set away from Heather Watson before the Brit competed hard in the remaining sets on home soil to claim victory in two hours flat, while Caroline Garcia required just under two and a half hours to clean up another Brit in Harriet Dart, eventually claiming the 7-5 4-6 6-4 result. The final match of the day saw Coco Vandeweghe tested by Kristyna Pliskova, with both players forced to fight hard for the second set tiebreaker which saw Vandeweghe gain the upper hand and claim the 6-4 7-6 clash in 81 minutes.

BETT1OPEN BERLIN ROUND OF 32 RESULTS:

[6] Belinda Bencic (SUI) defeated Jule Niemeier (GER) 4-6 6-4 7-6
Madison Keys (USA) defeated Magdalena Frech (POL) 6-3 6-4
Alize Cornet (FRA) defeated Amanda Anisimova (USA) 6-3 6-1
Ekaterina Alexandrova (RUS) defeated Anna Kalinskaya (RUS) 6-3 6-2

VIKING CLASSIC BIRMINGHAM ROUND OF 32 RESULTS:

[3] Donna Vekic (CRO) defeated Francesca Jones (GBR) 6-1 6-3
[6] Marie Bouzkova (CZE) defeated Hsieh Su-wei (TPE) 3-6 6-1 6-2
Camila Giorgi (ITA) defeated Giulia Gatto-Monticone (ITA) 6-3 6-0
Tereza Martincova (CZE) defeated Sam Stosur (AUS) 6-3 6-4
Heather Watson (GBR) defeated Viktorija Golubic (SUI) 3-6 6-2 6-2
Coco Vandeweghe (USA) defeated Kristyna Pliskova (CZE) 6-4 7-6
Caroline Garcia (FRA) defeated Harriet Dart (GBR) 7-5 4-6 6-4

Picture credit: WTA/Jimmie48

WTA Tour wrap: Seeds falter on Day 2 as Osaka withdraws

PLENTY went on across Day 2 of the 2021 Roland Garros, with plenty of huge clashes seeing quality talent disposed of in the opening round, as Naomi Osaka officially withdrew from the event following criticism this week. Of the 12 seeds, five fell on the second day on clay, with the biggest name Bianca Andreescu amongst a number of competitive names.

Andreescu’s questionable lead-up to the Roland Garros saw the Canadian come into her first round match-up with plenty of confidence, even sitting out the remainder of last week’s Internationaux de Strasbourg event but was unfortunate in her draw coming up against fighter Tamara Zidansek, who did not allow Andreescu’s sixth seeding to hand her an early opener. The Slovenian may have dropped the first set in a 7-1 tiebreaker, but forced her way back into the contest to eventually claim the 6-7(1) 7-6(2) 9-7 victory in three hours and 20 minutes.

“Obviously, the first Top 10 win is a big one. It shows me that I can play with players like that, and I showed today that I can beat them,” Zidansek said post-match.

“I didn’t start really well, but the conditions out there are tough. It’s windy so you have to get used to it. I just kept getting into the match more and more.”

“I think my serve was a great example of that. I didn’t start well, but in the second set, I was serving better. In the third set, I was serving really well, which helped me save those break points at 7-7. I was serving really well when I was break point down, and I remember she hit a great return crosscourt, very deep, and I managed to get it back.”

Despite serving for the match at 5-4 in the second set, Andreescu was unable to take advantage of her momentum. While Zidansek only hit one more winner throughout the contest (41-40), Andreescu made a whopping 63 unforced errors to Zidansek’s 46. Despite leading in service efficiency, Andreescu was not as effective winning off her first serve, also allowing Zidansek to win 64 points off her return.

“From my part, I didn’t feel like I played good tennis today. But at the same time, she played really, really well,” Andreescu said. “She threw me off a lot with her heavy, spinny shots and her variety. But at least thinking on the positive side I’m healthy, and I was able to fight as hard as I could.”

“During these tough moments, like I want to show a good example to a lot of people. It sucks right now for me and I can just right now learn from it, because that’s what life’s all about, you learn from your mistakes.

“I just want to keep my head up, feel what I feel right now. I might cry a lot tonight, but tomorrow is a new day.”

Among the other seeds to fall were former champion Garbine Muguruza, ousted by 18-year-old Ukrainian Marta Kostyuk, with 16th seed Kiki Bertens, out of form 19th seed Brit Johanna Konta and 22nd seeded Croatian Petra Martic.

