Tag: anna kalinskaya

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: Williams downed as first and second rounds continue

THE WTA Tour saw a mixed bag of results on Day 4 of the respective events in Parma, Italy and Belgrade, Serbia, with both tournaments playing out a combination of first and second round matches.

At the Emilia-Romagna Open in Parma, the eldest and youngest Americans came away with dastardly different results, as veteran and top seed Serena Williams fell at the second hurdle to Czech talent Katerina Siniakova, 7-6 6-2.

“Not every day is really amazing,” Siniakova said following the victory. “If you go to play against a player like this, you really have nothing to lose, so I came up and wanted to enjoy it.

“I should be more proud of them,” she said. “My statistics against top players are really good, and a lot of players would want this. I should be really proud and believe more in myself – this match can open my eyes and I will try to keep it like this.”

“I didn’t do a lot of mistakes, and I think she felt it,” Siniakova said. “I think she was trying to go harder and doing a lot of mistakes, which helped me – I’m really happy I could keep my level all match.”

Things went supremely different for 17-year-old third seed Coco Gauff, who came away unscathed in her first round clash with Kaia Kanepi, 7-6(6) 7-6(7). It seemed to be the way of the day as second seed Petra Martic downed Varvara Gracheva in another Round of 32 matchup, while fourth seed Daria Kasatkina started strong but could not retain control against a fighting Sloane Stephens in the Round of 16.

Finishing off the day’s Round of 32 saw Sara Errani win on home soil in a 7-5 4-6 6-1 fightback over Ana Bogdan, as Anna Lena Friedsam was tested throughout by a feisty Viktorija Golubic on a mission, 6-4 6-7(1) 6-2. In the second round’s last two matches, fifth seed Amanda Anisimova is the only seed thus far to have reached the third round after defeating Anna Karolina Schmiedlova while Liudmila Samsonova defeated Italian wildcard Giulia Gatto-Monticone 6-2 6-2 in the quickest match of the day.

At Belgrade, just two Round of 16 matches played out as fourth and fifth seeds Paula Badosa and Nadia Podoroska both made their mark, claiming respective straight set wins in under 85 minutes over Mihaela Buzarnescu and Oceane Dodin. Just two more seeds took the court throughout the day’s Round of 32 proceedings, with one proceeding and one falling in another intriguing twist. Frenchwoman and sixth seed Kristina Mladenovic struggled against Russian Anna Kalinskaya, fighting back well after giving away a bagel for a first set, but unable to clinch victory eventually falling 6-0 7-6(6). Proceedings went much better for seventh seed Swede Rebecca Peterson, who overcame a sloppy first set and flew out of the blocks for the remainder of her clash with Serbian Nina Stojanovic, claiming the 5-7 6-1 6-0 victory in just under two hours.

It was not a good day for homegrown talent with neither of Stojanovic’s compatriots making it through to the second round, as Olga Danilovic and Lola Radivojevic  both fell to higher ranked opposition in under 90 minutes to Kamilla Rakhimova and Viktoriya Tomova respectively. In the remaining matches, Hungarian Reka-Luca JaniAna Konjuh and Aliaksandra Sasnovich all overcame tough efforts from their opposition to book spots in tomorrow’s Round of 16 proceedings.

EMILIA-ROMAGNA OPEN ROUND OF 32 RESULTS:

[2] Petra Martic (CRO) defeated Varvara Gracheva (RUS) 6-4 6-2
[3] Coco Gauff (USA) defeated Kaia Kanepi (EST) 7-6 7-6
Sara Errani (ITA) defeated Ana Bogdan (ROU) 7-5 4-6 6-1
Anna Lena Friedsam (GER) defeated Viktorija Golubic (SUI) 6-4 6-7 6-2

EMILIA-ROMAGNA OPEN ROUND OF 16 RESULTS:

Katerina Siniakova (CZE) defeated [1] Serena Williams (USA) 7-6 6-2
Sloane Stephens (USA) defeated [4] Daria Kasatkina (RUS) 1-6 6-4 7-5
[5] Amanda Anisimova (USA) defeated Anna Karolina Schmiedlova (SVK) 6-2 6-4
Liudmila Samsonova (RUS) defeated Giulia Gatto-Monticone (ITA) 6-2 6-2

SERBIA LADIES OPEN ROUND OF 32 RESULTS:

Anna Kalinskaya (RUS) defeated [6] Kristina Mladenovic (FRA) 6-0 7-6
[7] Rebecca Peterson (SWE) defeated Nina Stojanovic (SRB) 5-7 6-1 6-0
Kamilla Rakhimova (RUS) defeated Olga Danilovic (SRB) 6-2 6-4
Reka-Luca Jani (HUN) defeated Tereza Martincova (CZE) 6-2 0-6 7-5
Aliaksandra Sasnovich (BLR) defeated Wang Xiyu (CHN) 6-7 6-0 6-2
Ana Konjuh (CRO) defeated Alison Van Uytvanck (BEL) 6-2 1-6 7-5
Viktoriya Tomova (BUL) defeated Lola Radivojevic (SRB) 6-2 6-3

