Tag: lesia tsurenko

2021 Adelaide International: Day 1 of qualifiers sees Americans and Aussies dominate

THE Adelaide International qualifying rounds have begun, with a flurry of American and Australian competitors taking the court in South Australia and at least one player from each of the two nations playing in each match. They combined for eight of the 12 winners on the day, including top seed youngster Coco Gauff and unseeded wildcard Storm Sanders, who disposed of second seed American Bernarda Pera in three sets.

In an interesting stat, the top four seeds all hailed from the United States, with just Pera falling from that group. Gauff was clinical in her encounter with Great Britain’s Francesca Jones, disposing of the Brit in 64 minutes and joined by Madison BrengleChristina McHale and Caty McNally on the winners list. Also hailing from the United States but falling in the first round was Asia Muhammad, who stole the first set from Italian Jasmine Paolini but eventually fell in the lone two-plus hour encounters of the day, going down to the sixth seed 4-6 6-3 7-6.

Heading to the Australian winners, and it was Maddison InglisAstra Sharma and Ellen Perez who joined Sanders in the second round, with Inglis knocking compatriot Belinda Woolcock out of the running. Destanee AiavaArina RodionovaLizette CabreraIvana Popovic and Kimberly Birrell will all remain on the sidelines on home soil, unlucky to all draw seeds. Sanders and Sharma impressed with their three set victories over Pera and Lesia Tsurenko showing plenty of intent ahead of the second round.

The remaining non American or Australian winners included Liudmila SamsonovaMisaki Doi and Kaja Juvan, as all three competitors claimed straight set wins over homegrown talent.

The qualifiers will continue today with the first round beginning on Tuesday.

2021 Gippsland Trophy WTA preview: Grand Slam winners stack draw

IN the other WTA event running parallel to the Yarra Valley Classic, the 2021 Gippsland Trophy features three Grand Slam winners amongst the seven Top 20 players who have entered the event. With Ash Barty headlining the Yarra Valley Classic, the talking point of the Gippsland Trophy will be that the two most recent Grand Slam winners will be competing for a WTA 500 title in this draw.

The 2020 US Open and Roland Garros winners in Naomi Osaka and Iga Swiatek respectively, will play their first matches since lifting their titles aloft last year. Osaka missed the French Open due to injury, so her last match was the three-set final win over Belarusian Victoria Azarenka. Swiatek’s win on clay was one of the most stunning titles in tennis history, bolstering her all the way up inside the Top 20, having come from nowhere after an okay but not outstanding season. The 19-year-old is the future of tennis, with Osaka still a rising star on Tour, but has three Grand Slams to her name already.

Swiatek is only seeded sixth at this event, and with Osaka the second ranked player (world number three), Simona Halep comes in as top seed and world number two. The Romanian is the other Grand Slam winner in the draw, and she had plenty of rest throughout 2020 to set up for a big 2021. Always strong in Australia, she and Ukrainian Elina Svitolina (third seed) will be eyeing off strong starts to 2021.

Someone who has already had a strong start to 2021, and has remarkably not lost since October, is fourth seed Aryna Sabakenka. Now ranked inside the Top 10 for the first time, the Belarusian power hitter has a chance to prove herself against the world’s best. She won at Abu Dhabi a couple of weeks ago, and could realistically be considered favourite given her 15-game winning streak. Sabalenka has not really impacted at Grand Slam level yet, but many are hoping the recent scintillating form – which included a win over Australian Open winner Sofia Kenin – will begin her journey to taking the next step.

Great Britain’s Johanna Konta, Belgium’s Elise Mertens and Czech Republic’s Karolina Muchova round out the top eight seeds, while traditional fast-starter Ekaterina Alexandrova is the ninth ranked player. Of the quartet, Mertens showed enough at the back-end that she can have a good start, while Alexandrova has not had the chance to collect her annual trophy at Limoges in December, so she will start fresh in Melbourne.

What makes the draw at the Gippsland Trophy so interesting is the depth of it, with Jelena Ostapenko, Coco Gauff and Polona Hercog all there and inside the Top 50 ready to jump up. Throw in Switzerland’s Jil Teichmann, Spain’s Sara Sorribes Tormo and Belarus’ Aliaksandra Sasnovich, and even the bottom-end has some good talent. Chloe Paquet joins former top ranked players Sara Errani and Lesia Tsurenko as qualifying and lucky loser additions, whilst the lowest ranked player pre-wildcards is Russian Valeria Savinykh who comes in at 225th in the world.

