Tag: viktoriya tomova

WTA Tour wrap: Gauff and Badosa claim titles

TEENAGE American Coco Gauff and rising Spaniard Paula Badosa have claimed titles on the WTA Tour following their respective finals wins in Parma and Belgrade. The 17-year-old Gauff toppled sixth seed Wang Qiang in straight sets, 6-1 6-3 in one hour and 14 minutes to grab her second career title, while Badosa won courtesy of an early retirement from Croatian Ana Konjuh after both players did the double due to earlier rain delays in the tournament.

Looking at the Emilia-Romagna Open, Gauff proved too good for her more experienced opponent, winning 76.5 per cent and 52.5 per cent of her first and second serve points off a 61.8 per cent clip. Wang only broke even with her successful service points, and whilst she only served the one double fault – to Gauff’s six – she was broken four times and was unable to force a break against Gauff from four opportunities.

“It definitely means a lot, especially on clay, which is not really a surface I feel like people associate with me,” Gauff said post-match.

“I always liked [clay], but I always fall on it, I always get dirty! I have good results on it, so it’s not about my performance. It’s just that clay shows you a little extra love than the other surfaces do.”

Gauff said she knew it would be tough against an aggressive Wang who would not back down from long rallies, and she was pleased she was able to come away from the game with the win and subsequent title.

“I think I did well in engaging every point and pushing [Wang] back,” Gauff said. “I know she normally likes to be aggressive. One of the main goals for me was just to be able to push her back and set up the shots I like to hit.”

Meanwhile in Belgrade, Badosa spent just one hour and 46 minutes on court despite playing both her semi and final on the same day. The Spaniard defeated Viktoriya Tomova in straight sets 6-1 6-2 in 63 minutes, whilst then going on to topple Konjuh 6-2 2-0 after the Croatian had to retire early in the second set. That came after Konjuh struggled past Maria Camila Osorio Serrano in two tiebreakers, 7-6 7-6.

“I’m really, really happy I could win my first WTA title,” Badosa said post-match. “I’ve been chasing this since a long time, so finally I have it here with me. “I’m super happy, and I’m super proud of myself. “All this week, I think I played at a very good level and I was feeling quite well.

“Today wasn’t an easy day, not even in the morning. “In the afternoon, I think I played an amazing first set, I think I played at a very good level. Ana’s an amazing player, I’m so sorry for her we have to finish like this, but the part that I was playing, I think it was quite good so I’m happy with the level.”

EMILIA-ROMAGNA OPEN FINAL RESULT:

[3] Coco Gauff (USA) defeated [6] Wang Qiang (CHN) 6-1 6-3

SERBIA LADIES OPEN FINAL RESULT:

[4] Paula Badosa (ESP) defeated Ana Konjuh (CRO) 6-2 2-0 RET

SERBIA LADIES OPEN SEMI-FINALS RESULT:

[4] Paula Badosa (ESP) defeated Viktoriya Tomova (BUL) 6-1 6-2
Ana Konjuh (CRO) defeated Maria Camila Osorio Serrano (COL) 7-6 7-6

Picture credit: Marta Magni/MEF Tennis

WTA Tour wrap: Gauff bounces back to reach Parma final as Serbian semis decided

AMERICAN teenager Coco Gauff will contest the Emilia-Romagna Open final against Wang Qiang after the Chinese sixth seed took care of Gauff’s compatriot Sloane Stephens. Wang won 6-2 7-6 in the one-hour and 46-minute match to reach the Parma final, as Gauff had to bounce back from a shocking second set to win in three sets over Katerina Sinaikova in two hours and eight minutes, 7-5 1-6 6-2.

“It definitely gives me more experience, just the fact that I’ve been in a final before, so I know how the nerves feel, and I know how to handle it a little bit better,” Gauff said post-match. “Tomorrow, I’m just going to go out there and have fun.”

Gauff said playing Siniakova – which not only included losing the second set but going down 2-0 in he third – was difficult, before Gauff piled on six consecutive games to dominate the last part of the match and win 7-5 1-6 6-2.

“[Siniakova is] a super tricky player, she obviously had some great wins this week,” Gauff said. “To be honest, I just kind of hung in there, and although in the second set my level went down a little bit, I was glad that I was able to pick it up for the third.”

Wang had a lower serving efficiency than Stephens (59.7 to 75.3 per cent) but served one more ace (2-1) and was far more consistent on serve, with a 63 to 55.2 first serve winning percentage, and 5.48 to 36.8 second serve winning percentage. Still, Stephens raced out to a 5-1 lead in the second set, but Wang closed her down to win five of the next six games, force a tiebreaker and take out he match in straight sets.

Over in the Serbia Open, Paula Badosa remains the only seeded player in the final four, defeating seventh seed Rebecca Peterson in straight sets 6-2 6-3. The fourth seed Spaniard was far too good and continued her ripping 2021 form to book a spot in the final four. Also making their way through to the semi-finals were Croatian Ana Konjuh who has also been impressive this season, Colombian Maria Camila Osorio Serrano and Bulgarian Viktoriya Tomova.

SERBIA LADIES OPEN QUARTER FINALS RESULTS:

[4] Paula Badosa (ESP) defeated [7] Rebecca Peterson (SWE) 6-2 6-4
Ana Konjuh (CRO) defeated [5] Nadia Podoroska (ARG) 6-4 6-3
Maria Camila Osorio Serrano (COL) defeated Aliaksandra Sasnovich (BLR) 6-4 6-2
Viktoriya Tomova (BUL) defeated Leylah Fernandez (CAN) 6-3 4-6 6-2

EMILIA-ROMAGNA OPEN SEMI-FINALS RESULTS:

[3] Coco Gauff (USA) defeated Katerina Siniakova (CZE) 7-5 1-6 6-2
[6] Wang Qiang (CHN) Sloane Stephens (USA) 6-2 7-6

Picture credit: Marta Magni Images/MEF Tennis Events

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: 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

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: 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

WTA Tour wrap: Russians reign supreme as seeds bow out in Mexico

RUSSIANS proved too strong on home soil at the WTA 500 St. Petersburg event whilst it was a mixed bag of results as seeds fell at the WTA 250 event in Monterrey, Mexico.

Sloane Stephens was the big out on Day 2 at Monterrey, with the out-of-form American top seed disposed on in straight sets by Slovakian Kristina Kucova. With just a 32.4 per cent first serve winning rate and marginally better on her second serve with 33.3 per cent of points won – four from 12 – Stephens never looked like she would take out victory here, wih the appalling service efficiency working the way of Kucova who came away with the 6-2 6-2 victory in 70 minutes. Heather Watson was the second seed to fall on the day, struggling to compete with compatriot Harriet Dart who flew out of the blocks in the 6-4 7-6 encounter, hitting six aces for one double fault throughout compared to Watson’s three and eight. The only seed to complete a win thus far on the day is China’s Zheng Saisai, with the third seed’s consistency and ability to win on serve doing her plenty of favours against Russian Varvara Gracheva, winning 6-3 7-5 in tricky conditions. Meanwhile, the only unseeded encounter that is already complete was played out by Kaja Juvan and Maria Camila Orsorio Serrano, with Juvan reigning supreme 6-4 6-4.

The two matches currently in progress – Ukraine’s Lesia Tsurenko versus seventh seed Spaniard Sara Sorribes Tormo and sixth seed Ana Blinkova versus Viktorija Golubic – saw both lower ranked players take out the first set in intriguing results. The following two matches are not set to begin until after 6:00pm local (11:00am AEDT).