It took a career-best outing against Muguruza for Kostyuk to earn her first career Top 20 win, claiming the 89 minute clash 6-1 6-4. While Muguruza has been managing an ongoing back injury, it still took plenty of grit and determination from the Ukrainian teen, hitting only 24 unforced errors to Muguruza’s 40.

“I was so ready and so prepared,” Kostyuk said post-match. “My aggressive game today, I’m really glad it worked. I want to keep on going with this game.”

“I’m really, really happy with my performance today,” Kostyuk said. “I’m just trying to focus on the next one. I have two days off and I’m going to try and work again. The work doesn’t stop, so let’s go!”

Meanwhile, 2020 champion and birthday girl Iga Swiatek was one of the flurry of top 10 seeds to prevail, joined by Sofia KeninSerena Williams and Belinda Bencic. The now-20-year-old Pole in Swiatek overcame close friend Kaja Juvan to head into the second round, while Williams and Bencic both also claimed straight set wins to head into the second round. Kenin was well and truly tested by Jelena Ostapenko in their 6-4 4-6 6-3, two hour contest, as Williams improved her winning rate to 77-1 in the opening round at grand slams in the first ever night session at the Roland Garros.

“It’s never easy to play against your best friend,” Swiatek said. “I have some experience because I played with Kaja for a few times. I played with my other friends on junior level. You just try to block this friendship for two hours, just focus on the game. I think I’m doing that pretty well. It’s nice to have that skill.”

“I feel like my game is better and better,” she said. “My coaches were planning everything for me to have the peak of my shape right now. Hopefully it’s going to be here. But still even though I have big confidence and I’m feeling really good, we still have to remember that every match has a different story and many things can happen on court.”

“I have to say it was pretty cool to be able to play the first night session ever here at Roland Garros,” Williams said. “That was something I thoroughly enjoyed.”

Elise MertensMarketa Vondrousova and Jessica Pegula were the remaining seeds to remain supreme, with Pegula ensuring all three seeded Americans remained in the draw, as qualifier Hailey Baptiste and Madison Brengle rounded out the United States’ winners, with just Shelby Rogers falling at the first hurdle.

In the remaining unseeded clashes, wildcard Harmony Tan overcame compatriot Alize Cornet in straight sets to join fellow Frenchwoman Caroline Garcia in the second round, as a couple of Russians in Varvara Gracheva and Daria Kasatkina also claimed wins, with the former all joined by Zhang Saisai, Martina Trevisan, Zarina Diyas, Tereza Martincova and Mihaela Buzarnescu in the Round of 64.

ROLAND GARROS ROUND OF 128 RESULTS:

[4] Sofia Kenin (USA) defeated Jelena Ostapenko (LAT) 6-4 4-6 6-3
Tamara Zidansek (SLO) defeated [6] Bianca Andreescu (CAN) 7-6 7-6 9-7
[7] Serena Williams (USA) defeated Irina Camelia Begu (ROU) 7-6 6-2
[8] Iga Swiatek (POL) defeated Kaja Juvan (SLO) 6-0 7-5
[10] Belinda Bencic (SUI) defeated Nadia Podoroska (ARG) 6-0 6-3
Marta Kostyuk (UKR) defeated [12] Garbine Muguruza (ESP) 6-1 6-4
[14] Elise Mertens (BEL) defeated [Q] Storm Sanders (AUS) 6-4 6-1
Polona Hercog (SLO) defeated [16] Kiki Bertens (NED) 6-1 3-6 6-4
Sorana Cirstea (ROU) defeated [19] Johanna Konta (GBR) 7-6 6-2
[20] Marketa Vondrousova (CZE) defeated Kaia Kanepi (EST) 4-6 6-3 6-0
Camila Giorgi (ITA) defeated [22] Petra Martic (CRO) 6-2 6-7 6-4
[28] Jessica Pegula (USA) defeated Zhu Lin (CHN) 6-4 4-6 6-4
Caroline Garcia (FRA) defeated Laura Siegemund (GER) 6-3 6-1
[WC] Harmony Tan (FRA) defeated Alize Cornet (FRA) 6-4 6-4
[Q] Hailey Baptiste (USA) defeated Anna Blinkova (RUS) 6-1 6-4
Varvara Gracheva (RUS) defeated [Q] Lara Arruabarrena (ESP) 6-2 6-3
Zheng Saisai (CHN) defeated Sara Sorribes Tormo (ESP) 4-6 6-4 6-4
Martina Trevian (ITA) defeated Alison Van Uytvanck (BEL) 7-5 4-6 6-5
Daria Kasatkina (RUS) defeated Misaki Doi (JPN) 6-3 5-7 6-3
Zarina Diyas (KAZ) defeated Heather Watson (GBR) 6-4 7-5
Tereza Martincova (CZE) defeated Ivana Jorovic (SRB) 6-3 7-6
Madison Brengle (USA) defeated [Q] Maria Camila Osorio Serrano (COL) 7-5 6-4
Mihaela Buzarnescu (ROU) defeated Arantxa Rus (NED) 7-5 7-5
Rebecca Peterson (SWE) defeated Shelby Rogers (USA) 6-7 7-6 6-2

