Tag: anastasija sevastova

2021 Adelaide International: Teenagers and Swiss talents reign supreme in quarters

A HUGE couple of semi-finals await at the 2021 Adelaide International after big results ensued yesterday. Two teenagers are well within their chances to show up their more experienced opposition, as two Swiss talents also remain in the hunt. All four players remaining in the draw are under the age of 24, making for an exciting showing of the depth of young talent on the WTA Tour.

An upset over top seed Ash Barty on Wednesday appeared to be Danielle Collins‘ downfall when she took on Polish teenager Iga Swiatek, failing to complete her quarter final matchup and retiring midway through the second set. Swiatek now makes her way to the semis relatively unscathed, with the 6-3 3-0 default win under her belt and sets up an intriguing battle with 61st ranked Swiss talent Jil Teichmann, who disposed of Latvian Anastasija Sevastova in a tough three-setter which went close to three hours. Whilst Teichmann nabbed the first set with relative ease, her opposition would not go down without a fight as the 6-4 6-7 7-5 battle ensued. Fatigue will be a big factor in the semi between Swiatek and Teichmann, with the former sure to take advantage of her opposition’s result in their upcoming encounter.

The second semi will be between American qualifier Coco Gauff and Swiss second seed Belinda Bencic, as both completed solid wins to make their way through. The 16-year-old Gauff took out compatriot Shelby Rogers in three sets, starting slow in the 2-6 6-4 6-4 encounter but building her way back into the contest to reign supreme over her more experienced opposition. As for Bencic, she had a relatively easy encounter against qualifying Australian Storm Sanders, whose excellent week ground to a halt with the 6-2 6-4 sweep from the world number 12. Despite a stronger second set from the qualifier to draw even at 3-3, Bencic utilised her array of skills to wrestle back momentum and take out the win.

2021 Adelaide International: Qualifiers share spotlight as main draw takes the court

DAY 2 of the Adelaide International qualifying round saw the WTA 500 tournament’s main draw begin, with plenty of hotly contested matches on centre court during the first day of the official competition, as Anastasija Sevastova, Wang QiangShelby Rogers and Danielle Collins headed into the Round of 16 with relative ease.

Sevastova was the first to win through to the Round of 16, defeating Caroline Garcia in 81 minutes 6-2 6-4. It was a solid first serve efficiency that saw the Latvian take out the victory, winning 65 per cent of first serve points off a 72.7 per cent clip, controlling the match despite the Frenchwoman fighting back in the second. A game-for-game first set between eighth seed Wang and wildcard Olivia Gadecki – who sits barely within the top 400 at 399th in the world – drew plenty of eyes as the Australian challenged Wang, before the Chinese talent ran away with the second set and eventual victory with her ability to win off her first serve paying dividends with an effectiveness of close to 88 per cent.

On the first and second show courts, it was the underdogs that showcased their form as the likes of Storm Sanders and Liudmila Samsonova reigned supreme and headed into the main draw. Sanders had an excellent outing against American Caty McNally, downing the ninth seed in 75 minute 6-2 6-3. Whilst not as huge a scalp as Sanders’ victory – ranking 292nd in the world to McNally’s 118th – 10th seed and 117th ranked Samsonova got the chocolates over Japanese fifth seed and world number 86 Misaki Doi, 7-6 6-3. Meanwhile, an excellent showing from Latvian Kaja Juvan saw the 20-year-old speed away to an early lead, before 16-year-old top seed Coco Gauff clapped back midway through the second to force a deciding set after a huge come from behind effort, eventually winning 3-6 7-5 6-3 in two hours and 10 minutes.

A mammoth effort from Maddison Inglis saw the Australian join the winners list with an excellent outing against third seed Christina McHale. Whilst the American seemed to have all proceedings going her way early, a stellar comeback across the second and third sets handed Inglis her entry into the main draw and a chance at her maiden WTA Tour win. With a 65.6 per cent win rate on her first serve off a 78 per cent clip, Inglis was far more effective on serve and utilised her service speed to knock off the world number 85, 4-6 6-2 6-1 in just under two hours.

The remaining two Round of 32 encounters saw a fired-up Rogers fly through the first set against Veronika Kudermetova, before the Russian bit back in the second to force a tiebreaker but unable to rein in the American, as Rogers’ compatriot Collins downed Zheng Saisai and Madison Brengle won through to the main draw alongside Italian Jasmine Paolini.

WTA Abu Dhabi Round of 64 wrap: Top six through without a hitch, young guns also advance

OF the 16 seeds on show in the brand new WTA Abu Dhabi 500 event, 12 reached the second round. Kicking off 2021 in style, the top six seeds advanced without dropping a set, whilst 2020 in-form players, Anett Kontaveit and Jennifer Brady were amongst the seeds to fall in the opening round of play.

