Tag: paula badosa

WTA Tour wrap: Barty and Sabalenka set up tantalising Stuttgart rematch for Madrid title

THE Madrid Open semi-finals produced two huge clashes and set up a massive final in their stead, as Ash Barty and Aryna Sabalenka look to add another title to their respective hauls following respective straight set wins. They will take on one another for the second time in as many weeks, with a rematch of the Stuttgart Open final sure to see both players fly out of the blocks. Sabalenka will hope to exact revenge on Barty in this one, although will have her work cut out for her given Barty’s excellent form this season with three titles in the bag already to her one.

It took Sabalenka just one hour and three minutes to dispose of Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, claiming a 6-2 6-3 victory and heading into the final without dropping a set all week. The fifth seed Belarusian was clinical and relentless in victory, hitting four aces, converting four break points and saving two of three on her way to her Barty rematch. Whilst Pavlyuchenkova was more efficient on serve, Sabalenka was far more consistent winning 70.8 per cent of her total service points and 48.9 per cent on return.

“I think my game has improved a lot on the clay court,” Sabalenka said post-match. “For sure, it’s given me some confidence, but there’s still so many things to work on. I’m just really happy with my level here in Madrid.”

The Belarusian hit 21 winners for just 11 unforced errors, outclassing Pavlyuchenkova with her relentless serve to finish off with an ace.

“I think from the side it looks like everything is going my way,” Sabalenka said. “Some games I didn’t feel my serve. Some games something wasn’t working. It’s always part of the process. But I’m really happy that from the side, it looks like everything is going my way.”

Sabalenka boasts a 9-1 win-loss record on clay this season, but will be tested by Barty who has a greater record of 16 straight victories on clay, including the one blemish on Sabalenka’s record.

“Physically I have to be ready for this match,” Sabalenka said. “She’s No.1, she’s great. I played her in Stuttgart. It’s not an easy game. I will do everything I can to prepare myself as good as I can. Just looking forward for this battle.”

Meanwhile, Barty exacted revenge over the only player to defeat her since February, in hometown hopeful and qualifier Paula Badosa. But whilst the Spaniard put in the hard yards, Barty was able to control proceedings and complete the 6-4 6-3 sweep in 75 minutes.

“You have to learn from every game, every match you play against an opponent,” said Barty post-match. “I definitely learnt a lot from the match we played in Charleston. There was a small adjustment. I think just learning from some of her patterns, tendencies that came through and showed through in that match in Charleston.

“I think I was just able to control the court a little bit better. I was able to look after my service games a little bit better, build pressure on return games. That’s a massive part of it: not always winning points, but building pressure. Scoreboard pressure can be a big thing. That was a focus for me today.”

Badosa is the first Spanish woman to reach the final four in Madrid, and showcased her excellent form – which will see her break the top 50 for the first time – during the first set, well and truly keeping the world number one on her toes. But Barty was clinical with 30 winners and six aces, winning 68.3 per cent of her total service points and saving four of five break points, heading to the Madrid final with her head held high.

MADRID OPEN SEMI FINALS RESULTS: 

[1] Ash Barty (AUS) defeated Paula Badosa (ESP) 6-4 6-3
[5] Aryna Sabalenka (BLR) defeated Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) 6-2 6-3

WTA Tour wrap: Barty holds firm as Badosa doubles up on Bencic win

WORLD number one Ash Barty has held firm to win her eleventh three-set contest in 2021 to advance through to the semi-finals of the 2021 Mutua Madrid Open. She has only dropped one three-set match – that coming at the Australian Open against Karolina Muchova in the quarter finals – but has claimed ever other full-distance match. The most recent was her quarter finals victory over another Czech, ninth seed Petra Kvitova, 6-1 3-6 6-3.

“It’s just always staying in the fight,” Barty said post-match. “Always staying in the hunt and never letting it slide away. That certainly doesn’t guarantee results, doesn’t guarantee success. It guarantees you give yourself the best chance to do what you do and to figure it out and to find your way.

“I think it’s important not to panic, but everyone emotionally has different ways that they play on the court. I have always been quite calm on the court. That’s just always been my demeanor. But for me, it’s more about just trusting myself and knowing that we just keep chipping away and trying to find a way – and then give yourself time to do that.”