Picture credit: Julien Crosnier/FFT

WTA Tour wrap: Andreescu pulls out of quarters as Rus upsets Pegula

THE Internationaux de Strasbourg has continued with Day 4 rolling around already, and six matches playing out across the first and second rounds following a huge opening couple of days.

Four matches played out to complete the Round of 32, with the biggest upset of the lot a 6-4 6-4 effort from Arantxa Rus over second seed American, Jessica Pegula. Rus required just under 90 minutes to complete the clean sweep, forcing service errors from the second seed who finished the match with eight double faults to her name.

Seventh seed Shelby Rogers survived a marathon encounter against compatriot Christina McHale, eventually claiming the 7-5 6-7(6) 7-5 victory in three hours and 23 minutes. Rogers was error-ridden on serve but still managed to claim the overall ascendancy to win 51.5 per cent of the total points, and appeared much more consistent compared to McHale.

Meanwhile, wildcard Harmony Tan and qualifier Jule Niemeier both reigned supreme, winning through to the second round following straight sets victories.

Looking to the Round of 16, and top seed Bianca Andreescu completed her second round victory over Belgian Maryna Zanevska, before immediately withdrawing from her quarter final with an injury.

“I’m super happy with the win today,” Andreescu said post-match. “I will be pulling out of my next match, because I did feel a little bit of an ab tear, and I don’t want to push it at all for Roland Garros. I don’t want to take any risks. Nothing serious though. It’s a little discomfort.”

Despite pulling out of her next match, Andreescu comfortably disposed of Zanevska, claiming the 6-1 6-4 victory in just 65 minutes. The second Round of 16 match for the day played out between eighth seed Magda Linette and hometown hopeful Alize Cornet, which saw the Pole take out the first and an early ascendancy in the second before Cornet pulled the pin, suffering from a right hip injury to complete the game 7-6(2) 3-0.

“I felt a really sudden pain in the first game of the match, so it’s really unlucky,” Cornet said.

“But you know me, I kept playing, I kept trying, and I was even in the position to win the [first] set … But every time I was running, it was quite difficult, and in the second set it got a little bit worse.”

INTERNATIONAUX DE STRASBOURG ROUND OF 32 RESULTS: 

Arantxa Rus (NED) defeated [2] Jessica Pegula (USA) 6-4 6-4
[7] Shelby Rogers (USA) defeated Christina McHale (USA) 7-5 6-7 7-5
Harmony Tan (FRA) defeated Alison Van Uytvanck (BEL) 6-4 6-4
Jule Niemeier (GER) defeated Diane Parry (FRA) 6-4 6-3

INTERNATIONAUX DE STRASBOURG ROUND OF 16 RESULTS: 

[1] Bianca Andreescu (CAN) defeated Maryna Zanevska (BEL) 6-1 6-4
[8] Magda Linette (POL) defeated Alize Cornet (FRA) 7-6 3-0 RET

Picture credit: Internationaux de Strasbourg/C’est qui Maurice?/Michel Grasso

WTA Tour wrap: Frenchwomen and seeds win on opening day at Strasbourg

IT was a fairly comprehensive day of results on the opening day at the WTA Tour’s Internationaux de Strasbourg, as the two seeds reigned supreme and a couple of hometown hopefuls enter the second round.

The two seeds were predictable smashing out first round victories, as third seed Ekaterina Alexandrova flew out of the blocks against American Lauren Davis, whilst Magda Linette executed the quickest win of the day with a 60-minute smashing of Nao Hibino. A second set comeback from Davis was not enough to steal a victory from the in-form Alexandrova, who reigned supreme 6-1 7-5 in 80 minutes flat with an excellent 83 per cent first serve winning rate. Despite hitting seven double faults for six aces, she was cleaner than the American who struggled to convert. For Linette, it was a blowout 6-2 6-0 performance that puts her in good stead for the second round, however much of it was down to Hibino’s shaky performance with the Japanese talent struggling off her service games winning just one of her second serve points, while Linette converted all six break points she faced and saved five of six chances.

