Tag: liudmila samsonova

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

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

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

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

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

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

WTA 500 wraps: Seeds stumble in Yarra Valley Classic as Australians fall across the board

ON the opening day of the WTA Tour’s Summer Series in Australia, all bar one of the host nation’s players fell, while a couple of French seeds bowed out in the first round at the Yarra Valley Classic.

Kicking off the 2021 Summer Series in the Yarra Valley Classic, a couple of Americans in Shelby Rogers and Jessica Pegula both made life difficult for their French opponent’s Australian Open preparations. Rogers defeated 12th seed Fiona Ferro 6-2 7-5, while Pegula was too good for 15th seed Kristina Mladenovic 6-4 6-1. Only one of the three seeds on day one secured a spot in the second round, as 16th seed Czech Marie Bouzkova smashed local hope Sam Stosur, 6-2 6-0.

It was one of a number of Australians who fell across the day’s play with Kimberley Birrell, Lizette Cabrera and Maddison Inglis all losing out in first round encounters. Birrell and Inglis fell in straight sets to German Mona Barthel and Swede Rebecca Peterson respectively, whilst Cabrera pushed Russian Varvara Gracheva, but went down in three sets, 2-6 6-4 6-2. Other one-sided contests included Australia’s sole winner on day one, Daria Gavrilova, having a 6-2 6-0 smashing of Slovakian Viktoria Kuzmova.

In other results, Ana Bogdan took care of Russian Kamila Rakhimova, Grand Slam winner Venus Williams proved too good for Dutchwoman Arantxa Rus, fellow veteran Tsvetana Pironkova won over Liudmila Samsonova, and Anastasia Sevastova defeated American Madison Brengle in straight sets. In only one of two three-set matches, Italian Elisabetta Cocciaretto came back from the brink after losing the first set 6-0 to China’s Lin Zhu, to win the second set, but then find herself down in the third, but bounced back to win 0-6 6-3 7-5 and advanced through to the Round of 32.

YARRA VALLEY CLASSIC ROUND OF 64 RESULTS:

Shelby Rogers (USA) defeated [12] Fiona Ferro (FRA) 6-2 7-5
Jessica Pegula (USA) defeated [15] Kristina Mladenovic (FRA) 6-4 6-1
[16] Marie Bouzkova (CZE) defeated Sam Stosur (AUS) 6-2 6-0
Tsvetana Pironkova (BUL) defeated Liudmila Samsonova (RUS) 6-2 6-1
Venus Williams (USA) defeated Arantxa Rus (NED) 6-1 6-3
Mona Barthel (GER) defeated Kimberley Birrell (AUS) 7-5 6-3
Daria Gavrilova (AUS) defeated Viktoria Kuzmova (SVK) 6-2 6-0
Varvara Gracheva (RUS) defeated Lizette Cabrera (AUS) 2-6 6-4 6-2
Rebecca Peterson (SWE) defeated Maddison Inglis (AUS) 6-2 6-1
Ana Bogdan (ROU) defeated Kamilla Rakhimova (RUS) 6-2 6-2
Anastasia Sevastova (LAT) defeated Madison Brengle (USA) 6-4 6-2
Elisabetta Cocciaretto (ITA) defeated Lin Zhu (CHN) 0-6 6-3 7-5

In the Gippsland Trophy which was also held in Melbourne Park, three of the four seeds got up to win their first round matches, but it was more disappointment for the home nation across the board, with the three Australians out on court losing their Round of 64 encounters.

Seeds, Jelena Ostapenko and Polona Hercog both recorded three-set wins over their respective opponents after slow starts, as the 13th seed Latvian toppled former Top 5 player Sara Errani 4-6 6-3 6-1, while Hercog knocked off Russian Margarita Gasparyan 2-6 6-3 6-3. Caroline Garcia became the only Frenchwoman to win across either tournament when she knocked off Australia’s Arina Rodionova 6-3 6-4, whilst Rodionova’s compatriots, Olivia Gadecki and Astra Sharma both went down in three-set losses.

Gadecki was brave against Bernarda Pera before losing 6-7 6-3 6-3 in a tight contest, while Sharma stunned Estonian Kaia Kanepi in the first set 6-1, before ultimately being overrun 1-6 7-5 6-2. In another three-set match, Irina-Camelia Begu came from behind to knock off China’s Saisai Zheng. The 11th seed won the first set 6-3, but Begu managed to get it back on her terms and hold off her Chinese opponent to win 3-6 7-5 6-4 in and impressive victory.

Other three-set winners included Slovenian Kava Juvan who knocked off China’s Yafan Wang, 4-6 6-1 6-4, while German Andrea Petkovic got over Italian Martina Trevisan, 6-1 3-6 7-5. Over to the straight set winners and Hungarian Timea Babos defeated Romania’s Patricia Tig, Anna Schmiedlova toppled Valeria Savinykh 6-1 6-3, Jasmine Paolini won a hard-fought tussle over Canada’s Rebecca Marino 7-6 6-3, while Daria Kasatkina and Danka Kovinic won comfortably against Mihaela Buzarnescu and Tamara Zidansek respectively.

GIPPSLAND TROPHY ROUND OF 64 RESULTS:

Irina-Camelia Begu (ROU) defeated [11] Saisai Zheng (CHN) 3-6 7-5 6-4
[12] Caroline Garcia (FRA) defeated Arina Rodionova (AUS) 6-3 6-4
[13] Jelena Ostapenko (LAT) defeated Sara Errani (ITA) 4-6 6-3 6-1
[15] Polona Hercog (SLO) defeated Margarita Gasparyan (RUS) 2-6 6-3 6-3
Kaja Juvan (SLO) defeated Yafan Wang (CHN) 4-6 6-1 6-4
Timea Babos (HUN) defeated Patricia Tig (ROU) 7-6 6-3
Andrea Petkovic (GER) defeated Martina Trevisan (ITA) 6-1 3-6 7-5
Anna Schmiedlova (SVK) defeated Valeria Savinykh (RUS) 6-1 6-3
Bernarda Pera (USA) defeated Olivia Gadecki (AUS) 6-7 6-3 6-3
Kaia Kanepi (EST) defeated Astra Sharma (AUS) 1-6 7-5 6-2
Jasmine Paolini (ITA) defeated Rebecca Marino (CAN) 7-6 6-3
Daria Kasatkina (RUS) defeated Mihaela Buzarnescu (ROU) 6-1 6-1
Danka Kovinic (MCE) defeated Tamara Zidansek (SLO) 6-3 6-3

Picture credit: Getty Images

Teenager Tauson wins on Grand Slam debut as Pliskova and Kenin challenged

DAY three of the 2020 Roland Garros saw the remainder of the Round of 128 finish up their matches, with some predictable top seeds in Karolina Pliskova, Sofia Kenin and Aryna Sabalenka making their way through to the second round although the former two had to fight back after strong showings from their opposition.

The longest match of the day – and ultimately one of the biggest upsets too – went to the battle between 21st seed Jennifer Brady and Danish teenager Clara Tauson, seeing the 17-year-old come away with a 6-4 3-6 9-7 victory in a whopping two hours and 45 minutes on court in her grand slam debut and only her second appearance on the WTA Tour. 

“We played an amazing match today, probably the highest-quality tennis I’ve ever played in my life,” Tauson said post-match. “I was just grateful to be there and just happy that I could play a girl like her on a big court. It was a dream come true, of course, and then winning the match, I don’t have any words yet. It was so great, I’ve never really experienced a match like that.”

The youngster may have topped the unforced error tally with 46, but she also hit 48 winners to Brady’s 39, also coming away with a better winning ratio on break points. The final set took almost 70 minutes to decide, with neither player willing to back down and Tauson able to weather the storm after a couple of early opportunities prior to the tiebreaker. 

Other seeded upsets on the day came from Irina Bara – who defeated 26th seed Donna Vekic 6-3 6-4 – and Julia Goerges – who defeated 19th seed Alison Riske in a huge 6-3 6-7 6-1 battle in two hours and 17 minutes. Meanwhile, Qualifier Mayar Sherif put Pliskova through her paces in the first set, taking out the first set tiebreaker before Plskova bit back in the second to steal momentum. Despite a better third set, Sherif could not compete with the Czech second seed, seeing Pliskova run away victory 6-7 6-2 6-4 in two hours and 15 minutes. Liudmila Samsonova also got a good look in against Australian Open champion Kenin, stealing the second set after a tight first set before Kenin came out flying in the third to come out victor in just under two hours. 

Sabalenka was much more convincing in her 6-3 6-1 victory over American Jessica Pegula, claiming the early ascendancy before dominating the second set. 14th seed Elena Rybakina was clinical against Sorana Cirstea in a 6-0 6-3 demolition in 65 minutes, while 29th seed Sloane Stephens continued her solid form with a 66-minute 6-2 6-2 victory over Vitalia Diatchenko. 30th seed Ons Jabeur overcame a difficult start against Kazakh Zarina Diyas for a three set 4-6 6-3 6-1 finish, while the final seeded match saw 13th seed Petra Martic deal with a tough effort from Japanese talent Misaki Doi who was relentless in pursuit, seeing Martic come away with a 7-6 7-5 victory in an hour and 48 minutes.

