UPDATE: Flavia Pennetta secures her spot for Singapore but retires from Moscow - UBITENNIS
Connect with us

Hot Topics

UPDATE: Flavia Pennetta secures her spot for Singapore but retires from Moscow

Published

on

 

 

US Open champion Flavia Pennetta has secured her eighth place in the WTA Race to Singapore and qualified for the WTA Finals in Singapore thanks to her 6-2 6-4 win over 21-year-old Daria Gavrilova from Australia in one hour and 31 minutes at the Kremlin Cup in Moscow. After the match the Italian has decided to retire from the quarter finals in Moscow to focus on Singapore. Reaching the WTA Finals is the best way to end her great career

“Qualifying for the WTA Finals is a dream come true and the perfect way to end an amazing season. It will be a wonderful way to say goodbye to tennis. It’s a spectacular stage to bow out on. Having won the WTA doubles title I can’t wait to make my debut in singles”, said Pennetta

Pennetta converted on her fourth break point in the 14-point first game of the first set. Gavrilova brought up a break point in the fourth game but Pennetta saved it to take a 3-1 lead. Pennetta went up a double break in the fifth game to pull away to 4-1. Gavrilova, who beat Maria Sharapova in Miami, broke serve on her sixth break point chance in the next game. Pennetta broke again immediately in the seventh game before closing out the set for 6-2

After calling a medical time-out to treat a bladder on her foot at 1-2 Pennetta broke to love in the fifth game to take a 3-2 lead after Gavrilova made three double faults. Gavrilova broke back for 3-3 as Pennetta sent her forehand wide. Pennetta got another break in the seventh game for 4-3. In the 10th game Pennetta committed two double faults and was had to save four break points with her serve and two forehands before closing out on her first match point as Gavrilova hit her smash into the net.

Thanks to this win Pennetta is very close to securing her berth for Singapore. She would become the fifth Italian player to qualify for the “Masters” or ATP/WTA Tournament at men’s or women’s level after Adriano Panatta in 1975, Corrado Barazzutti in 1978, Raffaella Reggi in 1986, 1987 and 1989, Silvia Farina in 2001 and 2002, Francesca Schiavone in 2010 and Sara Errani in 2012 and 2013.

Anastasya Pavlyuchenkova, winner in Linz last Sunday, edged past 2015 Roland Garros finalist and second seeded player Lucie Safarova in three sets with 6-1 6-7 (2-7) 6-3.

Safarova just played her second match in the last 50 days after being hospitalized with an infectious disease which forced her to miss the post US Open season. She made her come-back to the court last week in Linz where she lost against Romanian Andrea Mitu. In the first set she was brushed aside by Pavlyuchenkova who dropped just one game in the first set.

In the second set Safarova missed three break points in the second game before before dropping her serve in the sixth game to trail 2-4. Safarova was on the verge of defeat when she went down 2-5 but she bounced back reeling off three games. Pavlyuchenkova took the 6-5 lead after saving a break point. Safarova faced a match point in the next game but was able to save it with an ace forcing the match to the tie-break. Pavlyuchenkova made two double faults and another error with her her drop-shot. Safarova won the set on the ninth point.

In the third set Safarova fended off three break points but Pavlyuchenkova got the crucial break in the fifth game at 2-2. The Russian player got a double break in the ninth game to seal the win. In the quarter finals Pavlyuchenkova will face Margarita Gasparyan

After the defeat of Safarova Angelique Kerber has secured her spot in the WTA Finals in Singapore. The German has reached the WTA Finals for the third time after qualifying 2012 and 2013. Kerber won four titles in Charleston, Stuttgart, Birmingham and Stanford.

Lucie Safarova currently holds the number eight spot but, after her defeat in the first round of the Kremlin Cup, she can be overtaken by Carla Suarez Navarro if the Spanish player reaches the final in Moscow

Focus

Petra Kvitova Edges Ash Barty To Set Sabalenka Clash In Doha

Petra Kvitova reached her second Doha final with a three set victory over Ashleigh Barty

Published

on

Petra Kvitova (@Dohastadiumplus - Twitter)

Petra Kvitova edged out world number one Ash Barty 6-4 2-6 6-4 to reach the Doha final, where she will face Aryna Sabalenka. 

 

In one of the most fiercely contested rivalries on the WTA tour right now, Petra Kvitova edged out the world number one in three sets to book her place in Saturday’s final.

Three breaks of serve occurred to start the match as Kvitova managed to gain the early advantage with some big-hitting and tight angles.

Although Barty had her chances to break in the eighth game, the Czech Republican managed to hold on and claim the opening set.

However the world number one struck back in the second set as she raised her level as she caused Kvitova problems with her slices.

Two breaks of serve in the fourth and eight games secured the second set as she levelled the match at one set all.

Both players started the deciding set by cruising to service holds as Barty was looking for a fifth consecutive victory over the world number 11.

After exchanging breaks of serve in the middle of the set, Kvitova took control as she broke the Australian for a fourth time for the match as she gained a 4-3 advantage.

Despite some tremendous pressure from Barty, the Czech Republican held on to seal a 1 hour and 52 minute win to reach her second Doha final.

An inspired performance from Kvitova means she will go for her 28th career title tomorrow when she faces Aryna Sabalenka in tomorrow’s final.

The Belarusian reached the final by beating Svetlana Kuznetsova in straight sets in the other semi-final. Tomorrow’s final will take place at 6pm local time.

Continue Reading

Hot Topics

Ruthless Rafael Nadal Sets Up Showdown With Dimitrov In Mexico

The world No.2 is yet to drop a set in the tournament.

Published

on

Top seed Rafael Nadal has continued his dominant run at this week’s Mexican Open by dropping just three games during his quarter-final clash against South Korea’s Soonwoo Kwon.

