Tag: yulia putintseva

WTA Tour wrap: Upsets aplenty at Strasbourg

A BIG sixth day of action at the 2021 Internationaux de Strasbourg saw six matches play out, with two Round of 16 clashes joining the quarter finals. It was a day of pure upsets, with none of the higher ranked players winning in their respective clashes.

Two seeded clashes played out, with fifth seed Barbora Krejcikova downing third seed Ekaterina Alexandrova, while eighth seed Magda Linette claimed victory over fourth seed Yulia Putintseva. Linette won 77 per cent of her first serve points in her best run since February 2020. Krejcikova is now the highest ranking seed remaining in the draw, with her 7-6 6-1 victory over Alexandrova the first in her career following losses in all three prior encounters. Krejcikova said her win ratio allowed her to reflect on what she needed to put out on court to get the win this time.

“I’ve played her many times, and I always started really bad in the first set, and then she was always improving really, really well,” Krejcikova said post-match. “I felt like this time I had to start the first set really well, and I still lost serve and I was still down, but I was closer, and I felt the tiebreak was the deciding point of the match.”

Krejcikova won 72.2 per cent of her first serve points off a 53 per cent clip, also proving more efficient off her second serve than the Russian and hitting four aces for three double faults, compared to Alexandrova’s four and five.

“I see that I’m improving every shot, my physical, my mental, everything,” Krejcikova said. “I’m just happy that I can actually show it on court and play this high level and play all the top players. It’s something that I really like to do, so I’m happy that I’m here.”

Meanwhile, German qualifier Jule Niemeier continued her eye-catching run at Strasbourg with a second victory for the day, and with another win to follow up on her form which saw her win her first Tour-level main draw match in the first round here this week. She will take on Krejcikova in the semi-final tomorrow.

Still only 21-years-old, Niemeier said she knows what she is capable of but does not yet feel the pressure due to her ranking, which allows her to stand up and really push her opposition with no expectations.

“I don’t feel the pressure because I’m ranked [over] 200 at the moment, so I have nothing to lose,” Niemeier said. “I know what I can play, and what I can do on court, so that I can cause trouble!”

“I have the level, that I can keep up with all the players. “I’ve beaten two players who are in the Top 100 now, Shelby (Shelby Rogers) is in the Top 50. “I have the game, and I can beat them.”

“I was injured for such a long time in the past, so it was not easy for me,” she said. “I’m just enjoying being on court and playing against really good players.”

Like Niemeier, Sorana Cirstea was rostered to play two matches for the day, however drew number one seed Bianca Andreescu who withdrew following her second round win. This allowed Cirstea to focus all her energy on defeating her first task at hand in the last Round of 16 match, taking down sixth seed Zhang Shuai 6-2 6-1 in one hour flat. Cirstea will take on Linette tomorrow for a chance at the Strasbourg final.

INTERNATIONAUX DE STRASBOURG QUARTER FINALS RESULTS:

Sorana Cirstea (ROU) defeated [1] Bianca Andreescu (CAN) W/O
[5] Barbora Krejcikova (CZE) defeated [3] Ekaterina Alexandrova (RUS) 7-6 6-1
[8] Magda Linette (POL) defeated [4] Yulia Putintseva (KAZ) 6-3 6-3
Jule Niemeier (GER) defeated Arantxa Rus (NED) 6-4 6-1

INTERNATIONAUX DE STRASBOURG ROUND OF 16 RESULTS:

Sorana Cirstea (ROU) defeated [6] Zhang Shuai (CHN) 6-2 6-1
Jule Niemeier (GER) defeated [7] Shelby Rogers (USA) 6-4 7-6

Picture credit: Chryslène Caillaud / Internationaux de Strasbourg

WTA Tour wrap: French fall like flies in Strasbourg

IT was not a good day for the French WTA Tour athletes in Strasbourg as all three players were bundled out in different circumstances following five Round of 16 matches overnight. Wildcard duo Harmony Tan and Clara Burel, as well as experienced Caroline Garcia were all knocked out of the WTA Tour 250 event, as higher ranked opponents proved too much on the day.

Tan unfortunately was forced to retire after 50 minutes, dropping the first set and only playing two games of the second before pulling the pin due to injury against Dutchwoman Arantxa Rus, 6-1 1-1. Han was joined by fellow wildcard Burel on the sidelines after she suffered defeat at the hands of third seed Russian Ekaterina Alexandrova. The Russian trumped her younger opponent in 70 minutes on court, winning 6-3 6-4 to advance through to the quarter finals at the event.

The match of the day went to the epic three-set battle between Garcia and fifth seed Czech Barbora Krejcikova. The Frenchwoman seemed to be in control in the first set, winning it 6-3 to take the early advantage, but Krejcikova hit back in a big way over the next two sets, only dropping three games between the two sets to win 3-6 6-2 6-1 in one hour and 49 minutes.

Despite being inconsistent off her serve – Krejcikova only served at a 55.2 per cent clip compared to Garcia’s 69.2 per cent – she won 31 of her 37 first serve points, and only dropped 19 points off her serve in total for the match. Garcia by contrast was fairly efficient in getting her serve in – 69.2 per cent of the time off her first serve – but she was much lower with taking advantage in those points, winning 61.1 and 54.2 per cent of her first and second serve points respectively. Furthermore, she could only break Krejcikova one from three chances, while the Czech set up five break point opportunities and capitalised an impressive four times.

In the late match, German qualifier Jule Niemer looked ready to cause a shock against seventh seed Shelby Rogers, up 6-4 2-1 before it was suspended. Krejcikova will face Alexandrova in an all-seeded battle, while fourth seed Yulia Putintseva – who won against Swiss talent Jil Teichmann following Teichmann’s retirement after two games – will take on eighth seed Pole Magda Linette. Top seed Bianca Andreescu awaits the winner of sixth seed Shuai Zhang and Romanian Sorana Cirstea in the other quarter final.

INTERNATIONAUX DE STRASBOURG ROUND OF 16 RESULTS:

[3] Ekaterina Alexandrova (RUS) defeated [WC] Clara Burel (FRA) 6-3 6-4
[4] Yulia Putintseva (KAZ) defeated Jil Teichmann (SUI) 2-0 RET
[5] Barbora Krejcikova (CZE) defeated Caroline Garcia (FRA) 3-6 6-2 6-1
[7] Shelby Rogers (USA) [Q] Jule Niemer (GER)
Arantxa Rus (NED) defeated [WC] Harmony Tan (FRA) 6-1 1-1 RET

Picture credit: WTA Tour

WTA Tour wrap: Andreescu returns

BIANCA Andreescu made her return at the Internationaux de Strasbourg Round of 32 and did not skip a beat, leading the charge as all four seeds reigned supreme in an intriguing day on the clay.

For Andreescu, this win was a long time coming after putting her season on pause since March – and the full 15 months before that – and the top seed did not disappoint as she executed a speedy 6-1 6-2 victory over Spaniard Andrea Lazaro Garcia in 61 minutes. Intriguingly, this match marked just Andreescu’s second WTA Tour level clay court win, but she starred against the qualifier with an excellent 84 per cent win rate off a 75.6 per cent clip. She was joined in the second round by all three of the the day;s remaining seeds in Zhang ShuaiYulia Putintseva and Barbora Krejcikova, with the last technically completing the quickest win of the day by default as a 55 minute matchup with Oceane Dodin was cut short by the Frenchwoman’s injury retirement.

Zhang claimed the win over Japanese talent Misaki Doi in one hour and 40 minutes, while Putintseva took part in one of just two three setters for the day, tested by Swede Rebecca Peterson before eventually taking out the 6-4 3-6 7-6 victory in a whopping three hours and 20 minutes. The second three-setter played out between Romanian Sorana Cirstea and Venus Williams, with the former claiming her first victory over Williams from three prior outings, overcoming a showy second set from the former champion to reign supreme 6-1 2-6 6-1 in just one hour and 45 minutes.

All three remaining matches for the day were decided fairly comprehensively, as Belgian Maryna Zanevska claimed the next quickest result of the day over Belarusian Yuliya Hatouka, completing the 6-2 6-1 sweep in jut 57 minutes. Frenchwoman Carolina Garcia overcame a tight start to take the win over Kazakh Zarina Diyas, whilst Jil Teichmann also joined the winners list with a 6-2 6-3 victory over Anna Blinkova.

INTERNATIONAUX DE STRASBOURG ROUND OF 32 RESULTS:

[1] Bianca Andreescu (CAN) defeated Andrea Lazaro Garcia (ESP) 6-1 6-2
[4] Yulia Putintseva (KAZ) defeated Rebecca Peterson (SWE) 6-4 3-6 7-6
[5] Barbora Krejcikova (CZE) defeated Oceane Dodin (FRA) 6-3 3-0 RET
[6] Zhang Shuai (CHN) defeated Misaki Doi (JPN) 7-5 6-4
Maryna Zanevska (BEL) defeated Yuliya Hatouka (BLR) 6-2 6-1
Jil Teichmann (SUI) defeated Anna Blinkova (RUS) 6-2 6-3
Caroline Garcia (FRA) defeated Zarina Diyas (KAZ) 7-5 6-2
Sorana Cirstea (ROU) defeated Venus Williams (USA) 6-1 2-6 6-1

Picture credit: Internationaux de Strasbourg/C’est qui Maurice?/Michel Grasso

WTA Tour wrap: Rain delays in Belgrade as Gauff sets up blockbuster quarter final

ANOTHER big day of proceedings were had at both the Serbia Ladies Open in Belgrade and Emilia-Romagna Open in Parma, with one event interrupted by rain, delaying entrants to the quarter finals, and the other completing its Round of 16 results.

In Serbia, Ana Konjuh was the big winner of the day downing second seed Yulia Putintseva. The Croatian was just too strong showcasing her repertoire and winning 57 per cent of the overall points in a comprehensive 6-3 6-4 victory in just under an hour and a half. Seventh seed Rebecca Peterson was fortunate to proceed by default following an excellent first set from Australian Ajla Tomljanovic, who came out flying but was forced to retire early in the third with injury. While Peterson was on the incline in their encounter, winning the second set fairly easily and leading the third, the Swedish talent will want to improve her service game ahead of her quarter final clash.

Aliaksandra Sasnovich overcame Cristina Bucsa in a bizarre 6-4 5-7 6-0 clash, which saw the Spaniard fight back valiantly in the second but completely drop the ball and the momentum in the bagel third set as Belarusian Sasnovich claimed the victory. Meanwhile, Kamila Rakhimova leads Maria Camila Osorio Serrano 6-4 and will continue their matchup tomorrow, whilst undercover the delayed match between Reka-Luca Jani and Ana Kalinskaya has gotten underway, with Jani leading 2-0 in the first.

In Parma, four of the five seeds survived the day with the lone loss going to retiree, Sara Sorribes Tormo. While the Spaniard led the charge early, she was forced to retire at 2-2 in the third, giving hometown hopeful Sara Errani another chance as she enters the quarter finals. All four winning seeds proceeded to the next round following straight set wins, with the longest playing out between second seed Petra Martic and Liudmila Samsonova, as the Croatian reigned supreme, whilst Wang Qiang was not far behind with a 6-4 6-4, one hour and 40-minute matchup with Martina di Giuseppe, snatching victory with a couple of breaks.

Coco Gauff has set up a huge quarter finals stoush with compatriot and fellow young talent Amanda Anisimova following a speedy 71-minute victory over Italian Camila Giorgi, while Caroline Garcia is the final entrant to the quarter finals following her 6-2 6-4 75-minute sweep of German, Anna-Lena Friedsam.

SERBIA LADIES OPEN ROUND OF 16 RESULTS: 

Ana Konjuh (CRO) defeated [2] Yulia Putintseva (KAZ) 6-3 6-4
[7] Rebecca Peterson (SWE) defeated Ajla Tomljanovic (AUS) 4-6 6-2 2-1 RET
Aliaksandra Sasnovich (BLR) defeated Cristina Bucsa (ESP) 6-4 5-7 6-0

Kamilla Rakhimova (RUS) leading Maria Camila Osorio Serrano (COL) 6-4
Reka-Luca Jani (HUN) leading Ana Kalinskaya (RUS) 2-0

EMILIA-ROMAGNA OPEN ROUND OF 16 RESULTS:

[2] Petra Martic (CRO) defeated Liudmila Samsonova (RUS) 7-6 6-3
[3] Coco Gauff (USA) defeated Camila Giorgi (ITA) 6-2 6-3
[6] Wang Qiang (CHN) defeated Martina di Giuseppe (ITA) 6-4 6-4
Sara Errano (ITA) defeated [7] Sara Sorribes Tormo (ESP) 4-6 7-5 2-2 RET
[8] Caroline Garcia (FRA) defeated Anna-Lena Friedsam (GER) 6-2 6-4

Picture credit: Marta Magni Images/MEF Tennis Events

WTA Tour wrap: Emilia-Romagna and Belgrade begin

THE second day at both the Emilia-Romagna Open and Belgrade WTA 250 events saw plenty of intriguing results, following predictable opening days at each tournament.

Of the eight Day 2 matches which played out at Parma, all three seeds proceeded joining the opening day’s winners in Daria KasatkinaAmanda Anisimova and Wang Qiang. Top seed Serena Williams was the big entrant to the event and did not disappoint in her opening day on court, downing qualifying Italian teenager Lisa Pigato 6-3 6-2 in just 68 minutes, as seventh seed Sara Sorribes Tormo downed Bernarda Pera with a similar result.

Pigato may have been unlucky to draw Williams in her maiden WTA Tour main draw entry, but said that despite the result it was a dream to play the champion, even asking for a photo with Williams – while they were still on court.

“Playing against her, it was my dream,” Pigato said post-match. “When we finished, I thanked her, because it was an honour playing agaist her. “She told me that I’m a good player, and it was fantastic to talk to her.”

“Lisa played really well,” Williams said in her on-court interview. “She told me she was only 17. Her future is super-bright – she handled the moment well, so I look forward to cheering for her in the future.”

“It’s usually after the match, in the locker room, I take photos,” Williams said. “It was really cool and gutsy. “It was her first WTA main draw match, so I thought it was a really good opportunity to take a photo – she’ll be able to look back on that in years. “I wish I had done that with my first match, it would have been really cool.”

The remainder of the United States’ competitors results went shakily as Caty McNallyChristina McHale and Venus Williams both fell in the opening round, with the former downed by compatriot Sloane Stephens. McHale and Williams were both disposed of in the only three-setters of the day, as hometown hopeful Camila Giorgi heads into the second round, while Williams won the first set before being outclassed for the remainder of her 5-7 6-2 6-2 clash with Anna Schmiedlova.

Eighth seed Caroline Garcia was tested by Argentinian Paula Ormaechea in their 6-4 6-4 matchup, while in the remaining matches at Parma another Italian in Martina di Giuseppe heads through to the Round of 16, joined by the final winner of the day in Katerina Siniakova.

At Belgrade, one seed in Yulia Putintseva joins yesterday’s seeded winners in Paula Badosa and Nadia Podoroska in the Round of 16, whilst both Oceane Dodin and Mihaela Buzarnescu also proceeded. Whilst Putintseva suffered a slow start against Kaja Juvan, requiring three sets to dispose of the Slovenian, Belgrade’s two remaining seeds in Zhang Shuai and Danka Kovinic were not quite as lucky as the third and eighth seeds fell in three to Maria Camila Osorio Serrano and Cristina Bucsa, respectively. The final winner of the day was Leylah Fernandez, as the 18-year-old Canadian downed another Slovenian in Polona Hercog.

Four more Round of 32 matches will play out at Parma tomorrow, as the remaining eight matches take the court at Belgrade, while both events also see the beginning of the Round of 16.

EMILIA-ROMAGNA OPEN ROUND OF 32 RESULTS:

[1] Serena Williams (USA) defeated Lisa Pigato (ITA) 6-3 6-2
[7] Sara Sorribes Tormo (ESP) defeated Bernarda Pera (USA) 6-4 6-2
[8] Caroline Garcia (FRA) defeated Paula Ormaechea (ARG) 6-4 6-4
Camila Giorgi (ITA) defeated Christina McHale (USA) 6-7 6-4 6-4
Anna Schmiedlova (SVK) defeated Venus Williams (USA) 5-7 6-2 6-2
Sloane Stephens (USA) defeated Caty McNally (USA) 7-6 6-4
Katerina Siniakova (CZE) defeated Clara Tauson (DEN) 6-1 6-3
Martina di Giuseppe (ITA) defeated Nao Hibino (JPN) 7-5 7-6

[4] Daria Kasatkina (RUS) defeated Hsieh Su-wei (TPE) 6-4 6-3
[5] Amanda Anisimova (USA) defeated Jasmine Paolini (ITA) 6-2 6-1
[6] Wang Qiang (CHN) defeated Misaki Doi (JPN) 6-2 5-7 6-1

BELGRADE ROUND OF 32 RESULTS:

[2] Yulia Putintseva (KAZ) defeated Kaja Juvan (SLO) 4-6 6-2 6-1
Maria Camila Osorio Serrano (COL) defeated [3] Zhang Shuai (CHN) 6-2 1-6 7-6
Cristina Bucsa (ESP) defeated [8] Danka Kovinic (MNE) 3-6 6-4 6-1
Leylah Fernandez (CAN) defeated Polona Hercog (SLO) 7-5 6-1

[4] Paula Badosa (ESP) defeated Andrea Petkovic (GER) 6-2 6-3
[5] Nadia Podoroska (ARG) defeated Timea Babos (HUN) 6-2 4-6 6-3
Oceane Dodin (FRA) defeated Kristyna Pliskova (CZE) 6-3 7-5
Mihaela Buzarnescu (ROU) defeated Patricia Maria Tig (ROU) 4-6 7-5 6-2

Picture credit: Marta Magni Images/MEF Tennis Events

WTA Tour wrap: Sorribes Tormo outlasts in longest match of the season

A BIG first day of women’s proceedings at the 2021 Internazionali BNL d’Italia saw the longest match of the year so far, as all four of the day’s seeds head into the second round.

