WTA Madrid 2014: Li sizzled after a slow start as Stephens fizzled - UBITENNIS
Connect with us

WTA

WTA Madrid 2014: Li sizzled after a slow start as Stephens fizzled

Avatar

Published

on

TENNIS WTA Madrid 2014 – Australian Open champion and former French Open champion, Li Na found herself in a bit of a battle in order to get into the quarterfinals. She faced one of the rising stars of the WTA in the form of American Sloane Stephens. Li showed herself to be the more experienced player and took to take the match 2-6 6-3 6-2. Cordell Hackshaw

 

Interviews, results, order of play and draws of the Mutua Madrid Open

2014 Australian Open champion and former French Open champion, Li Na (2) found herself in a bit of a battle in order to get into the quarterfinals at this year’s Mutua Madrid Open. She faced one of the rising stars of the WTA in the form of American Sloane Stephens (16). It was the first meeting between the two and despite Stephens’ excellent start, Li showed herself to be the more experienced player and took to take the match 2-6 6-3 6-2.

Holding serve after saving a break point, Li seemed to have lost the plot as she leaked errors all over the court, amassing 19 overall in the set compared to just 4 winners. She lost a string of 5 games as Stephens imposed herself on the match and gained confidence with each passing moment. Stephens even had set point on Li’s serve to take the set 6-1. However, Li did well to hold serve for the 2nd time in the set and Stephens closed out it out 6-2 after 37 minutes. What was particularly interesting about the set for Li was that she got a high percentage of first serves at 74%, but only won 52% of those points. Stephens only dropped 3 points on first serve. Li would later speak of this shaky start, I was feeling, you know, beginning of the match like first two game pretty like normal. But when I have serve like 40Love after I lose the game, I was think about the game for whole set. So make a lot of error to give her points or give her chance.”

An upset seemed to be on the horizon but it became soon became apparent in the 2nd set that once Li raised her game, Stephens would not be able to hang. On her first break point opportunity of the match, Li capitalized to take a 3-1 lead. Stephens became erratic and despite having 5 break chances in the set, failed to win one including 3 along in the 9th game to stay alive in the set. Nonetheless, Li showed her superior court covering skills and cleaned up her game to take the 2nd set 6-3. The 3rd set was more of the same as Li broke Stephens in the opening service game and never looked back, racing to a 4-0 lead. Stephens was noticeably annoyed with her now sub-par level of play as she had no idea what to do against an in-form Li. She broke Li in the 6th game but was immediately broken at love to give Li the chance to serve out the match 5-2. Li continued her onslaught and closed it out with a backhand winner 2-6 6-3 6-3.

It was not the tidiest of matches for the Chinese but she righted her ship in the end. Despite totaling 46 errors in the match, she only committed 9 of those in the 3rd set. Points won on both the first and second serves significantly improved for Li as she was 60% (1st serve) and 56% (2nd serve) compared to 52% (1st serve) and 38% (2nd serve) in the 1st set. Stephens simply got worst as the match went on with 4 winners and 12 errors in the 3rd set compared to a ratio of 8:8 in the 1st set. Li was still complimentary of her opponent stating that Stephens moved well on the clay court and acknowledged that she was a tough opponent was at one point in the match, the better player. Li will face Maria Sharapova in the next round.

WTA

Tereza Martincova and Belinda Bencic reach the quarter final in Ostrava

Avatar

Published

on

Czech wildcard Tereza Martincova upset Roland Garros Anastasya Pavlyuchenkova 7-6 (7-5) 7-6 (8-6) after 2 hours and 19 minutes to advance to the quarter finals at the J&T Banka Ostrava Open. 

 

Martincova claimed her third top 20 win of her career and reached her second quarter final on home soil this season after finishing fourth in Prague. 

Pavlyuchenkova earned the first break to take a 4-3 lead and served for the first set in the 10th game, but she never reached a set point. The Russian player came just two points away from winning the first set at 5-4 30-15, but Martincova won four consecutive points before winning the tie-break 7-5. 

Martincova dropped just eight points in the first six games of the second set. The Czech player fended off two break points to consolidate her lead for 2-0. She raced out to a 7-6 (7-5) 5-1 lead, but Pavlyuchenkova saved two match points to hold serve forcing Martincova to serve for the match. Martincova dropped four consecutive points. Pavlyuchenkova got another break, when Martincova was serving for the match for the third time at 6-5. Martincova went up a 4-1 lead in the tie-break, but Pavlyuchenkova drew level to 4-4 before saving a third match point. Martincova won the final two points to claim the tie-break 8-6. 

Martincova set up a quarter final match against Maria Sakkari, who beat last week’s Luxembourg finalist Jelena Ostapenko. 