SERBIA LADIES OPEN ROUND OF 16 RESULTS:

[4] Paula Badosa (ESP) defeated Mihaela Buzarnescu (ROU) 6-0 6-4
[5] Nadia Podoroska (ARG) defeated Oceane Dodin (FRA) 6-2 6-3

Picture credit: Marta Magni Images/MEF Tennis Events

WTA Tour wrap: Americans dominate in Charleston as three-setters set the tone in Bogota

THE WTA Tour 500 and 250 events in Charleston, USA and Bogota, Colombia have continued, with results coming through from America across both the Round of 64 and Round of 32 whilst the Copa Colsanitas has now completed its first round proceedings.

At Charleston, just two seeds participated in the day’s Round of 64 action whilst the second round also began with all three seeds reigning supreme to head straight to the Round of 16. Every match was complete in straight sets on a relatively straightforward day of action. It was just 12th seed Ons Jabeur who made her mark with a sweeping 6-2 6-2 victory over Italian Martina Trevisan in just 58 minutes – the quickest result of the day. Zhang Saisai was not quite as lucky though, with the Chinese 16th seed falling to Canadian teenager Leylah Fernandez 6-3 6-1 in just 66 minutes, whilst Sloane Stephens knocked out the other Chinese competitor on the day in Wang Xinyu. Stephens was one of four Americans to reign supreme on the day, joined by Shelby RogersEmma Navarro and Hailey Baptiste in the second round, with the latter downing a fourth compatriot in Caroline Dolehide in the process. In other results, Liudmila SamsonovaAnastasija Sevastova and Danka Kovinic all head to the second round.

In the day’s Round 2 proceedings, third seed Petra Kvitova, sixth seed Garbine Muguruza and 11th seed Yulia Putintseva all reigned supreme in straight sets to head to the Round of 16, downing yesterday’s Round of 64 winners in Storm SandersMagdalena Frech and Zarina Diyas, respectively.

VOLVO CAR OPEN ROUND OF 64 RESULTS:

[12] Ons Jabeur (TUN) defeated Martina Trevisan (ITA) 6-2 6-2
Leylah Fernandez (CAN) defeated [16] Zhang Saisai (CHN) 6-3 6-1
Shelby Rogers (USA) defeated Kristina Mladenovic (FRA) 6-4 6-3
Hailey Baptiste (USA) defeated Caroline Dolehide (USA) 6-3 6-3
Liudmila Samsonova (RUS) defeated Nao Hibino (JPN) 6-2 6-1
Sloane Stephens (USA) defeated Wang Xinyu (CHN) 6-2 6-4
Anastasija Sevastova (LAT) defeated Anastasia Potapova (RUS) 6-3 6-3
Danka Kovinic (MON) defeated Gabriela Talaba (ROM) 7-6 6-4
Emma Navarro (USA) defeated Renata Zarazua (MEX) 6-4 6-3

VOLVO CAR OPEN ROUND OF 32 RESULTS:

[3] Petra Kvitova (CZE) defeated Storm Sanders (AUS) 7-6 6-2
[6] Garbine Muguruza (ESP) defeated Magdalena Frech (POL) 6-1 6-3
[11] Yulia Putintseva (KAZ) defeated Zarina Diyas (KAZ) 6-2 6-2

 

At the WTA 250 event in Bogota, Colombia, proceedings went very differently with plenty of tight battles ensuing. Of the five seeds, just two fell with second seed Spaniard Sara Sorribes Tormo falling to Italian Sara Errani in a closely fought 7-5 7-5 encounter, whilst teenaged fourth seed Clara Tauson went down to Chilean Daniela Seguel in three sets, 3-6 6-3 6-2. Dutch third seed Arantxa Rus boasted the longest victory of the day in a marathon encounter with Irina Bara, with the Romanian challenging Rus the entire way in the 6-4 5-7 6-4 matchup which lasted two hours and 35 minutes. That was not the only plus-two-hour match of the day though, with Errani and Seguel both required to take over two hours to dispose of their respective seeded opposition, as did seventh seed Tereza Martincova in her 4-6 6-4 6-4 matchup with Leonie Kung, and Giulia Gatto-Monticone in her 4-6 7-5 6-1 victory over Australian Astra Sharma.

Comparatively, Lara Arruabarrena completed the quickest win of the day in just 50 minutes, 6-0 6-1 over hometown hope Jessica Plazas, whilst fifth seed Tamara Zidansek was challenged in the second set by Anna Kalinskaya in their 6-0 7-5 encounter. Harmony Tan and Maria Camila Osorio Serrano were the last two winners of the Round of 32, looking to continue their form in the second round.

COPA COLSANITAS ROUND OF 32 RESULTS:

Sara Errani (ITA) defeated [2] Sara Sorribes Tormo (ESP) 7-5 7-5
[3] Arantxa Rus (NED) defeated Irina Bara (ROM) 6-4 5-7 6-4
Daniela Seguel (CHI) defeated [4] Clara Tauson (DEN) 3-6 6-3 6-2
[5] Tamara Zidansek (SLO) defeated Anna Kalinskaya (RUS) 6-0 7-5
[7] Tereza Martincova (CZE) defeated Leonie Kung (SUI) 4-6 6-4 6-4
Lara Arruabarrena (ESP) defeated Jessica Plazas (COL) 6-0 6-1
Harmony Tan (FRA) defeated Mihaela Buzarnescu (ROM) 6-3 6-3
Maria Camila Osorio Serrano (COL) defeated Sachia Vickery (USA) 6-3 6-2
Giulia Gatto-Monticone (ITA) defeated Astra Sharma (AUS) 4-6 7-5 6-1

WTA Miami Open 1000: Tight clashes see Kenin and Pliskova fall in Round of 32

THE Miami Open Round of 32 is complete with a series of intriguing results setting the tone for the fourth round of proceedings as we enter the second week of the WTA 1000 event. Just one match went down in straight sets on a massive day of competition, with plenty to fight for.

Top seed of the day Naomi Osaka by far had the easiest encounter, not required to take the court as she was handed a walkover from Serbian Nina Stojanovic. Things did not go quite as well for fellow top five talent Sofia Kenin though, as the American fell in three sets to 27th seed Tunisian, Ons Jabeur 6-4 4-6 6-4. The one hour and 47-minute blitz saw Jabeur pile on 11 aces for three double faults off a 50 per cent clip, winning 73.8 per cent of point off her first serve. While Kenin was more efficient, she lacked intensity and was far less effective off her second serve, failing to keep in the tight contest. Jessica Pegula downed Karolina Pliskova in an impressive effort, with the two hour and nine minute clash coming to blows following an explosive start from the American 29th seed. Sixth seed Pliskova lacked potency with her eight double faults for five aces, while it was Pegula’s improved second serve effectiveness that saw her clinch the 6-1 4-6 6-4 victory.

Meanwhile, three more seeds joined the winners circle as Garbine MuguruzaElise Mertens and Maria Sakkari all reigned supreme in their respective encounters, though just Mertens came up against a fellow seed as she disposed of Anett Kontaveit in a bizarre seesawing 6-2 0-6 6-2 battle. While Mertens appeared to have the upper hand early, her shocking second set was characterised by sloppy service games, hitting six of her 10 double faults and winning just two of her second serve points. Improved effectiveness during the third set saw the momentum tilt her way once more, however the lack of consistency could prove critical in upcoming matches. Sakkari completed the quickest win of the day with a comparable 6-0 6-1 sweep of qualifier Liudmila Samsonova in just 67 minutes, whilst Spaniard Sara Sorribes Tormo joined compatriot Muguruza on the winners list, as both downed their respective foes in two-plus hour clashes. Sorribes Tormo claimed the early ascendancy against Elena Rybakina, with the Kazakh 21st seed unable to control proceedings following a sloppy 6-1 start, eventually falling 6-1 3-6 6-2 in two hours and 24 minutes. Muguruza’s two-hour and 41-minute encounter with Anna Kalinskaya saw the 12th seed fight back after dropping the first set, attacking the ball better to come away with the 4-6 6-3 6-4 result.

WTA MIAMI OPEN ROUND OF 32 RESULTS:

[2] Naomi Osaka (JPN) defeated Nina Stojanovic (SRB) W/O
[27] Ons Jabeur (TUN) defeated [4] Sofia Kenin (USA) 6-4 4-6 6-4
[29] Jessica Pegula (USA) defeated [6] Karolina Pliskova (CZE) 6-1 4-6 6-4
[12] Garbine Muguruza (ESP) defeated Anna Kalinskaya (RUS) 4-6 6-3 6-4
[16] Elise Mertens (BEL) defeated [22] Anett Kontaveit (EST) 6-2 0-6 6-2
Sara Sorribes Tormo (ESP) defeated [21] Elena Rybakina (KAZ) 6-1 3-6 6-2
[23] Maria Sakkari (GRE) defeated Liudmila Samsonova (RUS) 6-0 6-1
[8] Bianca Andreescu (CAN) v. Amanda Anisimova (USA)

WTA Miami Open 1000: Trio of seeds downed in three sets as second round completed

THREE out of the four seeds defeated in the second round of the 2021 WTA Tour’s Miami Open 1000 event were knocked out in close contests, going down in three sets. Tenth seed Kiki Bertens was the highest ranked seed to fall, though she was incredibly disappointing yet again, continuing her poor 2021 form to lose 6-1 6-2 to Russian Liudmila Samsonova. The other seeds to be knocked out in tighter contests were 13th seed Jennifer Brady, 20th seed Petra Martic and 26th seed Yulia Putintseva.

Spanish talent Sara Sorribes Tormo proved too good for Australian Open finalist Brady, winning in a come-from-behind victory, 3-6 6-4 6-1. It was a similar story for both Russian Anna Kalinskaya and Serbian Nina Stojanovic, who also triumphed in three-set come-from-behind matches. Kalinskaya knocked off Martic 5-7 6-2 7-6, while Stojanovic took out Putintseva, 5-7 7-5 6-2. The quartet of unseeded players were the only ones to advance on the day, with the remaining matches won by the higher ranked seeds.

At the top of the list was second seed Naomi Osaka who saved set points in the first set to put away plucky Australian Ajla Tomlljanovic in the Japanese star’s first match since her Australian Open triumph. Osaka won 7-6 6-4 and managed to get it done in straight sets, whilst the previous Australian Open winner had it much tougher. Fourth seed Sofia Kenin needed three sets to overcome German Andrea Petkovic, dropping the first set in a tiebreaker, before running away with it 6-7 6-1 6-3. Anett Kontaveit also needed three sets in her win over Sorana Cirstea, while Ons Jabeur held off a determined Paula Badosa in the tightest contest of the day, 7-6 5-7 7-5 to advance through to the Round of 32.

“This is my first match since Australia, so I just really wanted to play well,” Osaka said post-match. “I kind of feel like I’m at home here, because I grew up [near here] for most of my life.”

The other seeds were able to get up in straight sets, with Karolina Pliskova having a confidence-boosting 6-1 6-1 thrashing over China’s Zheng Saisai, with Elena Rybakina, Elise Mertens and Maria Sakkari having similar one-sided results during their second round wins. Amanda Anisimova knocked off Sloane Stephens in the battle of the Americans 6-3 6-3, while Jessica Pegula joined Anisimova in the next round, with the American winning 6-3 6-4 over Australian Storm Sanders. In other results, Canadian Bianca Andreescu, Spaniard Garbine Muguruza and Belgian Elise Mertens also all won to book their spots in the next round, in what was an entertaining day of play at Miami.

MIAMI OPEN 1000 ROUND OF 64 RESULTS:

[2] Naomi Osaka (JPN) defeated Ajla Tomljanovic (AUS) 7-6 6-4
[4] Sofia Kenin (USA) defeated Andrea Petkovic (GER) 6-7 6-1 6-3
[6] Karolina Pliskova (CZE) defeated Zheng Saisai (CHN) 6-2 6-1
[8] Bianca Andreescu (CAN) defeated Tereza Martincova (CZE) 7-6 6-0
Liudmila Samsonova (RUS) defeated [10] Kiki Bertens (NED) 6-2 6-1
[12] Garbine Muguruza (ESP) defeated Wang Xinyu (CHN) 6-4 6-1
Sara Sorribes Tormo (ESP) defeated [13] Jennifer Brady (USA) 3-6 6-4 6-1
[16] Elise Mertens (BEL) defeated Katie Boulter (GBR) 6-4 6-1
Anna Kalinskaya (RUS) defeated [20] Petra Martic (CRO) 5-7 6-2 7-6
[21] Elena Rybakina (KAZ) defeated Kaia Kanepi (EST) 6-4 6-0
[22] Anett Kontaveit (EST) defeated Sorana Cirstea (ROU) 6-3 4-6 6-3
[23] Maria Sakkari (GRE) defeated Arantxa Rus (NED) 6-2 6-3
Nina Stojanovic (SRB) defeated [26] Yulia Putintseva (KAZ) 5-7 7-5 6-2
[27] Ons Jabeur (TUN) defeated Paula Badosa (ESP) 7-6 5-7 7-5
[28] Amanda Anisimova (USA) defeated Sloane Stephens (USA) 6-3 6-3
[29] Jessica Pegula (USA) defeated Storm Sanders (AUS) 6-3 6-4

WTA Miami Open 1000: Collins wins against Mladenovic as Latvian duo advance

IN a blockbuster second day at the WTA Miami Open 1000, the Round of 128 was completed with some interesting results. It was a real mix of winners, with some experienced players and some young guns winning through to the second round in an action-packed day. The first Round of 64 match was also decided – albeit without a ball being served – after Laura Siegemund withdrew from her clash against Belarusian 14th seed Victoria Azarenka.