 

The 19-time grand slam champion dictated proceedings from the onset as he broke his rival twice in each set to score the 6-1, 6-2, victory. Hitting a total of 25 winners against 11 unforced errors. Despite the scoreline, the Spaniard was tested at times by the world No.76 during their encounter as he saved all eight break points he faced.

”The match has been much tougher than what the result said. I think it was a beautiful match to see,” atptour.com quoted Nadal as saying after. “It was a good match against a tough opponent. I think he’s going to have a very good tennis career.”

So far in the tournament, the 33-year-old has only dropped 15 games in total. Earlier in the week he also scored victories over Miomir Kecmanović and Pablo Andujar. The win-loss record of the two-time champion in Acapulco now stands at 18-2.

Awaiting Nadal in the semi-finals will be Grigor Dimitrov, who got a revenge win over Stan Wawrinka. Coming into the last eight of the tournament, Dimitrov has lost to his Swiss rival five consecutive times on the tour. He managed to end the losing streak with a 6-4, 6-4, victory to reach his first semi-final of 2020. The former grand slam semi-finalist said his victory was inspired by those previous losses.

”I’ve played quite a few times against Stan and we’ve practised together so many times. Between us, it’s mainly a mental battle,” Dimitrov said. “I had lost the past five times against him, but those losses have inspired me. Those losses helped me. Even though it hurts saying it, I’m admitting it. I wanted to stand tall tonight.”

Nadal has a one-sided head-to-head lead of 12-1 against his upcoming rival in Mexico. The only time he lost to Dimitrov was at the 2016 Beijing Open. Although he is taking nothing for granted.

”[Dimitrov] finished last year much better than how he had played the rest of that year. He started to play some good tennis and is showing it here, winning some very good matches,” Nadal said. “I’m going to need my best and I hope I’m ready to make it happen.”

In the other section of the draw, Taylor Fritz is experiencing his best run at a tournament since the Los Cabos Open in August after downing Kyle Edmund 6-4, 6-3. Despite a tentative start where he lost two out of his first three service games, he managed to gain momentum with the help of 11 aces as he won 74% of his first service points.

”When Kyle and I play each other, it’s all about who is going to get the first big shot in,” Fritz reflected on his win. “Even when I was nervous, I was telling myself to still go for my shots.”

The 22-year-old faces compatriot John Isner for a place in the final. Isner experienced a much tougher encounter on Thursday as he battled past Tommy Paul 7-6(3), 3-6, 6-2. The world No.20 is playing in Acapulco for the sixth time in his career and is yet to reach the final.

”I’m expecting a really good match. Taylor is confident every time he takes the court,” Isner previewed. “He’s an absolute gamer and I respect the heck out of him. He straps on his shoes and goes to battle.”

Isner lost to Fritz earlier this year at the ASB Classic in Auckland, but leads their head-to-head 2-1.

Continue Reading

Hot Topics

By The Numbers: 15 Things To Know About Maria Sharapova’s Career

Ubitennis looks at the figures behind one of the most well known tennis players in recent history.

Published

on

On Wednesday Maria Sharapova announced her immediate retirement from tennis at the age of 32. Her decision comes following recent struggles with injuries that has sidelined her from the tour for weeks. Pulling the curtain on a career that has lasted almost 18 years.

 

The best way to look at Sharapova’s career is to look at the numbers behind it. Here are 15 things you need to know about the former world No.1 and her legacy in the sport.

1 – her sole WTA Finals title took place back in 2004. She qualified and played at the season-ending event eight times throughout her career and was also runner-up in 2007 and 2012.

3 – number of WTA doubles titles she won between 2003-2004. She claimed two trophies with Thailand’s Tamarine Tanasugarn and one with Maria Kirilenko.

5 – number of grand slam titles won (Wimbledon 2004, US Open 2006, Australian Open 2008, French Open 2012 and 2014).

6 – Sharapova is one of six women in the Open Era to have won a career slam. Where a player wins ever major event at least once in their careers. The others are Margaret Court, Chris Evert, Martina Navratilova, Steffi Graf and Serena Williams.

10 – the number of seasons where she finished the year inside the top 10 (2004-08 and 2011-15).

15 – Sharapova was banned from the sport for a total of 15 months due to a failed doping test after testing positive for Meldonium. She was originally issued with a 24-month penalty before an appeal reduced that sentence.

20 – the number of times she lost to Serena on the tour. Overall, they played each other 22 times and Sharapova did at one stage lead their head-to-head 2-1.

21 – weeks spent at world No.1. She has held the top position for a longer period than rivals such as Venus Williams, Ana Ivanovic, Jelena Jankovic, Kim Clijsters and Jennifer Capriati.

36 – number of WTA titles won. Her first triumph was at the 2003 Japan Open and her last was at the 2017 Tianjin Open in China.

98 – number of wins over top 10 opposition. Out of that figure, she has defeated a world No.1 player seven times.

645 – number of singles matches won during her career on the WTA Tour.

2002 – the year she made her WTA debut at the age of 14 in Indian Wells. She defeated world No.302 Brie Rippner in her opening match before falling to Monica Seles.

2020 – At the 2020 Australian Open, Sharapova played her final competitive match after losing in the first round to Donna Vekic.

$38.8 million – Career prize money won. As of this week, only two players have earned more than the 32-year-old is the history of Women’s tennis. Venus Williams’ tally stands at $41.8M and sister Serena is way ahead on $92.7M.

$325 million – What Forbes Magazine estimated to be Sharapova’s total earnings throughout her career. The figure also includes sponsorships and appearance fees. On the WTA Tour only Serena has made more with her earnings believed to be in the region of $350M.

 

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending