Tag: ons jabeur

WTA Tour wrap: Badosa proceeds, Barty and Kvitova set up quarter final clash

THE Round of 16 saw some huge results propelling players into the 2021 WTA Tour 1000 Mutua Madrid Open. While one hometown hopeful remains in the draw, three of the four seeds of the day retained their mantle as the ones to watch heading into the quarter finals.

One of the matches of the round was arguably between Ash Barty and Iga Swiatek, with the two seeds going head-to-head for the first time and the matchup not failing to impress. Whilst top seed and world number one Barty came away with the bragging rights over the quick improver in 19-year-old Swiatek, she was tested across both sets to eventually come away with the 7-5 6-4 result in one hour and 41 minutes.

“I really enjoyed myself out there tonight. I enjoyed the challenge. Iga’s game is exceptional. It’s really, really impressive. I love testing myself and trying to figure out the puzzle tonight and the challenges that she created for me,” Barty said post-match.

“I love the way that she plays. I love the way she takes the game on. She plays without fear. I think the way she controls the court, has the ability to move and neutralize from defensive position is very, very impressive.”

While Swiatek won the first three games of the match, the Australian rallied from then on, and did not face a single break point in the first set from there.

“I think probably the first half an hour was a bit of an adjustment period for both of us. I think it took me some time to get used to Iga’s weight of shot. Obviously, we had a game plan going into it, but I had to adjust that and had to kind of learn on the fly a little bit,” Barty said.

“It took me some time to get used to that and kind of nut down what I really wanted to do out there. Once I was able to do that, I became a lot more clear and was able to control the match a little bit more the way that I wanted to.”

While Barty served at an inefficient 53.2 per cent, she made the most of her first serve opportunities to win off 80.5 per cent of her chances. She also converted on three break points, and overall cleaned up her serve impressively in the second to claim the victory, hitting six aces for five double faults in the process, compared to Swiatek’s two and six.

Meanwhile, Spaniard Paula Badosa became the first wildcard to reach the Madrid quarter finals since 2017, overcoming Latvian Anastasija Sevastova in a tough 6-7 7-6 6-0 battle. It was a narrow battle across the first two sets before Badosa flew out of the blocks for the third, with the closeness of the contest proving just how much both players wanted the quarter finals position.

“I got so emotional after the match because of that, of playing home and showing the people the level and that I can win matches. I’m the last Spanish [player] here, so it makes me a little bit more proud. I know the crowd are pushing me a lot,” Badosa said.

“The first two sets were very close. It could go through one side or another one. But then the third set I knew I had to play very aggressive because I was quite tired… I started to be very, very aggressive, concentrated on the first two, three shots. I think that was a little bit the key of the third set.

“It’s an emotional week. I was very nervous when I started the week because I wanted to do very well here. I’m quite happy that it’s coming true. It’s really special… I like to play on clay, as I say always. To reach here the quarterfinals at home, it’s very special, in front of my family, my friends, my people. It’s an amazing feeling.”

Two more seeds claimed wins, as Petra Kvitova disposed of Veronika Kudermetova in three (6-3 4-6 6-4) to ready herself for a huge clash with Barty in the quarters, while Belinda Bencic had the lead in a 7-6 4-3 matchup with Ons Jabeur before the Tunisian retired, citing injury.

MUTUA MADRID OPEN ROUND OF 16 RESULTS:

[1] Ash Barty (AUS) defeated [14] Iga Swiatek (POL) 7-5 6-4
[8] Belinda Bencic (SUI) defeated Ons Jabeur (TUN) 7-6 4-3 RET
[9] Petra Kvitova (CZE) defeated Veronika Kudermetova (RUS) 6-3 4-6 6-4
Paula Badosa (ESP) defeated Anastasija Sevastova (LAT) 6-7 7-6 6-0

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MADRID OPEN ROUND OF 32 RESULTS:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MUTUA MADRID OPEN ROUND OF 64 RESULTS:

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

WTA Tour wrap: Sharma claims maiden singles title

IT took a come-from-behind effort from Australian Astra Sharma to take out her first WTA singles title at the MUSC Health Women’s Open in Charleston, United States, claiming the three set victory 2-6 7-5 6-1 over top seed Ons Jabeur. Whilst Jabeur got off to a flying start, the Australian did not relent in the one hour and 55-minute encounter, biting back in the second to claim an all-important momentum swing and eventually running home with a hugely one-sided third set victory.

