Tag: clara tauson

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: Kasatkina destroys Bencic for Roland Garros third round spot

DARIA Kasatkina caused the upset of the day by ousting 10th seed Belinda Bencic from Roland Garros in their second round clash. The Russian took no prisoners in a one-hour and 16-minute beating, running out a 6-2 6-2 winner over the talented Swiss player. Bencic was one of only two seeds to fall outside of a couple of walkovers, as Kasatkina served eight aces to one and hit seven more winners (27-20) and six less unforced errors (14-20) in a clinical display. Kasatkina also only dropped eight points off her first serve, and did not even face a break point, whilst breaking Bencic four times from nine chances.

“A lot has changed between 2018 and now,” Kasatkina said post-match. “There was one amazing year for me, which was important in a good and in the bad way. “I learned a lot, and I think I become a little bit different, maybe more experienced, a bit more serious. “Let’s say I understand more why I’m winning or why I’m losing.

“At that time everything was just going with the wave, and I was not thinking that much.” Now I’m analysing more what’s going on in the situation I’m in. “Getting maybe a bit more mature.”

Aside from the withdrawals of Naomi Osaka – which was announced after her first round win – and Petra Kvitova – which handed Romanian Ana Bogdan and Russian Elena Vesnina safe passage into the third round, 29th seed Veronika Kudermetova was the only other seeded talent to fall in the Round of 64. Kudermetova went down to Czech Katerina Siniakova, losing in three tight sets 7-6 5-7 7-5 in an epic two-hour and 52-minute match, the clear longest of the day. Kudermetova hit 18 more winners (45-27) but was far too inconsistent with 67 unforced errors to 43, as Siniakova was more efficient off her serve, and despite serving 10 double faults, made the most of her chances when they went in.

One of only two other matches that lasted beyond the two-hour mark was Sorana Cirstea‘s two-hour and 37-minute victory over Italian Martina Trevisan. Cirstea got up in three sets, 6-4 3-6 6-4 in what was a real arm-wrestle for the most part. The Romanian was far from her best, hitting 46 unforced errors to 28, and only had three more winners than her opponent (29-26), but won 50 per cent of her receiving points, and had higher success rates on her first and second serve. The Romanian won through to take on Kasatkina in the Round of 32.

The other epic was seventh seed Serena Williams needing to shake off a second set fight from another Romanian in Mihaela Buzarnescu to win in three sets in two hours and three minutes. Williams got up 6-3 5-7 6-1 to run away with the contest in the end, but not without some tough moments midway through the game. Williams hit one more winner (26-25) and had one less unforced error (27-28) in a relatively even contest, but it was her much higher first serve success rate (75 to 61 per cent) that proved the difference, as she broke five times to two and served the only five aces of the match.

A number of other contenders breezed through with 2019 Roland Garros runner-up Marketa Vondrousova showing no mercy to French wildcard Harmony Tan, winning 6-1 6-3 in 62 minutes on court. The quickest match of the day was 33rd seed Paula Badosa‘s 6-2 6-0 destruction of Montenegro’s Danka Kovinic in a lightning 52 minutes, while 21st seed Elena Rybakina defeated Nao Hibino 6-3 6-1 in 63 minutes. Danielle Collins breezed past Anhelina Kalinina 6-2 6-0 in 62 minutes, and Tamara Zidansek rolled into the third round with a 65-minute 6-4 6-1 trouncing of American Madison Brengle.

Elsewhere, Belarusian duo Aryna Sabalenka and Victoria Azarenka both advanced through to the the next round in two tight sets, with Madison Keys and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova the other two seeds to make their way into the Round of 32. The only other match was Slovenia’s Polona Hercog taking care of France’s Carolina Garcia in straight sets, to complete the first 16 players through to the third round.

ROLAND GARROS ROUND OF 64 RESULTS:

Ana Bogdan (ROU) defeated [2] Naomi Osaka (JPN) W/O
[3] Aryna Sabalenka (BLR) defeated Aliaksandra Sasnovich (BLR) 7-5 6-3
[7] Serena Williams (USA) defeated Mihaela Buzarnescu (ROU) 6-3 5-7 6-1
Daria Kasatkina (RUS) defeated [10] Belinda Bencic (SUI) 6-2 6-2
[PR] Elena Vesnina (RUS) defeated [11] Petra Kvitova (CZE) W/O
[15] Victoria Azarenka (BLR) defeated Clara Tauson (AUT) 7-5 6-4
[20] Marketa Vondrousova (CZE) defeated [WC] Harmony Tan (FRA) 6-1 6-3
[21] Elena Rybakina (KAZ) defeated Nao Hibino (JPN) 6-3 6-1
[23] Madison Keys (USA) defeated Leylah Fernandez (CAN) 6-1 7-5
Katerina Siniakova (CZE) defeated [29] Veronika Kudermetova (RUS) 7-6 5-7 7-5
[31] Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) defeated Ajla Tomljanovic (AUS) 6-2 6-4
[33] Paula Badosa (ESP) defeated [LL] Danka Kovinic (MON) 6-2 6-0
Danielle Collins (USA) defeated Anhelina Kalinina (UKR) 6-2 6-0
Tamara Zidansek (SLO) defeated Madison Brengle (USA) 6-4 6-1
Sorana Cirstea (ROU) defeated Martina Trevisan (ITA) 6-4 3-6 6-4
Polona Hercog (SLO) defeated Caroline Garcia (FRA) 7-5 6-4

Picture credIt: Jimmie 48/WTA

WTA Tour wrap: Jabeur dominates in Charleston as China and Argentina worry big guns in Billie Jean Cup

TOP seed Ons Jabeur has flexed her muscles with a 48-minute demolition job of Japan’s Nao Hibino to reach the semi-finals of the MUSC Health Women’s Open in Charleston. Jabeur only dropped one game in the 6-0 6-1 domination at the WTA 250 event to be the raging favourite in the tournament. The Tunisian restricted the Japanese talent to just 13 points on Hibino’s serve during the smashing, as she eyes off a potential maiden WTA Tour.

The 26-year-old is at a career-high 27th in the world and will surpass that, having had a huge last 18 months on the Tour. She will take on Montenegro’s Danka Kovinic who is also title-less at WTA Tour level, with the world number 65 upsetting third seed Shelby Rogers in straight sets. After a tight first set, Kovinic ran away with it in the second set to triumph 7-5 6-1 in 70 minutes.

Also moving through to the next round was Australian Astra Sharma who toppled 15-year-old Linda Fruhvirtova, 6-4 6-3 in an hour and 24 minutes. Sharma is ranked 165th in the world and yet to secure a singles title on Tour, though is eyeing off a return to the Top 100. She will take on Maria Camilla Osorio Serrano, who won against Danish teenager Clara Tauson, 6-4 1-0 before the latter was forced to retire from the quarter final.

MUSC HEALTH WOMEN’S OPEN QUARTER FINALS RESULTS:

[1] Ons Jabeur (TUN) defeated Nao Hibino (JPN) 6-0 6-1
Danka Kovinic (MNE) defeated [3] Shelby Rogers (USA) 7-5 6-1
Astra Sharma (AUS) defeated Linda Fruhvirtova (CZE) 6-4 6-3
Maria Camilla Osorio Serrano (COL) defeated Clara Tauson (DEN) 6-4 1-0 RET

BILLIE JEAN KING CUP

The return of the Billie Jean King Cup (formerly the Federation Cup) has got underway with the eight playoff matches taking place across the world. Three of them are locked at one match a piece after day one of three, with the other five going 2-0 in favour of the leader after the opening singles matches.

In Poland, Magdalena Frech got the home nation off to the perfect start against Brazil’s Carolina Meligeni Rodrigues Alves, with a one-hour and 28-minute win, 6-4 6-3. Brazil’s Laura Pigossi stunned Urszula Radwanska in the second match however, needing almost three hours to knock out the former Top 30 player, winning 7-6 3-6 6-2, including a whopping 11-9 opening set tiebreaker.

Argentina and Kazakhstan were also level after two singles matches, featuring some seriously high quality players. A stunning turnaround for Yulia Putintseva saw her take down French Open semi-finalist Nadia Podoroska in three sets, 2-6 6-4 6-0 to give the visitors the lead. However the biggest upset of perhaps the tournament was Maria Lourdes Carle three-set victory over Elena Rybakina. The 21-year-old Argentinian got the job done over the Top 20 talent in her home nation to level the tie at 1-1.

The other 1-1 tie is between Netherlands and China, with a full-strength Dutch side not having it all their own way against a young Chinese outfit. Despite playing on the indoor clay at ‘s-Hertogenbosch, the Dutch remain level with China despite Kiki Bertens‘ 6-2 6-0 rout of 19-year-old 146th ranked Wang Xinyu in the opening match of the tie. The tighter match was between the 83rd ranked Arantxa Rus and 134th ranked Wang Xiyu, with the 20-year-old getting it done against Rus, winning 6-1 3-6 6-2 in just under two hours.

