US Open: It will be Williams and Wozniacki playing for the title - UBITENNIS
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US Open: It will be Williams and Wozniacki playing for the title

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TENNIS US OPEN – The mixed doubles event was the place to be when Sania Mirza and Bruno Soares beat Abigail Spears and Santiago Gonzalez 6-1 2-6 11-9. That was where the best tennis was played as the highlight of the day for the women’s matches was the circumstances surrounding a retirement from one of the matches. From New York, Cordell Hackshaw

 

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

The last Friday at the US Open is mainly dedicated to the Mixed Doubles’ Final and the women’s singles semifinals. The mixed doubles event was the place to be when Sania Mirza and Bruno Soares beat Abigail Spears and Santiago Gonzalez 6-1 2-6 11-9. That was where the best tennis was played as the highlight of the day for the women’s matches was the circumstances surrounding a retirement from one of the matches. People were already making their exit from the half-filled stadium before the 2nd semifinal was finished. Caroline Wozniacki (10) moved into her 2nd major final when Shuai Peng retired 7-6 4-3 Ret. Wozniacki will play her newfound best friend on tour Serena Williams (1). Williams thoroughly dismissed Ekaterina Makarova (17) 6-1 6-3 for her 4th consecutive finals here.

Wozniacki and Peng were first up. Neither of the player possess a huge power game so there was going to be a lot of long intense rallies. Surprisingly, it was Peng who got the first break in the 7th game for a 4-3 lead. However, Peng could not consolidate as Wozniacki broke to level the match. Peng again took the advantage as she broke for 6-5 and a chance to serve for the 1st set. Again, she was unable to consolidate the break as Wozniacki forced the set to a tiebreaker. In the breaker, Peng capitulated as she won only a single point in the breaker. Wozniacki took it 7-61 and a step closer to her 2nd major final.

In the 2nd set, Peng broke Wozniacki for a third time in the match and again no sooner did she do so than Wozniacki came back to level the match. However, it was near this point that the match took a bizarre turn. Peng had earned another break point to get back on serve down 3-4. As Wozniacki was about to serve, Peng got out of her return stance clutching and tugging her right leg. She looked to be in severe distress. The trainer came on court and eventually was taken off for medical evaluation. Some ten minutes later, she returned to the court and played a couple of points but then fell to the court in agony. Wozniacki stated, “[I]t was really hard to watch for me whenever I saw her collapse on the court. You know, tennis is great, but the health is more important. You know, to see her struggling out there.”

It was a rather terrible scene. The crowd looked on rather uncomfortably trying to cheer Peng on. Eventually it was decided that the match should end due to retirement from Peng. Wozniacki is through to her 2nd US Open final 7-6 4-3 Ret. “[T]he heat is really hot. I just try to fight, and my body is getting more and more hot and it start cramping. It’s really painful right there,” Peng said after the match. She noted that she was told not to go back onto the court by the doctors but decided to go nonetheless in an effort to continue the fight.

Peng was treated for heat illness of which cramping is a symptom. However, the USTA is under fire for allowing Peng to come back on court after the medical timeout. Tournament official later stated of the incident, “[S]he’s a highly trained professional athlete. She knows her body and her condition better than anybody. If she wants to go compete, that’s why she’s here. If there were a situation where she could have harmed herself, I’m very confident that our medical staff would have said, Sorry, you cannot go back out there again.”

Williams moved into her 4th straight US Open finals quite comfortably against Makarova. Both women had easy opening service games but Williams broke in the 4th game of the match and never looked back. She won 9 consecutive games for a 6-1 4-0 lead before Makarova was able to get back on the scoreboard. She saved a couple of break points to hold finally. “Serena, she’s a great, unbelievable player. It’s always tough to play against her. Today she was so aggressive … Like she’s just coming, you know, so early, so sometimes I was too late because she was too fast,” Makarova said after the match.

Williams served for the match 5-2 but was inexplicably broken to cut her lead down to 3-5. Perhaps this was based on the fact that someone shouted out to Williams, “Slow down. I don’t want to go home yet.” Williams broke Makarova yet again to close out the match 6-1 6-3 in an hour. Williams said in her press conference, “I’m just really excited to be in the final. In the beginning of the week I definitely wasn’t sure I would make it this long. Definitely wasn’t sure I’d be here. So I’m just elated, to be honest, to have made it this far.” Williams is looking for her 18th major singles title and a 3rd consecutive US Open title. Incidentally, Williams has never won the same major title three years in a row.

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Anett Kontaveit Set To Battle For WTA Finals Spot After Lifting Moscow Crown

It is the third time Kontaveit has won a tournament within the past six months but will she be able to qualify for the season-ending championships?

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Anett Kontaveit (image via https://twitter.com/BNPPARIBASOPEN)

Estonia’s Anett Kontaveit has continued her recent surge in form on the Tour by fighting back from a set down to win her fourth career title at the Kremlin Cup on Sunday.

 

The world No.20 was on the verge of losing to home favourite Ekaterina Alexandrova before battling to a 4-6, 6-4, 7-5, victory. At one stage in the match Kontaveit was trailing by a set and 0-4. Then in the decider she was broken at 4-4 before going on to win three games in a row to clinch the title. Overall, she won 69% of her first service points and broke her opponent five times.

“Of course, I am very happy, the match was extremely difficult, I feel relief and joy,” she said afterwards. “I got lucky at match-point, but during the match there were moments when she (Alexandrova) got lucky too. It always takes a little luck to win. She took the lead, controlled the match, it was very difficult for me, I tried to fight for all the points and this helped me to win.”

Kontaveit, who defeated former world No.1 Garbine Muguruza and Markéta Vondroušová earlier in the tournament, has now won 14 out of the last 15 matches she has played on the Tour. Her only loss was to Ons Jabeur in the quarter-finals at Indian Wells. She has played in five finals this year which is the second-highest on the WTA Tour after world No.1 Ash Barty who has played in six.

The 25-year-old is now on the verge of qualifying for the WTA Finals for the first time in her career. However, the prospect of her playing in the season-ending event depends on the results of next week’s tournaments. Kontaveit is playing in Romania and she needs to win the tournament and for rival Jabeur to lose before the semi-finals to qualify.

Meanwhile, runner-up Alexandrova exits Moscow frustrated with her missed opportunities in the match. It was the first time she has played in a final this season and only the third time in her career. Prior to Kontaveit, she scored back-to-back wins over Aryna Sabalenka and Maria Sakkari.

“Unfortunately, I didn’t manage to win, I’m very sorry. But I will work on it and I hope next time I will be able to get a better result,” Alexandrova said during the trophy ceremony.
“I want to congratulate Anett, she played great, it was hard for me to do something.” She added.

Kontaveit, who has won three WTA titles since August, is the first Estonian player to win the Moscow trophy. Compatriot Kaia Kanepi reached the final of the tournament back in 2011.

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Simona Halep, Emma Raducanu Heads The Field in Cluj Napoca

On Saturday the draw was revealed for the 32 players playing in Cluj this week at the Transylvania Open.

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Simona Halep (image via https://twitter.com/Simona_Halep)

Despite the fact seven main draw players have pulled out, including Garbine Muguruza and Paula Badosa, the field is pretty deep with a lot of interesting matchups featuring no fewer than six Romanians. 

 

Let’s start at the top with the number one seed Simona Halep who will play her first match against the up-and-coming fellow Romanian Gabriela Elena Ruse. Halep and Ruse most recently teamed up in doubles and made it to the final in Indian Wells.

The number two seed is the Estonian Anett Kontaveit who will play for a title on Sunday in Moscow. She has drawn a qualifier in the first round. Emma Raducanu, the number three seed, will start her tournament against Polona Hercog.

The fourth seed is the Swiss Jil Teichmann who will also face a qualifier in her first-round match. Meanwhile Australia’s Alja Tomljanovic will face Slovenia’s Kaja Juvan who comes in as a late replacement for Ekaterina Alexandrova.

Marta Kostyuk from Ukraine is the number six seed and she will face the American Bernarda Pera. It will be the third meeting between the two players with the Ukrainian winning both of their previous matches.

Irina Camelia Begu from Romania and she will face another Romanian in Maria Irina Bara while the number eight seed is Anhelina Kalinna who faces a qualifier in the first round.

If the seeds hold up the tournament could potentially see quarterfinal matches featuring Halep vs Tomljanovic, Raducanu vs Kostyuk, Begu vs Teichmann and Kalinna vs Konteveitt.

There are indeed some dark horses in the draw that could cause some upsets. Look out for Maria Camelia Osorio who has been playing some amazing tennis this year and it seems to be her breakout year.

Andrea Petkovic is always a dangerous opponent and she actually won the first event in Romania, the Winners Open, back in the first week of August. Anastasia Potapova from Russia is no easy task, and many expect a good week from her.

Main draw action begins on Monday with what is expected to be a great week in Cluj-Napoca.

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Transylvania Open Suffers Major Blow As Seven Players Pull Out

A two-time Grand Slam Winner and the Reigning Indian Wells Champion are among those to withdraw from the tournament at the last minute.

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image via https://twitter.com/TransylvaniaOpn

The inaugural Transylvania Open will feature just one top 20 player in the draw after two pulled out of the competition on Saturday.

 

The Spanish duo of Garbine Muguruza and Paula Badosa were set to headline the new WTA 250 event in Cluj Napoca. Tournament organisers confirmed their withdrawal along with that of Ekaterina Alexandrova, Viktoria Golubic, Veronika Kudermetova, Kaia Kanepi, and Mayar Sherif. Furthermore, Mihaela Buzarnescu was also scheduled to play in the qualifying draw but pulled out.

Andreea Prisacariu and Anna-Lena Freidsam will take spots that were attributed to Muguruza and Badosa. The others will be replaced with Ana Bogdan, Alison Van Uytvanck, Ivana Jorovic, and Kaja Juvan.

Muguruza most recently played yesterday in VTB Kremlin Cup in Moscow, reaching the quarterfinals where she was thoroughly beaten by the Estonian Anett Kontaveitt 6-1, 6-1.

Badosa is fresh off winning the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, California while Alexandrova has officially reached the final in Moscow after Sakkari was forced to retire 4-1.

Kontaveit, who is scheduled to play this week in Romania, will face Alexandrova in that final on Sunday after beating the Czech Marketa Vondrousova in straight sets 6-3, 6-4.

Simona Halep is set to be the highest ranked player in the tournament. US Open champion Emma Raducanu is also participation in what will be only her second event since winning her maiden major title at the age of 18.

The main draw action begins on Monday.

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