Kerber and Giorgi save match points, Watson’s best win at WTA Eastbourne - UBITENNIS
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Kerber and Giorgi save match points, Watson’s best win at WTA Eastbourne

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TENNIS WTA EASTBOURNE – In another day full of surprises at the WTA premier event of the Aegon Internationals at Eastbourne, Camila Giorgi and Angelique Kerber saved match points before winning their matches, Heather Watson got her first top 20 win, while Petra Kvitova and Caroline Wozniacki won with ease. From Eastbourne, Giulio Gasparin

In another day full of surprises at the WTA premier event of the Aegon Internationals at Eastbourne, Camila Giorgi and Angelique Kerber saved match points before winning their matches, Heather Watson got her first top 20 win, while Petra Kvitova and Caroline Wozniacki won with ease.

In the opening match on court 1, 5th seed Kerber found herself very close to a clamorous defeat against Alize Cornet, who had multiple match points on 5-4 in the third set on her serve.

Cornet showed a great improvement on fast surfaces this year and in this match she gave another proof, but as it seems to happen quite often in her matches, she failed to close when she had the chance.

Kerber, who reached the semifinals at Wimbledon two years ago, is looking far from her best shape this season, but she keeps winning matches thanks to a great fighting spirit and today it happened once more.

After breaking back, the German went on taking the match in a one sided tiebreak. 7-5 1-6 7-6 (3) the final score. She will face Ekaterina Makarova in the next round, as the latter defeated Pavlyuchenkova in an all-Russian round.

Contemporary, the slayer of the Vika Azarenka, Camila Giorgi, needed as much of an effort to overcome local wildcard Johanna Konta 1-6 7-5 7-5.

The Italian seemed to suffer the solid game of the Brit, who gave away very few points for free and served particularly well in the key moments.

Giorgi managed to turn around a match that started extremely badly, as her forehand was all over the place, but Konta kept fighting until the very end.

In the third set, the English player had no break points until 5-4, when Giorgi had to face the first –and only- match point.

The Italian player saved it with a terrific backhand cross court that stunned the crowd, ready to enjoy their idol’s win.

Giorgi found great strength from this key point and won the three next games to secure a place in the quarter finals, where she will face Wozniacki.

The win of the former world number one was much of a relief after the latest problems, not only because it meant the first back to back win in two months, but also because it meant the fifth win in as many matches against Sloane Stephens, without ever dropping a set.

Carloine Wozniacki at Eastbourne by Giulio Gapsarin

Carloine Wozniacki at Eastbourne by Giulio Gapsarin

The British crowd had a reason to be happy after the chance missed by Konta, as Watson defeated in three sets Italian Flavia Pennetta 6-7 (6) 6-3 6-2.

Watson played a very aggressive match, especially in the last two sets, hitting many winners and serving extremely well, while the Indian Wells champion looked very confused and self-conscious out there.

Watson is now called for another surprise as she will face former Wimbledon champion, Petra Kvitova, who easily routined Varvara Lepchenko in straight sets.

In the last two matches of the day, Lauren Davis kept her dream run going, as starting from qualies, she has defeated Daniela Hantuchova for a place in the quarter finals, where she will meet Madison Keys, who defeated the defending champion Elena Vesnina in two high quality sets 7-5 7-6 (9).

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Former Finalist Marketa Vondrousova To Miss French Open Following Surgery

The Olympic silver medallist will miss a Grand Slam tournament for the first time in two-and-a-half years.

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Image via https://twitter.com/WTA_insider

Czech world No.35 Marketa Vondrousova has pulled out of next week’s French Open after undergoing what she describes as a ‘small surgery.’

 

Vondrousova, who reached the final at Roland Garros back in 2019, underwent a procedure on her left wrist after experiencing recurring pain. She decided to do so following a medical consultation and will be soon going through rehab. It will be the first Grand Slam event she has missed since the 2019 US Open which she also withdrew from due to a wrist injury.

“The last few weeks were not easy, I have been experiencing recurring pain in my wrist,” Vondrousova wrote in an Instagram post published on Monday. “After seeing a couple of doctors I decided to get this small surgery done to be able to play pain-free.”
“Staying positive through the recovery and can’t wait to be back on the court soon,”
she added.

The 22-year-old last played on Tour at the Stuttgart Open where she lost in the first round to Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur. So far this season she has achieved a win-loss record of 13-5 with her best run being to the semi-finals of the Dubai Tennis Championships as a qualifier. Vondrousova also reached the fourth round of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells and defeated Emma Raducanu in the Billie Jean Cup.

A former junior world No.1, Vondrousova has been ranked as high as 14th in the world. So far in her career, she has won just one WTA title which was back in 2017 at the Lugano Open in Switzerland. However, she has reached the final at another four events with the last being at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. She has scored a total of six wins over top 10 players.

Another player in doubt for the French Open is defending champion Barbora Krejcikova who hasn’t played a match on the Tour since February. The world No.2 has been sidelined from action due to an elbow injury but remains on the entry list for the Grand Slam which will begin on Sunday.

The French Open draw will take place on Thursday.

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Ukraine’s Elina Svitolina Announces Pregnancy

Tennis’ power couple are set to become parents later this year.

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Former world No.3 Elina Svitoliva has announced that she is expecting a baby girl in October on social media.

 

The 27-year-old made the announcement on Sunday morning with a picture of her and her husband, French tennis star Gael Monfils. Known by some as the sports ‘power couple,’ the two tied the knot last July in Geneva ahead of the Tokyo Olympic Games after first going public about their relationship in 2019. They even have their own Instagram account called ‘g.e.m.s. life’ which has more than 139,000 followers.

“With a heart full of love and happiness, we are delighted to announce that we are expecting a baby girl in October,” the couple wrote on Twitter.

https://twitter.com/ElinaSvitolina/status/1525778313918177280

Svitolina hadn’t played on the Tour since losing to Heather Watson at the Miami Open in March after deciding to take time away from the sport due to events happening in her home country. Russia launched a military operation against Ukraine earlier this year which has claimed thousands of lives. Svitolina is one of the sport’s most outspoken players regarding the conflict. She has previously spoken out against the decision to ban Russian and Belarussian athletes from Wimbledon by arguing that they should be allowed to participate if they condemn the actions of their home countries.

We don’t want them banned completely,” Svitolina told BBC Radio 5 Live Breakfast.
“If players don’t speak out against the Russian government then it is the right thing to ban them.”

Prior to announcing her pregnancy, Svitolina has achieved a win-loss record of 5-8 on the Tour this season with her best runs being to the third round of the Australian Open and the quarter-finals of a WTA event in Monterrey.

During her career, the Ukrainian has won 16 WTA titles and reached the semi-finals of two Grand Slams during 2019.

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Bianca Andreescu reaches Rome quarterfinals after beating Petra Martic

The Canadian was able to get by her Croatian opponent in straight sets on Thursday afternoon in the Italian capital.

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Photo by Roberto Dell’Olivo

Bianca Andreescu is through to the quaterfinals of the Italian Open being played at the Foro Italico in Rome after beating Petra Martic in 6-4, 6-4 in one hour and 45 minutes.

 

The Toronto native served four aces and won 76% of her first serve points in a match that was pretty straight forward for the world number 90 who makes her first quaterfinal this season.

During the first set both players did a good job holding serve and it was pretty tight until 4-4 when the Canadian was able to convert and served out the first set to take a 1-0 lead.

Andreescu was hungry for the early break in the second set and she got it but the Croat broke right back the following game to level the set at 2-2. She was then put on the defensive as the world number 47 started putting pressure on the Canadian but Andreescu was able to save two breakpoints before being able to hold serve to make it 3-3.

The next game Martic produced a poor service game and the 2019 US Open champ took full advantage, getting the break and that one break was enough for her to serve out the match.

Her reward for reaching the quarterfinals a date with the world number one Iga Swiatek who had no issues beating the Minsk native Victoria Azarenka 6-4, 6-1.

This will be their first ever meeting on the WTA Tour.

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