This year’s Olympic champion Belinda Bencic cruised to a 6-2 6-3 win over Sara Sorribes Tormo in just 88 minutes. Bencic claimed her 15th win in her last 18 matches. Bencic broke six times and reeled off eight consecutive games from 2-2 in the first set to cruise through to a a straight-set win. Sorribes Tormo saved a break point to win her first game for 1-4 and pulled one break back in the sixth game, but Bencic sealed the win with her third break in the ninth game. “I think I prepared well for this match tactically, and also mentally, because it’s very tough. You have to win the point many times against her, especially on this surface, where it’s very slow. I am happy that I stayed disciplined for the whole match”, said Bencic. 

Continue Reading

Latest news

Naomi Osaka Withdraws From Indian Wells, Unclear If She Will Play Again This Year

There is no official word but it looking increasingly likly that the world No.8 might have pulled the plug on her 2021 season.

Avatar

Published

on

Japan’s Naomi Osaka has officially withdrawn from the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells just weeks after saying she will take a break from the sport due to personal reasons.

 

The former world No.1 hadn’t played a match since her loss to Leylah Fernandez in the third round of the US Open. Speaking to reporters in New York, Osaka said she didn’t know when she would play another match on the Tour. Earlier this year she opened up about her mental health struggles after revealing she has been suffering from social anxiety and depression. Osaka also took time away from the sport during the summer after pulling out of the French Open before deciding to skip Wimbledon.

“This is very hard to articulate. Basically I feel like I’m kind of at this point where I’m trying to figure out what I want to do, and I honestly don’t know when I’m going to play my next tennis match. Sorry,” she said following her loss to Fernandez.
“I think I’m going to take a break from playing for a while. How do I go around saying this? I feel like for me recently when I win I don’t feel happy. I feel more like a relief. And then when I lose, I feel very sad. I don’t think that’s normal. I didn’t really want to cry.”

Osaka’s withdrawal from Indian Wells was confirmed by the tournament who published an announcement on social media. Although they didn’t specify what reason she used to withdraw from the tournament which is one of the biggest events outside of the Grand Slams in terms of ranking points and prize money on offer.

It was Indian Wells where Osaka won her first prestigious title back in 2018 after defeating Daria Kasatkina in straight sets. The following year she was the top seed in the draw but lost to Belinda Bencic in the fourth round.

There has been no official comment from Osaka or her team about Indian Wells and if she will play again this season. Although it looks increasingly unlikely. She is in with a chance of qualifying for the WTA Finals in November but even if she does make the cut it is unclear if she will attend the event which has been relocated from China to Mexico.

This year Indian Wells will get underway on October 4th which is more than six months later than usual due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Continue Reading

Latest news

Simona Halep Ends Six-Year Collaboration With Coach Cahill

One of the longest coaching partnerships on the WTA Tour has come to an end.

Avatar

Published

on

Former world No.1 Simona Halep is on the lookout for a new coach after unexpectedly announcing her split from Darren Cahill on Wednesday.

 

The two-time Grand Slam champion has been working with the Australian mentor for most of the time since 2015. There was a brief period where Cahill stepped away from his duties to spend more time with his family before later returning. Under his guidance, the Romanian reached the top of the world rankings and featured in the final of three major tournaments, winning two of those.

“After six wonderful years working together, Darren Cahill and I have decided that it’s time to end our working relationship,” Halep wrote on social media. “Thank you D for everything, for making me a better tennis player and a better person.”

55-year-old Cahill is a former player himself who has also worked with a series of top players prior to Halep. In the past, he has coached both Lleyton Hewitt and Andre Agassi to world No.1 at different stages of their careers. Doubles specialist Horia Tecău reportedly told Romanian TV that it was rumoured Cahill received an annual salary in the region of one million euros during his time with Halep. Although this has not been verified.

The announcement comes a week after Halep married Macedonian businessman Toni Iuruc. One of those who attended the event was Illie Nastase who was one of the world’s best tennis players during the 1970s, winning both the French Open and US Open.

I didn’t know anything about Simona’s intention to break up with Darren Cahill. It took me a little by surprise. But Simona Halep has proven she knows what she’s doing. As I did not know, I do not see what I could comment. But there is no question of collaborating (with her),” Nastase told playsport.ro.
I didn’t talk to her about this or to anyone else in her entourage… I think only Simona knows who her future coach will be. I trust her choices.”

So far in 2021 Halep has achieved a win-loss record of 15-7 during what has been a rollercoaster season. An Achilles injury forced her to miss both the French Open and Wimbledon, as well as the Tokyo Olympics. Since returning to the Tour from her injury she has won back-to-back matches in one out of three tournaments played. Reaching the fourth round of the US Open.

There has been no official word on who may replace Cahill as Halep’s coach.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending