Final Grass Court Tournaments in full swing before Wimbledon - UBITENNIS
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Final Grass Court Tournaments in full swing before Wimbledon

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TENNIS – Last year’s Wimbledon finalist Eugenie Bouchard won her first match on grass this season beating Allison Riske 7-6(5) 6-3 at the Aegon Classic in Eastbourne after early round defeats at s’Hertogenbosch and Birmingham. Diego Sampaolo

 

Riske took a 2-0 lead in the first set but Bouchard reeled off four consecutive games to take a 4-2 lead. Riske fought back winning three games in a row for 5-4. At 5-5 in the tie-break Bouchard won the final two points to clinch the first-set tie-break. The Canadian broke serve for 4-2 en route to winning the second set with 6-3. After winning the first set at the tie-break Bouchard saved four break points in the first service games of the second set. The Canadian converted the only break point in the second set to clinch the win.

“It’s good to get a win on grass. I was a little bit more aggressive and I was trying to enjoy the moment. It was a tough match. She plays good tennis, especially on grass. I knew to be prepared for a really tough match. I am happy I was able to stay with her when it was tough in that first set and just fight it out, ” said Bouchard

Bouchard will take on Belinda Bencic who beat this year’s Australian Open semifinalist and Eastbourne defending champion Madison Keys 6-2 6-2. It will be the first head-to head match between Bouchard and Bencic

Caroline Wozniacki started her grass season with a 7-6 (7-4) 6-2 win over Jarmila Gajdosova. The Danish star went down a break. Gajdosova served for the set at 5-4 but Wozniacki broke back to force the first set to the tie-break where she won 7-4. Wozniacki broke twice for 4-1. Gajdosova recovered the break but Wozniack broke again to clinch the second set with 6-2.

Daria Gavrilova fought back from a set down to edge Camila Giorgi 3-6 7-6 (8-6) 6-3. Giorgi, who won her first tournament at s’Hertogenbosch, went up a break twice to win the first set with 6-3 despite six double faults and 40 percent of first serve points: Giorgi went down a break in the secon set on the only break point chance she faced in the second set: Giorgi went up 0-40 on Gavrilova’s serve but she failed to convert her three break points. She managed to break back on her fourth opportunity. In the ninth game the Italian earned a break point which would have enabled to serve for the match but she didn’t convert it. In the tie-break she earned a match point at 6-5 but Gavrilova reeled off three consecutive points to win the second set. Gavrilova broke serve at the start of the decider and again in the fifth game. As Gavrilova served for the match Giorgi broke back but in the following service game she faced the first match point with a double fault. She saved it but Gavrilova converted the second opportunity.

Gavrilova will face Sara Errani who battled past last year’s Wimbledon quarter finalist Barbora Zahlavova Strykova 6-2 6-7 (1-7) 7-6 (9-7). Errani has won her first match on grass since Wimbledon 2012. Errani was broken in the first game of the first set but she held her service games. Strykova won the second-set tie-break 7-1. The third set also came down to the tie-break. Strykova went up 6-4 and earned two match points but committed a double fault on the second opportunity. Errani earned a match point but Strykova saved it. The Italian closed out on the second match point after 3 hours

Svetlana Kuznetsova beat Flavia Pennetta 6-3 6-3. Kuznetsova broke serve in the fourth game. Pennetta earned a break back point chance in the ninth game as Kuznetsova served for the set but the Russian player saved them with her serve. In the second set Kuznetsova converted her second break point chance in the seventh game.

Dominika Cibulkova beat this year’s Roland Garros finalist Lucie Safarova 7-6 (9-7) 6-4. After a trade of breaks in the third and in the fourth games of the first set Safarova did not convert two points and drooped the first set at the tie-break. Cibulkova broke early in the second set before saving all the six break points

Joanna Konta beat Ekaterina Makarova 6-2 6-4. Another British player Heather Watson rallied from a set set down to beat Elina Svitolina 3-6 7-5 6-4. Sloane Stephens defeated Carla Suarez 6-1 7-5

Nottingham: Baghdatis upsets Ferrer

Marcos Baghdatis upsets David Ferrer 6-2 7-6 (7-4) in the second round of the Aegon Classic in Nottingham. The player from Cyprus scored his first win over a top-10 player in more than two years.

Baghdatis hit nine aces and won 73 percent of his service points. Baghdatis broke twice in the first set before closing out in the eighth game. The second set came down to the tie-break where the Cypriot won 7-4.

Baghdatis will face German rising star Aleksander Zverev who fought back from a set down to edge past Tomas Bellucci 6-7 (7-9) 6-3 6-4.

Gilles Simon fought back from a set down to edge Marcel Granollers 4-6 7-6 (7-3) 7-6 (7-0). Granollers was leading 6-4 5-4 40-0 but Simon saved all the three match points he faced before winning the tie-break. Granollers went up a break in the third game of the decider. Simon broke back at 4-2 before winning the tie-break 7-0

Simone Bolelli overcame Martin Klizan 6-3 6-7 (4-7) 6-1 setting up a third round against Adrian Mannarino who beat Aljaz Bedene 7-6 (7-4) 6-4.

Bolelli held his first service game before breaking serve in the second game. Klizan had to save two break points in the fourth and in the sixth games with his serve. The second set went on serve until 4-4. Bolelli earned two break points which would have enabled to serve for the match but Klizan saved them. After trading mini-breaks Klizan opened up a 4-2 lead but Bolelli drew level to 4-4. Klizan reeled off the next three points to win the tie-break. Bolelli broke serve to love in the sixth game

Andreas Seppi did not recover from the final in Halle and was knocked out by Yen Hsun Lu with 6-4 6-3

Feliciano Lopez defeated 17-year-old Taylor Harry Fritz 6-3 6-3. Fritz, who reached the Roland Garros Junior final and is making his debut on the ATP Tour, upset Pablo Carreno Busta 6-1 6-4.

Leandro Mayer beat 19-year-old Hyeon Chung 6-3 6-1. Dominik Thiem won over Malek Jaziri with 6-3 6-1 Sergiy Stakhovskiy beat Viktor Troicki 6-4 6-2 setting up a third round match against Denis Istomin who cruised past Juan Monaco 6-1 6-2. Alexander Dolgopolov overcame Pablo Andujar 7-6 (7-5) 6-7 (5-7) 6-4

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Jelena Ostapenko cruises into the second round with a straight-set win over Petra Martic in Ostrava

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Former Roland Garros champion and world number 44 Jelena Ostapenko cruised past number 5 seed Petra Martic 6-3 6-1 after 57 minutes to reach the second round at J&T Banka Ostrava Open. 

 

Martic won her previous two head-to-head matches against Ostapenko at Indian Wells in 2018 and in Birmingham in 2019. 

Ostapenko has scored her milestone 20th career over a top-20 rival. The Latvian player hit 30 winners to 15 unforced errors. 

Martic got an early break in the first game and consolidated it with a hold of serve to take a 2-0 lead. Ostapenko saved two break points and held serve for 1-2 before breaking serve with a forehand passing shot in the fourth game to draw level to 2-2. The Latvian player reeled off five consecutive games to open up a 5-2 lead. Martic held serve to claw her way back to 3-5. Ostapenko served out the set at love. Ostapenko hit 20 winners to 10 unforced errors. 

Ostapenko got an early break with a forehand crosscourt winner. The 2017 French Open champion went up a double break and hit a series of forehand winners to race out to a 4-0 lead extending her winning streak to five consecutive games. Martic held serve in the fifth game to close the gap to 1-4. Ostapenko held serve easily to build up a 5-1 lead with a crosscourt backhand winner. In the next game Ostapenko earned two match points, as Martic hit the netcord with a dropshot and closed out the match with a forehand down the line. 

