WTA Rome Premier: Errani beats Hantuchova - UBITENNIS
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WTA Rome Premier: Errani beats Hantuchova

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TENNIS- Sara Errani edged Daniela Hantukova with 6-4 7-6 (7-4) after a tight match. The first set saw both players trading breaks for six consecutive games from 1-1. In the ninth game Errani saved three break points before breaking in the hard-fought 52.minute 10th game at the third opportunity for 6-4 after Hantukova sent her forehand wide Diego Sampaolo

 

Errani fought back from 2-5 down to draw level to 5-5 in the second set by recovering one of the breaks with a couple of backhands.

In the tie-break Hantukhova got a mini-break with a down-the-line return but the Italian, who finished runner-up last year to Serena Williams, reeled off five consecutive points before clinching the second set tie-break with 7-4 to the delight of the Italian crowd.

Errani his 16 winners to 16 unforced errors, while Hanuckova produced 43 winners but committed 41 unforced errors.

“I am not happy with my match but the most important was to win”, said Errani.

Errani will face Christina McHale who upset Barbora Strykova 7-6 (7-5) 7-1.

Angelique Kerber, who won two clay tournaments this year in Charleston and Stuttgart but suffered an early defeat against Sam Stosur in Madrid, beat Alizé Cornet 6-4 6-2  After three consecutive breaks Kerber reeled off four consecutive games from 3-2 to win the first set with 6-2. The player from Bremen broke early in the second set and held her service games until 5-3 before breaking serve to love in the final game

Venus Williams beat 19-year-old Katerina Siniakova 6-2 6-2. After a very long first game which lasted 16 minutes and featured 10 deuces Venus pulled away to 4-1 en route to winning the first set with 6-2.Venus, who is playing for the 11th  time in Rome, cruised to 6-2 after half and hour. Venus could meet Flavia Pennetta, if the Italian beats Elina Svitolina.

Swiss Timea Bacsinskiy eased past Karolina Pliskova 6-4 6-0 in a match between two revelations of the WTA season. Pliskova broke for 4-3 in the first set but the Swiss player reeled off nine consecutive games to win the match. It was not so easy as the score suggests as both players played four games at deuce.

Sabine Lisicki defeated Sloane Stephens 6-4 6-2. Stephens broke serve in the first game but Lisicki broke back.after a very long second game but Stephens got  a second break in the fifth game at deuce. At 1-4 down Lisicki earned three break points in the sixth game and converted on the third opportunity. The German broke again in the 8th game before clinching the first set with 6-4. Lisicki broke serve twice in the fourth and in the sixth games before clinching the win on her third match point.

Heather Watson cruised past Roberta Vinci with 6-3 6-1. This year’s Australian Open semifinalist Madiso Keys hit seven aces to beat her compatriot Madison Brengle 6-4 6-2.

Karin Knapp won the all-Italian match against Francesca Schiavone with 6-4 6-1. Schiavone, the veteran of this tournament with 18 appearances in this tournament, reached the quarter finals four times. Both players traded breaks at the start of the match.

At 2-2 the 2010 Roland Garros champion did not convert her two break points. At 3-2 Knapp, Schiavone recovered from 15-40 to win her service game. Knapp reeled off three of her next four games to win the first set with 6-4. After a couple of hard-fought games in the second set Knapp got her second break in the fourth game for 3-1 and held her next service games to win the second set with 6-1.

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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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