Elsewhere, the ties all went 2-0, led by Elina Svitolina who has steered Ukraine to a dominant lead alongside 18-year-old Marta Kostyuk who feasted on an inexperienced and youthful Japanese outfit. Canada is upsetting Serbia after a day, with 30-year-old Rebecca Marino toppling Nina Stojanovic in straight sets 6-4 7-6, while Leylah Fernandez won in a three-set thriller over Olga Danilovic.

A full-strength Great Britain led by Heather Watson and Katie Boulter have cruised to a 2-0 lead over Mexico in London, while Jelena Ostapenko got more than she bargained for against Indian 174th ranked Ankita Raina, needing three sets and two hours and 25 minutes to grab the victory, before Anastasija Sevastova had an easy win over world number 621 Karman Kaur Thandi in the second match to lead Latvia to a 2-0 start. Finally, Italy is out to a 2-0 lead in Romania after Martina Trevisan won in three hours and seven minutes over Mihaela Buzarnescu, and Elisabetta Cocciaretto proved too good for Irina Maria Bara.

Picture credit: MUSC Health Women’s Open / Chris Smith

WTA Tour wrap: Americans reign on opening day of Charleston 250 event

IT was a successful opening day of the 2021 MUSC Health Women’s Open WTA 250 event in Charleston, with the Americans mostly successful on home soil and seeing four of the day’s five seeds collect wins.

Third seed Shelby Rogers exploded out of the blocks with a 6-0 6-1 victory over compatriot Caty McNally, requiring just 62 minutes to claim the win with six aces and a whopping 83.3 per cent winning rate off her first serve. Rogers also excelled on return, winning 62.2 per cent of points off McNally’s service games to head into the second round unscathed.

Seventh seed American Lauren Davis also took on a compatriot in Coco Vandeweghe and ran out victor in one hour and 38 minutes with an effective 7-6 6-4 takedown. Whilst Vandeweghe was marginally more efficient on serve, Davis was far consistent in comparison and utilised her second serve much better. The third American to head through to the second round was eighth seed Madison Brengle who was taken to three set by Russian Natalia Vikhlyantseva. Whilst Vikhlyantseva stole back the second set after a rough 0-6 start, she shot herself in the foot in the third hitting six double faults to take her total to 11 for the match, and eventually was outclassed by Brengle 6-0 3-6 6-2.

The remaining three games saw an intriguing result between Japanese talents Nao Hibino and fifth seed Misaki Doi, with the latter retiring in the third set when the two were even 6-6 with a severe leg cramp, handing Hibino the three hour and nine minute, 7-5 5-7 6-6 marathon victory. Hibino will want to clean up her service game in her upcoming match after hitting 10 double faults for two aces off a 64 per cent clip, however saved 16 break points in the tight encounter.

Australian Ajla Tomljanovic completed a clean and efficient one hour and three minute 6-1 6-1 victory to head into the second round, defeating Renata Zarazua credit to a huge 81 per cent win rate off her first serve, and capitalising off her Mexican opposition’s error rate. The remaining winner of the day was Swiss teenager Clara Tauson, who claimed a 6-3 6-3 victory over Russian Liudmila Samsonova.

MUSC HEALTH WOMEN’S OPEN ROUND OF 32 RESULTS:

[3] Shelby Rogers (USA) defeated Caty McNally (USA) 6-0 6-1
Nao Hibino (JPN) defeated [5] Misaki Doi (JPN) 7-5 5-7 6-6 RET
[6] Ajla Tomljanovic (AUS) defeated Renata Zarazua (MEX) 6-1 6-1
[7] Lauren Davis (USA) defeated Coco Vandeweghe (USA) 7-6 6-4
[8] Madison Brengle (USA) defeated Natalia Vikhlyantseva (RUS) 6-0 3-6 6-2
Clara Tauson (SUI) defeated Liudmila Samsonova (RUS) 6-3 6-3

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 Tour wrap: Russians reign supreme as seeds bow out in Mexico

RUSSIANS proved too strong on home soil at the WTA 500 St. Petersburg event whilst it was a mixed bag of results as seeds fell at the WTA 250 event in Monterrey, Mexico.