Top seed Sofia Kenin led the way with a straight sets win over China’s Zhaoxuan Yang who put up a fight before going down, 7-6 6-3. Joining her in the next round was second seed Elina Svitolina, toppling tough American Jessica Pegula, 6-4 6-3. Needing tiebreakers to advance, third and fourth seeds, Karolina Pliskova and Aryna Sabalenka won their way through, defeated Greece’s Despina Papamicail and Slovenia’ Polona Hercog. Having a much easier time, Garbine Muguruza cruised to a surprising easy win over French battler Kristina Mladenovic, while young gun Elena Rybakina continued her great 2020 form with an easy first-up victory in 2021 over Italian Lucrezia Stefanini.

The first big upset saw eighth seed Czech and 2019 Roland Garros finalist Marketa Vondrousova out of the Abu Dhabi event, going down to Chinese T’s Hsieh Su-Wei. Also bowing out were Kontaveit and Brady, who went down to Russian Veronika Kudermetova and Slovenian Tamara Zidansek respectively. Brady’s loss was particularly brutal considering the US Open semi-finalist won the first set 6-0 before losing 0-6 6-3 6-4. The only other seed to be eliminated was 16th seed Donna Vekic, who lost to United States’ Bernarda Pera 7-6 2-6 6-4. The four other seeds to secure a Round of 16 place were Karolina Muchova (12th), Yulia Putintseva (13th), Ons Jabeur (15th) and Ekaterina Alexandrova (17th).

In terms of the unseeded players, teenagers Coco Gauff and Leylah Fernandez both shone in their wins, as Gauff destroyed Norwegian Ulrikke Eikeri 6-0 6-1, while Fernandez made light work of respected Italian Jasmine Paolini, 6-4 6-2. Italian Bianca Turati was a fresh face to the winners list with the 23-year-old predominantly an ITF player but moved through to the next round easily. Belarusian Aliaksandra Sasnovich joined compatriot Sabalenka in the Round of 16, while Heather Watson came from behind to defeat her only other compatriot in the draw, Jodie Burrage. Australia Ajla Tomljanovic made a great start to 2021 with a straight sets win, while Sara Sorribes Tormo enjoyed an important victory over Roland Garros semi-finalist Nadia Podoroska.

The full results are below.

ABU DHABI ROUND OF 64 RESULTS:

[1] Sofia Kenin (USA) defeated Zhaoxuan Yang (CHN) 7-6 6-3
[2] Elina Svitolina (UKR) defeated Jessica Pegula (USA) 6-4 6-3
[3] Karolina Pliskova (CZE) defeated Despina Papamicail (GRE) 6-2 7-6
[4] Aryna Sabalenka (BLR) defeated Polona Hercog (SLO) 7-6 6-2
[5] Garbine Muguruza (ESP) defeated Kristina Mladenovic (FRA) 6-2 6-4
[6] Elena Rybakina (KAZ) defeated Lucrezia Stefanini (ITA) 6-1 6-3
Su-Wei Hsieh (TAI) defeated [8] Marketa Vondrousova (CZE) 3-6 6-3 7-6
[9] Maria Sakkari (GRE) defeated Anastasia Potapova (RUS) 6-4 6-2
Veronika Kudermetova (RUS) defeated [10] Anett Kontaveit (EST) 7-5 6-1
Tamara Zidansek (SLO) defeated [11] Jennifer Brady (USA) 0-6 6-3 6-4
[12] Karolina Muchova defeated Danka Kovinic (MON) 6-4 6-1
[13] Yulia Putintseva (KAZ) defeated Martina Trevisan (ITA) 6-3 6-3
[15] Ons Jabeur (TUN) defeated Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) 7-6 6-3
Bernarda Pera (USA) defeated [16] Donna Vekic (CRO) 7-6 2-6 6-4
[17] Ekaterina Alexandrova (RUS) defeated Zarina Diyas (KAZ) 6-4 6-4
Leylah Fernandez (CAN) defeated Jasmine Paolini (ITA) 6-4 6-2
Barbora Krejcikova (CZE) defeated Jamie Loeb (USA) 6-1 6-3
Paula Badosa (ESP) defeated Anastasija Sevastova (LAT) 6-2 5-7 6-2
Ajla Tomljanovic (AUS) defeated Lin Zhu (CHN) 6-2 7-6
Kirsten Flipkens (BEL) defeated Laura Siegemund (GER) 5-7 7-5 6-4
Daria Kasatkina (RUS) defeated Qiang Wang (CHN) 6-2 3-6 6-3
Anastasia Gasanova (RUS) defeated Mona Barthel (GER) 6-2 6-4
Alize Cornet (FRA) defeated Valentini Grammatikopoulou (GRE) 6-2 6-2
Bianca Turati (ITA) defeated Yaroslava Shvedova (KAZ) 6-1 6-2
Aliaksandra Sasnovich (BLR) defeated Anna Bondar (HUN) 6-2 6-2
Marta Kostyuk (UKR) defeated Lucie Hradecka (CZE) 6-2 6-4
Sara Sorribes Tormo (ESP) defeated Nadia Podoroska (ARG) 6-3 6-3
Xiyu Wang (CHN) defeated Arantxa Rus (NED) 6-3 3-6 6-4
Kateryna Bondarenko (UKR) defeated Yafan Wang (CHN) 6-3 2-6 6-3
Heather Watson (GBR) defeated Jodie Burrage (GBR) 4-6 6-2 7-5
Vera Zvonareva (RUS) defeated Amandine Hesse (FRA) 6-3 6-4
Coco Gauff (USA) defeated Ulrikke Eikeri (NOR) 6-0 6-1

Picture: Getty Images

Martic survives thriller to advance through to US Open Round of 64

PETRA Martic had some nervous moments but eventually came up trumps in a three-set win over former top 30 player, Tereza Martincova. Not the easiest of first round matches, Martic came from a set down to post the 5-7 6-4 6-2 win in two hours and 27 minutes. The Croatian, who was a top eight seed for the first time at a Grand Slam event, was just grateful to get through the match knowing how potent the Czech could be.

“I expected a tough match, because she’s very aggressive and likes this surface, which is playing quite fast this year,” Martic said post-match. “It took me a bit of time to adjust, and I was really happy that after the first set I could find my game and play better. It wasn’t easy but I’m glad I managed to get through.”

It was a relatively straightforward day for the seeds, with only the last placed seed – world number 48 and 32nd at the tournament – Rebecca Peterson bundled out, going down to Belgian Kirsten Flipkens, 7-6 6-4. The world number 72 took two hours and two minutes to get up in the straight sets win, and move through to the next round to face American, Jessica Pegula who won against Czech, Marie Bouzkova.

It was a good day for the Americans, with 28th seed Jennifer Brady and return queen, CiCi Bellis both winning their respective matches to book a head-to-head clash in the second round. It will not be the only all-American Round of 64 clash after 18th seed Alison Riske made her way through to the second round, to now take on young gun, Ann Li. The latter overcame an in-from Arantxa Rus – fresh off an upset win over Karolina Pliskova at the Western & Southern Open – in a 6-4 2-6 6-1 triumph in just under two hours.

Shelby Rogers and Madison Brengle both advanced through to the Round of 64, while it was not as positive for teenage sensation Coco Gauff. The 16-year-old went down in three sets to 31st seed Anastasija Sevastova, 6-3 5-7 6-4. It was a danger game for the Latvian who had defeated Serena Williams earlier in the year at the Fed Cup. She said she was in awe of Gauff’s abilities at such a young age.

“I wish I would play like this when I was 16 years old,” Sevastova said, praising her opponent in the virtual post-round press conference. “Great player. “Nothing more to say. “I think she maybe started a bit slower than me, but she was getting better as the match went on. “That’s so important I think in tennis.

“In the end I think third set she played her best tennis. “She was serving better, moving better. “It was tough, yeah. “Fortunately I stayed calm in the third set and managed to win, to close it out.”

Also out at the hands of a seed was Danielle Collins who lost to Estonian 14th seed, Anett Kontaveit. After winning the first set, Collins was outclassed, going down 5-7 6-2 6-2 in what was a clinical performance in two hours and six minutes. The world number 21 said she never lost faith despite Collins’ strong play early.

“[Collins] came out playing great,” Kontaveit said post-match. “I think she was hitting it really strong, moving me around the court, hitting winners. I felt like I played the same the whole match, I was just really trying to stay tough, maintain my level, and I feel like I did that really well.”

“I never stopped believing that I could come back after the first set,” Kontaveit continued. “I just had to stay really tough and fight as hard as I could, and I managed to do that. It definitely helped that I had played a lot of matches and had to get through a lot of tough matches.”

Fourth seed Naomi Osaka overcame hamstring tightness that ruled her out of the Western & Southern Open final to knock over compatriot, Misaki Doi in straight sets, joining fellow top 10 players, Karolina Pliskova, Petra Kvitova and Martic in the next round. Other triumphant seeds included Angelique Kerber, Marketa Vondrousova, Yulia Putintseva, Kristina Mladenovic, Magda Linette, Elena Rybakina and Dayana Yastremska.

From an unseeded players perspective, Anna-Lena Friedsam won through to face off against compatriot Kerber, Belarusian duo Aliaksandra Sasnovich and Vera Lapko, Frenchwoman Caroline Garcia, Russian Varvara Gracheva and Ukrainian Kateryna Bondarenko all moved through in the top quarter of the draw. As for the other half of the day’s action, Danka Kovinic, Kaja Juvan and Kateryna Kozlova joined the host of seeds and Americans running around in a couple of days.

Picture: Getty Images

Who is in the best position to take out the WTA Tour US Open trophy?

WHICH player is in the best position to take out the WTA Tour US Open title? In a compromised season of tennis action, really anything could happen here with the reigning champion out of the draw and plenty of the top talent missing out due to ongoing COVID-19 concerns. But with rankings on the line and many itching to get back on the court, expect some huge battles over the coming weeks.

Looking at the draw, a number of things stick out – many of which were brought up in our US Open preview yesterday – such as some key withdrawals in terms of rankings and a heap of American competitors will take the courts at Flushing Meadows. With a couple of shock losses at the Western and Southern Open last week expect the women’s draw to have some interesting results given the inconsistency of court time and overall unknown of the competition this year. Six of the top 10 ranked in the world have withdrawn from the competition with the top two in Ash Barty and Simona Halep leading the pack as a huge 27 players from the United States contend for the title.

With such a mix of competitors and little warm-up for many of the entrants, there is really no certainty of who will hold up well against their respective opposition. Looking at the first quarter of the draw, the is no doubt that Karolina Pliskova has lucked out with her top seeding but will come up against a couple of well-prepared players who have tried their hand at both the Prague Open and Western and Southern Open in recent weeks, whereas Pliskova only played at the latter. While she should get the chocolates over her first opposition in Anhelina Kalinina, with the Ukrainian ranked just within the top 150 and no more recent time on court than Pliskova. But with the likes of Carolina Garcia or Jasmine Paolini next up – and the chance of Alison Riske further down the line – Pliskova cannot afford to rest on her laurels, especially given the amount of homegrown United States talent that will hope to bring home the trophy.

Looking further the down the line, names like Petra Martic and Marketa Vondrousova also stick out with a couple of highly seeded players in the mix. Past US Open champion Angelique Kerber is also in this quarter of the draw and while the German talent has not been a huge threat in recent years with her form somewhat dropping she comes in as 17th seed at the US Open and will want to take advantage of that especially against Australian Ajla Tomljanovic in the first round.

While Naomi Osaka has been in the news for different reasons this week, she had to withdraw from the Western and Southern Open final on the weekend citing injury prior to taking the court which could really put her US Open chances in jeopardy. While her form ahead of the extended break was somewhat shaky, she had a very good run at the W&S Open and could be a huge threat here at the US Open if she competes – especially with 2019 victor Bianca Andreescu out – and could nab a second title. Sitting at fourth in the seeding, Osaka will take on compatriot, Misaki Doi in the first round and is likely to run out winner with little issues, but if she makes it past the early rounds could set up a huge battle against Petra Kvitova, who comes in as sixth seed but like many, has only taken the court once since the break in proceedings back in March.

Anett Kontaveit has also been in solid form but will take on American Danielle Collins in the first round potentially setting up some intriguing battles with Anastasija Sevastova and Coco Gauff also among that grouping, with the Latvian the second last seeding in at 31st but 16-year-old Gauff able to beat anyone on her day.

Leading the next quarter of the draw are Americans Madison Keys and Serena Williams, with this quarter having a fair few top-seeded Americans making for a tantalising couple of battles. Australian Open finalist Garbine Muguruza and Greek Talent Maria Sakkari are among this draw while former US Open champion Sloane Stephens is also in the mix. This quarter of the draw looks like it could be one of the tougher ones of the entire competition given the calibre of young and experienced talent and potentially setting up some huge matches down the track. If everything goes to plan, expect a huge battle between Stevens and Williams potentially in the third round, which would see one of the two Americans down and out and potentially put a huge hole in Williams’ plan to reach 24 Grand Slam titles.

Expect youngster Iga Swiatek to put in a tough batter in her match against 29th seed Czech talent Veronika Kudermetova, and while Swiatek has really stepped up her game recently Kudermetova is no easy beat and will benefit off Swiatek not having a great return at the W&S Open, bundled out in the opening round by then-qualifier Christina McHale – who will hope to continue on her good string of form when she takes on Romanian Sorana Cirstea in the opening round – while Belarusian Victoria Azarenka has a handy 2020 W&S Open title behind her – that she earned by default but still deserved given her fine form in the lead-up – so is no easybeat.

One of the headlines of the draw is second seed Sofia Kenin, with the 21-year-old American aiming for back-to-back grand slam titles, owning the Australian Open title back in February and still the most recent grand slam champion in 2020 given the lack of competition this year. Kenin seems to have a fairly straightforward draw when it comes to her competition with wildcard Kim Clijsters among the mix but only if the former champion can get over the line against Russian Ekaterina Alexandrova, while Elise Mertens and Johanna Konta are also in the mix and should make it through the first round also with relative ease. Based on the rankings of Kenin’s fellow seven players in the bottom of the draw, expect her to at least make it to the Round of 16 with relative simplicity given 27th seed Ons Jabeur looks to be the toughest battle of the lot but ranked 31st in the world overall compared to Kenin’s placement in fourth on the world rankings.

Rain delays sees Prague seeds drop in opening round

AN interesting start to the 2020 Prague Open was had yesterday, with the first day of proceedings – and last of qualifiers – delayed by rain and forcing a massive day on what was what meant to be the second day of action.

Among the winning seeds of the day were first, second and third seeds in Simona Halep, Petra Martic and Elise Mertens, with just Martic coming away unscathed in her two setter against Varvara Gracheva in just under two hours. Halep and Mertens played in the two longest matches of the day, with Polona Hercog challenging the second in the world and snatching a second set 6-1 victory from Halep to turn the tables after a struggle in the first set. The two players were evenly matched in the third set with neither willing to give, seeing Halep run away with victory in the third set tie-breaker, 6-1 1-6 7-6. Mertens’ Italian opposition in Jasmine Paolini clearly benefited off her Palermo Open berth last week, taking the third seed to a hefty two-hour and 40-minute match, unable to back up her second set comeback. Mertens’ clinical take saw her maintain control even in her losing set, coming away with the 7-5 4-6 6-3 victory.

Carrying over from the previous day, Elena-Gabriela Ruse and Tamara Korpatsch went head to head with Ruse defeating the third seed qualifier and then having to back up and play a second match for the day against Magdalena Frech. While Ruse challenged Frech in the first set she struggled to maintain intensity in the second, going down in straight sets. Also carrying over from day one was a clash between Czech compatriots 15-year-old Linda Fruhvirtova and Kristyna Pliskova, with Fruhvirtova unlucky to draw Pliskova in her main draw debut, going down 6-2 7-5 after sitting 3-2 in the first set before the delay on day three. 

Two more games were suspended and expected to pick back up tomorrow, with Tamara Zidansek and Katerina Siniakova stealing a set apiece in their clash before the halt in proceedings, while Laura Siegemund lost the first set in her clash with Mayar Sherif but sat 4-0 up in the second when the match was called off. The German will hope the delay will not affect her performance, ranking 107 ahead of her Republic of Egypt opposition. As for completed matches, four seeds dropped in straight sets, all going down to their lower ranked opposition. The biggest win went to Irina-Camelia Begu, defeating ninth seed Anastasija Sevastova in just 68 minutes, 6-2 6-2, while Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova put up a tough battle in the first set against Arantxa Rus but struggled to maintain it in the second going down 7-5 6-2. Both Barbora Strycova and Ekaterina Alexandrova also failed in their pursuit, with Strycova’s match against Sara Sorribes Tormo going over two hours, with the Spaniard trailing 0-5 in the first set before overcoming the Czech in a huge 7-6 6-1 comeback. Meanwhile Alexandrova was a relative easybeat despite her fifth seeding, downed by Lesia Tsurenko 6-2 6-4.

In other matches, Barbora Krejcikova never looked like losing to Patricia Maria Tig despite the Romanian’s intensity while, like Paolini, Camila Giorgi used her Palermo court time as an advantage against Marta Kostyuk, and despite dropping the first set came out with a vengeance for the 4-6 6-2 7-6 victory. Ana Bogdan collected the most significant win of the day, defeating Australian Storm Sanders and only dropping a game in each set, while 19-year-old Leonie Kung defeated Spaniard Aliona Bolsova in just under 80 minutes.

2020 WTA Roland Garros fantasy tennis: Unexpected exits in first half of Round of 64

OF the 14 seeds taking the court on day five of the Roland Garros fantasy tournament, just three missed out on a spot in the Round of 32. It was a far closer half of the draw than any of the Round of 128 quarters, with just a few matches won and done easily. 

Of those more straightforward wins, two impressive wins came from seeded matchups, with third seed Simona Halep defeating Tunisian Ons Jabeur 6-1 6-1 in the quickest match of the day, before 16th seed Madison Keys was the first of four Americans to proceed to the next round with her 6-2 6-2 win over Spaniard, Irina Camelia Begu. Unseeded Frenchwoman Kristina Mladenovic staked a claim with her 6-2  6-1 victory over fifth seeded Garbine Muguruza who went down in a shock departure, while Italian Camila Giorgi was too strong for Mladenovic’s compatriot, Tessah Andrianjafitrimo

When it came to three-set battles, Elina Svitolina and Serena Williams were given the biggest shocks, both dropping the second set before retaining their standing with a solid third set to finish. Second seed Svitolina was challenged by Romanian, Sorana Cirstea but eventually reigned supreme, while Williams inevitably followed suit with her 6-4 6-7 6-1 win over Laura Siegemund. Of the remaining American competitors in this half of the draw, both 26th seed Amanda Anisimova and Coco Vandeweghe came out on top despite lapses in concentration leading them to three set matches, while Venus Williams was the lone compatriot to go down in straight sets to an in-form Maria Sakkari.

A few more shock exits on day five were those of Belinda Bencic and Magda Linette, with the seeded pair both rendered unable to play their typical game by their respective opposition in Katerina Siniakova and Nina Stojanovic. Meanwhile, qualifier and 2010 Roland Garros victor Sam Stosur pushed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova all the way to the end after dominating the first set against the 23rd seed, before the Russian regained control for the 3-6 6-2 6-4 victory.

