All faves through in Indian Wells 4th - UBITENNIS
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All faves through in Indian Wells 4th

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TENNIS – All of the favorites left in the women’s draw qualified for the quarter finals at the BNP Parisbas Open in Indian Wells. Giulio Gasparin

 

(6) Simona Halep def (18) Eugenie Bouchard 6-2, 1-6, 6-4
The great streak of results from Halep continued as she edged past a determined Eugenie Bouchard to conquer her first ever Indian Wells quarter-final. The Romanian started really well and forced the young Canadian into the groove of her game, forcing her opponent to hit on the run and miss lots of balls.Bouchard reacted fiercely and forced Halep to step further from the baseline. The match suddenly turned around and Bouchard was in safe control as the 6-1 of the second set proves.

In the third set the Romanian managed to find a better aggression, but Bouchard was strong of the boost from the second set and was the first one to find a break to go 4-3 up.

The reaction of Halep was impressive, as her attitude in the next three games was way different, as she stepped in and found better pace and depth, forcing again the Canadian to miss. Not only she took the break back immediately, but went on conquering the next two as well as the whole match.

In the next round Halep will face Casey Dellacqua, who did non play her 4th round match, as Lauren Davis was forced to withdraw due to food poisoning.

(7) Jelena Jankovic def (10) Caroline Wozniacki 6-3, 6-1
The Serb stepped on court after the lucky escape against Magdalena Rybarykova, but her back injury seemed long gone as she dismantled the -little- resistance of the Dane, who had won all the last 5 matches between the two. Jankovic looked a little nervous at the beginning and fell 3-1 down in the score, but soon reacted and by finding nice pace and smartly varying her game she outplayed Wozniacki with ease. The former world number one, who was defending last year’s final, will now find herself out of the top 15 for the first time since 2008 -when she was 18. The next opponent for Jankovic will be Agnieszka Radwanska.
(2) Agnieszka Radwanska def (22) Alize Cornet 7-5, 6-3
Radwanska survived the scare of two set points in the first set, before finding the right track again and close in straight sets against a very positive Cornet.

The improvements showed by the French woman since the beginning of the season were all there during her match,  but in the end the solid and smart game of the Pole won her the match.

(1) Li Na def Aleksandra Wozniak 6-1, 6-4
Everything was simply working too well for the Chinese, as she played some sensational tennis to overcome the inform Canadian. The only flow one could find in Li Na’s performance is the need of 9 match points before closing, but as she acknowledged in the post match interview, Wozniak did not give up and fought very hard on each of them. In the next round Li Na will try to copy her performance from the Australian Open final, as she is set to face the same opponent: Dominika Cibulkova.

(12) Dominika Cibulkova def (8) Petra Kvitova 6-3, 6-2
After the difficult few weeks following her triumphant run in Australia, Cibulkova is back to playing her highest level of tennis and this time it was Kvitova to fall. The Acapulco winner outplayed Kvitova, who once more proved to struggle on the American hard courts, but that does not diminish the almost perfect performance of the Slovak, who will try to avenge the loss in her first ever slam final.

(20) Flavia Pennetta def Camila Giorgi 6-2, 6-1
The run of Maria Sharapova’s slayer fell short, as her more expert compatriot dismantled her hard hitting with smart and accurate shots. Pennetta, who was on the verge of retirement after an early unsuccessful comeback following a wrist injury in 2012, is living a second youth as she is winning match after match her way back to the elites of the sport.

Pennetta, who had lost her only previous encounter with Giorgi, will seek one more revenge in the quarter finals as she is to face Sloane Stephens, who defeated her on the home soil of Rome last year.

(17) Sloane Stephens def Alisa Kleybanova 6-3, 7-5
Stephens fought hard in her fourth round match, as despite closing in straight the match has been uncertain until the very last end.
The comeback from health issues of Kleybanova can still be considered on the right track, despite the loss to the young American. Especially given her good week and the competitiveness of this match.

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Victoria Azarenka Survives Three-Set Battle With Pegula In Berlin

Azarenka is one of two seeded players left in the draw along with Belinda Bencic.

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Victoria Azarenka is into the semifinals of the Bett1 Open after outlasting America’s Jessica Pegula 6-2, 5-7, 6-4.

 

The two-time Australian Open champion won 70% of her first service points and broke Pegula six times en route to the victory. It is only the second time Azarenka has reached the last four of a WTA tournament this season after the Doha Open back in March. This week she is bidding to reach her first Tour final on the grass since 2010 and win her first title on the surface at the age of 31.

“I’m really happy that I made it out, I played really well at the beginning of the match,” said Azarenka. “In the second set she played some good shots and I felt like I slowed down but I was glad I was able to turn it around”.

The number seven seed got off to a great start earning three chances to break in the opening game of the match and getting the early break. At 4-2 she earned the double break when the American produced a poor service game and double faulted on breakpoint. Enabling Azarenka to take the opener in just 26 minutes.

The beginning of the second set was identical to the first with the world No.16 earning three more breakpoints and breaking to take an early lead. However, Pegula fought back to earn three chances to break but Azarenka saved all three and held serve. The set stayed on serve until 4-3 when the American had another chance to break. This time a poor service game from the Belorussian gave up the break of serve.

At 6-5 with Azarenka serving to stay in the middle set Pegula found herself at set point and clinched the set after the world number 16 hit another unforced error.

Into the decider and again just like the first two sets it was the 31 year old who broke in the opening service game of the set but the world number 26 responded by breaking right back the very next game and the next two games followed suit with two breaks of serve.

At 3-3 the Azarenka had three more breakpoints and got the break once again but this time the break was enough for her to serve out the match. After the match Azarenka spoke about losing the momentum in the second set and how she was able to get it back and push through.

” I paid too much attention on the things that I didn’t take opportunities and matches on grass can go fast with one or two breaks and it’s more difficult and hopefully I can stop putting myself into too much trouble”. She said.

Azarenka will next face Russian qualifier Liudmila Samsonova who stunned Madison Keys in three sets – 7-6, 2-6, 7-6.

Elsewhere, Alize Cornet also continued her amazing run by beating the number six seed Garbine Muguruza 4-6, 6-3, 7-6, and Belinda Bencic booked her spot in the final four beating another Russian Ekaterina Alexandrova 6-4, 4-6, 7-6.

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Alize Cornet stuns Bianca Andreescu in Berlin

Andreescu was playing in the main draw of a WTA grass-court tournament for only the second time in her career after Wimbledon 2017.

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Alize Cornet’s run at the Bett1 Open in Berlin continues as she managed to upset Bianca Andreescu 7-6(2), 7-5 in two hours and six minutes on Steffi Graff Stadion.

 

“At the beginning of the match I was feeling very good,” said Cornet. “I played some of my best tennis at the start of the match and I think I felt more comfortable than in the first round. The first match helped get me more comfortable on the surface but it was a huge battle playing a match that lasted over two hours and I am really happy that I got through”.

It was the number three seed who got off to a fast start being the more aggressive player earning two chances to break in the opening service game of the match but failed to convert. The very next game it was Cornet with three chances to take the lead and she did just that and it stayed on serve until 4-2 until Andreescu had a chance to break to go back on serve and she would get the break back.

At 5-4 the world number 63 reached set point but Andreescu managed to save it with one of her big serves and held serve before going back on the offensive. Earning another breakpoint but again couldn’t finish and the set would be decided by a tiebreaker.

Cornet ran away with the breaker jumping out to a 4-1 lead and would win it 7-2 to take the first set 7-6.

She carried the momentum into the second frame and in the first game she set up two breakpoints with a stunning forehand winner and broke to take a 1-0 lead. At 3-1 the world number 63 had a chance to go up a double break and she did just that breaking again to get a 4-1 lead but the Canadian responded right away by breaking right back the very next game.

At 4-3 the Toronto native had a break chance to go back on serve which she converted on to level the set at 4-4 and it stayed on serve for two more games until it Cornet managed to get the crucial break to take a 6-5 lead and serve out the match.

” She’s a really talented player, she plays amazing and she is dangerous on every surface but I think today my experience on grass helped me”. Cornet commented on her opponent.

She will now face either Garbine Muguruza or Elena Rybakina in the quarter-finals.

There were three other second round matches being played on Steffi Graff Stadium. The day started with another upset as Ekaterina Alexandrova beat the number two seed Elina Svitolina in straight sets 6-4, 7-6 in only an hour and 30 minutes.

Belinda Bencic, the number five seed, had no issue dispatching the Croat Petra Martic 6-3, 6-4. In the final match of the day, a third upset occurred when Madison Keys beat the top seed Aryna Sabalenka in three sets 6-4, 1-6, 5-7.

The action continues on Thursday with four more second round matches featuring the local favourite Angelique Kerber taking on Victoria Azarenka.

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Berlin Round-up: Garbine Muguruza Cruises Past Cirstea In Berlin

The number six seed only needed 80 minutes to advance past her Romanian opponent.

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Garbine Muguruza started her grass court season on the right foot beating Sorana Cirstea in straight sets 6-3, 6-2 in one hour and 20 minutes on Steffi Graff Stadium.

 

She will next face Elena Rybakina who was pushed to three sets by the American Shelby Rodgers 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 in a match that lasted one hour and 43 minutes.

Angelique Kerber only needed one hour to dispatch the Japanese player Misaki Doi 6-2, 6-1 and after the match she gave her thoughts on what seemed like a comfortable first win on grass for the local favourite.

“It was a really solid match and it’s never easy to play a first match on a grass court, especially against a lefty as well, so I’m really happy about my performance and how I started the grass court season,” She said.

Kerber will now face the daunting task of playing the Belorussian Victoria Azarenka who beat another German Andrea Petkovic in a tough straight sets victory (6-4, 7-6).

In the other results of the day the Croat Petra Martic needed three sets to beat the American qualifier Asia Muhammad 7-6, 4-6, 6-3 to set up a second round match with Belinda Bencic.

In an all American battle Jessica Pegula only played 12 games against Hailey Baptiste who was forced to retire due to injury, Pegula will next face Karolina Pliskova in the next round.

The young Russian Veronika Kudermetova needed three sets to beat the Czech Karolina Muchova in a match that went two hours and 28 minutes 7-6, 5-7, 6-2. She will now face Liudmilla Samsonova who pulled off the only upset of the day by beating Marketa Vondrousova in straight sets 6-4, 7-6 (6).

Round two begins on Wednesday with four second round matches and will feature Elina Svitolina taking on Ekaterina Alexandrova, as well as Bianca Andreescu facing Alize Cornet.

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