Sloane Stephens was the big out on Day 2 at Monterrey, with the out-of-form American top seed disposed on in straight sets by Slovakian Kristina Kucova. With just a 32.4 per cent first serve winning rate and marginally better on her second serve with 33.3 per cent of points won – four from 12 – Stephens never looked like she would take out victory here, wih the appalling service efficiency working the way of Kucova who came away with the 6-2 6-2 victory in 70 minutes. Heather Watson was the second seed to fall on the day, struggling to compete with compatriot Harriet Dart who flew out of the blocks in the 6-4 7-6 encounter, hitting six aces for one double fault throughout compared to Watson’s three and eight. The only seed to complete a win thus far on the day is China’s Zheng Saisai, with the third seed’s consistency and ability to win on serve doing her plenty of favours against Russian Varvara Gracheva, winning 6-3 7-5 in tricky conditions. Meanwhile, the only unseeded encounter that is already complete was played out by Kaja Juvan and Maria Camila Orsorio Serrano, with Juvan reigning supreme 6-4 6-4.

The two matches currently in progress – Ukraine’s Lesia Tsurenko versus seventh seed Spaniard Sara Sorribes Tormo and sixth seed Ana Blinkova versus Viktorija Golubic – saw both lower ranked players take out the first set in intriguing results. The following two matches are not set to begin until after 6:00pm local (11:00am AEDT).

MONTERREY ROUND OF 32 RESULTS: 

Kristina Kucova (SVK) defeated [1] Sloane Stephens (USA) 6-2 6-2
[3] Zheng Saisai (CHN) defeated Varvara Gracheva (RUS) 6-3 7-5
Harriet Dart (GBR) defeated [5] Heather Watson (GBR) 6-4 7-6
Kaja Juvan (SRB) defeated Maria Camila Orsorio Serrano (COL) 6-4 6-4
Lesia Tsurenko (UKR) v. [7] Sara Sorribes Tormo (ESP)
[6] Ana Blinkova (RUS) v. Viktorija Golubic (SUI)
Anna Kalinskaya (RUS) v. [2] Nadia Podoroska (ARG)
Zhu Lin (CHN) v. Eugenie Bouchard (CAN)

Russians were on the money on home soil at Day 2 of the St. Petersburg Round of 32, as four home hopes proceeded through to the Round of 16 amongst some intriguing results.

Fifth seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and eighth seed Daria Kasatkina were the two expected to reign supreme, but were forced to take their time against their respective opposition in Cagla Buyukakcay and Clara Tauson. Pavlyuchenkova trailed the service game efficiency but overall made better use of her serve, winning of 75 per cent of first serve chances and 62.5 per cent of second serve chances compared to her Turkish opposition to win 6-4 6-4. For Kasatkina, it was a matter of outclassing the 18-year-old Danish talent in Tauson, with the young gun biting back in the second after marginally trailing the first for a 6-4 7-6(0) end result. Also through to the Round of 16 is Margarita Gasparyan, who was the only player to beat a seed on Day 2. Gasparyan flew out of the gates against Kristina Mladenovic, and whilst the first set tiebreaker went to the Frenchwoman, Gasparyan could not be stopped from there winning convincingly, 6-7 6-1 6-1. The fourth Russian in the next round is Kamilla Rakhimova, who defeated compatriot Daria Mishina 6-1 7-6 6-1 for her spot in the Round of 16.

In other matches, two Czech talents prevailed with one getting the win in tight circumstances, whilst the other’s experience was anything but. For Tereza Martincova, a first set 6-0 speedrun against Stefanie Voegele was not enough to secure momentum, taken to another two sets and forced to work for the 6-0 4-6 6-4 victory. Meanwhile, Katerina Siniakova downed Kirsten Flipkens 6-1 6-2 in the quickest win of the day, just 63 minutes. Comparatively, the two remaining winners completed their respective matches in two hours and 12 minutes each, with Wang Xinyu earning her way to the nxt round with a great 6-1 5-7 7-5 outing against Viktoriya Tomova, whilst Romanian Jacqueline Cristian will go another day after her Belarusian opponent Vera Lapko retired during the third set, despite leading early.

ST. PETERSBURG ROUND OF 32 RESULTS:

[5] Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) defeated Cagla Buyukakcay (TUR) 6-4 6-4
Margarita Gasparyan (RUS) defeated [7] Kristina Mladenovic (FRA) 6-7 6-1 6-1
[8] Daria Kasatkina (RUS) defeated Clara Tauson (DEN) 6-4 7-6
Tereza Martincova (CZE) defeated Stefanie Voegele (AUT) 6-0 4-6 6-4
Katerina Siniakova (CZE) defeated Kirsten Flipkens (GER) 6-1 6-2
Wang Xinyu (CHN) defeated Viktoriya Tomova (HUN) 6-1 5-7 7-5
Kamilla Rakhimova (RUS) defeated Daria Mishina (RUS) 6-1 7-6 6-1
Jacqueline Cristian (ROM) defeated Vera Lapko (BLR) 6-7 6-4 2-1

WTA Tour wrap: Tauson wins maiden WTA Tour title as Dubai event kicks off

DANISH teenager Clara Tauson has won her maiden WTA Tour with a straight sets victory over fellow qualifier, Viktorjia Golubic in the Lyon Open final. Tauson produced a stunning week to not drop a set and extend her 2021 record – over WTA and ITF Tours – to 19-3, whilst handing Golubic her fourth loss for a 19-4 record. The 6-4 6-1 victory backed up her ITF tournament victory over Golubic a few weeks back, allowing her to add a WTA 250 event to her trophy cabinet.

It was the first final between two qualifiers in four years, in a match that last 89 minutes. Tauson served seven aces, but at a poor 48.2 per cent efficiency. That mattered little however, as she capitalised with 66.7 and 55.2 per cent success off her first and second serves, the counter contrast to a steady Golubic who served at 74.6 per cent efficiency, but could only muster 49.1 and 27.8 per cent off her service games.

“I think I played aggressive, I think I played my game, even though I missed a few balls,” Tauson said post-match. “I didn’t really think too much about winning or losing, I thought about playing my game and just playing one point at a time, and that helped a lot.”

A former junior world number one, Tauson raced through the draw from qualifying, which started with a stunning 6-3 6-4 victory over Ekaterina Alexandrova in the opening round. She has booked her place inside the Top 100 on Tour following her final victory.

“I think I’ve been really solid; especially after the first set, I’ve come out good in every single match,” Tauson said. “I just kept my game going. It’s been a weird week like that, normally I have some fall-outs, but I haven’t had any of those this week, so I’m very happy with that.”

LYON OPEN FINAL RESULT:

[Q] Clara Tauson (DEN) defeated [Q] Viktorija Golubic (SUI) 6-4 6-1

 

Meanwhile day one of the Dubai WTA Tour 1000 event kicked off with seven first round matches completed. Alexandrova was the talking point of another loss at this tournament, going down to American young gun Coco Gauff in three sets. Gauff needed to win two tiebreakers, including an epic third set tiebreaker 10-8 to get up in the two-hour and 41-minute match, but eventually saluted to advance through to the second round.

Gauff saved two match points in the deciding set tiebreaker after leading by as much as 5-1 in the third. She served for the match three times at 5-2, 5-4 and 6-5, and missed opportunities on closing it out sooner with four match points in the tenth game of the set. The American got on the back foot in the tiebreaker, having to save two match points herself, before coming from 8-7 down to win 10-8 and book her place in the Round of 32.

“There were times when we both could have thrown in the towel and gave up, but we both were mentally fighting,” Gauff said post-match. “I think it’s just one of those that you’re happy that it’s over, and happy that you fought through it.”

The only seed in action on day one was Greek 16th seed Maria Sakkari, but she fell to Czech, Barbora Krejikova in straight sets, 6-2 7-6 in an hour and 48 minutes on court. Krejikova’s doubles partner, Katerina Siniakova was not as fortunate, suffering defeat at the hands of Tunisian Ons Jabeur in just 65 minutes, 6-2 6-3. Meanwhile veteran Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova, and compatriot Veronika Kudermetova both advanced to the Round of 32 with first round victories, as did Frenchwoman Alize Cornet, and Latvian Anastasija Sevastova.

DUBAI ROUND OF 64 RESULTS:

Barbora Krejicova (CZE) defeated [16] Maria Sakkari (GRE) 6-2 7-6
Ons Jabeur (TUN) defeated Katerina Siniakova (CZE) 6-2 6-3
Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS) defeated Wang Qiang (CHN) 6-4 1-6 7-5
Coco Gauff (USA) defeated Ekaterina Alexandrova (RUS) 7-6 2-6 7-6
Alize Cornet (FRA) defeated Daria Kasatkina (RUS) 6-4 3-6 6-1
Anastasija Sevastova (LAT) defeated Bernarda Pera (USA) 6-0 5-3 RET
Veronika Kudermetova (RUS) defeated Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) 7-6 6-2

 

Picture credit: Alexandre Hergott – Lyon Open

WTA Tour wrap: Kvitova storms to Doha title as qualifiers face off in Lyon

FOR the second time in four years, Petra Kvitova has defeated Garbine Muguruza to win the 2021 Qatar Total Open title. Her 28th overall career title, the Czech was far too strong, dominating 6-2 6-1 in 61 minutes to back up her 2018 title – and win over Muguruza – with a remarkable victory here. Her efforts at Doha are nothing short of phenomenal considering she also won the title here in 2020 before going down to Aryna Sabalenka in the final.

“It’s been a great run in Doha, for sure,” Kvitova said post-match. “It’s been a great whole week. I just feel like home a little bit. I love the court, I love everything, and the people are really friendly as well.”

Unlike her 2018 triumph, Kvitova did not need three sets and two hours and 16 minutes to dispose of the Spanish Grand Slam winner, stepping up to play some unbelievable shots throughout the match. The left hander did not serve and aces, but won 63.9 and 61.1 per cent of her points off her first and second serve, but also dominated upon return with a 54.5 and 66.7 per cent success rate from Muguruza’s first and second serve point. Both players had amble break point opportunities, with Kvitova breaking five times from nine chances – only allowing Muguruza to hold twice – while the Spaniard broke only once from seven chances.

“Today I think Petra played very well from the baseline, and it was hard to try to make her move, or try to do much,” Muguruza said. “It was very windy, as well. I mean, it really wasn’t my day, I guess.”

Both players now head to Dubai for the massive WTA1000 event. Fourth seed Petra Kvitova has automatic entry into the second round, with a Round of 32 clash against either Lyon Open semi-finalist Spaniard Paula Badosa or Swiss talent Jil Teichmann on the cards. For Muguruza, the ninth seed at the event, she faces a qualifier before a likely second round showdown with young American Amanda Anisimova who also faces a qualifier in the Round of 64.

QATAR TOTAL OPEN FINAL RESULT:

[4] Petra Kvitova (CZE) defeated Garbine Muguruza (ESP) 6-2 6-1

 

For the first time in four years, two qualifiers will contest a WTA Tour final following upset wins for Switzerland’s Victorija Golubic and Denmark’s Clara Tauson in the semi-finals overnight. Golubic came from a set down to put away home nation hero and second seed Fiona Ferro 4-6 6-0 7-6, while the teenage Tauson knocked off seventh seed Spaniard Badosa in straight sets, 7-5 6-1.

The Tauson victory was a remarkable one, with the 18-year-old playing in just her third main draw event on the WTA Tour. Such has been the rise of both her and Golubic, that the pair actually faced off in a ITF W25 final back in January, where she defeated the Swiss talent 6-0 4-6 6-3 in Fujairah. Their form in 2021 is undeniable, with Golubic standing at 19-3 – having won the week after Fujairah in Grenoble – while Tauson is at 18-3.

The Danish teenager needed just 90 minutes to dismiss Badosa, serving four aces and winning 81.3 per cent of her first serve points, and 50 per cent of her second serve points, while the Spaniard sat at 55.3 and 39.4 per cent respectively. The seventh seed bravely defended all game as Tauson created 17 break point opportunities, but could only convert five, while Badosa broke twice from five chances.

Golubic had a much tougher match out against Ferro, needing two hours and 26 minutes and a deciding third set tiebreaker to make the final. After dropping the first set 6-4, Golubic powered to a dominant 6-0 second set, but the players went toe-for-toe in the decider, forcing a tiebreaker the the Swiss talent was able to win 7-4. Golubic came into the tournament ranked 129th in the world, and Tauson 139th, with the former now up to 101st, and the latter moving up to 107th. The winner of today’s final will enter the Top 100.

LYON OPEN SEMI-FINALS RESULTS:

[Q] Victorija Golubic (SUI) defeated [2] Fiona Ferro (FRA) 4-6 6-0 7-6
[Q] Clara Tauson (DEN) defeated [7] Paula Badosa (ESP) 7-5 6-1

Picture credit: Jimmie48/WTA

WTA Tour wraps: Kvitova out to go one better

THE stage is set for a brilliant final in Doha, while the Lyon semi-finalists are locked in following a mixed bag of results.

Petra Kvitova will take on Garbine Muguruza in the 2021 Qatar Total Open final today after ending the run of American qualifier Jessica Pegula yesterday. The fourth seed Czech won 6-4 6-4 in an hour and 21 minutes to book her place in the final, her first in 12 months since losing the Doha final to Aryna Sabalenka last year. She said she enjoyed playing in Doha, but hoped to build that form elsewhere around the WTA Tour.