The two Frenchwomen also saw success on the opening day, as Alize Cornet completed the longest win of the day in one hour and 39 minutes over Kristyna Pliskova, 6-4 7-5, and 20-year-old Clara Burel backed her up with a 65-minute smashing of qualifier Varvara Gracheva. Cornet was tested by a fiery Pliskova, but kept her head to win 55 per cent of the overall points, utilising Pliskova’s shaky second service winning rate of 24 per cent to take the upper hand. Burel was clinical in her own matchup, winning 81 per cent of her first serve points and not only saving five of six break points, but also converting five of six.

INTERNATIONAUX DE STRASBOURG ROUND OF 32 RESULTS:

[3] Ekaterina Alexandrova (RUS) defeated Lauren Davis (USA) 6-1 7-5
[8] Magda Linette (POL) defeated Nao Hibino (JPN) 6-2 6-0
Alize Cornet (FRA) defeated Kristyna Pliskova (CZE) 6-4 7-5
Clara Burel (FRA) defeated Varvar Gracheva (RUS) 6-3 6-1

Picture credit: Michel Grasso

WTA Tour wrap: Osorio Serrano continues dream run with defeat of second seed Linette

A HUGE second day of action at the WTA 250 MUSC Health Women’s Open event in Charleston, United States saw a couple of unlikely winners amongst a flurry of American talents continuing their strong run on home soil.

Arguably the biggest win of the day went to Colombian teen Maria Camila Osorio Serrano, who snatched up her maiden title just days ago and has continued her excellent run of form with a 6-3 4-6 7-5 victory over second seed, Magda Linette. The Polish 29-year-old is 10 years Osorio Serrano’s senior and ranked 84 spots ahead of her on the world rankings, but has struggled to string along consistency in recent weeks, which allowed the young gun to get a sniff and eventually take out the two-hour and 16-minute victory. Whilst neither player was particularly clean on serve, Osorio Serrano was much more effective winning 58 per cent of her first serve points off a 71.9 per cent clip, and saved nine break points throughout to go nicely with her eight converted breaks.

Meanwhile, top seed Ons Jabeur was challenged by Stefanie Voegele early before cleaning up the Swiss talent to take out a 6-4 6-1 victory in just one hour and seven minutes, whilst fourth seed Alize Cornet dropped the first set to to Czech 15-year-old Linda Fruhvirtova before marking her second set comeback, with the huge tiebreaking 7-6(7) second set forcing a third which is yet to start, at time of publish.

Across the remainder of the matches, there were just two results that didn’t go the way of the Americans, and one of those was between Charleston WTA 500 finalist Danka Kovinic and Hungarian Viktoriya Tomova, with the former reigning supreme 6-3 6-3, whilst the second saw Australian Astra Sharma defeat China’s Wang Yafan 6-4 6-2. Things did not go quite so well for Sharma’s compatriot in Storm Sanders, who fell in a three-setter to American Claire Liu, 7-5 4-6 6-0. Despite winning back the second set after a tight opener, Sanders could not maintain intensity and overall lacked the fight to reign supreme, with Liu becoming one of five more Americans heading to the Round of 16 after yesterday’s influx. She is joined by Emma NavarroChristina McHaleAlycia Parks, and Francesca di Lorenzo in the second round, with the latter two defeating another couple of Americans in Grace Min and Kristie Ahn for their spot.

MUSC WOMEN’S HEALTH OPEN ROUND OF 32 RESULTS:

[1] Ons Jabeur (TUN) defeated Stefanie Voegele (SUI) 6-4 6-1
Maria Camila Osorio Serrano (COL) defeated [2] Magda Linette (POL) 6-3 4-6 7-5
Danka Kovinic (MNE) defeated Viktoriya Tomova (HUN) 6-3 6-3
Emma Navarro (USA) defeated Tereza Martincova (CZE) 6-3 3-2 RET
Christina McHale (USA) defeated Sara Errani (ITA) 7-6 6-3
Alycia Parks (USA) defeated Grace Min (USA) 6-1 6-4
Francesca di Lorenzo (USA) defeated Kristie Ahn (USA) 7-6 6-2
Astra Sharma (AUS) defeated Wang Yafan (CHN) 6-4 6-2
Claire Liu (USA) defeated Storm Sanders (AUS) 7-5 4-6 6-0

Linda Fruhvirtova (CZE) v. [4] Alize Cornet (FRA)

WTA Tour wrap: Home hope continues dream run at Bogota as Kvitova and Muguruza fall at Charleston

THE Round of 16 at both Charleston and Bogota are done and dusted, with plenty of intriguing results coming out of both events.

