US Open: Krunic eliminates Kvitova. Serena into the 3rd round - UBITENNIS
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US Open: Krunic eliminates Kvitova. Serena into the 3rd round

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TENNIS US OPEN – Unlike on Day 5 when several big names tumbled out of the draw, things were relatively calmer in the women’s draw. Flavia Pennetta played first up on the Arthur Ashe stadium and she was the first woman into the Round of 16 when she knocked out American Nicole Gibbs for the 2nd straight year 6-4 6-0. The real big upset of the day also happened early when reigning Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova (3) got dismissed by Aleksandra Krunic. From New York, Cordell Hackshaw

 

US Open: All the interviews, results, draws and OoP

Unlike on Day 5 when several big names tumbled out of the draw, things were relatively calmer in the women’s draw. Flavia Pennetta played first up on the Arthur Ashe stadium and she was the first woman into the Round of 16 when she knocked out American Nicole Gibbs for the 2nd straight year 6-4 6-0. The real big upset of the day also happened early when reigning Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova (3) got dismissed by Aleksandra Krunic 6-4 6-4. Kvitova has always struggled in the heat and humidity during the North American hardcourt swing and it clearly showed in her play.

In other matches, Serena Williams (1) has finally made it past the 3rd round of major since the Australian Open this year. Williams took on yet another American, her third successive in this tournament, Varvara Lepchenko. Again Williams made winning easy look very difficult. She seemed rather bothered through much of the match as she won 6-3 6-3 in just over an hour and a half. Lepchenko played very well within herself but in the big moments, she could not capitalize. Williams was very gracious to her opponent as they practice and hit together often, “[S]he gives 100% on the court. She always tries to do the best … She is an incredible fighter.”

Two-time finalist here, Victoria Azarenka (16) is seemingly getting better and better with each round. She dismantled Elena Vesnina 6-1 6-1 in 57 minutes. This victory marked Azarenka’s 100th major win in her career. She will play Krunic in the Round of 16. Azarenka said, “I don’t know about her much … [S]he obviously is playing great tennis and really inspired here, you know, so many matches in a row and upsetting such a great player.” Nonetheless, it might be that Azarenka is extremely grateful for Krunic’s upset win over Kvitova as she has never beaten the Czech in any of their encounters.

The other top named player who made it through to the 4th round was Eugenie Bouchard (7) who is continuing to show that when it comes to the major stage, she is ready, present and willing to play. She took on Czech Barbora Zahlavova-Strycova. Zahlavova-Strycova is no stranger to playing big names as she had a wonderful Wimbledon this year making it to the quarterfinals for the first time in 33 appearances at a major. However, Bouchard has had an even better year at the majors and her experience showed through on the big points. Bouchard took the 1st set 6-2 but went down 3-5 in the 2nd set. Zhalavova was getting more aggressive on court and benefitting from the random errors from Bouchard. However, Bouchard fought her way back into the set to lead 6-5 but Zahlavova was able to hold serve to force a tiebreaker where she was able to level the match.

In the decisive set, there was definitely shifting momentums after the 6th game; 3 games all. There were 3 consecutive breaks of serve which saw Bouchard serving for the match up 5-4. The Canadian was able to serve it out for the win 6-2 6-7 6-4. “I was disappointed in myself, not necessarily about going to a third, but by my level in the second set. I was surprised I could do so many unforced errors in one set. You know, that’s something I definitely don’t want to repeat again. But I’m determined to do better in my next match,” Bouchard said after the match.

Bouchard’s next round opponent will be Ekaterina Makarova (17) who go to the Round of 16 when she took out Zarina Diyas 6-2 6-4. Other winner on the day was Kaia Kanepi who is continuing to have a wonderful tournament after she knocked out Sam Stosur (24) in the 1st round. Kanepi again upset another seeded player, this time Carla Suarez-Navarro (15) in straight sets knocked out another seeded player Carla Suarez Navarro (15) 7-5 6-0. She will have to maintain this winning form as she faces Williams in the next round. Casey Dellacqua (29) also finds herself in the Round of 16 after she knocked out Karolina Pliskova 6-3 3-6 6-4. It was a hard fought contest all the way to the end. Dellacqua will play Pennetta for a spot in the quarterfinals.

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Petra Kvitova and Angelique Kerber reach the second round in Bad Homburg

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Former Grand Slam champions Petra Kvitova and Angelique Kerber won their first-round matches over qualifiers at the inaugural edition of the Bad Homburg Open. 

 

Kvitova came back from one set down to beat Katarzyna Piter 4-6 6-1 6-4 in nearly two hours. Kvitova fought back from an early break down in the final set. The Czech player was playing her first match since suffering an ankle injury three weeks ago. 

Kvitova hit ten aces, but she dropped serve three times. Piter earned a break point in the seventh game with a lob winner and converted her chance to take a 4-3 lead. The Polish player did not face another break point. 