“I would love to know it, as well, why I’m playing well in Doha,” Kvitova said post-match. “I would love to play everywhere very well, but of course sometimes it’s not easy.”

Kvitova served the only two aces of the match, and did not procude a double fault, commanding a strong position on serve with 58.5 and 50.0 per cent of her first and second serve points off a 77.4 per cent efficiency. It far eclipsed an efficient, yet unable to capitalise, Pegula who served at 71 per cent, but only won 49 and 40 per cent of her first and second serve points. Still broken four times, Kvitova managed to break Pegula six times to have the additional break in each set, and win in straight sets.

“Today was so windy, and I’m not sure if it was a matter of tennis, but it was really about putting lot of balls into the court,” Kvitova said. “But then Jessica played really great, and I really have to play great, as well.”

In the end, Kvitova hit a balanced 26 winners and 26 unforced errors, which while not overly impressive, was better than her opponents’ 17 winners to 28 unforced errors. It ended the run of Pegula who went all the way through qualifying to the semi-final, the first player to do so at Doha. Now she sets her sights on Muguruza who won following a withdrawal from opponent and fellow Grand Slam winner, Victoria Azarenka.

“First of all, just being in the final for me, it’s great,” Kvitova said. “We played many times already against Garbiñe. We played a final here 2018, as well, which was a roller-coaster. I know she’s really in great form. She’s playing really well. “We play a similar game. So it will be really, I think, about a few points, as it was in the past.”

Kvitova will be going for her 28th WTA Tour title when she steps out on court against Muguruza – whom she has a 4-1 head-to-head record against – and she has already entrenched herself inside the Top 10, to sit eighth, having risen above Sabalenka and Bianca Andreescu. Pegula’s rise up the order continued with the 27-year-old now inside the Top 40 moving up eight spots to be 36th in the world.

QATAR TOTAL OPEN SEMI-FINALS RESULTS:

[4] Petra Kvitova (CZE) defeated [Q] Jessica Pegula (USA) 6-4 6-4
Garbine Muguruza (ESP) defeated [8] Victoria Azarenka (BLR) W/O

 

In Lyon, a couple of seeds and a couple of qualifiers have booked their places in the semi-finals after the completion of the quarter finals overnight. The top ranked remaining player in the draw, Fiona Ferro took down French wildcard Clara Burel after a nervous start, while seventh seed Spaniard Paula Badosa became the villain when she knocked out fourth seed Frenchwoman Kristina Mladenovic in three sets.

Ferro needed 91 minutes to defeat Burel, falling behind with a disappointing first set to drop it 6-2, before finding her groove and winning the next two 6-1 6-3 to advance through to the semi-finals. Burel served at an elite 82.4 per cent efficiency, but could only capitalise off 5.14 and 26.7 per cent of her first and second serve points respectively, as Ferro broke her serve times to the wildcard’s five. Ferro won 63 and 42.9 per cent of her first and second serve points in the match to set up a semi-final clash with Vikrtorija Golubic.

Meanwhile Badosa took part in an epic three setter against Mladenovic, having to bounce back from a second set tiebreaker loss to win, 7-5 6-7 6-2 in two hours and 36 minutes. The win included Badosa claiming 72.1 and 31.3 per cent of her first and second serve points, breaking nine times from 12 chances, and bravely defending 12 break point opportunities as the fourth seed capitalised six times.

Now Badosa will go on to play Danish qualifier and teenager, Clara Tauson who continued her giant-killing run to the semis with a straight sets win over Italian Camila Giorgi. Tauson won 6-3 6-1 in just 70 minutes to advance to a semi-final in her first ever WTA Tour event. The Dane now sits at 117th in the world having moved up 22 spots on the world rankings. She takes on Golubic who won their semi-final over Belgian Greet Minnen. The Swiss qualifier won 6-3 7-6 in an hour and 41 minutes to set up a clash with Tauson. The Dane won a clash a few starts back on the ITF Tour for her most recent title so will be keen to repeat the dose again.

LYON OPEN QUARTER FINALS RESULTS:

[2] Fiona Ferro (FRA) defeated [WC] Clara Burel (FRA) 2-6 6-1 6-3
[7] Paula Badosa (ESP) defeated [4] Kristina Mladenovic (FRA) 7-5 6-7 6-2
[Q] Clara Tauson (DEN) defeated Camila Giorgi (ITA) 6-3 6-1
[Q] Viktorija Golubic (SUI) defeated Greet Minnen (BEL)

WTA Tour wrap: Muguruza takes down Sabalenka at Doha as Burel and Tauson’s runs continue in Lyon

IT was a huge day in Doha, with plenty of big names making their way through to the Qatar Total Open quarter finals, whilst in Lyon, the French were up and about, making up half of the final eight combatants.

