Tag: laura siegemund

WTA Tour wrap: Barty and Swiatek set up huge quarter finals clash

THE first day of Round of 32 action is done and dusted at the Madrid Open in Spain, with a couple of intriguing tests making life difficult for seeded competitors.

Ash Barty continued her winning run for the year, still leading all-comers with the most wins to her name in 2021 but was really tested by Slovenian Tamara Zidansek in an intriguing 6-4 1-6 6-3, one hour and 58 minute encounter.

“A really tough match,” Barty said. “I felt my margins were a little bit off today. Made a lot of errors. I think I was missing in the right way, but still just a foot or two here or there makes a big difference. I felt like there were probably too many loose ones for me today.”

Barty was uncharacteristically inefficient off her first serve at just 51 per cent throughout, but still managing to claim the ascendancy with an improved winning rate off said serve. A huge second set from Zidansek – winning her first ever set off a top 10 player – could have spelled trouble for the world number one, however an improved third set saw Barty wrench momentum back in her favour, capitalising off Zidansek’s errors to claim the win.

“I don’t think there was a lot in it by any means,” Barty said. “We had a lot of close games in the first set, early in the second set. In the third, as well, there were a lot of close games. I think the response early in the third was good. I was a bit more aggressive, was able to bring the match back on my terms.”

Meanwhile, a win to Iga Swiatek over German Laura Siegemund has set up a massive quarter final encounter between Swiatek and Barty, with the 2019 and 2020 Roland Garros champions meeting on court for the first time. While Barty was challenged in the second round, Swiatek had a much easier time against Siegemund to claim a 6-3 6-3 victory. Even despite dropping a 3-0 start to the second set as Siegemund recovered to even up the ledger to 3-0, Swiatek won the remaining games to claim the one hour and 40 minute victory.

“It was pretty hard to close that match,” Swiatek said. “Match balls are pretty stressful because you know you’re almost at the end. Sometimes a crazy idea may come up. I tried to just be focused on my basic game, to play safe.

“Anyway, I made a lot of little mistakes. I wasn’t sure where it came from. It was pretty annoying. It just shows that Laura is a great fighter. You could see that also in previous games. In second game of second set, she had amazing rallies, amazing points. She’s fighting till the end and she’s not giving anything for free.”

Both players are looking forward to their encounter, with only a practice hit-out to go off in the past.

“Real exciting,” said Barty. “A match that I look forward to. I’ve hit with her once in Melbourne a few months ago. She’s got a seriously impressive game. Moves very well on the clay court, can slide off both legs, controls her body really well on clay. Likes to use her hopper, gets around, controls the court with her forehand. It’s a challenge that we go into with a really clean slate, a little bit of a period of trying to figure each other out and how our games match up.”

“She has a great slice,” Swiatek said. “I remember it was hard in Melbourne to keep your legs low, just playing back those slices. I think most of the girls have problem with that. I’m going to remember about that.”

“I really respect her,” she said. “Basically I think it’s a good example of dealing with expectations, just having some kind of a distance to the game. I’m also having a hard time finding it. I want to kind of win every match, I want to win right now. Sometimes I’m not giving myself time. She did that.

In other games, Eighth and ninth seeds Belinda Bencic and Petra Kvitova both reigned supreme, whilst another two seeds fell in intriguing results, with Kiki Bertens and Johanna Konta both disposed of in straight sets by Russian, Veronika Kudermetova and Latvian, Anastasija Sevastova, respectively. Ons Jabeur and Paula Badosa were the remaining two winners of the day to head to the quarter finals.

MADRID OPEN ROUND OF 32 RESULTS:

[1] Ash Barty (AUS) defeated Tamara Zidansek (SLO) 6-4 1-6 6-3
Veronika Kudermetova (RUS) defeated [7] Kiki Bertens (NED) 6-4 6-3
[8] Belinda Bencic (SUI) defeated Bernarda Pera (USA) 3-6 6-1 7-6
[9] Petra Kvitova (CZE) defeated Angelique Kerber (GER) 6-4 7-5
[14] Iga Swiatek (POL) defeated Laura Siegemund (GER) 6-3 6-3
Anastasija Sevastova (LAT) defeated [15] Johanna Konta (GBR) 6-3 6-3
Ons Jabeur (TUN) defeated Sloane Stephens (USA) 4-6 6-1 6-3
Paula Badosa (ESP) defeated Jil Teichmann (SUI) 5-7 6-1 6-2

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WTA Tour wrap: Svitolina overcome by Teichmann, Barty and Swiatek skate through at Madrid

THE WTA 1000 Mutua Madrid Open has begun in Spain, with the opening day of action seeing plenty of fascinating results. Just one seed fell across the board in the lone three-setter of the day, setting up a massive second round already when proceedings have only just begun.