Charleston saw an intriguing day of results as third seed Petra Kvitova fell to Montenegrin Danka Kovinic and Garbine Muguruza retired in her encounter with fellow seed Yulia Putintseva, unfortunately handing over a dominant first game victory and tight second set to the Kazakh.

Kovinic’s 6-4 6-1 victory over Kvitova was completed in just 76 minutes, with her effectiveness on serve the main kicker, winning points off 69.7 per cent of her first serve compared to Kvitova’s 46.7 per cent, and in arguably one of her biggest wins to-date. For Muguruza, it was a lower leg injury and the quick changeover from hard-court to clay which took a toll and forced her retirement mid-match.

“I was already feeling some pain in my first match,” Muguruza said. “The switch of hard courts to clay was tough, and in a very short amount of time. I started very well, and all of a sudden I felt a sharp pain in my leg, and it got worse. I didn’t want to continue without playing my best tennis. It didn’t make sense to me.”

Also successful on Day 6 were 12th and 14th seeds in Ons Jabeur and Coco Gauff, both reigning supreme under pressure. Tunisian, Jabeur was forced into the only three-setter of the day when she encountered Frenchwoman Alize Cornet, eventually overcoming a first set deficit to claim the 5-7 6-3 6-3 victory in two hours and 40 minutes – far and away the longest match of the day. Meanwhile, Gauff took on compatriot Lauren Davis and came away with a 6-2 7-6(2) victory to stop Davis in her tracks.

A third American in Sloane Stephens joined the winners circle with a 6-3 6-4 dismissal of Australian Ajla Tomljanovic, 6-3 6-4, however things did not go quite as well to plan for compatriot Caty McNally, who fell to Spaniard Paula Badosa in a similar result. The final matches saw Veronika Kudermetova claim a 71-minute 6-0 6-3 victory over Kurumi Nara, whilst the remaining matchup between world number one Ash Barty and a fifth American in Shelby Rogers saw Barty take out the first set tiebreaker before Rogers took out the second set, with Barty just holding on for the 7-6 4-6 6-4 victory under pressure.

VOLVO CAR OPEN ROUND OF 16 RESULTS:

Danka Kovinic (MNE) defeated [3] Petra Kvitova (CZE) 6-4 6-1
[11] Yulia Putintseva (KAZ) defeated [6] Garbine Muguruza (ESP) 0-6 2-2 RET
[12] Ons Jabeur (TUN) defeated Alize Cornet (FRA) 5-7 6-3 6-3
[14] Coco Gauff (USA) defeated Lauren Davis (USA) 6-2 7-6
Sloane Stephens (USA) defeated Ajla Tomljanovic (AUS) 6-3 6-4
Paula Badosa (ESP) defeated Caty McNally (USA) 6-3 6-3
Veronika Kudermetova (RUS) defeated Kurumi Nara (JPN) 6-0 6-3

[1] Ash Barty (AUS) v. Shelby Rogers (USA)

 

Wildcard Maria Camila Osorio Serrano has continued her dream run on home soil in Bogota, as has qualifier Harmony Tan who reigned supreme in her own Round of 16 encounter. The third winner of the day was fifth seed Slovenian – and only remaining seed – Tamara Zidansek. Zidansek and Osorio Serrano came away with relatively simple victories on the sixth day of proceedings, as the fifth seed disposed of Italian Giulia Gatto-Monticone 6-2 6-3 in one hour and 11 minutes. The Colombian teenage hope in Osorio Serrano completed her maiden Top 100 victory by downing seventh seed Czech Tereza Martincova to head to the quarter finals, requiring just over 90 minutes to claim the 6-3 6-3 victory, with a marginally better serving efficiency allowing her to get the job done. Tan continued the straight sets trend as she disposed of fellow qualifier, Chilean Daniela Seguel in the last match of the day, however required a bit more to overcome her opposition in the 6-4 7-6(3) matchup. Whilst Tan hit seven double faults to Seguel’s two, she was far more effective off her first serve and consistently so in comparison.

COPA COLSANITAS ROUND OF 16 RESULTS:

[5] Tamara Zidansek (SLO) defeated Giulia Gatto-Monticone (ITA) 6-2 6-3
Maria Camila Osorio Serrano (COL) defeated [7] Tereza Martincova (CZE) 6-3 6-3
Harmony Tan (FRA) defeated Daniela Seguel (CHI) 6-4 7-6