Barty moved through to the final four with the win in one hour and 48 minutes, serving six aces to five, and winning 63.5 and 62.5 of her first and second serve points. She also saved five of seven break points, and broke her opponent four times from 12 opportunities. The win means Barty is strong favourite to take out another clay tournament, with the opponent she beat in the final at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix – Aryna Sabalenka – the only seed remaining in the Madrid Open.

The Belarusian accounted for 13th seed Belgian Elise Mertens who was under clear duress, retiring at 6-1 4-0 down in the second set. Sabaleka had only dropped two points off her first serve by that stage – though was serving at a horrible 44.7 per cent efficiency – and nine points off her second serve. She saved all three break points, and broke Mertens a total of four times, and restricted the Belgian to just 15 points for the match. The pair often combine in doubles, and the fifth seed certainly had concern for her close friend who retired due to a left thigh injury.

“I feel really sorry for this, and I hope that she will get better soon,” Sabalenka said post-match. “Hopefully she will be ready for the next one in Rome.”

Before she could potentially face Barty, the Belarusian will come up against unseeded Spaniard Paula Badosa who is in some great form this year. Badosa accounted for eighth seed Belinda Bencic 6-4 7-5, defeating her for the second time in a fortnight having knocked her off at the Volvo Car Open in three sets. This time it was a lot easier, and with a win over Barty last tournament too, Badosa will be confident going forward, though admitted she was not so much heading into the match.

“I have to be honest, I was very nervous today,” Badosa said post-match. “Because sometimes these matches are a little bit tricky when you played her two, three weeks ago and you think in your head that you have that opportunity to make a semifinals. I was quite nervous, but I’m quite happy that I could control all the nerves and I could play my game quite good.”

In the other quarter final, Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova advanced through to the semi-finals to take on Barty for a spot in the final, needing just under two hours to win in a couple of tiebreakers against Muchova. The unseeded Russian won 7-4 in the first tiebreaker and 7-2 in the second one to bring about a stirring victory.

MADRID OPEN QUARTER FINALS RESULTS:

[1] Ash Barty (AUS) defeated [9] Petra Kvitova (CZE) 6-1 3-6 6-3
[5] Aryna Sabalenka (BLR) defeated [13] Elise Mertens (BEL) 6-1 4-0 RET
Paula Badosa (ESP) defeated [8] Belinda Bencic (SUI) 6-4 7-5
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) defeated Karolina Muchova (CZE) 7-6 7-6

Picture credit: Mutua Madrid Open

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

Image credit: 

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: 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

WTA Tour wrap: Badosa stuns Barty to book Charleston semi spot

SPANISH up-and-comer Paula Badosa has stunned world number one Ash Barty to book herself a semi-finals spot at the 2021 Volvo Car Open in Charleston. The 71st ranked Paula Badosa won in straight sets, 6-4 6-3 to book herself a place in the final four, joining fellow unseeded talent Danka Kovinic in the final four.

Kovinic took down 11th seed Kazakh Yulia Putintseva in three sets, coming from behind 6-7 7-5 6-1 in a whopping two hours and 52 minutes, but it was Badosa’s straight sets knockout of Barty that caught the attention. The Spaniard needed just one hour and 16 minutes to claim the victory, serving seven aces to four, and winning 71.1 per cent of her first serve percentage to the Australian’s 58.7 per cent. Despite the world number bringing up 14 break point opportunities, she could only capitalise twice, as Badosa had the 10 but broke five times for the extra three breaks and secure the win.

The other two victors through to the semi-finals are a couple of seeds in 12th seed Ons Jabeur and 15th seed Veronika Kudermetova. Jabeur won in straight sets 6-3 6-3 against American young gun Coco Gauff while Kudermetova won in a a similar fashion, posting a 6-3 6-4 victory over another American in Sloane Stephens. Now Kudermetova will take on Badosa after Jabeur and Kovinic lock horns in the earlier semi-final.

In the other WTA Tour tournament at Bogota, just the one seed remains with fifth seed Slovenian Tamara Zidansek winning into the semi-final against former Top 5 player Sara Errani, 6-3 6-4. She was joined by a mix of players who will eye off maiden WTA Tour titles, with three of the four quarter finals played out in straight sets. Maria Camila Osorio Serrano claimed a 6-3 7-5 win over the in-form Stefanie Voegele in two hours of match play.

