Day 3 Wimbledon 2015: Williams Sisters and Sharapova through as Ivanovic bids adieu - UBITENNIS
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Day 3 Wimbledon 2015: Williams Sisters and Sharapova through as Ivanovic bids adieu

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TENNIS – Serena and Venus Williams Sisters remain on course to meet each other in the Round of 16 as they both won their 2nd round matches in straight sets. They join Maria Sharapova and Victoria Azarenka in the 3rd round. However, Ana Ivanovic was been dismissed in straight sets by Betthanie Mattek-Sands Cordell Hackshaw

 

USUAL SUSPECTS
Serena Williams (1) needed only 59 minutes to get past Timea Babos 6-4 6-1. Serena had 12 aces included her her 23 winners to 9 errors. However, it was hard to tell whether these were impressive numbers for Serena as she looked often to be uptight and far too tensed. Nonetheless, it was solid performance and will play Heather Watson in the 3rd round. Serena is on course to meet her big sister, Venus Williams (16) in the 4th round as Venus also got through her 2nd round match 7-6(5) 6-4 over Yulia Putintseva. It was a tough match but Venus played all the important points better relying on her big serve to get her out of trouble.

Maria Sharapova (4) had another easy day at the office. Richel Hogenkamp never looked to challenge the Russian at all. Sharapova broke for 4-2 in the opening set but soon allowed Hogenkamp back into the set with 3 consecutive double faults. However, Hogenkamp could not withstand the pressure on her own service game as Sharapova broke back and quickly closed out the set 6-3. In the 2nd set, it was all Sharapova as she got out to a 4-0 lead and never looked back; 6-3 6-1 in 65 minutes.

Victoria Azarenka (23) got by the tricky opponent Kirsten Flipkens. Flipkens fought hard but in the end, she could not withstand the massive groundstrokes from Azarenka who dictated play from the opening point. Azarenka always took the early lead but Flipkens always found a way to get back into the set. It was at this point that Azarenka would put her head down and just quickly assert herself into the match, taking it 6-3 6-3. Azarenka had 21 winners and 13 errors compared to 14 winners and 11 errors from Flipkens. Also through in straight sets is French Open finalist Lucie Safarova (6) who got through Su-Wei Hsieh 6-2 6-3.

UPSETS
Bethanie Mattek-Sands upset Ana Ivanovic (7) in straight sets 6-3 6-4. Mattek-Sands took this match from the very start. She broke Ivanovic for a 3-0 lead and maintained this advantage for the set. Ivanovic just never looked comfortable on the day as she broke back for 2-3 but got broken immediately thereafter to be down 2-4. Mattek-Sands was not about to relinquish lead as she took it 6-3. In the 2nd set, the sudden charge that one expected from Ivanovic to level the match never came as she made unforced error after unforced error. One of the more difficult task for the Serbian was to deal with the superior net game from the American. Mattek-Sands won 29/38 points up at net compared to 6/9 for Ivanovic. The American had twice the number of errors of her opponent, 32 to 15. Particularly more glaring for Ivanovic was the fact that she only broke Mattek-Sands once, 1/8 in break point conversion. Mattek-Sands will take on Bencic for a spot in the 2nd week of Wimbledon.

Karolina Pliskova (11) has been dismissed by American Coco Vandeweghe in straight sets. Pliskova just never looked comfortable throughout the match. Having had a wonderful 2015 with so many solid results at tournaments, the Czech player is having difficulties managing matches. Both big servers, it was no surprise that the opening set was decided in a tiebreaker. However, Vandeweghe had 4 chances to close out the set up 6-5. They were all on the Pliskova serve and the Czech hammered down some big serves to force the breaker. In the breaker, Pliskova got out to a 3-0 lead but again, she lost her way as the American surged ahead to take it 7-5 points. In the 2nd set, Pliskova again took the early lead 3-0 but could not maintain it. Vandeweghe won 5 straight games and then closed out the match 7-6 6-4 for the 3rd round.

SURPRISES
Local favourite, Heather Watson had a very easy time against veteran Daniela Hantuchova. One expected a stronger showing from the Slovakian but Hantuchova was unable to sustain any lead she achieved in the match. Up 3-1 in the opening set, Watson reeled off 4 straight games for 5-3 and then closed out the set 6-4. In the 2nd set, it was all Watson. She broken to open the set and though she was broken immediately, Watson again went on a 4-game streak for 5-1. Watson then served it out 6-4 6-2.

Sloane Stephens got through unscathed against fellow American Lauren Davis 6-4 6-4 in 68 minutes. It was a nervy match for both players but it was Stephens who was able to steady the ship when things got to rocky. She moves into the 3rd round to Safarova for a place in the 4th Round. Belinda Bencic (30) had a tough fight on her hands v. Anna-Lena Friedsam of Germany. Friedsam who recently caused Serena Williams some trouble at the French Open, showed once again that she is no pushover. However as in the French Open, she cannot sustain the high level of play. After splitting the first two sets, she ran out of steam in the 3rd as Bencic took it 7-5 4-6 6-0. Bencic will take on Mattek-Sands for a place in the 2nd week of Wimbledon.

Kristina Mladenovic finds herself in the 3rd round of Wimbledon after getting by Jelena Ostapenko in straight sets 6-4 7-5. Ostapenko took out 9th seed, Carla Suarez-Navarro in quick fashion in the opening round but Mladenovic provided a much bigger challenge that the Spaniard.

OTHER WINNERS
Sam Stosur (22) got through the unpredictable opponent Urszula Radwanska 6-3 6-4. She will play Vandeweghe in the 3rd round. Zarina Diyas got by Aliaksandra Sasonovich 7-5 6-1. Sasonovich was in the ascendency in the opening set but could not maintain the lead as Diyas wrest control of the match for the win and a place in the 3rd round. Irina Begu (29) is also through to the 3rd round when she defeated Lesia Tsurenko. Both Madison Keys (21) and Elizaveta Kulichkova both completed their 1st round matches were were suspended late on Day 2 because of poor lighting.

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Magda Linette Wins Her Maiden WTA Title at the Maiden Bronx Open

The Polish player has struck gold in New York at the age of 27.

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NEW YORK: 27-year-old Magda Linette of Poland needed to qualify to get into the inaugural Bronx Open, and won eight matches in nine days to be the last woman standing. 27-year-old Camila Giorgi of Italy had survived two third set tiebreaks this week, and saved four match points in yesterday’s semifinals, but couldn’t close out Linette despite leading for most of today’s final. For the Italian, it’s her second loss in a final within the past four weeks, with both defeats as the expense of first-time WTA champions.

 

In the first set, a deep backhand return earned Giorgi a break point in the first game, and a Linette groundstroke that soared beyond the baseline gave the Italian the early advantage.  But Giorgi would make four consecutive errors in the next game to give the break right back, a sign of how back-and-forth this final would be. After Linette held at love, Giorgi would double fault three times in a row from 30-0 up, and a Linette drop shot winner clinched the break and a 3-1 for Magda. But with the lead, Linette double faulted twice herself, then committed two backhand errors to hand the break right back at love. Both women were obviously quite tight to start on this big occasion.

At 3-3, Linette faced two more break points, yet held with some strong serving and some great defense. They would both hold easily in the next few games until 5-5. In the first point of the eleventh game, a Giorgi ball would clip the net cord and creep over the net for a winner. And Linette would not win another point in the set thereafter, as Giorgi would break at love and then hold at love to win the set.

The net cord would also prove crucial to start the second set, but this bounce would go Linette’s way, giving her the early 2-0 lead. She’d maintain the lead until 4-2, when Giorgi struck three huge forehand winners to break at love. Linette allowed a break point to slip by in the next game with some unforced errors, and Giorgi held to even the set at 4-4. And the ninth game of the set would be an extended affair. Two Magda double faults granted Camila another break point, which Linette saved. As the game went on for many deuces, Magda saved a second one with an ace, and a third with an unreturned serve. On a fourth break point, Giorgi pinned Linette in the corner with a great return, but didn’t put away her shot at the net, enabling Magda to hit a cross court pass. Linette finally took the next two points and held for 5-4. Magda earned two set points in the next game, but misfired when it mattered, making it 5-5. After a Linette hold, a Giorgi double fault gifted Magda two more set points. And Linette would only need one, leveling the match with a cross court forehand winner.

In the first game of the decider, a Linette double fault on break point gave Giorgi the immediate advantage. Serving at 1-3, Magda survived another long, grueling service game, saving multiple break points to keep herself within striking distance. When Giorgi served at 4-3, Linette earned three break points, and she’d convert on the third when a Camila forehand just barely missed the baseline. Magda then held at love to claim her first lead of the set at 5-4. In the next game, Linette earned a match point with a forehand winner down the line. And with a Giorgi error into the net, Linette captured her first WTA title.


Following the match, Magda spoke to me regarding the long, pivotal service games that she pulled out in both the second and third sets. She explained how she focused on getting her first serve in as to not allow Giorgi to pounce on her second serve. And when speaking to me about how she persevered in those pressure moments, Magda credited her extensive match play over the last nine days. “The seven matches before gave me the confidence,” Magda stated. She’d go on to tell me, “I was not nervous, I guess that was the plus of all the matches that I played before, that’s when it showed up.”

There was a sizeable Polish contingent which showed up in the Bronx today to cheer on Linette, becoming more vocal as the match progressed. She would spend considerable time thanking them and celebrating with them after the match. When asked about how much their support meant to her, Magda said, “I’m really thankful to them that they came and supported me. And it’s great because we don’t have a tournament in Poland, we are not really used to having a home crowd. So it’s great that they always come for the big tournaments, and I’m so happy that they came to watch my final”

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WTA Bronx: Camila Giorgi Set For Title Showdown With Magda Linette

Camila Giorgi has twice survived a third set tiebreak this week, and saved four match points just yesterday, but can she claim the title?

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In Friday’s semifinals, Giorgi faced the top seed and world No.18 Qiang Wang.  This match would see a ton of service breaks, with each set consisting of five or more.  They would split the first two sets by identical scores of 6-4. In the third, the 27-year-old from China served for the match at 5-4, and would hold a match point, but Giorgi would save it and break for 5-5.  Camila’s firepower allows her to dictate play more often than not, and she’s continually lifted her game at the right moments this week.

 

Giorgi would then garner a match point of her own on Wang’s serve at 6-5, but also failed to convert.  In the deciding tiebreak, Qiang gained the early mini-break on the first point with a backhand winner down the line.  But Camila would punish an extremely soft second serve and get the breaker right back on serve. Wang then took advantage of a Giorgi forehand clipping the net, giving her extra time to rip a forehand and regain the mini-break.  They switched sides with Wang leading 4-2.

A few Giorgi errors gave Wang three more match points 6-3, with two of them on Qiang’s serve.  But Wang’s forehand misfired on both of the match points on her serve, and then Giorgi would put away a backhand volley to level things at 6-6.  Camila would again strike some deep and powerful groundies when she needed them, granting herself a match point at 7-6 on Wang’s serve. And Wang would sail a backhand beyond the baseline, sending the 27-year-old Italian into tomorrow’s final in dramatic fashion.

It’s the second final in four weeks for Giorgi, who was stunned in the Washington final by a first-time WTA champion, Jessica Pegula.  Camila saw her ranking fall outside the top 50 last month when her Wimbledon quarterfinalist points from 2018 dropped off her 52-week tally, but she’ll return to the top 50 with today’s win.  In her career, Giorgi is 2-5 in WTA tournament finals, with her most recent title coming last October at the Linz Open.

On Saturday in the first Bronx Open singles final, she’ll face another 27-year-old in Magda Linette of Poland.  This is only Linette’s second WTA-level final in her career, with the last coming four years ago in Tokyo. She lost in that final to Yanina Wickmayer, so a win today would give Magda her first career singles title.  Linette had to qualify to get into this draw, meaning this will be her seventh match in nine days. On Friday, she ousted Katerina Siniakova in straight sets, a day after surviving a third set tiebreak of her own in the quarterfinals against Karolina Muchova.

As much tennis as Linette has played in the Bronx, she may be the fresher of the two finalists.  Giorgi’s semifinal was played later in the day on Friday, and lasted nearly three hours. In their only previous meeting, Giorgi prevailed in three sets, on a hard court in Linette’s home country four years ago.

The first Bronx Open doubles champions were crowned on Friday, with Darija Jurak and Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez defeating Margarita Gasparyan and Monica Niculescu in a deciding 10-point tiebreak 10-7.  This is the first title for this team, which was formed just a few weeks ago in Canada.

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Chris Evert On Why Coco Gauff Winning The US Open May Not Be A Good Thing

The former world No.1 speaks out about the teenage tennis prodigy.

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Cori Gauff - Wimbledon 2019 (photo via Twitter, @Wimbledon)

At next week’s US Open, one of the talking points of the women’s draw will be rising star Coco Gauff who will be making her main draw debut at Flushing Meadows.

 

The 15-year-old tennis prodigy grabbed the attention of many during the Wimbledon Championships. It was at the event where she became the youngest player in the Open Era to successfully qualify. Then she stunned former world No.1 Venus Williams, Magdalena Rybarikova and Polona Hercog en route to the fourth round. Where she lost to eventual champion Simona Halep.

Gauff’s rapid rise in the sport has caught the attention of both her rivals and sponsors. She already has deals with Barilla and New Balance. Amounting to an estimated $1 million, according to Forbes Magazine. Those brands will be hoping for the teenager to make another deep run at the final grand slam of the season. However, one former champion has warned against any potential success.

18-time grand slam champion Chris Evert is concerned that too much is happening to Gauff at a young age. Going as far as saying that success at the major event could be counterproductive. Gauff is currently ranked 141st in the world and is the youngest player in the top 500.

“I don’t know if it’d be necessarily great for her to win the Open.” Evert said during an interview with The New York Post.
“If she continues to play the way she is, have some big wins, still develop her game and be a normal 15-year-old with some semblance of privacy, then that’d be the most successful picture of her.’
“There’s no doubt there is Grand Slam potential in her, after watching her at Wimbledon. But I am very cautious because she is so young and so many things can happen between 15 and 20 (years old), mentally, physically, emotionally.”

Evert was 19 when she won her first major title at the 1974 French Open. In total she contested 34 grand slam finals over a 15-year period.

Earlier this week Gauff made an appearance at the Winston-Salem Open. A men’s tournament that is categorised as an ATP 250 event. She took to the court to play an exhibition match against world No.2 Ash Barty. Gauff edged out the reigning French Open champion 6-4, 2-6, [10-8].

“It was super fun. It’s different to kinda play in an atmosphere like that and not be in a tournament. It was cool to play with Ash and hopefully we can do it again sometime,” Gauff told reporters on Wednesday.
“I’m kind of sad to leave [Winston-Salem] because New York is busy but it was good to get the calm before the storm.”

Gauff will take on Russian world No.76 Anastasia Potapova in the first round of the US Open. There is a chance that she could play defending champion Naomi Osaka in the tournament if they both reach the third round.

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