Doi’s compatriot Nao Hibino continued her excellent run of form with a 6-4 6-0 victory over qualifier Marta Kostyuk in just 58 minutes – the quickest of the day – while in other unseeded matchups Alison van Uytvanck, Jelena Ostapenko, Paula Badosa, Danielle Collins, Daria Kasatkina, Ana Bogdan, Veronika Kudermetova, Fiona Ferro and Laura Siegemund all joined the winners list.

Form shows in New York as stacked qualifying draw gets underway

IT was a huge first day at the traditional Cincinnati Masters – moved to New York for COVID-19 reasons in the lead up to the United States – with the Western & Southern Open’s qualifying taking place in the women’s and men’s draws.

Focusing the attention on the women’s draw, three of the top four seeds in the qualifying were bundled out, as those who impressed at Lexington continued their form. Here’s some of the highlights:

  • Top seed Jil Teichmann smashed Aliona Bolsova 6-2 6-2 in just 62 minutes of play
  • Canadian teenager Leylah Fernandez upset second seed Anna Blinkova 6-1 6-4
  • Liudmila Samsonova took down third seed Lauren Davis rather easily, 6-4 6-1
  • It was a positive day for the Americans with a number of crucial wins including Ann Li, Shelby Rogers, CiCi Bellis, Kristie Ahn, Jessica Pegula, Katie Volynets, Christina McHale and Caroline Dolehide
  • The longest match of the day by far was 12th seed Kristen Flipkens‘ 5-7 7-5 7-6 epic against Ukrainian Katarina Zavatska
  • Just 10 seeds remain out of the 20 that were out on court in a massive day of upsets
  • Teichmann and Rogers and Fernandez and Ahn are among the tantalising round two qualifying matches on display tomorrow

The ATP Tour’s tournament had just as many shocks on day one, with the majority of qualifiers out on court in the Masters 1000 event. Here’s some of the highlights from the day:

  • Ranked outside the top 100, Finn Emil Ruusuvuori took out second seed Frenchman Jeremy Chardy far too easily, 6-0 6-1, in a day of upsets on Court 12, with 17th and 19th seeds, Federico Delbonis and Laslo Djere both bowing out to unseeded Jaume Munar and Marcos Giron
  • Great American hope Brandon Nakashima was no match for 21st seed Hungarian, Marton Fucsovics, losing 6-2 6-4, while it was better news for lowly ranked J.J. Wolf and Mackenzie McDonald who knocked over 11th seed Egor Gerasimov and 24th seed Yuchi Sugita respectively
  • South African Lloyd Harris found his form from January with an upset win over up and coming Swede and 10th seed, Mikael Ymer 7-5 7-5
  • Third seed Pablo Cuevas joined Chardy and Juan Ignacio Londero on the sidelines after a shock loss to unseeded Japanese talent, Yasutaka Uchiyama
  • The first Australian male on court, Jordan Thompson was able to topple American Michael Mmoh
  • Salvatore Caruso defeated ATP Next Gen Finals winner Jannik Sinner in the all-Italian clash late in the day, while top seed Gilles Simon booked a spot in the second round of qualifying with a win over Taro Daniel

The wildcards for the ATP Tour events are impressive with the likes of up and comer, Tommy Paul and Australian Open quarter finalist Tennys Sandgren, as well as Frances Tiafoe and Grand Slam winner Andy Murray – the latter of whom both face off in the Round of 64.

Picture: Getty Images

Order restored as top four seeds advance after early slip-ups

TOP four seeds, Petra Martic and Anett Kontaveit are through to the final eight of the 2020 Palermo Ladies Open after come-from-behind wins against their respective opponents. While seventh seed Dayana Yastremska‘s Round of 16 clash with Oceane Dodin was still in progress at the time of publishing, Martic got up over Liudmila Samsonova, while Kontaveit defeated Laura Siegemund.

Martic took two and a half hours to finally shake off the determined Samsonova who had produced some great tennis since advancing through qualifying. The tournament favourite went down in the first set, but more due to Samsonova’s remarkable work off her first serve to win 80.8 per cent of the points. She scrapped hard as well to defend three break points, whilst creating 10 opportunities against the top 20 Martic. The Croatian was still playing well with a serving efficiency of 73.9 per cent and defending her second serve points strongly, but a late break cost her in the match.