In a number of three-set battles, Australian Storm Sanders overcame Italian Elizabetta Cocciaretto 6-1 5-7 6-1, while Spaniard Sara Sorribes Tormo won 6-2 2-6 7-5 against American Bernarda Pera. Also needing three sets for victory were Belarusian US Open quarter finalists Tsvetana Pironkova, winning against Ukrainian Marta Kostyuk 7-6 3-6 6-3. Meanwhile Latvian Anastasija Sevastova toppled Serbian Olga Danilovic 6-1 3-6 7-6 as compatriot Jelena Ostapenko knocked off China’s Xiyu Wang, 6-4 6-7 6-1. Other three-set winners were Frenchwoman Alize Cornet, Brit Katie Boulter, Mexican Renata Zarazua, Slovakian Kristina Kucova and Chinese duo Qiang Wang and Saisai Zheng.

In more straightforward clashes, Liudmila Samsonova toppled Italian Camila Giorgi in straight sets 6-2 6-4, as Serbian Nina Stojanovic proved too strong for Great Britain’s Heather Watson, 6-4 6-1. Also marching through to the second round was Frenchwoman Caroline Garcia‘s rout of Romanian Mihaela Buzarnescu 6-1 6-2, whilst Tereza Martincova knocked off Kazakhstan’s Yaroslava Shevdova. The Czech won 6-4 6-2 in that encounter, joining Russian Anna Kalinskaya, Croatian Ana Konjuh and German Andrea Petkovic in the second round after straight set victories.

The highly anticipated match of the day was between American Danielle Collins and Frenchwoman Kristina Mladenovic who drew each other in blockbuster Round of 128 clash. It went the way of the former, with Collins getting up 6-3 6-3 to advance through to the Round of 64 in 82 minutes in an inspiring performance. She will need to back up with a match against Veronika Kudermetova tomorrow, as Kucova takes on top seed Ash Barty, Konjuh locks horns with Madison Keys, and Sevastova meets Coco Gauff in a huge day of action on the Grandstand Court tomorrow.

MIAMI OPEN ROUND OF 128 RESULTS:

Liudmila Samsonova (RUS) defeated Camila Giorgi (ITA) 6-2 6-4
Storm Sanders (AUS) defeated Elizabetta Cocciaretto (ITA) 6-1 5-7 6-1
Sloane Stephens (USA) defeated Oceane Dodin (FRA) 6-7 6-4 6-2
Kristina Kucova (SVK) defeated Hailey Baptiste (USA) 6-4 2-6 7-5
Tsvetana Pironkova (BLR) defeated Marta Kostyuk (UKR) 7-6 3-6 6-3
Nina Stojanovic (SRB) defeated Heather Watson (GBR) 6-4 6-1
Caroline Garcia (FRA) defeated Mihaela Buzarnescu (ROU) 6-1 6-2
Anastasija Sevastova (LAT) defeated Olga Danilovic (SRB) 6-1 3-6 7-6
Qiang Wang (CHN) defeated Aliona Bolsova (ESP) 6-1 3-6 6-3
Tereza Martincova (CZE) defeated Yaroslava Shvedova (KAZ) 6-4 6-2
Alize Cornet (FRA) defeated Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS) 2-6 6-2 6-1
Katie Boulter (GBR) defeated Kristyna Pliskova (CZE) 4-6 6-3 6-3
Saisai Zheng (CHN) defeated Fiona Ferro (FRA) 2-6 6-4 6-3
Renata Zarazua (MEX) defeated Nao Hibino (JPN) 6-4 4-6 6-1
Jelena Ostapenko (LAT) defeated Xiyu Wang (CHN) 6-4 6-7 6-1
Danielle Collins (USA) defeated Kristina Mladenovic (FRA) 6-3 6-3
Anna Kalinskaya (RUS) defeated Irina Camelia Begu (ROU) 6-4 7-6
Sara Sorribes Tormo (ESP) defeated Bernarda Pera (USA) 6-2 2-6 7-5
Ana Konjuh (CRO) defeated Katerina Siniakova (CZE) 7-6 7-5
Andrea Petkovic (GER) defeated Shuai Zhang (CHN) 7-5 6-1

Picture credit: Getty Images

2021 ATP/WTA 1000 Miami Open preview: Federer and Nadal withdraw as Barty returns

THE 2021 Miami Open is set to begin this week, played from Monday, March 22 through to Sunday, April 4, with the 1000 event expected to showcase some high calibre encounters across both the ATP and WTA Tours. Whilst the men’s list is missing a couple of notable names within the top 20, the women’s draw will boast just about all of the big names in the biz as the season rolls on despite COVID-19 restrictions still impacting proceedings. Both the men’s and women’s reigning Australian Open champions are set to compete, highlighting the strength of the respective events.

