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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World No.1 Ash Barty Impresses At Golf Club Championship

The 24-year-old is still winning trophies but this time it isn’t in tennis.

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After deciding to pull the plug on her season due to concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic Ash Barty has once again illustrated that tennis is not the only sport she can excel in.

 

The world No.1 has won the Brookwater Golf Club women’s champion on Sunday with a seven and five triumph in the match play final. Following in the footsteps of her father Robert who once represented Australia as an amateur golfer. Although Barty is playing down the significance of her latest sporting win.

It’s not a big deal,” she told the Australian Associated Press.

It is not the first time Barty’s golfing abilities have impressed. During a promotional event last December ahead of the Presidents Cup she earned praise from Tiger Woods after hitting wedge to a makeshift green on the Yarra River. After that shot Woods commented ‘she’s got a great swing, are you kidding me?’ Barty’s boyfriend, Garry Kissick, is also a PGA trainee professional at Brookwater. The place where they first met back in 2016.

Louis Dobbelaar, who won the men’s competition at Brookwater, believes Barty has what it takes to become a professional in the sport should she wish. The 24-year-old is also an avid cricketer and played professionally between 2014-2015 during a break from tennis. Playing in the Women’s Big Bash League Barty enjoyed stints with teams Brisbane Heat and Queensland Fire.

She’s got all the tools if she wants to pursue it. If she put her mind to it, I’m sure she could,” he told the AAP.
“I’ve seen quite a lot of golfers come from different sports and she’s the one that stands out the most – by far actually. Her ball-striking’s really good. She just gets that naturally from tennis, the hand-eye stuff.”

Barty hasn’t played a match on the WTA Tour since the Qatar Open back in February where she reached the semi-finals. She will not be defending her title at the French Open next week due to concerns related to the pandemic. Besides worldwide travel, she has been unable to train with her coach due to local restrictions.

The Australian has made more than $17.5M in prize money so far in her career.

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Garbine Muguruza Routs Konta In Rome

Garbine Muguruza confidently dispatched Johanna Konta 6-4 6-1 to set up a mouth-watering fourth-round clash with Victoria Azarenka in Rome.

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Garbine Muguruza confidently dispatched Johanna Konta 6-4 6-1 to set up a mouth-watering fourth-round clash with Victoria Azarenka in Rome.

 

It was a surprisingly comfortable win for the Spaniard, 26, against an opponent she has found troublesome in the past. Muguruza and Konta have each won two of their previous matches, and all four of those encounters were lengthy three-set affairs.

During the first eight games of this match, it looked like it might go a similar way. The opening exchanges were closely-fought and both players produced high-quality tennis and served well for the most part.

On occasion, Muguruza and Konta got themselves into trouble by making errors and falling 0-30 or 0-40 behind on their own serves. However, they always responded well and executed high-quality points to turn those games around.

Eventually, the whole set came down to one game. When Muguruza led 5-4, Konta again slipped 0-40 behind on serve. The Brit managed to save one break point, but the Spaniard took control of the next point and forced an error to seize the first break of the match.

Muguruza storms to victory

After Muguruza confidently held at the start of the second set, Konta missed a tricky high volley that would have secured the second game. Then she gave away the break with a double fault and an unforced error.

The next game turned out to be the most important of the match. The Brit hassled and harried the Spaniard and earned three break points. But the two-time Grand Slam champion held firm. She delivered big first serves when she needed them most to save all three and go on to secure the hold.

After that, the match ended quite quickly. Konta held to reduce the deficit to 3-1. Then Muguruza served and rallied superbly to win three games in a row and clinch an impressively comprehensive victory.

The Spaniard will face Azarenka in the last 16. The Belarussian was locked in a fascinating battle with Daria Kasatkina when the Russian took a nasty fall in the first tie-break and was forced to retire due to an ankle injury. Touchingly, Azarenka helped Kasatkina to her chair and comforted her after the accident.

Halep sees off Yastremska

Simona Halep (@InteBNLdItalia on Twitter)

Simona Halep advanced to a fourth-round clash with Yulia Putintseva in Rome courtesy of a 7-5 6-4 win over Dayana Yastremska.

The Romanian, 28, looks to be such a calm figure on court these days. And she did not seem bothered at all when the Ukrainian went 3-0 up after a blistering start to the match.

Halep responded by working her way into the match and capitalising whenever Yastremska made errors. The Romanian hit a backhand winner to break back. Then she played a series of intelligent points to claim the crucial break in the eleventh game and secure the set.

The Ukrainian made the worst possible start to the second set. She made a series of errors and dropped serve twice in a row to give herself a mountain to climb. Yastremska managed to get one of the breaks back immediately after that but Halep gave nothing else away and eventually closed out the set.

The Romanian will play Putintseva in the last 16. The Kazakhstani overcame talented young compatriot Elena Rybakina 4-6 7-6(3) 6-2 in a pulsating first-ever meeting.

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Garbine Muguruza Edges Gauff In Exciting Rome Showdown

Garbine Muguruza held off a strong challenge from Coco Gauff to win a riveting second-round match 7-6(3) 3-6 6-3 at the Italian Open in Rome.

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Garbine Muguruza held off a strong challenge from Coco Gauff to win a riveting second-round match 7-6(3) 3-6 6-3 at the Italian Open in Rome.

 

The Spaniard, 26, rediscovered some of her best form to reach the Australian Open final in January. And she produced arguably her strongest performance since the restart to overcome the precocious 16-year-old.

There was very little to separate the two players in the opening set. Both Muguruza and Gauff were sporadically excellent. Each hit superb winners at times. But they balanced this out by making sloppy errors.

Consequently, neither player was able to break away. When the American broke in game four, the Spaniard responded immediately to rein her in.

Even though most of the games were closely-contested in the rest of the set, there were no breaks. Therefore, the only way to decide who would take the lead was a tie-break.

It was Muguruza who rose to the occasion. She produced one of the most impressive six-point sequences you are ever likely to see. First, the Spaniard hit a forehand winner that landed on the baseline. Then she hit a huge unreturnable serve followed by an ace. Next, she forced an error from Gauff with a deep backhand. And at 6-3 up, she clinched the set in style with another ace.

Gauff fights back

Gauff approached the second set with steely determination. She did not give anything away and gradually cranked up the pressure on Muguruza.

In game three, the American’s efforts were rewarded. She earned two break points and seized the second with a precise passing shot back behind the Spaniard.

Unlike in the first set, Gauff then held serve to move 3-1 ahead. And the pressure of being behind had an effect on Muguruza. She made a couple of errors to give the American three chances to gain a double break.

The Spaniard dug in and saved the first two. But she was unable to prevent Gauff from taking the third with a powerful backhand followed by a forehand winner.

Cori Gauff (@ChannelNewsAsia on Twitter)

Muguruza was in no mood to let the second set slip away. She hit a brilliant lob and a stunning forehand winner to earn two break points in game six.

Although the American saved them both, the Spaniard soon earned two more. And she eventually took her fourth break point of the game courtesy of a double fault from Gauff.

Muguruza held comfortably to reduce the deficit to 4-3. However, she did not manage to retrieve the second break, as the American held to move 5-3 ahead. Gauff then profited from a sloppy service game from the Spaniard to clinch the set.

Muguruza stays strong as errors cost Gauff dearly

When Gauff broke to establish a 2-0 lead at the start of the decider, it looked like she was on course for a famous win over the two-time Grand Slam champion.

However, the American wasted her opportunity. She made three consecutive double faults to gift Muguruza three break points. And the Spaniard took the third to break back immediately.

After a steady hold from Muguruza, Gauff made two more double faults in game six. Once again, the Spaniard capitalised. She then held again to open up a 4-2 lead.

The American found her range on serve to reduce the deficit. But the end came quickly for her. Muguruza withstood everything Gauff threw at her during a hold that put her 5-3 up.

The Spaniard then went on the attack. She drove the American back behind the baseline and then hit a forehand winner. Then she forced a couple of errors to make it 0-40. At that stage, Gauff was completely demoralised. She hit a forehand into the net to surrender the match to Muguruza.

In the next round, the World No.17 may get a chance to resume a fascinating rivalry. All four of her meetings with Johanna Konta have gone to three sets. So if the Brit can beat qualifier Irina-Camelia Begu, it could lead to another entertaining encounter.

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