Fourth seed Elina Svitolina was the first to fall, despite a stellar start giving her the upper hand against Swiss talent Jil Teichmann. But Svitolina failed to bring the heat in the resulting second set as Teichmann piled on the pressure, as a third set ensued before Teichmann ran out 2-6 6-4 7-6(5) victor in just over two and a half hours.

It was an untidy first set from Teichmann that allowed Svitolina to take out the early ascendancy, before an impressive turnaround – including a much more consistent serve and two aces in the third – allowed the Swiss native to switch the momentum and claim victory. Whilst a 1-5 start to the third set may have looked dangerous, Teichmann flipped a switch to save six match points and pulled off a remarkable come-from-behind win.

“I started slow, especially with a lot of unforced errors,” Teichmann said. “Giving her too many free points. So I found a way to be more solid, to hit more balls.”

Where Teichmann’s compatriot and eighth seed Belinda Bencic was also successful in a 6-4 6-2 encounter with Frenchwoman Kristina Mladenovic, Svitolina’s compatriot Kateryna Kozlova was overcome in the same result by German Laura Siegemund.

A number of American names filtered across the courts in Madrid, with results split evenly down the middle. Two of the day’s top United States prospects in Shelby Rogers and Alison Riske were overcome by seeds who came out flying, with top seed Australian Ash Barty in fine form defeated Rogers 6-2 6-1 in one hour flat, whilst Riske struggled against in-form youngster Iga Swiatek on her Madrid debut, downed 6-1 6-1 in 67 minutes.

“I’ve played Shelby many times this year… and it’s always a very big challenge,” Barty said post-match. “I needed to make sure that I was at my very best to be able to compete today.”

“Every time you step out on the court against Shelby, you really need to be switched on, play your very best because she has the ability to take the match away from you very quickly. It was important for me to start well, across the whole match. It was always going to be a big factor.”

Barty hit eight aces and did not face a single break point on her way to victory, also piling on 19 winners for just nine unforced errors in a classy showing. While Barty is fresh off a clay court title last week at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix, 14th seed Swiatek took the court for the first time on clay this season and effectively the first time since her breakthrough French Open victory in 2020.

“Today I just wanted to play solid and to use all the tactics, the clues that my coach gave me to implement everything in my game that he told me. I did that pretty well,” Swiatek said.

“I did some unforced errors that I wish they didn’t happen, but they didn’t have much influence on the score. Also I try to come back to the solid game, so I did that pretty well.”

“[It’s] my first time here. For sure the balls are going pretty high because of the air here. Madrid is elevated. It’s totally different. I strung my racquet more tight. I think most of the players are doing that, so it’s not something special.

“You just have to be ready for every shot because I felt that on practices and even today, that when I did something like a small mistake technically, the ball went out two meters. You really have to be careful here and just kind of really, really focus on techniques.”

The remaining two United States competitors of the day both claimed wins in relatively simple circumstances, as Bernarda Pera and Sloane Stephens got wins on the board in 76 and 82 minutes, respectively. Three more seeds reigned supreme, with seventh seed and defending Madrid champion Kiki Bertens, three-time winner and ninth seed Petra Kvitova – by default after compatriot Marie Bouzkova was forced to retire at 6-2 2-3 – and 15th seed Johanna Konta all heading into the second round. Another six competitors will look to hit the ground running in the Round of 32, with Anastasija SevastovaTamara ZidansekVeronika Kudermetova, hometown hope Paula BadosaOns Jabeur and Angelique Kerber all claiming straight set wins.

MUTUA MADRID OPEN ROUND OF 64 RESULTS:

[1] Ash Barty (AUS) defeated Shelby Rogers (USA) 6-2 6-1
Jil Teichmann (SUI) defeated [4] Elina Svitolina (UKR) 2-6 6-4 7-6
[7] Kiki Bertens (NED) defeated Victoria Jimenez Kasintseva (AND) 6-4 6-0
[8] Belinda Bencic (SUI) defeated Kristina Mladenovic (FRA) 6-4 6-2
[9] Petra Kvitova (CZE) defeated Marie Bouzkova (CZE) 6-2 2-3 RET
[14] Iga Swiatek (POL) defeated Alison Riske (USA) 6-1 6-1
[15] Johanna Konta (GBR) defeated Yulia Putintseva (KAZ) 6-4 6-2
Bernarda Pera (USA) defeated Petra Martic (CRO) 6-3 6-2
Anastasija Sevastova (LAT) defeated Ana Bogdan (ROM) 6-0 6-3
Laura Siegemund (GER) defeated Kateryna Kozlova (UKR) 6-4 6-2
Sloane Stephens (USA) defeated Danka Kovinic (MNE) 6-4 6-1
Tamara Zidansek (SLO) defeated Hsieh Su-Wei (TPE) 6-2 6-4
Veronika Kudermetova (RUS) defeated Elena Vesnina (RUS) 6-1 6-4
Paula Badosa (ESP) defeated Barbora Krejcikova (CZE) 6-1 7-5
Ons Jabeur (TUN) defeated Yaroslava Shvedova (KAZ) 6-2 6-3
Angelique Kerber (GER) defeated Marketa Vondrousova (CZE) 7-6 6-1

WTA Tour wrap: Kontaveit downs Kenin as Kostyuk and Konjuh clean up at Istanbul

ANOTHER fascinating day of action was had at both the WTA 500 event in Stuttgart, Germany and the WTA 250 event in Istanbul, Turkey, as the Round of 16 continued at both tournaments. Whilst seeds cleaned up the competition at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix, it was a different story entirely at the TEB BNP Paribas Tennis Championship Istanbul, as both of the day’s seeds fell in intriguing results.

Sofia Kenin‘s shocking run of form has continued with another loss, this time to Anett Kontaveit. With just seven wins for the year, Kenin has failed to surpass the Round of 32 since prior to the Australian Open in early February. Conversely, Kontaveit has been fairly consistent and did that again in this encounter to sweep Kenin 7-5 6-4 in just over 90 minutes. Kenin was the only seed to fall on the day as first seed Ash Barty came out flying in her one hour and 24-minute matchup with German hopeful Laura Siegemund, overcoming a second set fight back to claim the 6-0 7-5 victory, though Siegemund’s compatriot and former world number one Angie Kerber was much more successful, cleaning up Georgian Ekaterine Gorgodze 6-2 6-2 for the quickest win of the day, requiring just 72 minutes.

Sixth and seventh seed Czech hard-hitters Karolina Pliskova and Petra Kvitova both reigned supreme as a third Czech in Marketa Vondrousova joined the winners list following a victory over compatriot Marie Bouzkova. Whilst Vondrousova claimed a fairly quick victory in comparision, both Pliskova and Kvitova were taken to three sets by their opposition as German lucky loser Tamara Korpatsch well and truly gave world number nine Pliskova a run for her money in a 7-5 3-6 6-3 clash. Kvitova slumped in the second set before reclaiming momentum to take home a classy win over Maria Sakkari. The remaining win of the day went to Latvian Jelena Ostapenko, who disposed of Stefanie Voegele in straight sets 6-4 7-5 to head into the quarter finals.

PORSCHE TENNIS GRAND PRIX ROUND OF 16 RESULTS:

[1] Ash Barty (AUS) defeated Laura Siegemund (GER) 6-0 7-5
Anett Kontaveit (EST) defeated [3] Sofia Kenin (USA) 7-5 6-4
[6] Karolina Pliskova (CZE) defeated Tamara Korpatsch (GER) 7-5 3-6 6-3
[7] Petra Kvitova (CZE) defeated Maria Sakkari (GRE) 6-3 3-6 6-3
Marketa Vondrousova (CZE) defeated Marie Bouzkova (CZE) 6-1 7-6
Angelique Kerber (GER) defeated Ekaterine Gorgodze (GEO) 6-2 6-2
Jelena Ostapenko (LAT) defeated Stefanie Voegele (SUI) 6-4 7-5

 

Both Daria Kasatkina and Wang Qiang fell in straight sets during the Istanbul Round of 16, failing to really challenge their opposition as Marta Kostyuk and Ana Konjuh came out flying and did not back down. Whilst Kasatkina forced a comeback in the second set to Kostyuk, a sloppy error rate left her unable to take advantage of opportunities as she fell 6-3 7-5 in just over 90 minutes. For Wang, it was Konjuh’s continued intensity which left the Chinese eighth seed unable to compete, struggling to retain composure as Konjuh’s consistency proved valuable in the 6-1 6-4 scalp.

In the remaining three games, it took three sets for Katerina Siniakova to overcome Kristina Mladenovic in by far the day’s longest matchup, with the Czech requiring almost two and a half hours to claim the 6-4 3-6 6-4 victory. Whilst Mladenovic made a second set comeback, it was not enough as Siniakova remained composed to save 13 break points and claim seven to take out a controlled victory. Romanian Sorana Cirstea was challenged early by Russian Anastasia Potapova before earning a break in the second and riding out the 7-6(6) 6-4 victory, while Kaia Kanepi was the fifth winner of the day with a 6-4 6-4 sweep of Kazakh Zarina Diyas to claim the quickest win of the day in one hour and 19 minutes.

