Tag: Nina Stojanovic

WTA Tour wrap: Williams downed as first and second rounds continue

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

EMILIA-ROMAGNA OPEN ROUND OF 32 RESULTS:

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

EMILIA-ROMAGNA OPEN ROUND OF 16 RESULTS:

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

SERBIA LADIES OPEN ROUND OF 32 RESULTS:

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

SERBIA LADIES OPEN ROUND OF 16 RESULTS:

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

Picture credit: Marta Magni Images/MEF Tennis Events

WTA Tour wrap: Jabeur and Sharma to face off in Charleston as Billie Jean King Cup playoff winners decided

ONS Jabeur and Astra Sharma will face off in the MUSC Health Women’s Open final after the respective players toppled their opponents overnight in the semi-finals. Top seed Jabeur continued her steam-rolling of opponents with a 6-3 6-0 smashing of Montenegro’s Danka Kovinic, reversing the result of last tournament, when Kovinic won in straight sets. The one-sided result threw back to Budapest in 2018 when Jabeur won in their other encounter 6-2 6-1.

In this match, Jabeur needed 89 minutes to win and dominated from midway through the first set to cruise to the easy victory, breaking a hopping seven times – bringing up 17 break point chances – whilst only dropping her own serve twice. She won 65 per cent of her first serve points to Kovinic’s 45 per cent, and whilst she struggled off her second serve (43.3 per cent), Kovinic won even less with just a 32.3 per cent success rate.

Sharma had a tougher first set against Colombian teenager Maria Camilla Osorio Serrano. The latter was coming off her maiden title last start, and was bringing it to Sharma in the first set, as the Australian needed to win 7-5 in the tiebreaker. From there she won six of the next seven games to get up 7-6 6-1 and book her spot in the final. Also yet to win a title at WTA Tour level in the singles format, Sharma is a one-time finalist at Bogota in 2019, where she also won the doubles title at that event. At 25-years-old, Sharma still remains outside the the Top 100, but will be eyeing off a place inside with this run at the tournament.

MUSC HEALTH WOMEN’S OPEN SEMI-FINALS RESULTS:

[1] Ons Jabeur (TUN) defeated Danka Kovinic (MCE) 6-3 6-0
Astra Sharma (AUS) defeated Maria Camilla Osorio Serrano (COL) 7-6 6-1

 

BILLIE JEAN CUP:

The favourites managed to get up on the second day of the Billie Jean King Cup, with Poland, Kazakhstan and Netherlands holding off some stiff resistance from underdogs, Brazil, Argentina and China to advance through to the next stage where they will have the chance to enter the World Group of the 2022 cup.

Youngster Maria Lourdes Carle almost single-handedly defeated Kazakhstan with a win over Yulia Putintseva to back up her upset of Elena Rybakina the day before, but unfortunately Roland Garros semi-finalist Nadia Podoroska went down in both of her singles matches. The pair were then outclassed by more experienced doubles combination Anna Danilina and Yaroslava Shvedova in the deciding doubles, 6-0 7-5.

Netherlands took the risk of not having Kiki Bertens play out the day two singles and it almost cost them, with Wang Xiyu knocking off Lesley Pattinama Kerkhov after defeating Arantxa Rus on day one to lead China to a 2-1 lead. Luckily Rus bounced back with a win over Wang Xinyu, then teamed up with Demi Schuurs to win the doubles match, and the tie for her nation, 3-2.

Meanwhile Poland got up over Brazil in a five-tie result, with Magdalena Frech doing all the heavy lifting, defeating Laura Pigossi – who knocked off Urszula Radwanska on day one – and then combined with Katarzyna Kawa to triumph in the doubles, while Carolina Melgeni Rodrigues Alves won her singles against Kawa and the opening set of double with Luisa Stefani, but the Brazilian pairing fell in three sets, 1-6 6-2 6-4.

Meanwhile in more one-sided results, Great Britain wrapped up its tie against Mexico despite Marcela Zacarias upsetting Heather Watson. Katie Boulter brought the team home with a straight sets win over Giuliana Olmos. Anastasija Sevastova wrapped up an easy tie for Latvia against India, as Elisabetta Cocciaretto did the same in a tight encounter against Colombia’s Mihaela Buzarnescu, 7-5 7-6 following Elena Gabriela Ruse‘s win over Jasmine Paolini.

Unsurprisingly, Ukraine and Canada both won 4-0 in comfortable wins over Serbia and Japan, though Elina Svitolina was forced into three sets by Japanese talent Yuki Naito with the match going 6-2 4-6 7-6, while Leylah Fernandez came from behind against Nina Stojanovic to hand the North American nation the victory 6-3 3-6 6-4.

 

Picture credit: Adam Nurkiewicz

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

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

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

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

MUSC HEALTH WOMEN’S OPEN QUARTER FINALS RESULTS:

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

BILLIE JEAN KING CUP

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

WTA MIAMI OPEN ROUND OF 32 RESULTS:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MIAMI OPEN 1000 ROUND OF 64 RESULTS:

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

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

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

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

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

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

MIAMI OPEN ROUND OF 128 RESULTS:

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

Picture credit: Getty Images

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.

ATP/WTA Miami Open 1000: Qualifiers wrap

THE qualifying rounds have begun at both the ATP Tour and WTA Tour Miami Open 1000 event in the United States, with plenty of talented names looking to break into the main draw entries over the next few days.

In the men’s draw, the day’s top ranked players in Mackenzie McDonald and Thiago Seyboth Wild both made it through to Day 2 unscathed, whilst fellow top 10 qualifying seeds in Damir DzumhurHenri LaaksonenFederico GaioBrandon Nakashima and Jason Jung also completed their first round matches successfully. Wildcards Mischa Zverev and Shintaro Mochizuki both kept their main draw hopes alive with the former overcoming 16th seed Danilo Petrovic, whilst the latter was 4-1 up against seventh seed Daniel Altmaier before the German retired mid-match. Looking at the home-grown American talent, Bjorn Fratangelo, Mitchell Krueger and Ernesto Escobedo all join McDonald and Nakashima in the second day of qualifiers, with Emilio Nava still yet to play.

Looking to the women’s, and there are plenty of quality players looking to earn their way into the main draw with yesterday’s Monterrey victor in Leylah Fernandez one of them. The Canadian second seed is yet to play, but will hope her result goes a different way to her fellow top seeds with Misaki Doi (first seed) and Martina Trevisan (third) both falling in three sets. Rounding out the top five seeds are Kirsten Flipkens and Tamara Zidansek, with both reigning supreme in their respective matches, whilst Varvara Gracheva and Nina Stojanovic were the only other two top 10 qualifiers to remain in the hunt. Looking once more to the American talent aiming to earn their way into the main draw, Kristie Ahn and Hailey Baptiste both did what their more high profile compatriots could not, making it through to the next round as Caty McNally and Coco Vandeweghe both fell.

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: 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