MONTERREY ROUND OF 32 RESULTS: 

Kristina Kucova (SVK) defeated [1] Sloane Stephens (USA) 6-2 6-2
[3] Zheng Saisai (CHN) defeated Varvara Gracheva (RUS) 6-3 7-5
Harriet Dart (GBR) defeated [5] Heather Watson (GBR) 6-4 7-6
Kaja Juvan (SRB) defeated Maria Camila Orsorio Serrano (COL) 6-4 6-4
Lesia Tsurenko (UKR) v. [7] Sara Sorribes Tormo (ESP)
[6] Ana Blinkova (RUS) v. Viktorija Golubic (SUI)
Anna Kalinskaya (RUS) v. [2] Nadia Podoroska (ARG)
Zhu Lin (CHN) v. Eugenie Bouchard (CAN)

Russians were on the money on home soil at Day 2 of the St. Petersburg Round of 32, as four home hopes proceeded through to the Round of 16 amongst some intriguing results.

Fifth seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and eighth seed Daria Kasatkina were the two expected to reign supreme, but were forced to take their time against their respective opposition in Cagla Buyukakcay and Clara Tauson. Pavlyuchenkova trailed the service game efficiency but overall made better use of her serve, winning of 75 per cent of first serve chances and 62.5 per cent of second serve chances compared to her Turkish opposition to win 6-4 6-4. For Kasatkina, it was a matter of outclassing the 18-year-old Danish talent in Tauson, with the young gun biting back in the second after marginally trailing the first for a 6-4 7-6(0) end result. Also through to the Round of 16 is Margarita Gasparyan, who was the only player to beat a seed on Day 2. Gasparyan flew out of the gates against Kristina Mladenovic, and whilst the first set tiebreaker went to the Frenchwoman, Gasparyan could not be stopped from there winning convincingly, 6-7 6-1 6-1. The fourth Russian in the next round is Kamilla Rakhimova, who defeated compatriot Daria Mishina 6-1 7-6 6-1 for her spot in the Round of 16.

In other matches, two Czech talents prevailed with one getting the win in tight circumstances, whilst the other’s experience was anything but. For Tereza Martincova, a first set 6-0 speedrun against Stefanie Voegele was not enough to secure momentum, taken to another two sets and forced to work for the 6-0 4-6 6-4 victory. Meanwhile, Katerina Siniakova downed Kirsten Flipkens 6-1 6-2 in the quickest win of the day, just 63 minutes. Comparatively, the two remaining winners completed their respective matches in two hours and 12 minutes each, with Wang Xinyu earning her way to the nxt round with a great 6-1 5-7 7-5 outing against Viktoriya Tomova, whilst Romanian Jacqueline Cristian will go another day after her Belarusian opponent Vera Lapko retired during the third set, despite leading early.

ST. PETERSBURG ROUND OF 32 RESULTS:

[5] Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) defeated Cagla Buyukakcay (TUR) 6-4 6-4
Margarita Gasparyan (RUS) defeated [7] Kristina Mladenovic (FRA) 6-7 6-1 6-1
[8] Daria Kasatkina (RUS) defeated Clara Tauson (DEN) 6-4 7-6
Tereza Martincova (CZE) defeated Stefanie Voegele (AUT) 6-0 4-6 6-4
Katerina Siniakova (CZE) defeated Kirsten Flipkens (GER) 6-1 6-2
Wang Xinyu (CHN) defeated Viktoriya Tomova (HUN) 6-1 5-7 7-5
Kamilla Rakhimova (RUS) defeated Daria Mishina (RUS) 6-1 7-6 6-1
Jacqueline Cristian (ROM) defeated Vera Lapko (BLR) 6-7 6-4 2-1

WTA Tour wrap: Mertens fights tough as six of seven seeds advance to Dubai second round

SIX of the seven seeds advanced at Dubai in what was largely a predictable day, but a couple of past Top 30 players were knocked out early on. With the top eight seeds having a bye from the first round, seven of the other seeds took to the court on day two of the main draw singles, with the majority having successful outings.

Ninth seed Garbine Muguruza bounced back from her sheepish Qatar Total Open final loss to record a solid 6-3 7-5 victory over Irina-Camelia Begu. Eleventh seed Madison Keys was even swifter with a 6-1 6-1 rout of Chinese Taipei’s Liang En-Shuo in just 64 minutes. It was the not the quickest rout of the day for seeds however, with 15th seed Anett Kontaveit smashing Hungarian doubles star, Timea Babos 6-2 6-1 in 57 minutes.