 

TEB BNP PARIBAS TENNIS CHAMPIONSHIP ISTANBUL ROUND OF 16 RESULTS:

Marta Kostyuk (UKR) defeated [4] Daria Kasatkina (SLO) 6-3 7-5
Ana Konjuh (CRO) defeated  [8] Wang Qiang (CHN) 6-1 6-4
Katerina Siniakova (CZE) defeated Kristina Mladenovic (FRA) 6-4 3-6 6-4
Sorana Cirstea (ROM) defeated Anastasia Potapova (RUS) 7-6 6-4
Kaia Kanepi (EST) defeated Zarina Diyas (KAZ) 6-4 6-4

WTA Tour wrap: Seeds successful in big second day of action at Stuttgart and Istanbul

ANOTHER big day of proceedings were had at both the WTA 500 event in Stuttgart, Germany and the WTA 250 event in Istanbul, Turkey, as majority of the seeds across both competitions reigned supreme.

Six matches played out in Stuttgart on Day 2 of proceedings at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix, seeing a couple of seeds get their clay season started successfully as four German talents took the court on home soil. Both seeds reigned supreme in straight sets, with Aryna Sabalenka taking out the quickest result of the day 6-2 6-2 over China’s Zhang Shuai in just 66 minutes. Seventh seed Petra Kvitova encountered a tougher opponent in Jennifer Brady but still claimed a clean 6-4 6-3 win in just over 90 minutes to head to the second round.

Two of the four German competitors reigned supreme, with Laura Siegemund collecting the win over her compatriot in Mona Barthel, 6-4 3-6 6-1, whilst Anna-Lena Friedsam downed Norwegian Ulrikke Eikeri 6-2 6-0 in one hour and 24 minutes. Julia Middendorf was not quite so lucky though, falling to Estonian Anett Kontaveit, while the remaining Round of 16 spot went to Ekaterina Alexandrova, claiming a come-from-behind victory over Karolina Muchova, 4-6 6-2 6-3.

PORSCHE TENNIS GRAND PRIX ROUND OF 32 RESULTS:

[5] Aryna Sabalenka (BLR) defeated Zhang Shuai (CHN) 6-2 6-2
[7] Petra Kvitova (CZE) defeated Jennifer Brady (USA) 6-4 6-3
Anett Kontaveit (EST) defeated Julia Middendorf (GER) 6-2 6-3
Ekaterina Alexandrova (RUS) defeated Karolina Muchova (CZE) 4-6 6-2 6-3
Laura Siegemund (GER) defeated Mona Barthel (GER) 6-4 3-6 6-1
Anna-Lena Friedsam (GER) defeated Ulrikke Eikeri (NOR) 6-2 6-0

 

At Istanbul, Anastasia Potapova bounced back well from a delayed third set against sixth seed compatriot Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova yesterday, registering a third set win and only requiring an additional 20 minutes to take out the match 7-6 6-7 6-4. Continuing onto Day 2’s proceedings at the event, and it was a fairly predictable day of action with four of the top five seeds earning wins. Elise Mertens and Daria Kasatkina took out the cleanest wins of the day with the top seed Belgian defeating Spaniard Lara Arruabarrena 6-2 6-0 whilst Kasatkina snagged the quickest result of the day with a 6-1 6-0 sweep of Tereza Mrdeza in just 65 minutes.

Third seed Veronika Kudermetova and fifth seed Barbora Krejcikova both also reigned supreme but were forced to overcome deficits, with the former slipping in the second set to give American Bernarda Pera a look in before claiming the three hour victory 6-4 4-6 7-6. Krejcikova overcame a tight 6(8)-7 first set to claim victory over hometown hopeful Cagla Buyukakcay, easily accounting for her in the remainder of the 6-7 6-2 6-0 encounter. Meanwhile, second seed Petra Martic was disposed of by Frenchwoman Fiona Ferro, slipping in the 7-5 6-2 encounter and failing to take back momentum.

Of the five remaining matches for the day, all were resolved in straight sets with the closest of the bunch between Romanian Sorana Cirstea and Ukrainian Kateryna Kozlova, resulting in a 6-4 7-6 victory the way of the Romanian in just under two hours. On the other end of the spectrum was a one hour and nine minute victory to Marta Kostyuk, who downed Russian Kamilla Rakhimova 6-4 6-3 in an impressively speedy encounter. Ana Bogdan, Vera Zvonareva and Kristina Mladenovic also joined the winners list to head to the Round of 16.

TEB BNP PARIBAS TENNIS CHAMPIONSHIP ISTANBUL ROUND OF 32 RESULTS:

[1] Elise Mertens (BEL) defeated Lara Arruabarrena (ESP) 6-2 6-0
Fiona Ferro (FRA) defeated [2] Petra Martic (CRO) 7-5 6-2
[3] Veronika Kudermetova (RUS) defeated Bernarda Pera (USA) 6-4 3-6 7-6
[4] Daria Kasatkina (RUS) defeated Tereza Mrdeza (CRO) 6-1 6-0
[5] Barbora Krejcikova (CZE) defeated Cagla Buyukakcay (TUR) 6-7 6-2 6-0
Vera Zvonareva (RUS) defeated Polona Hercog (SLO) 6-3 6-3
Ana Bogdan (ROM) defeated Nao Hibino (JPN) 6-3 6-3
Marta Kostyuk (UKR) defeated Kamilla Rakhimova (RUS) 6-4 6-3
Kristina Mladenovic (FRA) defeated Barbara Haas (AUT) 6-4 6-3
Sorana Cirstea (ROM) defeated Kateryna Kozlova (UKR) 6-4 7-6
Anastasia Potapova (RUS) defeated [6] Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) 7-6 6-7 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

WTA Miami Open 1000: Americans fall on day one as qualifiers continue hunt for main draw entry

WHILST qualifying rounds are still being complete, the WTA Tour Miami Open 1000 event has officially begun, with intriguing results pouring out already on the first day of competition.

The top ranked player of the day was Shelby Rogers, and the homegrown hope was the only United States talent to proceed to the second round as a whopping six compatriots fell. While the fall of Madison Brengle was down to Rogers’ 6-3 6-3 sweep, the most high profile loss went to three-time Miami champion Venus Williams who was disposed of by Kazakh Zarina Diyas 6-2 7-6(10), as 16-year-old Katrina Scott went down 6-2 6-2 in the quickest match of the day to Sorana Cirstea, with the Romanian needing just 60 minutes to collect the win. Losses to Lauren DavisRobin Montgomery and Christina McHale completed the United States’ day, with Russia also proving unlucky on day one as Anastasia Potapova and Anna Blinkova both fell.

Looking to successful performers on the opening day, and the likes of Paula Badosa were fortunate to remain in the draw, with the Spaniard winning through in strange circumstances as her Swiss opposition in Jil Teichmann retired despite leading the first set, whilst Barbora Krejcikova and Magda Linette completed the only three set wins of the day against Blinkova and Montgomery, respectively. Krejcikova’s victory was the only match to go over two hours at two hours and three minutes, though the 6-3 7-5 matchup between Laura Siegemund and McHale came close coming down to one hour and 58 minutes.

In the remaining matches, Arantxa RusWang Xinyu and Nadia Podoroska all reigned supreme in their respective outings, with all three straight sets sweeps completed well within 90 minutes.

MIAMI OPEN ROUND OF 128 RESULTS:

Paula Badosa (ESP) defeated Jil Teichmann (SUI) 5-6 RET
Ajla Tomljanovic (AUS) defeated Anastasia Potapova (RUS) 7-5 6-0
Shelby Rogers (USA) defeated Madison Brengle (USA) 6-3 6-3
Arantxa Rus (NED) defeated Marie Bouzkova (CZE) 6-3 6-2
Kaia Kanepi (EST) defeated Lauren Davis (USA) 6-3 7-5
Zarina Diyas (KAZ) defeated Venus Williams (USA) 6-2 7-6
Wang Xinyu (CHN) defeated Rebecca Peterson (SWE) 6-2 6-2
Nadia Podoroska (ARG) Mayar Sherif (EGY) 6-3 6-1
Sorana Cirstea (ROM) defeated Katrina Scott (USA) 6-2 6-2
Magda Linette (POL) defeated Robin Mongomery (USA) 6-1 3-6 6-0
Laura Siegemund (GER) defeated Christina McHale (USA) 6-3 7-5
Barbora Krejcikova (CZE) defeated Anna Blinkova (RUS) 6-1 3-6 6-3

For the remainder of the men’s and women’s qualifiers, results went as unpredictable as ever with just one of the women’s top 10 seeds heading through to the main draw, as seventh seed Nina Stojanovic defeated Bethanie Mattek-Sands, while Kirsten Flipkens (fourth seed), Tamara Zidansek (fifth) and Varvara Gracheva (sixth) all fell at the second hurdle. The men’s proceedings were just as interesting, with top two Mackenzie McDonald and Thiago Seyboth Wild both reigning supreme, while four top 10 seeds fell. Both wildcards in Mischa Zverev and Shintaro Mochizuki proceed to the main draw.

WTA Tour wrap: Mertens fights tough as six of seven seeds advance to Dubai second round

SIX of the seven seeds advanced at Dubai in what was largely a predictable day, but a couple of past Top 30 players were knocked out early on. With the top eight seeds having a bye from the first round, seven of the other seeds took to the court on day two of the main draw singles, with the majority having successful outings.

Ninth seed Garbine Muguruza bounced back from her sheepish Qatar Total Open final loss to record a solid 6-3 7-5 victory over Irina-Camelia Begu. Eleventh seed Madison Keys was even swifter with a 6-1 6-1 rout of Chinese Taipei’s Liang En-Shuo in just 64 minutes. It was the not the quickest rout of the day for seeds however, with 15th seed Anett Kontaveit smashing Hungarian doubles star, Timea Babos 6-2 6-1 in 57 minutes.

Also through to the next round were 14th seed Elena Rybakina and 12th seed Marketa Vondrousova who both won in straight sets, while 10th seed Elise Mertens had a fight on her hands. The Belgian won from a set down against Bulgarian lucky loser Viktoriya Tomova, 4-6 6-2 6-4. Despite having to win in three, Mertens still at last booked her spot in the second round, which was not the case for 13th seed Petra Martic. The Croatian’s poor form in 2021 continued, going down to Frenchwoman Kristina Mladenovic, 7-6 6-4.

The quickest match of the day by far was Amanda Anisimova‘s 6-2 6-2 smashing of Croatian qualifier Ana Konjuh in 52 minutes, as the American put in her best performance of the past 12 months. Fellow Americans, Shelby Rogers and Jessica Pegula booked their spots in the second round, with Rogers overcoming Estonian qualifier Kaia Kanepi 7-6 6-2, and Australian Open quarter finalist Pegula defeated Kazakhstan’s Yaroslava Shvedova, 6-2 6-1. Swiss talent Jil Teichmann and Latvian Anastasija Sevastova also blitzed their respective opponents to move into the Round of 32.

Fellow Latvian Jelena Ostapenko knocked out another Romanian in Patricia Maria Tig, whilst the sole Romanian through to the second round was Sorana Cirstea who accounted for former Top 30 player, Lesia Tsurenko 6-4 6-4. Amongst the other matches were a host of three-set battles. Lucky loser Misaki Doi won her second consecutive first round match after losing in qualifying, defeating Slovenian Polona Hercog 6-2 4-6 6-3 to make her way through to the next stage. Meanwhile Frenchwoman Caroline Garcia accounted for German Grand Slam winner Angelique Kerber 3-6 6-2 6-4 in a come-from-behind win, while Czech qualifier Tereza Martincova upset her higher ranked compatriot Kristyna Pliskova in a three-set epic, 7-6 6-7 6-3.

DUBAI TENNIS CHAMPIONSHIPS ROUND OF 64 RESULTS:

[9] Garbine Muguruza (ESP) defeated [Q] Irina-Camelia Begu (ROU) 6-3 7-5
[10] Elise Mertens (BEL) defeated [LL] Viktoriya Tomova (BUL) 4-6 6-2 6-4
[11] Madison Keys (USA) defeated Liang En-Shuo (TAI) 6-1 6-1
[12] Marketa Vondrousova (CZE) defeated [Q] Ana Bogdan (ROU) 6-4 6-4
Kristina Mladenovic (FRA) defeated [13] Petra Martic (CRO) 7-6 6-4
[14] Elena Rybakina (KAZ) defeated Zheng Saisai (CHN) 6-0 6-4
[15] Anett Kontaveit (EST) defeated [WC] Timea Babos (HUN) 6-2 6-1
Shelby Rogers (USA) defeated [Q] Kaia Kanepi (EST) 7-6 6-2
Amanda Anisimova (USA) defeated [Q] Ana Konjuh (CRO) 6-2 6-2
Jil Teichmann (SUI) defeated [Q] Katarina Zavatska (UKR) 6-1 6-2
Jelena Ostapenko (LAT) defeated Patricia Maria Tig (ROU) 6-3 6-3
[Q] Tereza Martincova (CZE) defeated Kristyna Pliskova (CZE) 7-6 6-7 6-3
Caroline Garcia (FRA) defeated Angelique Kerber (GER) 3-6 6-2 6-4
Sorana Cirstea (ROU) defeated [Q] Lesia Tsurenko (UKR) 6-4 6-4
[LL] Misaki Doi (JPN) defeated Polona Hercog (SLO) 6-2 4-6 6-3
Jessica Pegula (USA) defeated Yaroslava Shvedova (KAZ) 6-2 6-1
[WC] Anastasia Potapova (RUS) defeated Laura Siegemund (GER) 6-3 6-2
Anastasija Sevastova (LAT) defeated Bernarda Pera (USA) 6-0 6-3

Picture credit: WTA/Jimmie48

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

WTA Tour wrap: Keys ousts Bencic, as French advance in Lyon

IN two contrasting tournaments, the Qatar Total Open provided plenty of one-sided results, whilst in Lyon, there were a number of two-hour plus contests to keep fans on the edge of their sets.

The remaining Round of 32 matches were completed in Doha yesterday, with a number of upsets on the cards, including a seed loss and three players from qualifying making it through to the second round. The only seed in action on the day was sixth seed Swiss talent Belinda Bencic, fresh off an Adelaide International final, going down to American Madison Keys in straight sets.

Keys won 6-4 6-1 in 67 minutes, as all six matches played were straight-set results. The longest by far was German qualifier Laura Siegemund getting up over Kazakhstan young gun, Elena Rybakina. The experienced German fought through two tiebreakers to win 7-6 7-6, of which the tiebreakers were 9-7 and 7-5. She was one of two qualifiers to make it through, with American Jessica Pegula winning 6-2 6-1 over Wang Qiang in just 75 minutes. Whilst the Siegemund-Rybakina match was two hours and 29 minutes, that surpassed the next longest match of the day by more than an hour.

Japan’s Misaki Doi took an hour and 27 minutes to dispatch of China’s Zheng Saisai 6-4 6-3, in the only other match to come close to 90 minutes of action. Making it all the more remarkable was the fact Doi was well beaten by Pegula in the final round of qualifying, but managed to get through to the first round under the lucky loser spot, and now is into the second round. Russia’s Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova won in 77 minutes of Kristyna Pliskova, 6-2 6-3 with the Czech one of two qualifiers to end their run at the first round of the main draw. The other was Russian Anna Blinkova who suffered defeat at the hands of Tunisian Ons Jabeur, 6-2 6-2 in 68 minutes.

QATAR TOTAL OPEN ROUND OF 32 RESULTS:

Madison Keys (USA) defeated [6] Belinda Bencic (SUI) 6-4 6-1
[LL] Misaki Doi (JPN) defeated Zheng Saisai (CHN) 6-4 6-3
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) defeated [Q] Kristyna Pliskova (CZE) 6-2 6-3
Ons Jabeur (TUN) defeated [Q] Anna Blinkova (RUS) 6-2 6-2
[Q] Laura Siegemund (GER) defeated Elena Rybakina (KAZ) 7-6 7-6
[Q] Jessica Pegula (USA) defeated Wang Qiang (CHN) 6-2 6-1

 

The results were more predictable in the Lyon Open, with the three seeds in action all progressing to the second round. The two Frenchwomen in Caroline Garcia and Kristina Mladenovic won through to the Round of 16, albeit not without a challenge. Third seed Garcia needed three sets to put away compatriot Oceane Dodin, 6-2 2-6 6-3, while Mladenovic spent two hours and 42 minutes on court to finally knock off Romanian Mihaela Buzarnescu, 5-7 7-5 6-2.

The other Frenchwoman in action was wildcard Harmony Tan, who put up a fight, but was ultimately knocked out by Paula Badosa. The Spaniard held off the talented Tan in three sets, after the wildcard smashed her opponent in a 6-0 second set, but Badosa held firm to win 7-5 in the third set tiebreaker for a match score of 6-4 0-6 7-6. The longest match of the day belonged to Switzerland’s Stefanie Voegele and Romania’s Irina Bara, who fought it out for two hours and 53 minutes. In the end it was Voegele who posted a three-set win, 7-6 6-7 6-3 to move through to the Round of 16.

In other reusults, Russian qualifier Margarita Gasparyan defeated Ukranian Katarina Zavatska 6-4 6-1, Czech Tereza Marincova knocked out Italian qualifier Giulia-Gatto Monticone 6-2 3-6 6-2, while Belarusian Aliaksandra Sasnovich powered past Canadian Eugenie Bouchard after a tight first set, 7-6 6-2.

LYON OPEN ROUND OF 32 RESULTS:

[3] Caroline Garcia (FRA) defeated Oceane Dodin (FRA) 6-2 2-6 6-3
[4] Kristina Mladenovic (FRA) defeated Mihaela Buzarnescu (ROU) 5-7 7-5 6-2
[7] Paula Badosa (ESP) defeated [WC] Harmony Tan (FRA) 6-4 0-6 7-6
Stefanie Voegele (SUI) defeated Irina Bara (ROU) 7-6 6-7 6-3
[Q]Margarita Gasparyan (RUS) defeated Katarina Zavatska (UKR) 6-4 6-1
Tereza Martincova (CZE) defeated [Q] Giulia-Gatto Monticone (ITA) 6-2 3-6 6-2
Aliaksandra Sasnovich (BLR) defeated Eugenie Bouchard (CAN) 7-6 6-2

Picture credit: Getty Images

 

WTA Tour wrap: Brady dumped at Doha as top seed out in Lyon

THERE were plenty of upsets at both Doha and Lyon on the opening day of the respective tournaments, with the WTA Tour continuing this week at the 500 and 250 events.

Two matches ago, Jennifer Brady had booked herself into a maiden Grand Slam final. Fast forward to yesterday, and she was blasted into oblivion by a red-hot Anett Kontaveit in the first round of the 2021 Qatar Total Open in Doha. Brady was no match for the Estonian who won 6-1 6-2 in 56 minutes, with a 75.9 and 68.8 success rate on her first and second serve points. She broke Brady four times, whilst the American could not manage to create a break point opportunity, only winning 35 of 93 points in a very lacklustre affair.