“I think I played really well well today. I just got used to playing the first couple of games, but then I played really well and I did not give her any chances to play her game, and I made so many winners. I played very smart and also used dropshots and mixed it up a little bit, which helped me, but in the deciding moments I was still aggressive. I knew Martic was going to make a lot of balls in play and I would have to be very focused and very consistent to beat her”, said Ostapenko. 

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Maria Sakkari reaches her third quarter final of the season in Ostrava

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Maria Sakkari got through to her third quarter final of the season after beating Elina Svitolina 6-3 6-3 at the J&T Banka Open in Ostrava with five breaks and 32 winners. 

 

Sakkari has already reached two quarter finals in 2020 in St. Petersburg and at the Western and Southern Open in New York and scored the fourth win of her career against a top 5 player. 

Sakkari went up a 3-0 lead with a double break. Svitolina pulled one of the two breaks back in the fourth game to claw his way back to 1-3. Sakkari converted his third break point in the eighth game to win the first set 6-3. 

Svitolina earned her first break in the third game of the second set to take a 2-1 lead. Sakkari battled to deuce four times and converted her third break points in a marathon fourth game to draw level to 2-2. Sakkari earned another brek to open up a 5-3 lead to close out the match after 1 hour and 16 minutes. 

“Obviously winning against a player like Elina, the way I played I think that made me happy today. I think playing like me gives me a lot of confidence. Getting another top 5 win is very important for me. When I was starting my career, I had people telling me that I cannot play indoors. I think it was a big mistake listening to them. I have beaten very good indoor players in St. Petersburg and here in Ostrava. I have developed my game in a way that I can now be dangerous indoor sas well. My serve is big, and I am playing a little bit more aggressive. So I am super happy. I have proved these people wrong”, said Sakkari.

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Grigor Dimitrov rallies from one set down to beat Pablo Andujar in Antwerp

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Grigor Dimitrov came back from one set down to beat Pablo Andujar 4-6 6-3 6-4 at the European Open in Antwerp.

 

Andujar earned the break in the ninth game to win the first set 6-4. Dimitrov went up an early break in the second game to take the second set 6-3. The Bulgarian player raced out to a 4-1 lead with a double break in the decider. Andujar pulled one break back in the sixth game for 2-4. Dimitrov saved four match points in the eighth game to hold serve at deuce and converted his first match point in the 10th game to win the third set 6-4. 

Ugo Humbert came back from one set down to beat this year’s US Open semifinalist Pablo Carreno Busta 5-7 6-3 6-4 after 2 hours and 33 minutes Humbert earned an early break in the second game of the opening set to build up a 5-2 lead. Carreno Busta fought back by winning five consecutive games with two breaks in the ninth and eleventh games to win the first set 7-5. 

Humbert saved four break points in the fifth game before breaking serve in the eighth game to win the second set sending the match to the third set. Humbert fended off four break points at 2-3 in the third set and broke serve to love to take a 5-4 lead, when Carreno Busta made three consecutive groundstroke errors. Humbert has improved his win-loss record to 18-11 and won the ASB Classic title in Auckland last January. The Frenchman scored the biggest win of his career when he beat Danil Medvedev in the Hamburg quarter final. 

Humbert will face either US Taylor Fritz or South African qualifier Lloyd Harris. Fritz dropped six of his first service points in his 7-6 (7-5) 6-1 win over his compatriot Reilly Opelka. 

Milos Raonic beat Aljaz Bedene 6-3 7-6 (7-4) in 86 minutes setting up a second round match against Cameron Norrie. Bedene fended off two match points, when he was serving at 5-6 15-40 to force the second set to the tie-break. Raonic rallied from 1-3 down to win the tie-break 7-4. The Canadian player reached the final at the Western and Southern Open in New York and lost to Borna Coric in the semifinal in St. Petersburg.  

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