Of the last few seeds, Karolina Pliskova, Kiki Bertens and Yulia Putintseva all reigned supreme in straight sets wins, while Elise Mertens survived a close shave against Anastasija Sevastova, recovering well after dropping the first set to take out the victory.

Coming up in the second half of the Round of 64 tomorrow are five top 10 seeds looking to continue their strong form, including an all-American battle between Sofia Kenin and Jessica Pegula, while China’s Saisai Zheng looks to take another step further than her compatriots against reigning champion, Ash Barty.

ROUND OF 64:

[2] Elina Svitolina (UKR) defeated Sorana Cirstea (ROU) 6-3 4-6 6-2
[3] Simona Halep (ROU) defeated Ons Jabeur (TUN) 6-1 6-1
Kristina Mladenovic (FRA) defeated [5] Garbine Muguruza (ESP) 6-2 6-1
[7] Serena Williams (USA) defeated Laura Siegemund (GER) 6-4 6-7 6-1
[10] Karolina Pliskova (CZE) defeated Timea Babos (HUN) 7-5 6-1
Katerina Siniakova (CZE) defeated [12] Belinda Bencic (SUI) 7-5 6-2
[13] Kiki Bertens (NED) defeated Kirsten Flipkens (BEL) 6-4 6-1
[16] Madison Keys (USA) defeated Irina Camelia Begu (ROU) 6-2 6-2
[19] Elise Mertens (GER) defeated Anastasija Sevastova (LAT) 6-7 6-4 6-2
[22] Maria Sakkari (GRE) defeated Venus Williams (USA) 6-3 6-3
[23] Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) defeated [Q] Sam Stosur (AUS) 3-6 6-2 6-4
[26] Amanda Anisimova (USA) defeated Veronika Kudermetova (RUS) 4-6 6-3 6-1
Nina Stojanovic (SRB) defeated [29] Magda Linette (POL) 4-6 6-3 6-4
[32] Yulia Putintseva (KAZ) defeated Arantxa Rus (NED) 7-5 6-3
Coco Vandeweghe (USA) defeated Julia Goerges (GER) 7-5 1-6 6-3
Camila Giorgi (ITA) defeated [WC] Tessah Andrianjafitrimo (FRA) 6-2 6-3

2020 WTA Roland Garros fantasy tennis: Straight sets victories dominate day one results

DAY one of the 2020 Roland Garros fantasy tournament saw plenty of strong results in the first quarter of the Round of 128, with all of the day’s seeds dominating in their matches.

The top seeds of this quarter dominated, all completing their matches within or around the one hour mark. Fifth seed Garbine Muguruza and nineteenth seed Elise Mertens came away with the biggest wins of the day, obliterating their respective opposition in Elisabetta Cocciaretto and Anett Kontaveit 6-0 6-0. Kiki Bertens was similarly impressive collecting a 6-1 6-1 victory over Fiona Ferro, while Simona Halep and Belinda Bencic also reigned supreme in quality performances. 

The remaining three seeds in the draw came away with wins, though Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and Amanda Anisimova certainly had it far easier than Yulia Putintseva, who was one of four victors taken to three sets for the day by Angelique Kerber, though reigned supreme with the 6-1 1-6 6-3 victory. Anisimova impressed in the first with her ferocity but had to fight back a late charge from Rebecca Peterson to grab the win, while Pavlyuchenkova faced a similar comeback but continued her quality run from the past few weeks to win through to the Round of 64.

The three other three-set winners were Australian veteran Sam Stosur, who defeated fellow qualifier Kurumi Nara, 5-7 6-1 7-5, and Frenchwoman Kristina Mladenovic who fought back from a threatening Danka Kovinic performance to reign supreme in just under two hours, 7-5 0-6 6-1, with both players joining Belarusian Kirsten Flipkens in the next round after she defeated American Kristie Ahn 3-6 7-5 6-4 a couple hours earlier.

In other matches, a couple of quality players joined their respective seeded compatriots in the next round with the Netherlands’ Aranxta Rus and Russia’s Veronika Kudermetova both coming away with solid wins under pressure. Ons Jabeur, Anastasija Sevastova and Katerina Siniakova were the final three to head through, all fighting off quality opposition in their quest for success at the Roland Garros.

Tomorrow’s quarter of the draw will see plenty of quality matchups, namely some top seeds in Elina Svitolina and Serena Williams joining the fray alongside some solid performers on the clay and  others who have warmed up well over the past few tournaments.

