Roberta Vinci Will Play Her Last Season in 2016 - UBITENNIS
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Roberta Vinci Will Play Her Last Season in 2016

Ivan Pasquariello

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Roberta Vinci talked to the media after losing to Venus Williams in Zhuhai and revealed that 2016 will be her last season on the WTA tour.

 

 

Roberta Vinci was ousted in straight sets in the semi-finals of the WTA Elite Trophy tournament in Zhuhai by Venus Williams. The 32-year-old Italian played her last match in the 2015 season and meeting the press after the match revealed the next will also be her last season on the WTA tour.

A finalist this year at the US Open, Vinci has climbed the rankings as high as World No.11 in 2013. Losing to Flavia Pennetta in the first historical all-Italian Grand Slam final, seeing her long-time friend and US Open champion shock the tennis community announcing her retirement at the end of the season. Roberta decided to announce her plans for retirement in Asia, not looking for a big shocker, but rather calmly and maturely revealing her thoughts and current dreams of life after tennis.

“For me, next year is the last,” told Roberta to the reporters in Zhuhai “probably I don’t change my mind but you never know. I don’t want to play more and more and more. I had success, I had victories, but sometimes it is time to change and stop”.

Vinci will try to break into the top 10 for the first time in her career next year, following in the footsteps of fellow Italians Francesca Schiavone, Sara Errani and Flavia Pennetta.

 

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Maria Sakkari beats Krystina Pliskova avenging her recent defeat in Palermo

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Maria Sakkari beat Krystina Pliskova 6-3 6-3 in the first round of inaugural the J&T Banka Ostrava. 

 

Sakkari avenged her recent defeat against Pliskova, who beat her Greek rival 6-4 6-4 in Palermo. 

The young Greek player broke four times and fired 28 winners setting up a match against number 1 seed Elina Svitolina, who received a bye into the second round.

Sakkari earned two break points in Pliskova’s first service game. The Greek player got the first break of the match in the seventh game to take a 4-3 lead and won the final two games including another break at love in the ninth game. 

Sakkari broke serve in the sixth game to open up a 4-2 lead in the second set. Pliskova converted her sixth break point in a marathon game. Sakkari broke serve in the eighth game before serving out on her first match point after 1 hour and 20 minutes. 

“I kept a similar tactic to last time, but I think I executed it better than then. It was just a better performance overall. We worked a little bit differently preparing for Ostrava. I feel like I did what we worked on last week”,said Sakkari. 

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Frances Tiafoe beats Dusan Lajovic in Antwerp

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Frances Tiafoe beat Dusan Lajovic 6-3 7-6 (8-6) in the first round of the European Open in Antwerp. 

 

Tiafoe claimed the first set 6-3 with a double break in the fifth and ninth games. Lajovic broke serve in the seventh game of the second set to take a 4-3 lead. 

Tiafoe converted his third break-back point in the 10th game, as Lajovic was serving for the second set. In the tie-break Lajovic earned a set point at 6-5, but Tiafoe saved it and won the final two points to take the win. 

Feliciano Lopez beat Tommy Paul 6-3 6-2 with three breaks of serve. Lopez saved a break point in the third game and held serve at deuce to take a 2-1 lead. The Spanish veteran converted his second break point from 15-40 down in the sixth game to take a 4-2 lead and held his next two service games to close out the first set 6-3. Lopez got two breaks in the third and seventh games to win the second set 6-2. 

Lloyd Harris cruised past Federico Coria 6-4 6-0 with four breaks. Ugo Humbert beat Kimmer Coppejans 6-4 6-3 with one break in each set. 

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Anett Kontaveit fends off two match points to win a hard–fought match against Ekaterina Alexandrova

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This year’s Palermo finalist Anett Kontaveit came back from a double break down  in the third set and faced two match points in the decisive third set to battle past Ekaterina Alexandrova 4-6 6-2 7-6 (8-6) in the first round at J&T Banka Ostrava Open. 

 

Alexandrova has won 33 of her past 39 indoor matches in the last two seasons since October 2018. The Russian player was leading 5-2 in the third set and 6-4 in the tie-break and served for the match three times. 

Alexandrova earned the first break point of the match in the third game with her backhand and converted it as Kontaveit sent her forehand into the net. Alexandrova came to within two points of taking a double break for 4-1, but Kontaveit hit two forehands to hold her service game. Kontaveit broke back at love in the sixth game and held serve to take a 4-3 lead. Alexandrova broke again in the ninth game to take a 5-4 lead and converted her second set point in the 10th game with a forehand wiiner. 

In the first game of the second set Alexandrova came close to converting her fourth break point with a crosscourt forehand, but a Hawkeye overrule that it had barely missed clipping the line. Kontaveit held her serve with two service winners. The 24-year-old Estonian player broke serve with a forehand winner to open up a 2-0 lead. Alexandova broke straight back in the third game. Kontaveit broke twice in the fourth and eighth games to seal the second set 6-2 with a lob. 

Alexandrova started the third set with an early break at deuce with a forehand winner down the line. The Russian player won nine consecutive points to get a double break for 4-1 with two consecutive forehand winners. At 5-2 Alexandrova wasted her first chance to serve out the win after a double fault and dropped her serve. Kontaveit pulled her second break back in the 10th game to draw level to 5-5 with a forehand. Alexandrova broke again with her forehand in the 11th game to take a 6-5 lead. Kontaveit broke back with a backhand return winner forcing the second set to the tie-break. Kontaveit saved two match points after Alexandrova netted her forehand on the first chance and Kontaveit hit a backhand winner on the second. Kontaveit converted her first match point with a forehand volley to set up a second round match against either Magda Linette or a qualifier. 

“I was so close to being out, so I just tried to stay in the match. I never really gave up. I tried to be a little more aggressive, when I was down. I felt maybe I had taken a little bit off my shots”, said Kontaveit. 

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