Kvitova broke twice in the second and sixth game to win the second set 6-1. Piter earned an early break to take a 2-0 lead in the third set after a series of forehand errors from Kvitova. Kvitova broke three times in the next five games to take a 4-3 lead. The Czech player earned a match point at 5-3. Piter saved it to hold serve. Kvitova hit double faults on her next two match points at 5-4. 

Kvitova hit her tenth ace on her fourth match point to seal the win setting up a second round match against Ann Li. 

“I felt kind of a mix of emotions. I was pretty to be back on the grass. On the other hand, I thought I was probably going to play a little bit better. It was my third hit after my injury, so i probably expected a little bit more from myself, so I probably expected a little bit more from myself than I really showed today. In the end I won, so that’s a pretty good result. I found a few games where I really played good grass tennis, and that’s what I will have to take with me”, said Kvitova.

Angelique Kerber cruised past Ekaterina Yashina 6-1 6-1. The three-time Grand Slam champion broke twice in the first set and three times in the second set. “It’s a great feeling to win the first match, especially here in Bad Homburg, which is a really special tournament fot me. To play in front of the home crowd, it’s always something I am looking forward to and really excited about”, said Kerber.

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Ons Jabeur claims her first WTA title in Birmingham

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Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur clinched the first WTA title of her career with a 7-5 6-4 win over Daria Kasatkina at the Viking Classic in Birmingham. 

 

Jabeur became the first Arab player to win a WTA Tour title. The Tunisian player had lost her previous two finals to Kasatkina in Moscow 2018 and to Astra Sharma n Charleston in 2021. Jabeur is tied for most match wins on the WTA Tour along with world number 1 Ashleigh Barty. 

Jabeur converted five of her ten break points against Kasatkina, who has claimed two WTA titles earlier this season. 

Jabeur earned her second break at 3-3 in the first set with a dropshot and a lob. Jabeur earned three set points at 5-3, but Kasatkina forced errors from Jabeur to hold serve. The Russian player forced Jabeur to serve for the set at 5-4. Jabeur dropped her serve, but broke serve once more to take a 6-5 lead with a dropshot return winner. Jabeur served out the first set with a backhand winner down the line. 

Jabeur broke twice in the second set to race out to a 4-0 lead. Kasatkina saved a break point and held serve with an ace for 1-4. The Russian player pulled one break back to claw her way back to 3-4 with groundstroke winners. Jabeur earned her first match point at 5-4 and hit a forehand to force an error from Kastakina closing out the match. 

“I knew I had to go for it, I had to win this title to at least breathe, and give an example. There are not a lot of Tunisian or Arabic players playing, so I hope this could, and I want to see more Arabic players and Tunisians playing with me on Tour. The last time we played was in Moscow and I was crying, it was a great battle ”, said Jabeur.Marie Bouzkova and and Lucie Hradecka beat Jabeur and Ellen Perez 6-4 2-6 10-8 in the Match Tie-Break.

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Samsonova Battles Past Bencic To Win Maiden Title In Berlin, Gets Wimbledon Wild Card

The Russian qualifier has stunned the tournament with a run that also seen her defeat Madison Keys and Victoria Azarenka.

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image via https://twitter.com/bett1open

Liudmila Samsonova is the 2021 Bett1 Open champion after pulling off another upset by beating number five seed Belinda Bencic 1-6, 6-1, 6-2 in front of a capacity crowd on Steffi Graff Stadion under hot and humid conditions.

 

The 22-year-old underdog caps off what has been a fairytale run in Germany for the qualifier. Prior to the tournament Samsonova had never beaten a top 20 player in her career or reached a Tour final. Against Bencic she hit 28 winners to 15 unforced errors and won 66% of her service points.

” I was so nervous today even before the match and during the first set so after the first set I took a toilet break and told myself to play a more aggressive game and it worked,” Samsonova said following her triumph.

It was world No.12 Bencic who got off to a fast start by holding serve comfortably and than the following game setting up the first break chance with a return forehand winner before the Russian would double fault twice in a row to give the early break. At 3-0 the Swiss found herself again at double breakpoint and managed to seal the it en route to taking the first set in just 28 minutes.

However, the second set was the total opposite with underdog Samsonova holding serve and breaking the very next game with a powerful forehand winner. Like Bencic in the first set, she turned her lead into a double break and served out the second set.

The Russian carried the momentum into the third and deciding set earning a chance to break in the first game and the world No.12 would double fault to give the break. At 4-2 the world No.106 had a chance to go up a double break but Bencic managed to save it and hold serve before going on the offensive. The Swiss had two chances of her own to go back on serve but the Russian saved all three breakpoints she faced.

At 5-3 the Samsonova had two chances to seal the match and the title on her opponents serve. Bencic saved the first one but the world number 106 would seal the win on the second.

In her post match press conference Samsonova explained how once she levelled the match was able to close it out.

” I was trying to keep my game going and try to be aggressive on my first shot and my serve and on the return and that is what I was focusing on”.

The young Russian now has her sights sets on Wimbledon as she awarded a main draw wild card after the match.

“They just told me that I’m going to have the wildcard for the main draw, so I’m so happy,” she said.

Samsonova is the 10th first-time WTA champion this season.

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