Until she loses, Sabalenka has earned favouritism, but you have to consider both Osaka and Swiatek are coming off undefeated streaks at their respective Grand Slams, which makes this the pick of the tournaments in terms of form an depth.

Picture credit: Jimmie48/WTA Tour

Brady and Gauff move to career-high rankings after successful WTA Tour return

JENNIFER Brady and Coco Gauff led a host of players now at their career-high rankings after the first three WTA Tour tournaments have been put in the books. Brady took out the title at the Top Seed Open to move nine places up to 40th in the world for the first time in her career, while 16-year-old Gauff is inside the top 50 once again, at a career-high 48th.

Jil Teichmann was also a prominent mover with the Swiss 23-year-old’s Top Seed Open final effort getting her back up to an equal career-high 54th in the world. The biggest mover was former top 25 player, 29-year-old Romanian Irina-Camelia Begu who reached a semi-final in Prague to jump 12 places into number 70. It was a good tournament for the Romanians, with Simona Halep extending her lead in second spot on the rankings, and Ana Bogdan moving up five places into 87th.

The biggest mover inside the top 200 by far was American Shelby Rogers, who reached a semi-final at Lexington, defeating top 10 star Serena Williams, and now finds herself inside the top 100 at world number 95 – a full 21 places higher than pre-tournament. While she is still someway off her career-high ranking of 48, she is making inroads to get there. Others who made moves were Canadian 17-year-old Leylah Fernandez (plus nine to 11th), veterans Ukranian Lesia Tsurenko and Belarusian Olga Govortsova (plus six and plus eight respectively), as well as Magdalena Frech (plus 16) and Leonie Kung (plus nine).

The most promising move was that of 21-year-old American Catherine Bellis who has made a great return to the circuit by a quarter finals appearance at Lexington. Ranked outside the top 300 pre-tournament, Bellis reached a quarter final to move up a massive 53 sports to now be ranked 249th in the world. The only one who moved more spots was Canadian Eugenie Bouchard who bolted up 58 ranking spots into number 272 with the former top five player hoping to resurrect her career this season. Given the delicate nature of the COVID-19 situation, no players fell particularly hard given points are being carried over to the following year for tournaments not being played, with only those moving up subsequently bumping others down.

Second seed Martic out as Prague Open Round of 16 begins

FEWER matches played out on the third day of regular proceedings at the Prague Open, with a couple games from the day prior completed and just two of the three Round of 16 matches played. A late walkover from Lesia Tsurenko – withdrawing prior to the game’s expected start – gave Ana Bogdan an easy look into the quarter finals.

Two seeds took the court in the Round of 16 matches, with just one coming out unscathed in Elise Mertens, who defeated Italian Camila Giorgi in over an hour and a half. While Giorgi’s serve is typically one of her greater assets, she was riddled with errors and conceded seven double faults which allowed Mertens to maintain the upper hand for a 6-4 6-2 victory. Mertens was clinical off her first serve, winning 28 points of 33 from her first serve at almost 85 per cent, and never looking like losing to the 71st ranked Italian. The real kicker was the matchup between Kristyna Pliskova and second seed Petra Martic, with Martic coming in off the back of a tough battle the day prior and going down to the Czech in just 80 minutes, 6-1 7-5. Despite a second set comeback, Martic could not compete with Pliskova on a mission, with Pliskova’s nine aces contributing to her 86.2 per cent winning rate off her first serve. Martic’ss 66.7 per cent winning rate could not compare, especially with Pliskova’s intensity and hard-hitting style allowing her to convert more off her second serve than Martic’s first. 

In the carry-over from yesterday’s Round of 32 matches, Laura Siegemund continued where she left off, sitting 4-6 4-0 when the match was called off and continuing that barrage with a dominant third set to collect the 4-6 6-0 6-1 victory over Mayar Sherif. Winning 66.7 per cent off both her first and second serves, Siegemund was clinical and took advantage of her chances, despite racking up five double faults. Despite the disappointing finish it was a strong effort from 172-ranked Sherif to get ahead early, just unable to withstand Siegemund on a mission. The second match to continue where it left off left plenty of frustration on Katerina Siniakova’s face, with the Czech snatching momentum in the second set yesterday prior to the match being postponed. The overnight break did wonders for Tamara Zidansek though, with the Slovenian taking advantage and dominating the third set to win 6-3 3-6 6-0. Zidansek’s 71.8 per cent winning rate off her first serve was what got her over the line, and while Siniakova converted 57 per cent of her break points it was not enough.

Tomorrow’s draw will see Eugenie Bouchard back on court after a great return to the fray earlier this week, taking on a no doubt tired Zidansek who will be playing for her third day straight. Siegemund is in the same boat, taking on a fast-finishing Sara Sorribes Tormo while first seed Simona Halep takes on Barbora Krejcikova.

Rain delays sees Prague seeds drop in opening round

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

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

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

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

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

2020 Libema Open fantasy tennis: Seeds mostly go to plan, with a couple of upsets on opening day

THERE were no major shocks in the ATP Libema Open, whilst six of the eight WTA seeds reached the second round in the WTA fantasy tennis tournament in s’Hertogenbosch. Of the day’s winners, the top three women dominated proceedings, whilst the highest seeded men largely had greater degree of difficulty to win.

In the ATP tournament, the four seeds in action all made it through to the Round of 16, with varying match lengths. Fifth seed Cristian Garin – fresh off a Roland Garros semi-final – was made to work for a Round of 16 spot against French wildcard, Corentin Moutet throughout a come-from-behind three-set win. Garin got up 5-7 6-3 6-4 to make his way through to the next round. It was a similar tale for Australian seventh seed Alex de Minaur who put a horror clay season behind him to knock off another Frenchman in Adrian Mannarino, 6-7 7-5 7-5.

The other two seeds had a bit of an easier time with sixth seed Brit Andy Murray taking out compatriot and qualifier Cameron Norrie 7-6 6-1, while the other British winner was Daniel Evans. The eighth seed got up over the in-form Aljaz Bedene 6-1 6-2 in just an hour and three minutes. Kyle Edmund could not beat his two highest ranked compatriots in the second round, bowing out to Frenchman Benoit Paire in three sets. It was a really busy day for France on the courts with eight Frenchmen featuring in all different matches. 

Joining Paire in the Round of 16 were Ugo Humbert and Jeremy Chardy who won in straight sets over the in-form Nicolas Jarry, and Australian qualifier Matthew Ebden both in straight sets. The news was not as positive for another qualifier in Pierre Hugues Herbert who bowed out to Borna Coric in three sets, while Richard Gasquet also bowed out to Andreas Seppi. Gregoire Barrere was another French casualty in Round 1, losing to Taylor Fritz 7-5 6-3. Other winners on the men’s side were South African qualifier Kevin Anderson and Japanese talent Kei Nishikori.

ATP ROUND OF 32 RESULTS:

[5] Cristian Garin (CHI) defeated [WC] Corentin Moutet (FRA) 5-7 6-3 6-4
[6] Andy Murray (GBR) defeated [Q] Cameron Norrie (GBR) 7-6 6-1
[7] Alex de Minaur (AUS) defeated Adrian Mannarino (FRA) 6-7 7-5 7-5
[8] Daniel Evans (GBR) defeated Aljaz Bedene (SLO) 6-1 6-2
Borna Coric (CRO) defeated [Q] Pierre Hugues Herbert (FRA) 7-5 3-6 6-3
Andreas Seppi (ITA) defeated Richard Gasquet (FRA) 7-6 3-6 7-5
[Q] Kevin Anderson (RSA) defeated Jiri Vesely (CZE) 6-4 4-6 7-6
Taylor Fritz (USA) defeated [WC] Gregoire Barrere (FRA) 7-5 6-3
Kei Nishikori (JPN) defeated Jordan Thompson (AUS) 6-3 6-3
Ugo Humbert (FRA) defeated Nicolas Jarry (CHI) 7-5 6-3
Jeremy Chardy (FRA) defeated [Q] Matthew Ebden (AUS) 6-4 7-6
Benoit Paire (FRA) defeated Kyle Edmund (GBR) 6-3 5-7 7-6

In the women’s first round, there were not a great deal of surprises as the top three seeds completely destroyed their respective opponents. Karolina Pliskova, Aryna Sabalenka and Kiki Bertens all cruised through to the Round of 16, dropping a combined four games between them. They left Slovakian Vikoria Kuzmova, and qualifiers, Jasmine Paolini and Greet Minnen in their wake by pushing through to the second round. Also through easily were sixth seed Alison Riske and eighth seed Johanna Konta who had impressive wins over Alison Van Uytvanck and Arantxa Rus respectively.

Belgium’s Elise Mertens had the toughest straight sets win of the seeded winners, holding off a determined Lesia Tsurenko to get up 7-5 6-4. The news was not as good for Kazakhstan duo Elena Rybakina and Yulia Putintseva. The pair can catch the same flight home after Rybakina lost in three sets to Slovenian Polona Hercog 3-6 7-6 6-4 in more than two and a half hours, while Putintseva lost to Russian Veronika Kudermetova 7-6 2-6 7-5.

Looking at the unseeded matches, German wildcard Andrea Petkovic turned around a shocking first set to overcome fellow wildcard, Australian Priscilla Hon 0-6 6-4 6-2. Grand Slam winner, Victoria Azarenka moved through to the Round of 16 courtesy of a victory over 2019 Roland Garros finalist Marketa Vondrousova, while her compatriot Aliaksandra Sasnovich went down to Kristyna Pliskova in straight sets, with the Czech joining her sister in the next stage. American duo, Kristie Ahn and Coco Gauff made it through to the Round of 16, as did Tunisian Ons Jabeur, Russian Ekaterina Alexandrova and German Angelique Kerber.

WTA ROUND OF 32 RESULTS:

[1] Karolina Pliskova (CZE) defeated Viktoria Kuzmova (SVK) 6-1 6-0
[2] Aryna Sabalenka (BLR) defeated [Q] Jasmine Paolini (ITA) 6-1 6-0
[3] Kiki Bertens (NED) defeated [Q] Greet Minnen (BEL) 6-1 6-1
Polona Hercog (SLO) defeated [4] Elena Rybakina (KAZ) 3-6 7-6 6-4
[5] Elise Mertens (BEL) defeated [Q] Lesia Tsurenko (UKR) 7-5 6-4
[6] Alison Riske (USA) defeated Alison Van Uytvanck (BEL) 6-2 6-3
Veronika Kudermetova (RUS) defeated [7] Yulia Putintseva (KAZ) 7-6 2-6 7-5
[8] Johanna Konta (GBR) defeated Arantxa Rus (NED) 6-2 6-2
Victoria Azarenka (BLR) defeated Marketa Vondrousova (CZE) 6-1 6-4
[WC] Andrea Petkovic (GER) defeated [WC] Priscilla Hon (AUS) 0-6 6-4 6-2
Ons Jabeur (TUN) defeated Rebecca Peterson (SWE) 6-4 6-3
Kristie Ahn (USA) defeated [Q] Leylah Fernandez (CAN) 7-6 6-2
Ekaterina Alexandrova (RUS) defeated [WC] Mona Barthel (GER) 7-6 6-4
Kristyna Pliskova (CZE) defeated [WC] Aliaksandra Sasnovich (BLR) 6-2 6-3
Coco Gauff (USA) defeated Yafan Wang (CHN) 6-2 6-7 6-3
Angelique Kerber (GER) defeated Kirsten Flipkens (BEL) 6-4 2-6 6-4

2020 WTA Libema Open fantasy tennis preview: Grass court season commences

THE 2020 WTA Libema Open fantasy tennis tournament is set to provide plenty of interest and excitement as the first grass court competition for the year following a massive Roland Garros last week. We preview the fantasy tournament, with plenty of familiar names gracing the court over the coming week.

FAVOURITE

Karolina Pliskova (CZE)

Top seed Pliskova is the one to watch here at s-Hertogenbosch and with a mostly disappointing clay court run especially in the latter tournaments, she will be looking for a fresh start on grass alongside her first seeding. The hard hitting Czech is a force to be reckoned with with plenty of endurance and speed, while her continued success across the board will see her come in confident and with a wealth of winning experience under her belt to be a worthy favourite.