On the ATP Tour, the clear omissions from the draw include Rafael NadalDominic Thiem and Roger Federer, with the trio’s absence making for a huge hole in the draw and a real opportunity for the developing players coming through the ranks to make their mark. Looking down the list, it’s safe to say Novak Djokovic and Daniil Medvedev are the clear frontrunners in as first and second seeds with one title apiece to start the year, whilst Stefanos Tsitsipas and Alexander Zverev are well within their chances here given the glaring absences. 2021 title-winners Andrey Rublev (Rotterdam title, 13-2 in 2021), Diego Schwartzman (Buenos Aires, 8-3) and David Goffin (Montpellier, 9-5) also register high in the draw, with the likes of Matteo Berrettini, Denis ShapovalovGael Monfils and Roberto Bautista Agut rounding out the top 11 or so players, pending shuffling from this week’s results. Factor in the explosiveness of the likes of Nick Kyrgios, who is still yet to confirm attendance, and the wealth of Spanish talent currently residing within and around the top 50, and there is so much that could go against the grain here.

Given it is an ATP 1000 event, there is no shortage of talent as players flock to Miami. Even heading down the list to lower ranked players, there are plenty of quality names across the board with in-form and young talent looking to add valuable points to their rankings. Two-time Miami champion Andy Murray is the big name wildcard at the event, joined by teen Carlos Alcaraz, Michael Mmoh, Hugo Gaston and Jack Draper in the main draw.

Heading to the women’s draw, and whilst there is more consistent top talent in the draw, that does not make it any easier to predict with the relatively even WTA Tour boasting a number of players who consistently step up at this level. Australian world number one and reigning 2019 Miami champion Ash Barty is reportedly set to compete after spending an unprecedented year way from the international circuit in 2020, joined by the ever formidable Naomi OsakaSimona HalepSofia Kenin and Elina Svitolina to round out the top five seeds. Also featuring are eight-time champion Serena Williams, who can never be overlooked in an event of this calibre, and a number of developing talents with French Open champion Iga Swiatek (2020) and 2019 US Open winner Bianca Andreescu both set to take the court here. Jennifer BradyKarolina Pliskova and Madison Keys are another few who cannot be dismissed, as are the ever exciting teens Coco Gauff and Amanda Anisimova.

Factor in the evenness and unpredictability of the women’s draw, with realistically any number of the top 20 – or upwards of that – capable of beating anyone on their day, and Miami will have a real battle on its hands. The women’s main draw wildcards include Anna Kalinskaya, Ana Konjuh, Storm Sanders, Katrina Scott, Mayar Sherif, Xiyu Wang and Xinyu Wang, with qualifiers for both the women’s and men’s events set to play out over March 22-23.

WTA Tour wrap: Top seeds out in St. Petersburg

THE St. Petersburg all-Russian semi-finals have been decided with the home nation eliminating the final foreign player, whilst the first two quarter finals are in the books in Monterrey.

The top two seeds have been ousted in the heavily-weighted Russian St. Petersburg Ladies Trophy quarter finals, with Ekaterina Alexandrova and Veronika Kudermetova both dumped from the tournament after losses overnight. Alexandrova went down to Russian wildcard Margarita Gasparyan in one of three all-Russian clashes of the four matches, with Kudermetova also losing to a compatriot in eighth seed, Daria Kasatkina. Gasparyan won 6-2 7-5 in straight sets to advance through to the final four, while Kasatkina bounced back from a disappointing first set to dominate in the final two sets and win 1-6 6-1 6-2 in an hour and 41 minutes.

Fourth seed Svetlana Kuznetsova removed the final non-Russian at the event, with Romanian qualifier Jacqueline Cristian defeated in three sets, 6-7 6-3 6-3 in two hours and 15 minutes. It meant the semi-finals are all from the home nation in what was a stunning effort, the first time in 28 years that seven of the eight quarter finalists had been from the same country.

In the last quarter final of the day, veteran wildcard Vera Zvonareva also made her way into the semi-finals, overcoming qualifier Anastasia Gasanova in the third all-Russian battle. That match lasted just one hour and 22 minutes, two more minutes than Gasparyan’s upset of Alexandrova. The semi-finals tomorrow will see the two wildcards face off up first from 2pm local time, as Gasparyan and Zvonareva go head-to-head, whilst the all-seeded battle of Kuznetsova and Kasatkina is up in the second match.

“It’s amazing, we played first round qualies last year and now we’re here facing each other in the semi-final,” Zvonareva said post-match of her upcoming clash with Gasparyan. “She’s a great player – she’s hitting the ball very hard and her backhand is great, a one-handed backhand which is very unusual for the women’s game.”

ST. PETERSBURG LADIES TROPHY QUARTER FINALS RESULTS:

[WC] Margarita Gasparyan (RUS) defeated [1] Ekaterina Alexandrova (RUS) 6-2 7-5
[8] Daria Kasatkina (RUS) defeated [2] Veronika Kudermetova (RUS) 1-6 6-1 6-2
[4] Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS) defeated [Q]  Jacqueline Cristian (ROU) 6-7 6-3 6-3
[WC] Vera Zvonareva (RUS) defeated [Q] Anastasia Gasanova (RUS) 6-3 6-1

 

The first two of four quarter finals at the Abierto GNP Seguros in Monterrey, Mexico were completed at the time of publishing, with eighth seed Ann Li and Canadian up-and-comer Leylah Fernandez both booking their spots in the final four. The American talent won 7-5 6-1, defeating China’s Zheng Saisai in one hour and 48 minutes to advance through to the semis.