Grand Slam winner Garbine Muguruza has managed to quell third seed and power player, Aryna Sabalenka in the second round of the Qatar Total Open to move through to the quarter finals. She had to fight hard against the much-improved Belarusian, but held firm to claim victory in the standout match of the day, 6-2 6-7 6-3 in two hours and 26 minutes.

Despite having two less aces (4-6), Muguruza dominated on serve with a 74 per cent efficiency and higher first (64.9 to 59.4 per cent) and second (48.1 to 43.5 per cent) serve point conversions. She also broke seven times from 17 chances, whilst only being broken four times herself. It was a fascinating contest from the get-go, but the consistent Spaniard proved too strong.

It was much easier work for top seed Elina Svitolina who cruised into the quarter finals with a dominating 6-1 6-2 smashing of Japanese lucky loser Misaki Doi. She joined fourth seed Petra Kvitova and eighth seed Victoria Azarenka in the final eight after they also claimed straight sets wins. Kvitova did well to knock off Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-1 6-3, while Azarenka accounted for German qualifier Laura Siegemund, 6-4 6-2.

The run of American qualifier Jessica Pegula continued, with the Australian Open quarter finalist making another final eight appearance at a big tournament, taking care of Latvian Jelena Ostapenko, 6-2 7-5. Meanwhile Greek Maria Sakkari knocked off Madison Keys easily, 6-2 6-2, while Estonian Anett Kontaveit won against German Angelique Kerber, 6-1 6-4. In the late game that just wrapped up, second seed Karolina Pliskova defeated Tunisian Ons Jabeur 6-4 4-6 7-5.

QATAR TOTAL OPEN ROUND OF 16 RESULTS:

[1] Elina Svitolina (UKR) defeated [LL] Misaki Doi (JPN) 6-1 6-2
[2] Karolina Pliskova (CZE) defeated Ons Jabeur (TUN) 6-4 4-6 7-5
Garbine Muguruza (ESP) defeated [3] Aryna Sabalenka (BLR) 6-2 6-7 6-3
[4] Petra Kvitova (CZE) defeated Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) 6-1 6-3
[8] Victoria Azarenka (BLR) defeated [Q] Laura Siegemund (GER) 6-4 6-2
Maria Sakkari (GER) defeated Madison Keys (USA) 6-2 6-2
Anett Kontaveit (EST) defeated Angelique Kerber (GER) 6-1 6-4
[Q] Jessica Pegula (USA) defeated Jelena Ostapenko (LAT) 6-2 7-5

 

Three of the four French seeds made it through to the final eight, with fifth seed Alize Cornet being the first one to fall in the 2021 Lyon Open. Cornet went down in three sets to compatriot and wildcard, Clara Burel in the second round of the tournament, losing 6-1 1-6 6-3 in two hours and six minutes. It was better news for second seed Fiona Ferro, who booked her place in the quarter finals with a win over Czech qualifier Tereza Martincova.

Martincova retired when Ferro was up 6-2 4-1, and the Frenchwoman second seed joined fellow seeds, Kristina Mladenovic and Caroline Garcia in the quarter finals making it four French through to the last eight. The only other straight sets result yesterday was Danish teenager Clara Tauson who continued her run after defeating top seed Ekaterina Alexandrova, knocking off Hungary’s Timea Babos, 6-2 6-3 in 71 minutes.

Meanwhile elsewhere, Switzerland’s Viktorija Golubic accounted for Belarusian Vera Lapko in a come-from-behind win 5-7 6-4 6-3, while Italian Camila Giorgi also came from a set down to defeat Serbian Nina Stojanovic, 2-6 6-1 7-6.

LYON OPEN ROUND OF 16 RESULTS:

[2] Fiona Ferro (FRA) defeated [Q] Tereza Martincova (CZE) 6-2 4-1 RET
[WC] Clara Burel (FRA) defeated [5] Alize Cornet (FRA) 6-1 1-6 6-3
Viktorija Golubic (SUI) defeated Vera Lapko (BLR) 5-7 6-4 6-3
[Q] Clara Tauson (DEN) defeated Timea Babos (HUN) 6-2 6-3
Camila Giorgi (ITA) defeated Nina Stojanovic (SRB) 2-6 6-1 7-6

Picture credit: Getty Images