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Day of retirements in WTA Linz

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TENNIS WTA LINZ – Today will not be remembered as one of the worst for the WTA of Linz, as out of four matches scheduled for the day, only two were brought to a regular end. From Linz, Giulio Gasparin

 

The biggest shock of the day was clearly the retirement of Eugenie Bouchard, who walked on court in trainers to tell the crowd she was in no condition to play. The Canadian, however, did not specify her injury and called off her press conference in order to see a doctor.

It is very likely that it was the already taped thigh to bother her and force a withdrawal from this event and next week’s one in Luxemburg.

Similarly to what happened to Brengle, who benefitted from the retirement of Ana Ivanovic, Tsvetana Pironkova advanced to the quarterfinals without player her round 2 match.

The Bulgarian will face Karin Knapp, who needed half a match to advance to the next round, as she took advantage of the retirement of Magdalena Rybarikova, when she was leading of a set.

The Italian showed great adaptation to a different style of play, after edging past the hard hitting of Sabine Lisicki.

The highest seed left in the draw, Karolina Pliskova, had little to worry in her match against Mona Barthel, as her serve resolved the little problems she faced behind her own serve.

For the talented German, the support of the crowd proved to be not enough and her slow start, probably due to a heavily taped knee, cost her the first set. The second set, on the contrary, was a one-way fire only and the small reaction by the end from Barthel proved to be not enough.

Germany had still a reason to be happy for the day, as young qualifier Anna-Lena Friedsam, after upsetting Dominika Cibulkova in the first round, took down another Slovak, Jana Cepelova.

The public almost had no time to enjoy the first set, which lasted 18 minutes of absolute domination from the powerful qualifier.

The second set was closer in terms of score, but it appeared clear that it was all depending on Friedsam, who managed to close 6-0 6-4 in less than an hour.

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Iga Swiatek double bagels Karolina Pliskova to win Rome

Iga Swiatek dominated Karolina Pliskova for 46 minutes to win the Rome title.

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Iga Swiatek (@InteBNLdItalia - Twitter)

Iga Swiatek is the 2021 BNL D’Italia Open champion after beating Karolina Pliskova, the number ninth seed, in 46 minutes. The Pole thrashed her opponent 6-0, 6-0 with the help of 17 winners as she lost only 13 points the entire match.

 

“I’m really happy, I’m kinda overwhelmed because at the beginning of this tournament I wouldn’t even dream of winning and it was super tough, we have to fight and obviously Karolina (Pliskova) had a great run here,” said Swiatek.

The number 15 seed got off to the best possible start having no issues in her opening service game and in the following game it was visible her Czech opponent was having issues with her serve.

Pliskova would serve a double fault to give the first breakpoint of the match and the Pole took to take an early 2-0 lead and from there it was one way traffic.

The number nine once again would double fault to gift another breakpoint at 3-0 and the 19 year old pounced with her powerful forehand to go up a double break and would break one more time to seal the first set in 19 minutes.

Fans at the Foro Italico were expecting a response in the second set from Pliskova but it was utter dominance from the Pole and again the number nine seed again struggled with her serve double faulting on breakpoint at 1-0 to once again give the early break.

There was a mini fight back from the Czech at 2-0 when she managed to earn two breakpoints to try and get back in the match but the number 15 seed would save both and hold serve.

The next game she continued to attack and play her aggressive game style earning two more breakpoints and breaking one more time to take a 4-0 lead and you could sense this match was going to be over very quickly.

Swiatek would seal the win with another one of her trademark forehand winners to take the match and the title which will boost her on Monday to number nine in the world and her first appearance in the top 10.

After the match Pliskova admitted today was not her day, “You have days like this in where things are not going your way,” Pliskova said in her trophy ceremony speech.

“That was the day today I still tried but it was not working for me. I will just quickly forget about today. I had some great matches here. Final is always a great week, great tournament.”

Both players will now head to Roland Garros with Swiatek looking to successfully defend her title.

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Iga Swiatek Completes Double Duty To Reach Rome Final

Iga Swiatek has set up a final showdown with Karolina Pliskova in Rome.

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Iga Swiatek (@InteBNLdItalia - Twitter)

Iga Swiatek reached her first Rome final with a 7-6(3) 6-3 win over Coco Gauff.

 

The Pole made her first WTA1000 final after completing her second win of the day in convincing fashion.

Swiatek will now play Karolina Pliskova in tomorrow’s final after she beat Petra Martic in the first semi-final.

The first set set the standard for the match with ridiculous shot-making from the off as both players settled into the match quickly.

It was Swiatek though who grabbed the first break of the match as she forced some unforced errors out of the young American.

Gauff’s hard hitting and athleticism meant that she was far from out of the match as she managed to hit several winners and punch holes through the Pole’s game.

Eventually the 17 year-old managed to break back as the Roland Garros champion’s power had decreased and more unforced errors crept into her game.

However in the first set the Pole won five of her six service games when she was down in the game and that mental advantage in pressure points was crucial as she ensured that the first set was heading towards a tiebreak.

More solid play from the Pole and better tactical play ensured that Gauff hit a flurry of unforced errors and Swiatek won seven of the ten points available to take the opening set in 1 hour.

In the second set, Swiatek’s confidence was on full show with an improvised forward tweener and efficient serves put the American under really pressure.

https://twitter.com/tennis_gifs/status/1393584244639797254

Inevitably the pressure told as a double fault handed the world number 15 the crucial break for a 3-1 lead.

If that was impressive then, the hold after was even more impressive as the Pole withstood some ferocious firepower especially from the backhand side to save two break points and consolidate the break.

Swiatek produced another break as her all-round consistency was too solid for Gauff’s power and ferociousness in the fore court.

The Pole produced some late jitters as Gauff did well to apply pressure on the Roland Garros champion, a double fault while serving for the match handed the American a lifeline.

However it was only a lifeline as Swiatek completed victory to move into her first WTA 1000 final.

It was a confident performance as she moves into the final in what is ideal preparation for her Roland Garros title defence.

She will now play Karolina Pliskova in tomorrow’s final after the Czech Republican reached her third consecutive Rome final with a 6-1 2-6 6-3 win over Petra Martic.

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Iga Swiatek upsets Svitolina to reach semis in Rome

Iga Swiatek beat Elina Svitolina to rack up her first top 10 win of the season to reach the Rome semi-finals.

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Iga Swiatek (@InteBNLdItalia - Twitter)

The Polish teenager upset the number five seed in straight sets to reach the final four in Rome.

 

Iga Swiatek continues to rack up the wins against the top 10 players in the world, this time against the Ukrainian Elina Svitolina beating her 6-2, 7-5 to reach the semifinals of the BNL D’Italia Open in Rome.

She got off to the best possible start using her speed and aggressive groundstrokes to hold her opening service game and the very next game went on the attack earning two breakpoints with a sublime forehand return winner.

The number five would save both before succumbing to a third when the number 15 seed pulled out a powerful forehand winner to take an early 2-0 lead.

The Odessa, Ukraine native had a chance to get back in the set earning her first breakpoint of the match at 3-1 but again it was the 19 year old would come up with the goods to save it.

When serving to stay in the first set at 5-2 the number 15 seed continued to pressure the Ukrainian serve and earned three sets points which she would convert on to take the first set.

It was the number five seed who would earn the first chance to break in the second set with a forehand winner of her very own but again was denied by the Polish teenager.

The Ukrainian would finally get the breakthrough to take a 2-1 lead but Swiatek would respond the very next game breaking right back using her backhand this time.

After holding serve the Pole had a chance to take the lead once again and the number five seed would double fault twice in a row to once again get broken and trail 4-2.

Just like earlier in the set the Ukrainian would bounce back the very next game breaking right back and it would stay on serve until 6-5 with the number five seed serving to stay in the match.

The Pole would earn two match points and convert on her first chance to take the set and the match setting up a semifinal later today against Coco Gauff who was able to finish her match yesterday.

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