Li upset the third seed despite serving the only four double faults of the match, also winning 60.5 and 58.1 per cent of her first and second serve points off an inconsistent 46.9 serving clip. Saisai had a higher first serve efficiency of 70.1 per cent, but struggled to capitalise on that, winning just 46.8 per cent of her first serve points. She was also broken five times from seven chances, and could only break twice from 10 chances herself during the loss.

After a tight first set, Fernandez stepped up at 5-5 to win seven consecutive games and run out a dominant winner, 7-5 6-3 against Russian Viktoria Kuzmova. The match lasted around an hour and 45 minutes and secured her spot in the semi-final to face one of Anna Karolina Schmiedlova or seventh seed Spaniard Sara Sorribes Tormo.

In yesterday’s late results, qualifying duo Switzerland’s Viktorija Golubic and Russia’s Anna Kalinskaya both advanced through to the last eight with the pair to play later today. Golubic defeated United States’ Lauren Davis in just 69 minutes on court, while Kalinskaya defeated Serbian Nina Stojanovic, 6-4 6-3 in 84 minutes.

MONTERREY QUARTER FINALS RESULTS:

[8] Ann Li (USA) defeated [3] Zheng Saisai (CHN) 7-5 6-1
Leylah Fernandez defeated (CAN) defeated Viktoria Kuzmova (SVK) 7-5 6-3

Viktorija Golubic (SUI) vs. Anna Kalinskaya (RUS)
Anna Karolina Schmiedlova (SVK) vs. [7] Sara Sorribes Tormo (ESP)

MONTERREY ROUND OF 16 RESULTS:

[Q] Viktorija Golubic (SUI) defeated Lauren Davis (USA) 6-3 6-1
[Q] Anna Kalinskaya (RUS) defeated Nina Stojanovic (SRB) 6-4 6-3

 

Picture credit: Jimmie 48/WTA

WTA Tour wrap: Russia dominate St Petersburg as qualifiers reign supreme in Monterrey

IT was a massive day on court for Russia at St Petersburg Ladies Trophy, with all four home nation players advancing through to the quarter finals, while the rest of the Round of 32 were completed at the Abierto GNP Seguros, and the Round of 16 underway.

It was a quadruple treat in St Petersburg for the home fans as four Russians booked their spots in the quarter finals courtesy of wins in the Round of 16 overnight. Top seed Ekaterina Alexandrova led the charge with a 6-3 6-4 victory over Czech Tereza Martincova, followed by fourth seed Svetlana Kuznetsova‘s straight sets win over Chinese qualifier Wang Xinyu, 6-1 7-5.

The big upset was veteran Vera Zvonareva‘s come-from-behind epic match against third seed Frenchwoman Fiona Ferro. Zvonareva needed three hours and 10 minutes to finally shake off Ferro, winning 6-7 7-5 7-6. Having dropped the first set in a heartbreaking 8-6 result, the Russian bounced back to take the second set 7-5, then held on in the third set tiebreaker to win that 7-3.

In other results, the fourth Russian to win was Anastasia Gasanova who knocked off Ukrainian Katarina Zavatska in three sets, 6-2 6-7 7-5, while Romanian qualifier Jaqueline Cristian upset sixth seed Latvian Jelena Ostapenko, winning 6-3 7-6 in just under two hours of action in the late match.

ST PETERSBURG LADIES TROPHY ROUND OF 16 RESULTS:

[1] Ekaterina Alexandrova (RUS) defeated Tereza Martincova (CZE) 6-3 6-4
[WC] Vera Zvonareva (RUS) defeated [3] Fiona Ferro (FRA) 6-7 7-5 7-6
[4] Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS) defeated [Q] Wang Xinyu (CHN) 6-1 7-5
[Q] Jaqueline Cristian (ROU) defeated [6] Jelena Ostapenko (LAT) 6-4 7-6
Anastasia Gasanova (RUS) defeated Katarina Zavatska (UKR) 6-2 6-7 7-5

 

Due to the time difference in publishing, the Abierto GNP Seguros Round of 32 results were completed later yesterday, with a couple of huge upsets in the opening round of action. Both the second seed and sixth seed were ousted by qualifiers later in the day, with only the one seed – having to come from behind – advancing into the second round to play later today.

That seed was seventh seed Sara Sorribes Tormo who defeated Ukrainian qualifier Lesia Tsurenko in three sets, 5-7 6-2 6-4 to advance through to the Round of 16 after an epic battle. The news was not as good for fellow seeds, second seed Nadia Podoroska and sixth seed Anna Blinkova. The Argentinian Podroska lost out to Russian qualifier Anna Kalinskaya 6-4 6-4, while the Russian Blinkova was overcome by Swiss qualifier Viktorija Golubic, 6-4 6-4. In the other completed Round of 32 match, China’s Zhu Lin defeated Canadian Eugenie Bouchard 7-5 7-6.

The Round of 16 matches got underway this morning, with Slovakian Viktoria Kuzmova getting the first up win over lucky loser Harriet Dart, 6-4 6-3. It was an important win for Kuzmova who was able to be the first player to secure her spot in the quarter finals. In the second match, Slovakian Anna Karolina Schmiedlova knocked off Italian Jasmine Paolini in three sets, 2-6 6-2 6-2. Two matches were due to be played later today between Slovakian lucky loser Kristina Kucova and Canadian Leylah Fernandez, and Sorribes Tormo and Slovenian qualifier Kaja Juvan.

ABIERTO GNP SEGUROS ROUND OF 16 RESULTS:

Viktoria Kuzmova (SVK) defeated [LL] Harriet Dart (GBR) 6-4 6-3
Anna Karolina Schmiedlova (SVK) defeated Jasmine Paolini (ITA) 2-6 6-2 6-2
[LL] Kristina Kucova (SVK) vs. Leylah Fernandez (CAN)
[7] Sara Sorribes Tormo (ESP) vs. [Q] Kaja Juvan (SLO)

ABIERTO GNP SEGUROS ROUND OF 32 RESULTS:

[7] Sara Sorribes Tormo (ESP) defeated [Q] Lesia Tsurenko (UKR) 5-7 6-2 6-4
[Q] Viktorija Golubic (SUI) defeated [6] Ana Blinkova (RUS) 6-4 6-4
[Q] Anna Kalinskaya (RUS) defeated [2] Nadia Podoroska (ARG) 6-4 6-4
Zhu Lin (CHN) defeated [se] Eugenie Bouchard (CAN) 7-5 7-6

 

Picture credit: Jimmie48/WTA

Homegrown talent impresses at US Open

A COUPLE of intriguing winners will hit the court in the second round at the WTA Tour’s 2020 US Open after a huge second day of Round of 128 action. It was a stellar output from the United States homegrown talent, with nine American representatives skating through.

Serena Williams – who is hunting down an elusive 24th Grand Slam title – and youngster Katrina Scott who at only 16-years-old is a wildcard at her first major tournament – both made it through relatively unscathed to come out of the first round with convincing winz on the board. Williams’ opponent, compatriot Kristie Ahn had a solid start and rounded out the first set tiebreaker well, but fell at Williams’ impressive serve as the champion racked up 13 aces and an 85 per cent win rate off her first serve. For Scott, a huge 7-6 first set win gave her a wealth of confidence against her Russian opponent Natalia Vikhlyantseva, but will meet fellow American teenager and 22nd seed Amanda Anisimova in a huge second round after the now-19-year-old defeated Bulgarian Viktoriya Tomova in two tight sets, 7-5 7-5.

All seeded Americans in Williams, Anisimova, Sloane Stephens, Madison Keys and Sofia Kenin were convincing on court with an average winning time of one hour and 13 minutes. Bernarda Pera and Casey McNally had dominant second sets to take out victory. With 15 American names in the draw, just a few of the USA talent were knocked from contention, including Venus Williams who was defeated by 20th seed Karolina Muchova, while the likes of Ahn and Taylor Townsend were unlucky to draw compatriots and sent home by Serena Williams and Sachia Vickery respectively. Lauren Davis forged an impressive second set comeback before being run down by in-form Frenchwoman Alize Cornet.

Western & Southern Open victor Victoria Azarenka continued where she left off, making it through unscathed on day two of the Grand Slam. Despite a strong start, former world number one Kim Clijsters was knocked aside by 21st seed Russian Ekaterina Alexandrova, while Elise Mertens and Johanna Konta were also too strong, though Konta had to surpass a tough start from British compatriot Heather Watson to head through to the second round in an hour and 48 minutes.

Australian Open runner up Garbine Muguruza similarly ran away winners in two sets, with just six matches for the day take to three sets and just two of the 16 seeds – Veronika Kudermetova and Saisai Zheng – going down to unseeded opposition in 18-year-old Iga Swiatek and Ysaline Bonaventure. Despite a tough effort from Frenchwoman Oceane Dodin, fifth seed Aryna Sabalenka outlasted her opposition in 90 minutes, as did Donna Vekic in a three set battle against Czech Kristyna Pliskova and 15th seed Maria Sakkari despite a second set comeback from Stefanie Voegele.

Joining the aforementioned players in the second round are Ons Jabeur, Margarita Gasparyan, Patricia Maria Tig, Tsvetana Pironkova, Olga Govortsova, Sara Sorribes Tormo, Sorana Cirstea, Kaia Kanepi, Leylah Fernandez, Anna Kalinskaya and Aliona Bolsova.