Things heat up on Day 3 at the US Open - UBITENNIS
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Things heat up on Day 3 at the US Open

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TENNIS US OPEN – It was a scorching day at the US Open with temperatures soaring well into the 90oF/30oC range. This only served to heat things up on court. The day saw several upsets, near upsets and some red hot tennis in the women’s draw. From New York, Cordell Hackshaw

 

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Agnieszka Radwanska (4) was first up on Louis Armstrong stadium against Shuai Peng. Radwanska as is her norm, took the early lead with 2-0 in the 1st set. However, from then on, she looked like a mere shadow of herself in the blazing sun as Peng came roaring back to take 6 of the next 7 games. Peng had 14 winners in the 1st set only compared to Radwanska’s 4. In the 2nd set, Peng got the early break for 4-2 and never looked back. She fought off several break points in the 10th game whilst serving for the match to close it out 6-3 6-4. Peng would later said that on those big moments, she played “no risk because I really really want[ed] to win.” Meanwhile, for Radwanska, her US Open woos continue. This is the only major she has yet to progress past the Round of 16.

Radwanska noted after the match “I didn’t play bad today. I think it was just her day. Of course I could do something different maybe or try something else, as well, but I really try my best and I was fighting till the end. I just couldn’t do it.” Interestingly enough, this was the first straight sets victory for either player against each other in all their five meetings.

Sloane Stephens (21) was another victim of an upset on Day 3. She faced 96th ranked Johanna Larsson. Stephens coming into this US Open had never lost before the 3rd round in all of her three previous appearances. It looked like it was going to be 4/4 as she was up a set and a break 7-5 3-0. However, she allowed Larsson to get back into the set to take 6 of the next 7 games. Larsson took the 2nd set 6-4. In the 3rd set, Stephens again took an early lead at 2-0 but then seemingly capitulated as she lost six straight games. Larsson took the match 5-7 6-4 6-2. Stephens was floundering at the baseline looking completely bothered by the weather but she quickly refuted the idea that the heat was not a factor in the match. She only offered the simply statement of “Things got a little shaky” to sum up her performance.

Maria Sharapova (5) avoided a near upset when she faced Alexandra Dulgheru. Sharapova led 2-0 to start off the match but Dulgheru broke her to level it at 2-2. In the 7th game, the Romanian broke Sharapova a second time to lead 4-3. She was able to maintain this break advantage to close out the set 6-4. However, no stranger as of late to making comebacks in matches, The Russian took control of the 2nd set to lead 4-2 and never relinquished it. She won the 2nd set 6-3 and then raced out to a 4-0 lead in the 3rd set. Dulgheru was unable to offer any positive response to this Sharapova charge. The Russian closed out the match 4-6 6-3 6-2 in just over two and a half hours. “It was difficult … It was a very long match. Overall I felt like in the end I was in much better shape that she was and I could have played another few sets.”

Other winners include Simona Halep (2) who seemed to have settled down after her rough 1st round match to win 6-2 6-1 over Jana Cepelova. Angelique Kerber (6) and Jelena Jankovic (9) also won in straight sets. Kerber took out Alla Kudryavtseva 6-2 6-4 and Jankovic won 7-5 6-4 over Tsvetana Pironkova. Caroline Wozniacki (10), 2009 finalist here, also won in straight sets as did Sara Errani (13), Alize Cornet (22) and Sabine Lisicki (26).

Several players needed three sets to get to the 3rd round. Andrea Petkovic (18) she overcame being down a double break in the 3rd set v Monica Puig to take the match in the breaker 3-6 6-3 7-65. Lucie Safarova (14) also had a 3-set battle as did Roberta Vinci (28). Belinda Bencic upset Kurumi Nara in three sets 6-4 4-6 6-1. Bencic will next play Kerber for a place in the Round of 16.

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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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