It took a marathon three hours and 51 minutes, but it was Sara Sorribes Tormo who came out victor in her huge clash with Italian wildcard Camila Giorgi, 7-6(4) 6-7(7) 7-5. The seesawing contest saw neither player really able to make the most of their momentum or claim a significant ascendancy, as the Spaniard and Italian went toe-to-toe and were unable to be split. But with six double faults to her name compared to Giorgi’s 12, Sorribes Tormo was marginally cleaner on serve and won 52.8 per cent of the match’s total points to reign supreme. It was not the only three-setter of the day, as Petra MarticAnastasija Sevastova and Coco Gauff all ground out wins in three, with the last of the three seeing 17-year-old Gauff require two hours and 57 minutes to dispose of Kazakh, Yulia Putintseva as Sevastova turned around a sloppy start and Martic claimed her first top 50 win of the season.

Petra Kvitova and Maria Sakkari were the remaining three set winner of the day, as the 11th and 17th seeds were tested by their respective opposition. For Kvitova, it ended up being a fairly comprehensive victory despite dropping the first set 1-6. Her opposition in Magda Linette flew out of the blocks but could not continue the same form once the Czech left-hander worked her way into the contest and reduced her unforced errors, eventually reigning supreme 1-6 6-0 6-2 in 95 minutes.

“The first set I started very badly. I was missing almost everything. On the court… [the ball] was bouncing everywhere as well. A little bit windy. I just had to used to probably everything,” Kvitova said post-match. “The beginning of the second set when finally I held my serve and broke her serve, I think since then it was much, much better.”

Four of Kvitova’s six double faults were hit in the first set, before the Czech broke back to eventually claim five aces and win 75.6 per cent of her first serve points off a 66 per cent clip. Sakkari’s matchup went slightly different as she claimed the opening set, before her opposition in Polona Hercog bit back to take it to three. The 17th seed claimed the ascendancy once more though, running out 7-6 3-6 6-2 victor in two hours and 48 minutes.

Proceedings went very different for the remaining two seeds on the day, as Iga Swiatek worked from a 1-4 deficit to eventually claim a 5-4 victory over retiree Alison Riske, who battled an ongoing injury throughout the contest and could not maintain intensity or mobility to continue the matchup. While Swiatek had a horror start, recording 18 unforced errors throughout the 52 minutes of play, she was fortunate to proceed as Riske jarred her left foot, and was forced to retire following medical attention. The 13th seed in Jennifer Brady continued her run after claiming a 6-1 6-4 victory over Zhang Shuai, winning 72 per cent of her first serve points off a sloppy 43 per cent clip and converting five break points and saving three in the process.

The remaining matches of the day saw two more Americans in Jessica Pegula and Amanda Anisimova join the winners list, whilst one more in Christina McHale fell to Vera Zvonareva, whilst Ekaterina Alexandrova claimed the quickest win of the day – bar Swiatek’s early finish – over Marta Kostyuk, needing just 75 minutes to claim the 6-3 6-1 victory.

INTERNAZIONALI BNL D’ITALIA ROUND OF 64 RESULTS:

[11] Petra Kvitova (CZE) defeated Magda Linette (POL) 1-6 6-0 6-2
[13] Jennifer Brady (USA) defeated Zhang Shuai (CHN) 6-1 6-4
[15] Iga Swiatek (POL) defeated Alison Riske (USA) 5-4 RET
[17] Maria Sakkari (GRE) defeated Polona Hercog (SLO) 7-6 3-6 6-2
Sara Sorribes Tormo (ESP) defeated Camila Giorgi (ITA) 7-6 6-7 7-5
Vera Zvonareva (RUS) defeated Christina McHale (USA) 6-3 6-0
Jessica Pegula (USA) defeated Daria Kasatkina (RUS) 7-5 6-3
Amanda Anisimova (USA) defeated Wang Qiang (CHN) 7-5 6-3
Ekaterina Alexandrova (RUN) defeated Marta Kostyuk (UKR) 6-3 6-1
Petra Martic (CRO) defeated Shelby Rogers (USA) 5-7 6-3 6-4
Anastasija Sevastova (LAT) defeated Jil Teichmann (SUI) 3-6 6-1 6-3
Coco Gauff (USA) defeated Yulia Putintseva (KAZ) 7-5 4-6 6-4

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: 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