CONTENDERS

Alison Riske (USA)

While not in her best form as of late, Riske is a formidable opposition when she gets going and with the 2019 title behind her cannot be underestimated at s-Hertogenbosch. A rough clay season may not have been what Riske was hoping for, but the American talent comes into the s-Hertogenbosch as sixth seed, and with plenty of winning experience expect her to go far here.

Kiki Bertens (NED)

Third seed Bertens was runner up last year and has been in solid form recently, making her a real option to take out the crown with plenty of winning ability and confidence especially given her consistency on court and ability to turn out impressive come-from-behind performances. On home soil the Dutch talent will have plenty of support coming her way, with bounds of energy and experience propelling her forward. While widely regarded as a clay court specialist, Bertens has proven she can contest on any surface meaning she cannot be ruled out here.

Ons Jabeur (TUN)

While Jabeur has currently dipped in form, dropping a couple of ranks, the world number 41 can match it with the upper echelon on her day and with a quality grass ranking she comes in at eleventh on the board. With versatility across all surfaces, the Tunisian can pull out some spectacular wins and while she is yet to make a real name for herself on the circuit, still without a title, this could be her chance to switch things up.

ROUGHIE

Coco Gauff (USA)

A star in the making and still only 16-years-old, Gauff may not be the most experienced here but has enough X-factor to take out a couple of big guns if she can gain the upper hand. With a couple of grand slam winners in her quarter of the draw expect the young gun to encounter some top talent early, but with plenty of flair and excitement Gauff could be a real fighter here at s-Hertogenbosch.

DARK HORSE

Lesia Tsurenko (UKR)

The 31-year-old Tsurenko is typically known for her hardcourt expertise but like majority of the aforementioned players, can perform well across many surfaces meaning she is somewhat of an unknown quantity coming into the tournament. A qualifier at s-Hertogenbosch, Tsurenko will need to prove herself but is more than capable of crossing a couple of rounds, so will need to ensure she is consistent against earlier foes if she intends to push the top players.

2020 WTA Tour Roland Garros fantasy tennis: Kenin and Kvitova knocked from contention

THE second half of the Round of 32 draw at the 2020 WTA Roland Garros fantasy tennis tournament saw some very interesting results, with a couple of seeds falling in shock exits.

Of the three seeds to fall on day seven, the most shocking was 2020 Australian Open winner, Sofia Kenin. The American fourth seed was expected to go far here after some solid form recently, but was downed by fellow young gun Iga Swiatek who flew out of the gates for the 6-0 6-1 win. Joining Kenin on the sideline is top competitor Petra Kvitova, who despite a stellar start against Carla Suarez Navarro went down 1-6 6-4 6-4, and 15th seed Elena Rybakina who put on a similar performance against Dayana Yastremska which was not enough to head through to the Round of 16.

Of the remaining seeds, Ash Barty, Naomi Osaka, Bianca Andreescu and Johanna Konta all reigned supreme in straight sets, while Barbora Strycova joins Suarez Navarro as the only two unseeded players to make it through the day after defeating Alize Cornet. Where Barty put on a solid performance against American Sloane Stephens, who was unwilling to give up, Osaka blew Ukrainian qualifier Lesia Tsurenka out of the water in under an hour while Andreescu and Konta followed suit with identical 6-2 6-2 wins against Bernarda Pera and Polona Hercog respectively.

The Round of 16 will see some fascinating matches play out, with plenty of players in top form and on a roll here at the French Open, looking for a way into the finals.

ROUND OF 32:

[1] Ash Barty (AUS) defeated Sloane Stephens (USA) 6-3 6-4
[27] Iga Swiatek (POL) defeated [4] Sofia Kenin (USA) 6-0 6-1
[6] Naomi Osaka (JPN) defeated [Q] Lesia Tsurenko (UKR) 6-2 6-1
Carla Suarez Navarro (ESP) defeated [9] Petra Kvitova (CZE) 1-6 6-4 6-4
[11] Bianca Andreescu (CAN) defeated Bernarda Pera (USA) 6-2 6-2
[21] Dayana Yastremska (UKR) defeated [15] Elena Rybakina (KAZ) 2-6 6-4 6-1
[20] Johanna Konta (GBR) defeated Polona Hercog (SLO) 6-2 6-2
Barbora Strycova (CZE) defeated Alize Cornet (FRA) 6-4 6-1

2020 WTA Roland Garros fantasy tennis: Strength in numbers as top seeds continue to flourish

THE second half of the Roland Garros fantasy Round of 64 saw plenty of interesting matchups, with five top ten players taking the court. But while majority of the competition’s seeds were too good this time around, a couple fell to unsuspecting foes.

Ash Barty continued her strong run, defeating China’s Saisai Zheng in straight sets to show she will not be going easy on her pursuit for a second Roland Garros title. Saisai could not compete with the world number one, going down 6-2 6-1. Fourth seed Sofia Kenin, sixth seed Naomi Osaka and ninth seed Petra Kvitova all came out on top in similarly straightforward contests, though eighth seed Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka did not have the same lucky, going down to Czech talent Barbora Strycova in a three set battle, 6-3 2-6 7-6. Joining the top seeds in the Round of 32 are the likes of fellow seeded talent Bianca Andreescu and Elena Rybakina, after both survived tighter affairs against Pauline Parmentier and Heather Watson respectively. Fourteenth seed Petra Martic was the second seed to be knocked out on day five, unable to compete with a feisty and attack heavy Polona Hercog.

A couple more Americans continued the nation’s dominance, with both Bernarda Pera and Sloane Stephens joining Kenin in the next round, though Jessica Pegula, Shelby Rogers and Danielle Collins were not quite so lucky. Pera had a solid outing against Romanian Patricia Maria Tig, defeating her in a three-setter, while Stephens was dominant against frenchwoman Caroline Garcia. Rogers went down to 21st seed Dayana Yastremska and Collins to quick footed Alize Cornet, while Pegula was unlucky to draw compatriot Kenin.

The final four games saw seeded duo Johanna Konta and Iga Swiatek both survive tight three set battles against Tamara Zidansek and Anastasia Potapova respectively, both dropping the second set before recording identical 6-3 final set wins to take the win. Qualifier Lesia Tsurenko overcame a rough start against Russian Varvara Gracheva before building to a 0-6 7-5 6-3 win, while Carla Suarrez Navarro joined the Round of 32 in the final match of the day with a straight sets win over Alison Van Uytvanck.

Tomorrow sees the beginning of the Round of 32 and the first few seed versus seed outings, with three tantalising matchups taking the court.

ROUND OF 64:

[1] Ash Barty (AUS) defeated Saisai Zheng (CHN) 6-2 6-1
[4] Sofia Kenin (USA) defeated Jessica Pegula (USA) 6-4 6-2
[6] Naomi Osaka (JPN) defeated Anna Lena Friedsam (GER) 6-2 6-1
Barbora Strycova (CZE) defeated [8] Aryna Sabalenka (BLR) 6-3 2-6 7-6
[9] Petra Kvitova (CZE) defeated Viktoria Kuzmova (SVK) 6-2 6-4
[11] Bianca Andreescu (SUI) defeated [WC] Pauline Parmentier (FRA) 7-5 6-3
Polona Hercog (SLO) defeated [14] Petra Martic (COR) 6-3 6-4
[15] Elena Rybakina (KAZ) defeated Heather Watson (GBR) 6-4 6-4
[20] Johanna Konta (GBR) defeated Tamara Zidansek (SLO) 6-1 4-6 6-3
[21] Dayana Yastremska (UKR) defeated [Q] Shelby Rogers (USA) 7-6 6-0
[27] Iga Swiatek (POL) defeated Anastasia Potapova (RUS) 6-2 3-6 6-3
Alize Cornet (FRA) defeated Danielle Collins (USA) 7-5 6-3
Bernarda Pera (USA) defeated Patricia Maria Tig (ROU) 5-7 6-1 6-3
[Q] Lesia Tsurenko (UKR) defeated Varvara Gracheva (RUS) 0-6 7-5 6-3
Sloane Stephens (USA) defeated Caroline Garcia (FRA) 6-4 6-3
Carla Suarez Navarro (ESP) defeated Alison Van Uytvanck (BEL) 7-6 6-4

2020 Roland Garros fantasy: Young seeds prove strong on day three

ANOTHER big day at the Roland Garros fantasy tournament saw some big names grace the court, with four of this quarter’s top five seeds reigning supreme to head to the Round of 64. Americans once again came out on top for the most part, while a couple of grand slam champions rose to the occasion.