The other two winners were Frenchwoman Harmony Tan winning in the quickest match of the day, 6-1 6-4 in just 71 minutes. She was too good for Lara Arruabarrena in that matchup, whilst Viktoriya Tomova defeated Nuria Parrizas Diaz in the longest contest of the day. The Bulgarian won 5-7 6-2 6-4 in a come-from-behind victory in two hours and 25 minutes and make her way into the final four.

Now Tomova will take on Zidansek early tomorrow, followed by Osorio Serrano and Tan in the second semi-final as all players eye off a WTA Tour 250 event.

VOLVO CAR OPEN QUARTER FINALS RESULTS:

Paula Badosa (ESP) defeated [1] Ash Barty (AUS) 6-4 6-3
Danka Kovinic (ME) defeated [11] Yulia Putintseva (KAZ) 6-7 7-5 6-1
[12] Ons Jabur (TUN) defeated [14] Coco Gauff (USA) 6-3 6-3
[15] Veronika Kudermetova (RUS) defeated Sloane Stephens (USA) 6-3 6-4

COPA COLSANITAS QUARTER FINALS RESULTS:

[5] Tamara Zidansek (SLO) defeated Sara Errani (ITA) 6-3 6-4
Harmony Tan (FRA) defeated Lara Arruabarrena (ESP) 6-1 6-4
Viktoriya Tomova (BUL) defeated Nuria Parrizas Diaz (ESP) 5-7 6-2 6-4
Maria Camila Osorio Serrano (COL) defeated Stefanie Voegele (SUI) 6-3 7-5

Picture credit: Volvo Car Open/Chris Smith

WTA Tour wrap: Home hope continues dream run at Bogota as Kvitova and Muguruza fall at Charleston

THE Round of 16 at both Charleston and Bogota are done and dusted, with plenty of intriguing results coming out of both events.

Charleston saw an intriguing day of results as third seed Petra Kvitova fell to Montenegrin Danka Kovinic and Garbine Muguruza retired in her encounter with fellow seed Yulia Putintseva, unfortunately handing over a dominant first game victory and tight second set to the Kazakh.

Kovinic’s 6-4 6-1 victory over Kvitova was completed in just 76 minutes, with her effectiveness on serve the main kicker, winning points off 69.7 per cent of her first serve compared to Kvitova’s 46.7 per cent, and in arguably one of her biggest wins to-date. For Muguruza, it was a lower leg injury and the quick changeover from hard-court to clay which took a toll and forced her retirement mid-match.

“I was already feeling some pain in my first match,” Muguruza said. “The switch of hard courts to clay was tough, and in a very short amount of time. I started very well, and all of a sudden I felt a sharp pain in my leg, and it got worse. I didn’t want to continue without playing my best tennis. It didn’t make sense to me.”

Also successful on Day 6 were 12th and 14th seeds in Ons Jabeur and Coco Gauff, both reigning supreme under pressure. Tunisian, Jabeur was forced into the only three-setter of the day when she encountered Frenchwoman Alize Cornet, eventually overcoming a first set deficit to claim the 5-7 6-3 6-3 victory in two hours and 40 minutes – far and away the longest match of the day. Meanwhile, Gauff took on compatriot Lauren Davis and came away with a 6-2 7-6(2) victory to stop Davis in her tracks.

A third American in Sloane Stephens joined the winners circle with a 6-3 6-4 dismissal of Australian Ajla Tomljanovic, 6-3 6-4, however things did not go quite as well to plan for compatriot Caty McNally, who fell to Spaniard Paula Badosa in a similar result. The final matches saw Veronika Kudermetova claim a 71-minute 6-0 6-3 victory over Kurumi Nara, whilst the remaining matchup between world number one Ash Barty and a fifth American in Shelby Rogers saw Barty take out the first set tiebreaker before Rogers took out the second set, with Barty just holding on for the 7-6 4-6 6-4 victory under pressure.