Also through to the next round were 14th seed Elena Rybakina and 12th seed Marketa Vondrousova who both won in straight sets, while 10th seed Elise Mertens had a fight on her hands. The Belgian won from a set down against Bulgarian lucky loser Viktoriya Tomova, 4-6 6-2 6-4. Despite having to win in three, Mertens still at last booked her spot in the second round, which was not the case for 13th seed Petra Martic. The Croatian’s poor form in 2021 continued, going down to Frenchwoman Kristina Mladenovic, 7-6 6-4.

The quickest match of the day by far was Amanda Anisimova‘s 6-2 6-2 smashing of Croatian qualifier Ana Konjuh in 52 minutes, as the American put in her best performance of the past 12 months. Fellow Americans, Shelby Rogers and Jessica Pegula booked their spots in the second round, with Rogers overcoming Estonian qualifier Kaia Kanepi 7-6 6-2, and Australian Open quarter finalist Pegula defeated Kazakhstan’s Yaroslava Shvedova, 6-2 6-1. Swiss talent Jil Teichmann and Latvian Anastasija Sevastova also blitzed their respective opponents to move into the Round of 32.

Fellow Latvian Jelena Ostapenko knocked out another Romanian in Patricia Maria Tig, whilst the sole Romanian through to the second round was Sorana Cirstea who accounted for former Top 30 player, Lesia Tsurenko 6-4 6-4. Amongst the other matches were a host of three-set battles. Lucky loser Misaki Doi won her second consecutive first round match after losing in qualifying, defeating Slovenian Polona Hercog 6-2 4-6 6-3 to make her way through to the next stage. Meanwhile Frenchwoman Caroline Garcia accounted for German Grand Slam winner Angelique Kerber 3-6 6-2 6-4 in a come-from-behind win, while Czech qualifier Tereza Martincova upset her higher ranked compatriot Kristyna Pliskova in a three-set epic, 7-6 6-7 6-3.

DUBAI TENNIS CHAMPIONSHIPS ROUND OF 64 RESULTS:

[9] Garbine Muguruza (ESP) defeated [Q] Irina-Camelia Begu (ROU) 6-3 7-5
[10] Elise Mertens (BEL) defeated [LL] Viktoriya Tomova (BUL) 4-6 6-2 6-4
[11] Madison Keys (USA) defeated Liang En-Shuo (TAI) 6-1 6-1
[12] Marketa Vondrousova (CZE) defeated [Q] Ana Bogdan (ROU) 6-4 6-4
Kristina Mladenovic (FRA) defeated [13] Petra Martic (CRO) 7-6 6-4
[14] Elena Rybakina (KAZ) defeated Zheng Saisai (CHN) 6-0 6-4
[15] Anett Kontaveit (EST) defeated [WC] Timea Babos (HUN) 6-2 6-1
Shelby Rogers (USA) defeated [Q] Kaia Kanepi (EST) 7-6 6-2
Amanda Anisimova (USA) defeated [Q] Ana Konjuh (CRO) 6-2 6-2
Jil Teichmann (SUI) defeated [Q] Katarina Zavatska (UKR) 6-1 6-2
Jelena Ostapenko (LAT) defeated Patricia Maria Tig (ROU) 6-3 6-3
[Q] Tereza Martincova (CZE) defeated Kristyna Pliskova (CZE) 7-6 6-7 6-3
Caroline Garcia (FRA) defeated Angelique Kerber (GER) 3-6 6-2 6-4
Sorana Cirstea (ROU) defeated [Q] Lesia Tsurenko (UKR) 6-4 6-4
[LL] Misaki Doi (JPN) defeated Polona Hercog (SLO) 6-2 4-6 6-3
Jessica Pegula (USA) defeated Yaroslava Shvedova (KAZ) 6-2 6-1
[WC] Anastasia Potapova (RUS) defeated Laura Siegemund (GER) 6-3 6-2
Anastasija Sevastova (LAT) defeated Bernarda Pera (USA) 6-0 6-3

Picture credit: WTA/Jimmie48