“To come out of this with a win, it’s really unexpected, it’s amazing for me, I have no words,” Sharma said post-match. “It hasn’t really sunk in that I won, I’m so happy.”

The now-world number 120 was sitting at 165th on the world rankings prior to this week, edging closer to her career high 85 from June, 2019. Jabeur also rises two ranks, going from 27th in the world to a career-high 25th.

“There’s so many weeks where you come so close, and it’s rare to finally end a week on a win,” Sharma said. “Two years ago in Bogota, when I was so close, the nerves got the better of me.

“This time, I was a lot more calm and just held my nerve really well. Especially with Ons playing such high-level tennis in the first, I thought I did well to just reset in the second and just keep making her come up with the same shots.”

It was Sharma’s consistency that really paid off, winning 63.5 per cent of her first serve points and 59.4 per cent off her second serve points, all off a 61.9 per cent clip. Whilst Jabeur comparatively won more points overall off her first serve at 66 per cent effectiveness, she could not back it up, and especially in the third set, the Tunisian struggled to retain the same intensity dropping two double faults and only winning three points off her second attempt.

“I thought Ons played an amazing first set,” Sharma said. “I didn’t know, really, what to do. She was wrong-footing me, she was drop-shotting me, she was making me cover a lot of court, and I really couldn’t read what she was doing.

“I think in the second set, I managed to get a little sniff here and there. And by the third set, it was hot, humid, and I think I was a little bit more energetic than her and my intensity was still the same, so I think that was what eventually gave me the lead.”

Whilst Jabeur had held ground at 5-5 in the second set and leading 40-15, Sharma won four points in a row to break the Tunisian and finished off the set in even better fashion, leading to the eventual momentum swing and that all important maiden WTA Tour title.

MUSC HEALTH WOMEN’S OPEN FINAL RESULT:

Astra Sharma (AUS) defeated [1] Ons Jabeur (TUN) 2-6 7-5 6-1

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 Tour wrap: Americans fail to proceed through second day of Round of 16

THE second day of Round of 16 proceedings at the MUSC Women’s Health WTA 250 event in Charleston, United States saw the list of hometown hopes dwindle further, with top seed Ons Jabeur and this week’s maiden titleholder Maria Camila Osorio Serrano both taking out wins over American competitors, whilst eighth seed Madison Brengle was forced to fight for ascendancy, before dropping a huge third game.

Jabeur’s and Osorio Serrano’s victories could not have gone any more different, with the former cleanly taking out a 6-4 6-0 result over Alycia Parks in 60 minutes flat, whilst Osorio Serrano was tested until the bitter end by Christina McHale. To Parks’ credit, she forced inefficiency on Jabeur’s serve, however she could not limit how easily Jabeur was able to utilise her service points, seeing the Tunisian win a whopping 80.8 per cent of first serve points of just a 52 per cent clip. Fortunately for Jabeur, Parks’ inefficiency was worse, as was her ability to win points off that, as Jabeur converted five of six break points on her way to victory.

Osorio Serrano required every second of her two-hour and 32-minute encounter with McHale to take out the 2-6 7-6(2) 7-6 come-from-behind victory, shaking off a shocking first set to claim the win. Whilst it took the entirety of the second set for the young gun to overcome the rough start, hitting six double faults in the second set comeback, she hit two double faults for three aces in the third to push past the experienced American, eventually running home with the better first serve winning rate and improved return.

The third match played out between eighth seed Brengle and Australian Astra Sharma, which saw the Aussie take out the first before Brengle bit back to clean up the second, and lead 4-1 in the third set before the Australian picked up her game once more, taking the score to 5-5 in the third and eventually taking out the 6-4 4-6 7-5 victory in two hours and 27 minutes. Whilst Brengle was cleaner overall, Sharma was more consistent throughout and lifted her game at the perfect time to take out the come-from-behind victory.

Meanwhile, an all-teenage battle between 19-year-old American Emma Navarro and 15-year-old Czech Linda Fruhvirtova is currently in progress, with the younger of the two taking out the first set, before backing up with an impressive second set to claim the 6-4 6-2 victory in just under 90 minutes and complete the day’s clean sweep of American talent. Whilst service errors continue to be an issue for Fruhvirtova, her first serve winning ability in the second set was hard to argue with, registering 18 points from 22 attempts at 81.8 per cent, and finishing with an overall winning rate of 75 per cent.