The second set started to turnaround for the Croatian who took more control of the contest, winning 73.9 per cent of her first serves, and Samsonova’s serve went by the wayside. While Martic struggled off her second serve – winning just two of 11 points – she also attacked Samsonova’s second serve which was far more frequent. It set the world number 15 to come home with a wet sail in the last set, breaking on both her break point opportunities and serving as a healthy 61.5 per cent for a 75 and 60 per cent record, never looking like being broken. Samsonova could only manage to win eight points off Martic’s serve, for a total of 16 in the set for Martic to secure a 5-7 6-4 6-2 victory.

Kontaveit had a similar story, having to overcome a first set deficit to win 3-6 6-2 6-2 in two hours and 18 minutes. The fourth seed had not lost to a player outside the top 50 since Wimbledon last year – Siegemund is 65th – but it was not looking good early, as the German broke in two of Kontaveit’s first three serve games. Neither player looked entirely safe on serve, but a third break in the final game of the set – courtesy of a third double fault by the Estonian – handed Siegemund the first set.

Kontaveit started much better in the second set racing to a 3-0 lead with back-to-back breaks, only for Siegemund to break back and hold to move to 2-3. A third break to the Estonian in the seventh game handed Kontaveit the set and level pegging in the match. She continued the form into the second set, breaking yet again on her way to five straight games between the two sets, and soon she looked on top. Siegemund saved a break point to hold in the fifth game, but then the fourth seed’s ability shone through, winning the last three games of the match to advance through to the quarter finals.

In the other completed match, Italian Camila Giorgi became the third home nation representative through to the final eight, knocking off teenage qualifier, Kaja Juvan in three sets. Dropping the first set 3-6, Giorgi bounced back to win the next two and secure a 3-6 6-2 6-4 win in two hours and two minutes. She now takes on the winner of Yastremska and Dodin in the last eight, with the Ukrainian seventh seed well in control at the time of publishing.

Her compatriots, Sara Errani and Elisabetta Cocciaretto have had the extra day’s break, with Errani facing Fiona Ferro, and Cocciaretto coming up against Kontaveit in a blockbuster quarter final. In the last quarter final, top seed Martic faces another qualifier in red-hot Belarusian Aliaksandra Sasnovich who took apart Elise Mertens and then destroyed Jasmine Paolini to make her way into the last eight.

Cocciaretto continues remarkable run as seeds fall in Palermo

ITALIAN teenager Elisabetta Cocciaretto has continued her remarkable run, with a stunning victory over top 30 player, Donna Vekic at the Palermo Ladies Open. Spurred on by a home crowd advantage, Cocciaretto backed up her first ever top 100 victory – over Polona Hercog – in the first round with an even better win over the sixth seed Croatian on day three.

Cocciaretto stormed past Vekic 6-2 6-4 in a stunning performance that sees her catapult well inside the top 150 for the first time in her career, and potentially eye off a top 100 spot with a deep run in Italy. Her consistent serving played a part with a healthy 65.2 per cent of her first serves going in, and a similar effectiveness in winning them. The second serve was much more comprehensive compared to her opponent, winning 58.3 per cent of her second serve points to Vekic’s 44.1 per cent.

Vekic’s job was made more difficult by the fact her serve completely abandoned her, producing a whopping seven double faults and running at a poor 46.9 per cent serving efficiency. While she managed to break her younger opponent once from five chances, Cocciaretto broke Vekic four times during the two sets on her way to a straight sets victory in an hour and 35 minutes. It was a comprehensive win for the 19-year-old who now awaits the winner of fourth seed, Anett Kontaveit and German Laura Siegemund.

Of the three other winners, fellow Italian Sara Errani and Frenchwoman Fiona Ferro continued their form to lock in a quarter finals clash. Errani downed Kristyna Pliskova 3-6 6-4 6-3 in a two-hour come-from-behind win, while Ferro looked in control in the second set against eighth seed Russian, Ekaterina Alexandrova after a tight first set, to post a 7-5 6-2 win in an hour and 49 minutes.

The fourth match of the day was Belarusian Aliaksandra Sasnovich‘s big win over the third Italian on court in Jasmine Paolini. Sasnovich has not missed a beat at Palermo, storming through qualifying and into the final eight. She easily pushed past Paolini with a 6-0 6-2 win in just 72 minutes of action. Paolini was far from poor though, creating eight break point opportunities, but the strength of Sasnovich on serve saved all of them, while breaking her opponent five of a possible six times in a rather unfair scoreline of 6-0 6-2. With just 16 points won on serve for the Italian, it was always going to make life difficult.

Both Cocciaretto and Sasnovich will be able to have an extra day’s break over their opponents, with Kontaveit and Siegemund first up tomorrow on Centre Court, before top seed Petra Martic and qualifier Liudmila Samsonova battle it out for the right to face Sasnovich. In the last two games, Camila Giorgi and Kaja Juvan go head-to-head, with the winner to take on either seventh seed Dayana Yastremska or Frenchwoman Oceane Dodin in the last quarter final.

Palermo qualifiers advance thanks to extra matchplay

IT might not be an exact fact, but no doubt after months off from competitive tennis, qualifiers have the best chance of causing an upset in Palermo. They had to fight through three qualification matches to make their way into the main draw, with a lot of their opponents coming off exhibition matches and training at best. The three European qualifiers – Kaja Juvan, Aliaksandra Sasnovich and Liudmila Samsonova – all won through against higher ranked opponents.

Juvan had the biggest upset of the lot, with the world number 121 toppling second seed, Marketa Vondrousova after a disappointing first set. The Slovenian teenager won 1-6 7-5 6-4 to advance through to the second round, defying her ranking to topple the world number 18. Having never beaten a top 50 player before, the 19-year-old stepped up to the plate and was sensational, particularly defensively given she only owned 46.1 per cent of her first serve points. She made up for it off her second serve though, claiming 65.6 per cent of those points, and serving three aces for the match while saving nine break points. Vondrousova was unlucky in the game, with the 2019 French Open finalist creating 16 break point opportunities, and even breaking her more times than she herself was broken (7-6), but it would not be enough.

In a much more one-sided contest, Sasnovich trounced fifth seed Belgian, Elise Mertens 6-4 6-1 to advance through to the Round of 16. The match lasted an hour and 23 minutes with the Belarusian dominating thanks to a high serving percentage with more than two thirds of her first serves going in, and winning on both her first and second serve points at the same ratio. Mertens struggled throughout the contest despite serving four aces, only winning 40 per cent of points off her second serve and produced three double faults.

It was a bad day for Belgian fans, with Samsonova toppling Kirsten Flipkens, also in straight sets. The Russian won 6-4 6-2 in 93 minutes to book a sport in the second round, thanks to a healthy 73 per cent first serve points winning ratio. Her serve was all over the place at times with five double faults and just a 56.1 per cent efficiency, but Flipkens ran at an even lower 50.9 per cent and could not capitalise on break opportunities as often as Samsonova who broke five times to two in the match.

Compounding the forgettable day for the Belgian nation, Alison Van Uytvanck was swept aside by top seed Petra Martic who showed no signs of rustiness in her 65-minute rout. Martic was near-unbeatable off her first serve, with a staggering 78.1 per cent winning ratio, as Van Uytvanck could not capitalise on any of her four break point opportunities. The Belgian was actually fairly successful off her first serve – 71.4 per cent – when it went in (which was not often at 48.8 per cent), but she really struggled off her second serve with just a 31.8 per cent success rate.

The only qualifier to lose in the first round was the only non-European in the draw with Argentinian Nadia Podoroska bowing out at the hands of a red-hot Fiona Ferro. The Frenchwoman had no troubles storming to a 6-2 6-1 victory, joining compatriot Oceane Dodin in the second round after Dodin fought off an early challenge from Slovenian Tamara Zidansek to win in just under two and a half hours, 2-6 6-4 6-4.

Other winners on day two of the main draw matches were fourth seed Estonian Anett Kontaveit, and Italian Camila Giorgi who made it a perfect first-up round for the home nation, knocking off the highly rated Rebecca Peterson in straight sets, 7-5 6-4. In the late day one matches yesterday, Kristyna Pliskova stunned third seed Maria Sakkari, and seventh seed Dayana Yastremska shook off Sara Sorribes Tormo to make it through to Round of 16.

Tournament rewind: 2019 Palermo Ladies Open

TALENTED up and comer, Jil Teichmann surprised all when she took out the 30th Palermo Ladies Open last year, coming through victorious in the final against raging favourite and top seed, Kiki Bertens. In that match, Teichmann won 7-6 6-2 in an hour and 52 minutes on the Italian clay.

She played a consistent game, serving at 67.1 per cent and winning 64.2 per cent of her first serve points, whilst saving four of a possible seven break point opportunities. Bertens was not as clinical, serving at under 60 per cent, with just a 54.5 per cent first serve points record, and broken five times by her younger opponent. The result reversed the previous clash between the two, where Bertens accounted for an 18-year-old Teichmann, ironically by the same scoreline as the Palermo final, 7-6 6-2 back in Luxembourg.

