WTA Dubai: Ivanovic, Kvitova, Radwanska and Venus out in the 3rd round - UBITENNIS
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WTA Dubai: Ivanovic, Kvitova, Radwanska and Venus out in the 3rd round

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TENNIS WTA DUBAI – On a day of surprises at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships two of the top-4 seeds Ana Ivanovic and Petra Kvitova were knocked out of the tournament. Venus Williams and Agnieszka Radwanska were also beaten. Among the top favourites to advance to the quarter finals there were Simona Halep, who recovered from 2-4 down in the first set to beat Tsvetana Pironkova 6-4 6-3, and Ekaterina Makarova, who beat Zarina Diyas 6-3 6-4 Diego Sampaolo

 

It was a day of big upsets at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships where five of the top-eight seeds Venus Williams, Ana Ivanovic, Petra Kvitova, Agnieszka Radwanska and Angelique Kerber were all knocked out the tournament. The only player among the title favourites who got through to the quarter final was last year’s Roland Garros finalist Simona Halep who beat Tsvetana Pironkova 6-4 6-3. Pironkova went up 4-2 in the first set but Halep bounced back winning 10 of the next 13 games to clinch the win in straight sets.

The biggest shock came from last week’s Antwerp runner-up Carla Suarez Navarro who battled past twice Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova with 6-3 4-6 6-3. Suarez Navarro showed that she has fully recovered from the neck injury which sidelined her from the Antwerp final.

Karolina Pliskova, semifinalist in Antwerp last week, overcame Ana Ivanovic in three sets with 6-2 4-6 6-4. Spanish rising star Garbine Muguruza broke serve five times to beat Agnieszka Radwanska 6-4 6-2.

When you are not playing your best tennis, it’s hard to compete with these kind of players. I didn’t serve well enough. I think I didn’t serve well enough to win the match”, said Radwanska.

Lucie Safarova upset three-time Dubai champion Venus Williams with 6-4 6-2 breaking Venus’ 16-match winning streak. Safarova converted on four of her six break point chances (twice in each set). Safarova opened up a 2-0 lead. Williams recovered clawing her way back into the match but Safarova saved three break points before closing out the first set on the tenth game with 6-4.

She played awesome. There were a couple of games that I didn’t get my racquet on the ball”, said Venus Williams.

Ekaterina Makarova, who reached two back-to-back Grand Slam semifinals at the 2014 US Open and at the 2015 Australian Open, beat Zarina Diyas 6-3 6-4.

Italian Flavia Pennetta, last year’s Indian Wells champion, edged Angelique Kerber 6-2 3-6 6-1. Pennetta could not convert on six break point chances during a very long fifth game featuring 26 points before clinching the first set with 6-2. The Italian broke serve at the start of the second set but Kerber bounced back reeling off 8 straight points and broke back to take the 2-1 lead. Kerber turned around the match dropping just one point on her four serves and got a double break in the sixth game.

Pennetta recovered holding serve in the first game of the decider and earned a break point in the second game. Kerber saved it but Pennetta cruised to a easy 6-1 to reach the quarter final for the second consecutive year in Dubai.

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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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