MUSC HEALTH WOMEN’S OPEN ROUND OF 16 RESULTS:

[1] Ons Jabeur (TUN) defeated Alycia Parks (USA) 6-4 6-0
Astra Sharma (AUS) defeated [8] Madison Brengle (USA) 4-6 6-4 4-1
Maria Camila Osorio Serrano (COL) defeated Christina McHale (USA) 2-6 7-6 7-6
Linda Fruhvirtova (CZE) defeated Emma Navarro (USA) 6-4 6-2

WTA Tour wrap: Teenage stars take the cake

FOUR of the eight quarter finalists at the 2021 MUSC Health Women’s Open have been decided after four matches were played out on the Charleston clay. Third seed Shelby Rogers was the only seeded player through to the quarter finals, defeating American Claire Liu in straight sets, 6-2 6-2. The second highest ranked remaining player in the draw cruised through the final eight in 68 minutes.

The results were not as positive for the sixth and seventh seeds. Sixth seed Australian Ajla Tomljanovic went down to rising Danish star Clara Tauson, with the 18-year-old winning 6-1 6-4 in 96 minutes of play. Lauren Davis was the other casualty from a seeded perspective, going down in the longest encounter of day three, as Montenegro’s Danka Kovinic won in two hours and eight minutes, eventually triumphing in three sets, 6-1 1-6 6-3.

In the other match on the day, Japan’s Nao Hibino won in straight sets over another American in Francesca Di Lorenzo, making it three losses from four competitors at the clay court tournament, 6-4 6-3.

In tomorrow’s action, Cristina McHale takes on teenage Colombian Maria Camila Osorio Serano and Emma Navarro takes on another teenage talent in Czech Republic’s Linda Fruhvirtova. Top seed Tunisian Ons Jabeur will lock horns with Alycia Parks, while eighth seed Madison Brengle going head-to-head with Astra Sharma.

MUSC HEALTH WOMEN’S OPEN ROUND OF 16 RESULTS:

[3] Shelby Rogers (USA) defeated Claire Liu (USA) 6-2 6-2
Clara Tauson (DEN) defeated [6] Ajla Tomljanovic (AUS) 6-1 6-4
Danka Kovinic (ME) defeated [7] Lauren Davis (USA) 6-1 1-6 6-3
Nao Hibino (JPN) defeated Francesca Di Lorenzo (USA) 6-4 6-3

WTA Tour wrap: Osorio Serrano continues dream run with defeat of second seed Linette

A HUGE second day of action at the WTA 250 MUSC Health Women’s Open event in Charleston, United States saw a couple of unlikely winners amongst a flurry of American talents continuing their strong run on home soil.

Arguably the biggest win of the day went to Colombian teen Maria Camila Osorio Serrano, who snatched up her maiden title just days ago and has continued her excellent run of form with a 6-3 4-6 7-5 victory over second seed, Magda Linette. The Polish 29-year-old is 10 years Osorio Serrano’s senior and ranked 84 spots ahead of her on the world rankings, but has struggled to string along consistency in recent weeks, which allowed the young gun to get a sniff and eventually take out the two-hour and 16-minute victory. Whilst neither player was particularly clean on serve, Osorio Serrano was much more effective winning 58 per cent of her first serve points off a 71.9 per cent clip, and saved nine break points throughout to go nicely with her eight converted breaks.

Meanwhile, top seed Ons Jabeur was challenged by Stefanie Voegele early before cleaning up the Swiss talent to take out a 6-4 6-1 victory in just one hour and seven minutes, whilst fourth seed Alize Cornet dropped the first set to to Czech 15-year-old Linda Fruhvirtova before marking her second set comeback, with the huge tiebreaking 7-6(7) second set forcing a third which is yet to start, at time of publish.