Fourth seed Sofia Kenin, sixth seed Naomi Osaka and eleventh seed Bianca Andreescu all reigned supreme in their matches, with the trio of grand slam victors fairly consistent in their pursuits. Despite an average start to her match against Spain’s Sara Sorribes Tormo, Osaka pushed back and came out on top, using her feisty play to come back firing in the second and third to win 5-7 6-2 6-2. Kenin and Andreescu had much easier runs against their respective opposition, while the next ranked seed in this quarter of the draw – Elena Rybakina – followed suit, with all three players downing their opposition in under an hour and in straight sets. 

Of the last four seeds, just Alison Riske and Donna Vekic fell to their unseeded opposition. Riske’s shock exit was full credit to Patricia Maria Tig’s explosive play, with the Romanian a force to be reckoned with in the 6-3 6-2 victory. Vekic put up a far better fight against qualifier Lesia Tsurenko but was unable to hold up to the forceful Ukrainian, going down in a three set battle 7-6 2-6 7-5. The youngest seeds of the group in Dayana Yastremska and Iga Swiatek also proved too good on day three, and while Swiatek had a tougher time of it than Yastremska did, the pair impressed with their respective composure and ability to get the job done.

Three more Americans joined the winners list as qualifier Shelby Rogers, Bernarda Pera and Jessica Pegula all head through to the next round after solid performances, with Pegula coming from behind to record her 7-5 6-7 6-1 victory over Japan’s Misaki Doi. Of the last five matches, all were consolidated with just the two sets, and while Anna Lena Friedsam and Heather Watson came close to losing crucial sets to their respective opposition, Varvara Gracheva, Pauline Parmentier and Anastasia Potapova were all solid to head through to the Round of 64.

Coming up tomorrow for the last quarter of the Round of 128 are some quality matchups, while Ash Barty and Petra Kvitova take the court and giant slayer Qiang Wang looks to back up her stellar run in the Australian Open with another quality run.

ROUND OF 128 RESULTS:

[4] Sofia Kenin (USA) defeated [Q] Nadia Podoroska (RUS) 6-3 6-0
[6] Naomi Osaka (JPN) defeated Sara Sorribes Tormo (ESP) 5-7 6-2 6-2
[11] Bianca Andreescu (CAN) defeated Xiyu Wang (CHN) 6-3 6-2
[15] Elena Rybakina (KAZ) defeated Ajla Tomljanovic (AUS) 6-1 6-3
Patricia Maria Tig (ROU) defeated [18] Alison Riske (USA) 6-3 6-2
[21] Dayana Yastremska (UKR) defeated Marie Bouzkova (CZE) 6-3 6-1
[Q] Lesia Tsurenko (UKR) defeated [25] Donna Vekic (CRO) 7-6 2-6 7-5
[27] Iga Swiatek (POL) defeated Jelena Ostapenko (LAT) 2-6 7-6 6-1
Anna Lena Friedsam (GER) defeated Anna Blinkova (RUS) 6-4 6-4
Varvara Gracheva (RUS) defeated [Q] Usue Maitane Arconada (ESP) 6-1 6-0
[Q] Shelby Rogers (USA) defeated [Q] Aliona Bolsova (ESP) 6-3 7-5
Heather Watson (GBR) defeated Greet Minnen (BEL) 6-2 7-5
[WC] Pauline Parmentier (FRA) defeated [WC] Harmony Tan (FRA) 6-3 6-4
Bernarda Pera (USA) defeated [Q] Aliaksandra Sasnovich (BLR) 7-5 6-4
Anastasia Potapova (RUS) defeated [WC] Dianne Parry (FRA) 6-2 6-2
Jessica Pegula (USA) defeated Misaki Doi (JPN) 7-5 6-7 6-1