Brady was far from the only player humbled in the opening round at Doha, with fifth seed Kiki Bertens blown off the court by Latvian Jelena Ostapenko a minute quicker – 55 minutes – 6-0 6-2. The Latvian won 64 and 63.2 per cent of her first and second serve points compared to Bertens’ 37.8 and 33.3 per cent, whilst taking full advantage of break point opportunities to break six times. In the short match, Bertens only held serve once, and broke once in a result she would like to forget.

The one seed who did survive the day one purge was eighth seed Victoria Azarenka, with the US Open finalist seeing off fellow veteran and Grand Slam winner, Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-2 6-3. Despite the final score suggesting it was a routine win, it was anything but for the Belarusian, who broke six times from 13 chances, whilst being broken only twice herself. Azarenka was much stronger across the board, winning 56.3 per cent of her service points, and 55.9 per cent of her return points compared to Kuznetsova’s 44.1 and 43.8 per cent respectively.

In other results, Greek talent Maria Sakkari saw off Egyptian Maya Sherif in 61 minutes, advancing to the Round of 16 with a comprehensive 6-0 6-3 victory. She was joined in the second round by unseeded Grand Slam winners, German Angelique Kerber, and Spaniard Garbine Muguruza. Kerber won 6-4 6-2 over Turkish talent Cagla Buyukakcay, while Muguruza won 6-2 7-6 over Russian Veronika Kudermetova in their opening round clash.

Day four of action will see six more matches take place, with sixth seed Belinda Bencic up against Madison Keys as the match of the day. Meanwhile Tunisian Ons Jabeur will face Russian Anna Blinkova, and Kazakh Elena Rybakina will lock horns with German qualifier Laura Siegemund.

QATAR TOTAL OPEN ROUND OF 32 RESULTS:

Jelena Ostapenko (LAT) defeated [5] Kiki Bertens (NED) 6-0 6-2
Anett Kontaveit (EST) defeated [7] Jennifer Brady (USA) 6-1 6-2
[8] Victoria Azarenka (BLR) defeated Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS) 6-2 6-3
Maria Sakkari (GRE) defeated Maya Sherif (EGY) 6-0 6-3
Garbine Muguruza (ESP) defeated Veronika Kudermetova (RUS) 6-2 7-6

 

Meanwhile in Lyon, top seed and tournament favourite Ekaterina Alexandrova has been bundled out of the WTA 250 event, stunned by Danish teenager, Clara Tauson. In a remarkable result, the 2019 Australian Open Junior champion and recently turned 18-year-old won 6-3 6-4 to knock out the only player inside the Top 40 at the event. The match lasted 92 minutes, with Tauson much stronger on her second serve, recovering to win 52.8 per cent of her points compared to Alexandrova’s 35.5 per cent. It helped the Dane break the Russian five times to three and secure the straight sets win.

It was much better news – though no smoother sailing – for second seed Fiona Ferro, after the world number 46 managed to hold off a determined Magdalena Frech. The Polish player fought until the very end having taking a set off the Frenchwoman, but in a match that lasted near three hours, it was the higher ranked Ferro that won out, 5-7 7-5 7-5.

In other results, Serbian Nina Stojanovic easily accounted for sixth seed Romanian Sorana Cirstea in straight sets, 6-4 6-0 in 75 minutes, while eighth seed Arantxa Rus got up over China’s Wang Xiyu in a tight two-setter, 7-6 6-4. In unseeded battles, Greet Minnen ousted another Polish player in Katarzyna Kawa 7-5 7-5, Hungarian Timea Babos knocked off Russian Varvara Gracheva in three sets, 6-4 5-7 6-3, and Italian Camila Giorgi got up over Russian Viktoria Kuzmova 6-2 6-3.

LYON OPEN ROUND OF 32 RESULTS:

Clara Tauson (DEN) defeated [1] Ekaterina Alexandrova (RUS) 6-3 6-4
[2] Fiona Ferro (FRA) defeated Magdalena Frech (POL) 5-7 7-5 7-5
Nina Stojanovic (SRB) defeated [6] Sorana Cirstea (ROU) 6-4 6-0
[8] Arantxa Rus (NED) defeated Wang Xiyu (CHN) 7-6 6-4
Greet Minnen (BEL) defeated Katarzyna Kawa (POL) 7-5 7-5
Timea Babos (HUN) defeated Varvara Gracheva (RUS) 6-4 5-7 6-3
Camila Giorgi (ITA) defeated Viktoria Kuzmova (RUS) 6-2 6-3

Picture credit: Getty Images