Across the remainder of the matches, there were just two results that didn’t go the way of the Americans, and one of those was between Charleston WTA 500 finalist Danka Kovinic and Hungarian Viktoriya Tomova, with the former reigning supreme 6-3 6-3, whilst the second saw Australian Astra Sharma defeat China’s Wang Yafan 6-4 6-2. Things did not go quite so well for Sharma’s compatriot in Storm Sanders, who fell in a three-setter to American Claire Liu, 7-5 4-6 6-0. Despite winning back the second set after a tight opener, Sanders could not maintain intensity and overall lacked the fight to reign supreme, with Liu becoming one of five more Americans heading to the Round of 16 after yesterday’s influx. She is joined by Emma NavarroChristina McHaleAlycia Parks, and Francesca di Lorenzo in the second round, with the latter two defeating another couple of Americans in Grace Min and Kristie Ahn for their spot.

MUSC WOMEN’S HEALTH OPEN ROUND OF 32 RESULTS:

[1] Ons Jabeur (TUN) defeated Stefanie Voegele (SUI) 6-4 6-1
Maria Camila Osorio Serrano (COL) defeated [2] Magda Linette (POL) 6-3 4-6 7-5
Danka Kovinic (MNE) defeated Viktoriya Tomova (HUN) 6-3 6-3
Emma Navarro (USA) defeated Tereza Martincova (CZE) 6-3 3-2 RET
Christina McHale (USA) defeated Sara Errani (ITA) 7-6 6-3
Alycia Parks (USA) defeated Grace Min (USA) 6-1 6-4
Francesca di Lorenzo (USA) defeated Kristie Ahn (USA) 7-6 6-2
Astra Sharma (AUS) defeated Wang Yafan (CHN) 6-4 6-2
Claire Liu (USA) defeated Storm Sanders (AUS) 7-5 4-6 6-0

Linda Fruhvirtova (CZE) v. [4] Alize Cornet (FRA)

WTA Tour wrap: Two maiden title winners to be crowned after semi-finals results

FOUR WTA Tour players yet to lift a Tour trophy will compete for the respective crowns in Charleston and Bogota. Two of those players will break their drought, knocking out the remaining title winners and booking their places in the WTA finals. Montenegro’s Danka Kovinic and Russia’s Veronika Kudermetova will face off in the Charleston final, while Slovenia’s Tamara Zidansek and Colombia’s Maria Camila Osorio Serrano lock horns in the latter’s home nation at Bogota.

Looking at the Volvo Car Open, 15th seed Kudermetova took out unseeded Spaniard Paula Badosa in straight sets. The Russian talent won 6-3 6-3 in 90 minutes against the 71st ranked player who knocked out world number one Ash Barty in the quarter finals. Having never won a title and being the highest ranked player remaining at either tournament, the Russian will head into the final against Kovinic as warm favourite.

Kovinic has earned her spot in the final by toppling 12th seed Ons Jabeur in straight sets herself, 12 minutes quicker than Kudermetova’s win, in one hour and 18 minutes. The top ranked Montenegro player won 6-3 6-2 against her Tunisian opponent to also make the final, which will be the third of her career after two runner-up finishes in 2015 and 2016. Being a clay court specialist, Kovinic will prove stiff competition in the decider.

The lower ranked clash between the 93rd ranked Zidansek and 180th ranked Osorio Serrano will be a huge chance for an underrated talent to bring home the trophy, Osorio Serrano will have the home crowd on her side, and is in ripping form after dismantling Harmony Tan, 6-1 6-2 in 85m minutes. It was an impressive win from the Colombian who will contest her first WTA Tour final at just 19 years old as a former world number one junior.

Zidansek also made her way through to the final with a 6-3 7-5 win over Bulgarian Viktoriya Tomova in 89 minutes. The fifth seed only has the one final – in Nurnberg, 2019 – and will be eyeing off a maiden title against an inexperienced opponent. Still only 23-years-old herself, Zidansek is just inside the Top 100 at 93rd, and will be hoping a title win can kick-start her rise up the rankings past her career-high of 56 in the world.

VOLVO CAR OPEN SEMI-FINALS RESULTS:

Danka Kovinic (ME) defeated [12] Ons Jabeur (TUN) 6-3 6-2
[15] Veronika Kudermetova (RUS) defeated Paula Badosa (ESP) 6-3 6-3

COPA COLSANITAS SEMI-FINALS:

Maria Camila Osorio Serrano (COL) defeated Harmony Tan (FRA) 6-1 6-2
[5] Tamara Zidansek (SLO) defeated Viktoriya Tomova (BUL) 6-3 7-5

Picture credit: Copa Colsanitas