The Palermo title was the Swiss talent’s second, backing up her one at Prague earlier in the year and consolidated her spot inside the top 100. Rewinding to day eight of Palermo and Teichmann had no problems skipping past Liudmila Samsonova, 6-3 6-1 in 78 minutes. Likewise, Bertens accounted for Paula Badosa 6-1 7-5, though in just over an hour and a half on court.

The going had been tougher for Bertens against home court fan favourite Jasmine Paolini in the quarters, dropping the second set before steadying to win 6-4 1-6 6-1 in an hour and 48 minutes. By comparison, Teichmann spent just 32 minutes on court and raced to a 6-0 1-0 lead before German Anna-Lena Friedsam retired. In the other quarter finals, Badosa sent Bertens’ compatriot Arantxa Rus packing in a 6-2 6-1 73-minute demolition job, while Samsonova had the longest struggle, overcoming Fiona Ferro in a come-from-behind 6-7 6-3 6-4 epic.

The Round of 16 had seen three of the top four seeds all bundled out, as second seed Alize Cornet lost to Friedsam 7-5 6-4, Rus trampled third seed Viktoria Kuzmova 6-4 6-4, and Samsonova accounted for fourth seed Tamara Zidansek 6-2 7-5. It showed that rankings meant little when it came to the tournament. Teichmann’s road to the final eight included wins over Daria Gavrilova of Australia, and Brazil’s Gabriela Ce.

While unfortunately Teichmann has chosen not to return to defend her title in 2020, no doubt it will not be long before the Swiss up and comer returns back to the court.

2020 WTA Nature Valley Open / ATP Stuttgart Open fantasy tennis: Cilic ousts Zverev as Garcia’s run to defend her title continues

FIVE seeds and last year’s reigning champion remain in the 2020 WTA Nature Valley Open fantasy tennis tournament, while over in Stuttgart, just two seeds are left standing following another day of upsets on grass.

Turning the attention to Nottingham, seven of the eight seeds were on court after winning their first round matches, but by the end of the day, only five remained. Reigning champion Caroline Garcia and compatriot Kristina Mladenovic flew the flag for France to make their way into the quarter finals. Garcia toppled third seed Belinda Bencic 6-2 7-6, while Mladenovic got over fourth seed Petra Martic, 3-6 7-6 6-4.

It was much better for the top two seeds as both Petra Kvitova and Bianca Andreescu defeated their respective opponents. The Czech number one seed won 7-6 6-4 against American Coco Vandeweghe, while Andreescu knocked off Belgian qualifier Yanina Wickmayer 6-4 6-3. It was mostly a one-sided day for the winning seeds, with last year’s runner-up Donna Vekic also winning in straight sets, 7-5 6-2.

In the remaining results, sixth seed Maria Sakkari won 7-6 7-0 over Stefanie Voegele whilst Tatjana Maria handed a third Swiss player a defeat, winning 6-2 6-3 against qualifier Viktorija Golubic. Chinese eighth seed Shuai Zhang was the other player through to the quarter finals with a come-from-behind three set win, 3-6 6-3 7-6. In the quarter finals, Mladenovic and Maria face off, while Sakkari takes on Garcia. In the other quarter finals, Kvitova locks horns with Zhang, whilst at the bottom of the draw, Andreescu plays Vekic.

NATURE VALLEY OPEN ROUND OF 16 RESULTS:

[1] Petra Kvitova (CZE) defeated Coco Vandeweghe (USA) 7-6 6-4
[2] Bianca Andreescu (CAN) defeated [Q] Yanina Wickmayer (BEL) 6-4 6-3
Caroline Garcia (FRA) defeated [3] Belinda Bencic (SUI) 6-2 7-6
Kristina Mladenovic (FRA) defeated [4] Petra Martic (CRO) 3-6 7-6 6-4
[6] Maria Sakkari (GRE) defeated Stefanie Voegele (SUI) 7-6 6-0
[7] Donna Vekic (CRO) defeated Liudmila Samsonova (RUS) 7-5 6-2
[8] Shuai Zhang (CHN) defeated Ajla Tomljanovic (AUS) 3-6 6-3 7-6
Tatjana Maria (GER) defeated [Q] Viktorija Golubic (SUI) 6-2 6-3

At Stuttgart, it was absolute carnage with three of the remaining five seeds ousted from the competition, including number one seed and tournament favourite, Alexander Zverev. Fresh off a maiden Grand Slam win at Roland Garros, Zverev hoped to carry on that success in his home country, but went down to Croatian Marin Cilic in a straight sets defeat, 6-1 6-2. He was joined by third seed Gael Monfils in an equally disappointing loss, with the Frenchman out courtesy of a 6-3 6-2 defeat at the hands of big-serving American John Isner.

The other top four seeds restored the balance somewhat with Daniil Medvedev easily accounting for Lucas Pouille 6-3 6-1, while Matteo Berrettini got up in a come-from-behind win against Sam Querrey. Fellow Italian seed Fabio Fognini was not as fortunate as Berrettini, losing to Milos Raonic in three sets, 6-3 4-6 6-4.

In the other results, Argentinian wildcard Juan Martin del Potro kept the good times rolling with a 6-2 6-2 triumph over Gilles Simon, while Australian John Millman and Spaniard Feliciano Lopez also won through to a quarter final. Millman defeated German wildcard Dustin Brown 2-6 7-6 7-5, while Lopez toppled Argentinian Guido Pella 6-1 6-1.

Looking ahead to tomorrow’s quarter finals, Medvedev takes on Raonic and Berrettini faces Lopez of the last remaining seeds. In the other two matchups, del Potro clashes with Cilic and Isner meets Millman.

STUTTGART OPEN ROUND OF 16 RESULTS:

Marin Cilic (CRO) defeated [1] Alexander Zverev (GER) 6-1 6-2
[2] Daniil Medvedev (RUS) defeated Lucas Pouille (FRA) 6-3 6-1
John Isner (USA) defeated [3] Gael Monfils (FRA) 6-3 6-2
[4] Matteo Berrettini (ITA) defeated Sam Querrey (USA) 1-6 6-3 6-2
Milos Raonic (CAN) defeated [8] Fabio Fognini (ITA) 6-3 4-6 6-4
[WC] Juan Martin del Potro (ARG) defeated Gilles Simon (FRA) 6-2 6-2
John Millman (AUS) defeated [WC] Dustin Brown (GER) 2-6 7-6 7-5
Feliciano Lopez (ESP) defeated Guido Pella (ARG) 6-1 6-1

2020 WTA Nature Valley Open / ATP Stuttgart Open fantasy tennis: Chaos reigns in Germany as seeds skittled on day one

ONLY one seed fell at the 2020 WTA Nature Valley Open fantasy tennis tournament, whilst there was a lot more chaos at the ATP Stuttgart Open. In Germany, just one of the four seeds on court survived day one against the stronger unseeded grass court players.

Looking at the Nature Valley Open in Nottingham first, there was only the one shock which came in the form of Swiss qualifier Viktorija Golubic knocking out fifth seed Ukrainian Dayana Yastremska. Golubic made it through to the Round of 16 courtesy of a 2-6 6-3 6-4 come-from-behind win over the world number 16 in her bid to eye off a top 100 spot. The other seed engaged in a three-set come-from-behind match was eighth seed Shuai Zhang, but this time the 34th ranked Chinese talent got up, albeit with some nervous moments against British wildcard and world number 146 Harriet Dart, 4-6 6-3 6-4.

The other seeds had less trouble to move through to the second round, although sixth seed Greek up and comer Maria Sakkari took three sets to knock out Frenchwoman Oceane Dodin, 6-3 3-6 6-4. Top seed Petra Kvitova, third seed Belinda Bencic and seventh seed Donna Vekic all won through to the Round of 16 without being forced into a tenth game in any set. Second seed Canadian Bianca Andreescu got past British wildcard Katie Swan in a tight 7-5 6-4 win, whilst fourth seed Croatian Petra Martic had a similar experience against Serbian wildcard Ivana Jorovic before saluting 7-5 6-1.

In the unseeded matches, only Coco Vandeweghe and Liudmila Samsonova were forced into three sets before getting up. Vandeweghe toppled American compatriot Shelby Rogers 6-0 3-6 7-5, while Russian Samsonova also knocked out an American, downing Ann Li 6-2 2-6 6-1. In other results, Ajla Tomljanovic, Tatjana Maria, Kristina Mladenovic, Stefanie Voegele and Yanina Wickmayer all booked their places in the Round of 16. Reigning champion Caroline Garcia was the final winner through to the second round, knocking off American Jennifer Brady 6-2 6-2 in under an hour.

NATURE VALLEY OPEN ROUND OF 32 RESULTS:

[1] Petra Kvitova (CZE) defeated [Q] Elena Gabriela Ruse (ROU) 6-3 6-3
[2] Bianca Andreescu (CAN) defeated [WC] Katie Swan (GBR) 7-5 6-4
[3] Belinda Bencic (SUI) defeated Sara Sorribes Tormo (ESP) 6-2 6-1
[4] Petra Martic (CRO) defeated [WC] Ivana Jorovic (SRB) 7-5 6-1
[Q] Viktorija Golubic (SUI) defeated [5] Dayana Yastremska (UKR) 2-6 6-3 6-4
[6] Maria Sakkari (GRE) defeated Oceane Dodin (FRA) 6-3 3-6 6-4
[7] Donna Vekic (CRO) defeated [WC] Naiktha Bains (GBR) 6-1 6-4
[8] Shuai Zhang (CHN) defeated [WC] Harriet Dart (GBR) 4-6 6-3 6-4
Coco Vandeweghe (USA) defeated Shelby Rogers (USA) 6-0 3-6 7-5
Ajla Tomljanovic (AUS) defeated Heather Watson (GBR) 6-2 6-1
Tatjana Maria (GER) defeated [Q] Astra Sharma (AUS) 6-2 6-3
Kristina Mladenovic (FRA) defeated Julia Goerges (GER) 6-3 6-0
Caroline Garcia (FRA) defeated Jennifer Brady (USA) 6-2 6-2
Stefanie Voegele (SUI) defeated Patricia Maria Tig (ROU) 6-2 6-2
Liudmila Samsonova (RUS) defeated Ann Li (USA) 6-2 2-6 6-1
[Q] Yanina Wickmayer (BEL) defeated Jil Teichmann (SUI) 6-1 7-5

Whilst the results in Nottingham might have gone to script, over in Stuttgart, that was far from the case. Three of the four seeds all fell at the first hurdle, leaving only eighth seed Italian Fabio Fognini remaining to join the top four seeds in the second round. Fognini downed German Philipp Kohlschreiber to book a place in the second round, but was not joined by Nikoloz Basilashvili, Karen Khachanov or Denis Shapovalov. Guido Pella, John Millman and Gilles Simon all won in straight sets to move through to the Round of 16 in sensational upsets.

One of the early title contenders from an unseeded perspective in Marin Cilic also won through, albeit with a come-from-behind win against a plucky Damir Dzumhur who qualified for the event. Cilic won 3-6 6-3 6-4 to make his way into the second round. Also through to the next stage were a couple of wildcards in Juan Martin del Potro and Dustin Brown. The Argentinian Grand Slam winner defeated home nation talent Jan-Lennard Struff 6-3 6-1, while Brown got the home crowd happy again with a 6-3 2-6 6-3 triumph over Hungarian qualifier Marton Fucsovics.

In the remaining matches, American duo John Isner and Sam Querrey fought through to the second round. Isner overcame Australian Nick Kyrgios in a remarkable triple tiebreaker match, winning 6-7 7-6 7-6, while Querrey knocked out 2019 Stuttgart Open runner-up, Felix Auger-Aliassime in three sets, 6-4 4-6 6-2. The losing teenager’s compatriot in Milos Raonic got the chocolates in the first round however, knocking out German wildcard Dominik Koepfer 4-6 6-1 6-4, while Feliciano Lopez and Lucas Pouille both won through to the Round of 16.

STUTTGART OPEN ROUND OF 32 RESULTS:

Guido Pella (ARG) defeated [5] Nikoloz Basilashvili (GEO) 6-4 6-2
John Millman (AUS) defeated [6] Karen Khachanov (RUS) 7-6 7-6
Gilles Simon (FRA) defeated [7] Denis Shapovalov (CAN) 7-5 6-2
[8] Fabio Fognini (ITA) defeated Philipp Kohlschreiber (GER) 6-1 6-4
Marin Cilic (CRO) defeated [Q] Damir Dzumhur (BIH) 3-6 6-3 6-4
[WC] Juan Martin del Potro (ARG) defeated Jan-Lennard Struff (GER) 6-3 6-1
[WC] Dustin Brown (GER) defeated [Q] Marton Fucsovics (HUN) 6-3 2-6 6-3
John Isner (USA) defeated Nick Kyrgios (AUS) 6-7 7-6 7-6
Sam Querrey (USA) defeated Felix Auger-Aliassime (CAN) 6-4 4-6 6-2
Feliciano Lopez (ESP) defeated [Q] Denis Kudla (USA) 6-3 6-4
Milos Raonic (CAN) defeated [WC] Dominik Koepfer (GER) 4-6 6-1 6-4
Lucas Pouille (FRA) defeated Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA) 4-6 6-3 6-0