ROUND OF 128 RESULTS:

[3] Simona Halep (ROU) defeated Andrea Petkovic (GER) 6-2 6-1
[5] Garbine Muguruza (ESP) defeated Elisabetta Cocciaretto (ITA) 6-0 6-0
[12] Belinda Bencic (SUI) defeated Zarina Diyas (KAZ) 6-3 6-1
[13] Kiki Bertens (NED) defeated Fiona Ferro (FRA) 6-1 6-1
[19] Elise Mertens (BEL) defeated Anett Kontaveit (EST) 6-0 6-0
[23] Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) defeated [Q] Kurumi Nara (JPN) 6-1 6-4
[26] Amanda Anisimova (USA) defeated Rebecca Peterson (SWE) 6-2 6-4
[32] Yulia Putintseva (KAZ) defeated Angelique Kerber (GER) 6-1 1-6 6-3
Ons Jabeur (TUN) defeated [Q] Anna Schmiedlova (SVK) 6-4 6-4
Arantxa Rus (NED) defeated Christina McHale (USA) 6-4 7-6
Anastasija Sevastova (LAT) defeated [Q] Mihaela Buzarnescu (ROU) 6-4 6-3
Katerina Siniakova (CZE) defeated Oceane Dodin (FRA) 7-5 6-1
Kirsten Flipkens (BEL) defeated Kristie Ahn (USA) 3-6 7-5 6-4
Veronika Kudermetova (RUS) defeated Victoria Azarenka (BLR) 7-5 6-2
[Q] Samantha Stosur (AUS) defeated [Q] Kurumi Nara (JPN) 5-7 6-1 7-5
Kristina Mladenovic (FRA) defeated Danka Kovinic (UKR) 7-5 0-6 6-1

2020 WTA Italian Open fantasy tennis: Williams, Osaka fail to make Round of 16

ANOTHER interesting day at the Italian Open fantasy saw four seeds drop from the competition. Overall it was a less predictable round, with less blow-out scorelines and plenty of talent stepping up despite their high-calibre opponent.

Of the six Americans left in the tournament, only three continue through to the Round of 16 after eighth seed Serena Williams, Amanda Anisimova and wildcard Taylor Townsend went down to their respective opposition. While Anisimova and Townsend were underdogs coming up against fifth seed Petra Kvitova and sixteenth seed Madison Keys respectively, Williams was well and truly the favourite against Veronika Kudermetova but did not have the impact she needed early, going down 6-1 2-6 7-5 after pushing Anisimova to her limit in the final set.

Joining Keys in the Round of 16 were compatriots, fifth seed Sofia Kenin and qualifier Sloane Stephens. Stephens continued her solid run with a three-set win over fourth seed Czech Karolina Pliskova while Kenin had a fairly easy match against Polona Hercog, and never looked like losing to the Slovenian. 

While Pliskova fell in the Round of 32, the top three seeds in Ash Barty, Elina Svitolina and Simona Halep all reigned supreme against their unseeded opposition. All three dominated in straight sets though Halep certainly came away with the strongest win, defeating former world number one Angelique Kerber 6-4 6-1.

Speaking of former world number ones, Japanese talent Naomi Osaka has not been able to back up her impressive past few seasons in recent months, falling in the early stages once more to Kristina Mladenovic. Osaka’s lack of consistency has showed on the clay but was well and truly exposed by Mladenovic, who kept Osaka at arms length and forced error after error for the 7-5 7-6 victory.

In relatively predictable but not entirely flashy wins, sixth seed Garbine Muguruza and tenth seed Aryna Sabalenka both made it through unscathed. Muguruza had a fairly easy time against wildcard Elisabetta Cocciaretto though Sabalenka was put through her paces by Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova, reigning supreme in the straight sets win but taken to tiebreakers in both sets, winning 7-6 7-5.

Fifteenth seed Elena Rybakina had a slight dip in the second set but otherwise was fairly consistent in her 6-4 3-6 6-3 win over qualifier Anastasija Sevastova. A trio of unseeded names in Tamara Zidansek, Petra Martic and Elise Mertens all defeated their seeded opposition, with qualifier Zidansek claiming the biggest win over claycourt star Kiki Bertens, running out straight sets winner alongside Mertens who put out a solid performance against Johanna Konta.

The final match of the round was fairly straightforward after an interesting first set as Anett Kontaveit and Jil Teichmann traded blows, seeing Kontaveit reign supreme after a tough second set tiebreaker.

A couple big seeded matchups headline the Round of 16, as Sabalenka goes head to head with Kenin, while Kvitova will look to force Muguruza from her path to success.

ROUND OF 32 RESULTS:

[1] Ash Barty (AUS) defeated Maria Sakkari (GRE) 6-3 7-5
[2] Elina Svitolina (UKR) defeated Karolina Muchova (CZE) 7-6 6-3
[3] Simona Halep (ROU) defeated Angelique Kerber (GER) 6-4 6-1
[Q] Sloane Stephens (USA) defeated [4] Karolina Pliskova (CZE) 4-6 6-3 6-3
[5] Sofia Kenin (USA) defeated Polona Hercog (SLO) 6-4 6-3
[6] Garbine Muguruza (ESP) defeated [WC] Elisabetta Cocciaretto (ITA) 6-2 6-4
Kristina Mladenovic (FRA) defeated [7] Naomi Osaka (JPN) 7-5 7-6
Veronika Kudermetova (RUS) defeated [8] Serena Williams (USA) 6-1 2-6 7-5
[9] Petra Kvitova (CZE) defeated Amanda Anisimova (USA) 6-3 7-5
[10] Aryna Sabalenka (BLR) defeated Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS) 7-6 7-5
[Q] Tamara Zidansek (SLO) defeated [11] Kiki Bertens (NED) 7-6 6-2
Petra Martic (CRO) defeated [12] Belinda Bencic (SUI) 6-1 2-6 6-1
Elise Mertens (BEL) defeated [14] Johanna Konta (GBR) 6-4 6-2
[15] Elena Rybakina (KAZ) defeated [Q] Anastasija Sevastova (LAT) 6-4 3-6 6-3
[16] Madison Keys (USA) defeated [WC] Taylor Townsend (USA) 6-4 1-6 6-3
Anett Kontaveit (EST) defeated [Q] Jil Teichmann (SUI) 6-3 7-6

2020 WTA Italian Open fantasy tennis: Americans dominate on day one

DAY one of the Italian Open fantasy tournament saw plenty of big matches, though little surprising outcomes given the amount of consistent talent on show. All four seeds in this half of the draw – bar the two who got free passes through the first round in Elina Svitolina and Karolina Pliskova – were successful on the first day in Rome.

All four Americans in this half of the draw head to the Round of 32, as both Madison Keys and Amanda Anisimova made it through almost entirely unscathed. Keys dominated against Magda Linette, collecting the solid 6-3 6-1 victory while Anisimova was equally impressive against China’s Shuai Zhang, dropping only one more set that Keys to take the 6-3 6-2 win. qualifier , Sloane Stephens and wildcard, Taylor Townsend continued their solid form but were certainly challenged by their respective opposition in Great Britain’s Heather Watson and Russian, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova. Both Watson and Pavlyuchenkova managed to win back the second set against their competition but to no avail. 

Polish youngster Iga Swiatek was unlucky to draw Madrid Open fantasy champion Petra Kvitova, and while she challenged the powerful Czech it was to no avail, going down 5-7 6-3 6-2. Just one of Kvitova’s compatriots followed her footsteps to the second round, as Karolina Muchova defeated Ekaterina Alexandrova, 6-3 4-6 6-1. Alexandrova had a stellar end to 2019 but has not yet managed to back up that form, and despite putting in a tough effort she was unable to head to the Round of 32. Meanwhile, both Barbora Strycova and Marketa Vondrousova went down in mammoth three setters, going down to fifteenth seed, Elena Rybakina and qualifier, Anastasija Sevastova respectively. Rybakina never really looked like losing despite dropping the second set, collecting the win over Strycova 6-1 6-7 7-5, always on the front foot and using every ounce of her talent to beat the Czech competitor. Sevastova had a similar battle but also managed to come out on top, though Vondrousova is sure to be frustrated by the closeness of the contest, especially given that she won the first set and had all the momentum heading into the second set, though eventually went down in over two hours, 4-6 7-6 7-5.

Of the last four matches of the day, just one went to three sets – though given the scoreline, if Elisabetta Cocciaretto had started well it could have gone very differently for Tunisian Ons Jabeur, who went down in the strange encounter, 2-6 6-0 6-0. Cocciaretto was dominant after a sloppy and uncharacteristically error-ridden first set, zipping through the second and third in just 35 minutes. Petra Martic similarly dominated against Ukrainian Dayana Yastremska, 6-1 6-2, while twelfth seed Belinda Bencic downed wildcard Victoria Azarenka, 6-4 6-0 and Russian Veronika Kudermetova reigned supreme in a tighter contest against Rebecca Peterson, coming away with the 6-3 7-5 victory.

ROUND OF 64 RESULTS:

[9] Petra Kvitova (CZE) defeated Iga Swiatek (POL) 5-7 6-3 6-2
[12] Belinda Bencic (SUI) defeated [WC] Victoria Azarenka (BLR) 6-4 6-0
[15] Elena Rybakina (KAZ) defeated Barbora Strycova (CZE) 6-1 6-7 7-5
[16] Madison Keys (USA) defeated Magda Linette (POL) 6-3 6-1
[Q] Sloane Stephens (USA) defeated Heather Watson (GBR) 6-1 5-7 6-3
[Q] Anastasija Sevastova (LAT) defeated Marketa Vondrousova (CZE) 4-6 7-6 7-5
Amanda Anisimova (USA) defeated Shuai Zhang (CHN) 6-3 6-2
[WC] Elisabetta Cocciaretto (ITA) defeated Ons Jabeur (TUN) 2-6 6-0 6-0
Veronika Kudermetova (RUS) defeated Rebecca Peterson (SWE) 6-3 7-5
Petra Martic (CRO) defeated Dayana Yastremska (UKR) 6-1 6-2
[WC] Taylor Townsend (USA) defeated Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) 3-6 6-3 6-4
Karolina Muchova (CZE) defeated Ekaterina Alexandrova (RUS) 6-3 4-6 6-1