VOLVO CAR OPEN ROUND OF 16 RESULTS:

Danka Kovinic (MNE) defeated [3] Petra Kvitova (CZE) 6-4 6-1
[11] Yulia Putintseva (KAZ) defeated [6] Garbine Muguruza (ESP) 0-6 2-2 RET
[12] Ons Jabeur (TUN) defeated Alize Cornet (FRA) 5-7 6-3 6-3
[14] Coco Gauff (USA) defeated Lauren Davis (USA) 6-2 7-6
Sloane Stephens (USA) defeated Ajla Tomljanovic (AUS) 6-3 6-4
Paula Badosa (ESP) defeated Caty McNally (USA) 6-3 6-3
Veronika Kudermetova (RUS) defeated Kurumi Nara (JPN) 6-0 6-3

[1] Ash Barty (AUS) v. Shelby Rogers (USA)

 

Wildcard Maria Camila Osorio Serrano has continued her dream run on home soil in Bogota, as has qualifier Harmony Tan who reigned supreme in her own Round of 16 encounter. The third winner of the day was fifth seed Slovenian – and only remaining seed – Tamara Zidansek. Zidansek and Osorio Serrano came away with relatively simple victories on the sixth day of proceedings, as the fifth seed disposed of Italian Giulia Gatto-Monticone 6-2 6-3 in one hour and 11 minutes. The Colombian teenage hope in Osorio Serrano completed her maiden Top 100 victory by downing seventh seed Czech Tereza Martincova to head to the quarter finals, requiring just over 90 minutes to claim the 6-3 6-3 victory, with a marginally better serving efficiency allowing her to get the job done. Tan continued the straight sets trend as she disposed of fellow qualifier, Chilean Daniela Seguel in the last match of the day, however required a bit more to overcome her opposition in the 6-4 7-6(3) matchup. Whilst Tan hit seven double faults to Seguel’s two, she was far more effective off her first serve and consistently so in comparison.

COPA COLSANITAS ROUND OF 16 RESULTS:

[5] Tamara Zidansek (SLO) defeated Giulia Gatto-Monticone (ITA) 6-2 6-3
Maria Camila Osorio Serrano (COL) defeated [7] Tereza Martincova (CZE) 6-3 6-3
Harmony Tan (FRA) defeated Daniela Seguel (CHI) 6-4 7-6

WTA Tour wrap: Barty’s clay court court campaign recommences with 61-minute demolition

ASH Barty continued her red-hot form to completely dismantle unseeded Japanese talent Misaki Doi 6-2 6-1 to advance through to the Round of 16 at the Volvo Car Open. The world number one moved to a 15-2 record on the 2021 WTA Tour, which also stretches out to 27-4 since her first-up match at the 2020 Adelaide International 15 months ago.

She went on to win that Adelaide International, and after sitting out the 2020 WTA Tour season once it returned in the second half of the year, Barty remained world number one and started off 2021 as if she had not ever stopped. Her first tournament of the year she won in Melbourne, defeating Garbine Muguruza in the final, a player who had competed throughout the past 12 months.

A shock loss to Karolina Muchova at the Australian Open, followed by another defeat at the hands of Danielle Collins might have momentarily caused some unwarranted questions towards the world number one and how she would go this year. Like true champions do, Barty answered those critics with a stunning run in Miami to defend her title there and claim the WTA 1000 event. It was not just winning the event that mattered, but it was the quality of opposition she beat.

After drawing a qualifier in the second round – following a first round bye – Barty took out former Top 5 talent Jelena Ostapenko, then proceeded to dismiss Top 10 players and Grand Slam champions alike on the way to the Miami Open title. She moved past Belarusian duo Victoria Azarenka and Aryna Sabalenka – the former being the runner-up at the 2020 US Open and the latter being the most in-form player entering 2021 – before defeating Elina Svitolina and Bianca Andreescu – albeit the Andreescu win was due to retirement, though Barty was in control – to make it six wins on the trot.

The critics have quietened down for now, but Barty is a player that somehow draws criticism for one bad loss amongst double-figure impressive wins. The world number one will always have extra pressure on them, but Barty answers those questions with class and grace. Her 61-minute rout of Doi was the most impressive of any Round of 16 match at the Volvo Car Open. Keeping in mind it was Barty’s first clay match in almost two years, and the Australian looked at home on the red dirt. The Australian now takes on Shelby Rogers in the next round after she toppled Amanda Anisimova in an upset.

In other results, the next highest seed behind Barty to advance to the Round of 16 was Tunisian Ons Jabeur (12th), with compatriot Coco Gauff, and 15th seed Russian Veronika Kudermetova the others. It was carnage in the top end though, with American duo Sofia Kenin and Madison Keys both bombing out to compatriots Lauren Davis and Sloane Stephens respectively. Spain’s Paula Badosa also took care of Belinda Bencic in three sets, while Frenchwoman Alize Cornet won against Elise Mertens in straight sets. In terms of the unseeded players, Australia’s Ajla Tomljanovic, Montenegro’s Danka Kovinic, United States’ Cate McNally and Japan’s Kurumi Nara all advanced to the next round.

In the lower seeded Copa Colsanitas, all the seeds had a forgettable day, with the first, third, sixth and eighth seeds all knocked out in the Round of 16. Zheng Saisai, Arantxa Rus, Jasmine Paolini and Wang Yafan all departed prior to the quarter finals, as Spanish qualifiers Nuria Parrizas Diaz and Lara Arruabarrena, Switzerland’s Stefanie Voegele and Bulgaria’s Viktoriya Tomova all booked their spots in the final eight. In the sole unseeded match, Italian Sara Errani knocked off Aliona Bolsova in straight sets, 6-4 6-4.

VOLVO CAR OPEN ROUND OF 32 RESULTS:

[1] Ash Barty (AUS) defeated Misaki Doi (JPN) 6-2 6-1
Lauren Davis (USA) defeated [2] Sofia Kenin (USA) 4-6 6-3 6-4
Paula Badosa (ESP) defeated [5] Belinda Bencic (SUI) 6-2 6-7 6-1
Alize Cornet (FRA) defeated [7] Elise Mertens (BEL) 7-5 6-3
Sloane Stephens (USA) defeated [8] Madison Keys (USA) 6-4 6-4
[12] Ons Jabeur (TUN) defeated [WC] Hailey Baptiste (USA) 6-3 6-3
Shelby Rogers (USA) defeated [13] Amanda Anisimova (USA) 1-6 7-5 6-4
[14] Coco Gauff (USA) defeated Liudmila Samsonova (RUS) 4-6 6-1 6-4
[15] Veronika Kudermetova (RUS) defeated [WC] Emma Navarro (USA) 6-4 6-4
Ajla Tomljanovic (AUS) defeated Marie Bouzkova (RUS) 4-6 7-5 7-5
Danka Kovinic (MNE) defeated Leylah Fernandez (CAN) 6-4 3-6 6-3
Cate McNally (USA) defeated Anastasija Sevastova (LAT) 7-6 2-6 6-4
Kurumi Nara (JPN) defeated Whitney Osuigwe (USA) 6-1 6-4

COPA COLSANITAS ROUND OF 16 RESULTS:

Stefanie Voegele (SUI) defeated [1] Zheng Saisai (CHN) 6-4 6-1
[Q] Nuria Parrizas Diaz (ESP) defeated [3] Arantxa Rus (NED) 7-6 2-6 6-1
[Q] Lara Arruabarrena (ESP) defeated [6] Jasmine Paolini (ITA) 2-6 6-4 6-2
Viktoriya Tomova (BUL) defeated [8] Wang Yafan (CHN) 6-3 6-3
Sara Errani (ITA) defeated Aliona Bolsova (ESP) 6-4 6-4

Picture credit: Volvo Car Open/Chris Smith

WTA Tour wrap: Clay events kick off in Charleston, Bogota

TWO WTA clay events began this week with the WTA 500 Volvo Car Open starting up in Charleston, United States, as the WTA 250 Copa Colsanitas began in Bogota, Colombia. With a host of exciting talent competing, expect a huge week of tennis action across the two tournaments.

It was a rough day for hometown hopefuls on Day 1 of proceedings at Charleston, with just one player – 13th seed Amanda Anisimova – reigning supreme out of seven competitors hailing from the United States, as two Japanese and two Australians headed through to the second round, as did two Kazakh talents with one falling and one still yet to play at time of publish.

Anisimova was one of four seeds who reigned supreme on Day 1, with the 19-year-old reigning supreme over Polish talent Magda Linette in a huge two hour 5-7 6-2 6-3 battle, which was rivalled by a classy finish from 11th seed Kazakh Yulia Putintseva, who outlasted Great Britain’s Harriet Dart in two hours and three minutes, 7-6 6-4. The 15th seed Veronika Kudermetova clinched the fastest win of the day in 54 minutes over American Desirae Krawczyk, 6-1 6-2, as Czech 17th seed Marie Bouzkova claimed a 6-2 7-5 victory over Timea Babos.

Zarina Diyas was the second Kazakh victor of the day with a 6-3 6-1 sweep of Natalia Vikhlyantseva, whilst Japan’s Kurumi Nara and Misaki Doi both claimed straight sets victories in near-identical times. The two Australian competitors to reign supreme were Storm Sanders and Alja Tomljanovic, both cleaning up in straight sets battles against respective American opposition, whilst Alize Cornet was forced to fight for her spot in the second round in a whopping two hour and 52-minute matchup with American Bernarda Pera, who did not relent in the 4-6 6-4 6-4 encounter. Meanwhile, Magdalena Frech and Paula Badosa were the remaining winners of the completed Day 1 matches. Caty McNally leads 10th seed Elena Rybakina with one set to nil at time of publish, with the all-American matchup between Lauren Davis and Madison Brengle set to begin after the current match concludes.

VOLVO CAR OPEN ROUND OF 64 RESULTS:

[11] Yulia Putintseva (KAZ) defeated Harriet Dart (GBR) 7-6 6-4
[13] Amanda Anisimova (USA) defeated Magda Linette (POL) 5-7 6-2 6-3
[15] Veronika Kudermetova (RUS) defeated Desirae Krawczyk (USA) 6-1 6-2
[17] Marie Bouzkova (CZE) defeated Timea Babos (HUN) 6-2 7-5
Storm Sanders (AUS) defeated Asia Muhammad (USA) 6-2 6-4
Kurumi Nara (JPN) defeated Francesca di Lorenzo (USA) 6-2 6-2
Magdalena Frech (POL) defeated Grace Min (USA) 6-2 6-4
Zarina Diyas (KAZ) defeated Natalia Vikhlyantseva (RUS) 6-3 6-1
Alja Tomljanovic (AUS) defeated Christina McHale (USA) 6-3 6-0
Alize Cornet (FRA) defeated Bernarda Pera (USA) 4-6 6-4 6-4
Misaki Doi (JPN) defeated Yaroslava Shvedova (KAZ) 6-3 6-3
Paula Badosa (ESP) defeated Varvara Gracheva (RUS) 3-6 7-5 6-1

[10] Elina Rybakina (KAZ) v. Caty McNally (USA)
Lauren Davis (USA) v. Madison Brengle (USA)

 

At Bogota, the three seeds of the day all reigned supreme in their first round matches, with sixth seed Jasmine Paolini clocking the quickest victory in just 59 minutes over American Kristie Ahn. Comparatively, eighth seed Wang Yifan was dealt a tough hand from Colombian home hope Emiliana Arango, taken to a two hour and 55-minute matchup which came down to two seventh game sets before the Chinese seed claimed the 6-4 5-7 7-5 victory. Wang’s top seed compatriot Zheng Saisai came away with a reasonably straightforward victory in comparison as she disposed of a second American in Usue Maitane Arconada 6-3 6-1 in one hour and 17 minutes.

The remaining four matches saw two sub-90 minute victories and two matches that went over the two hour mark, as two Spaniards reigned supreme in dastardly different results. Aliona Bolsova was made to fight for her 6-4 3-6 6-1 victory over Anna Karolina Schmiedlova in two hours and six minutes whilst compatriot Nuria Parrizas Diaz claimed aa 6-2 6-2 dismissal of fellow Spaniard Cristina Bucsa in one hour and 21 minutes. Meanwhile, Viktoriya Tomova and Stefanie Voegele both won their respective matches to head to the second round.

COPA COLSANITAS ROUND OF 32 RESULTS:

[1] Zheng Saisai (CHN) defeated Usue Maitane Arconada (USA) 6-3 6-1
[6] Jasmine Paolini (ITA) defeated Kristie Ahn (USA) 6-3 6-0
[8] Wang Yifan (CHN) defeated Emiliana Arango (COL) 6-4 5-7 7-5
Aliona Bolsova (ESP) defeated Anna Karolina Schmiedlova (SVK) 6-4 3-6 6-1
Nuria Parrizas Diaz (ESP) defeated Cristina Bucsa (ESP) 6-2 6-2
Viktoriya Tomova (BUL) defeated Anna-Lena Friedsam (GER) 6-2 6-3
Stefanie Voegele (SUI) defeated Celia Pacquet (FRA) 3-6 6-1 6-4