Agnieszka Radwanska beats Eugenie Bouchard to advance to the third round in Melbourne - UBITENNIS
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Agnieszka Radwanska beats Eugenie Bouchard to advance to the third round in Melbourne



Agnieszka Radwanska beat Eugenie Bouchard 6-4 6-2 in 1 hour and 23 minutes in a blockbuster second round match to get through to the third round at the Australian Open in Melbourne. Bouchard led 4-2 in the opening set and got a point for 5-3 but Radwanska reeled off six consecutive games to build up a 6-4 2-0 lead en route to her convincing straight-set win.

Radwanska and Bouchard met for a fascinating head-to-head match between two former Australian Open semifinalists and two former Wimbledon finalists.

Radwanska got off to a good start by winning her first title of the year in Shenzhen after finishing the 2015 season with her triumph at the WTA Finals in Singapore. Bouchard reached the quarter finals in Shenzhen and the final in Hobart showing that she is coming back to her best form after a tough 2015 season.

Both players started her Australian Open campaign with straight set wins. Radwanska cruised past Christina McHale 6-2 6-3 in her opening match in Melbourne. Bouchard beat Aleksandra Krunic 6-3 6-4 in just over an hour in the first round.

Radwanska, who reached the semifinal in Melbourne in 2014, won their only head-to-head WTA match in Madrid in 2014 in straight sets with 7-6 6-2.

Bouchard got the first break of the match at deuce in the fifth game of the opening set with her drop-shot to take a 3-2 lead. The young Canadian player held her serve for 4-2 but Radwanska earned two break-back point opportunities in the seventh game. The Pole converted her chance to claw her way back into the set for 3-4. Bouchard earned a break point chance for 5-3 but Radwanska held her service game at deuce to draw level to 4-4 before breaking serve in the ninth game to take the 5-4 lead. Radwanka went up 40-0 when she served for the first set but Bouchard recovered to claw her way back to 40-all forcing the game to deuce (four of the last six games went in the first set went to deuce). Radwanska held her nerve and hit a huge forehand winner on her fifth set point to serve out the first set. Bouchard made 23 costly unforced errors in the first set.

Radwanska went up a set and a break in the first game of the second set with a dipping forehand pass. She reeled off her sixth consecutive game to open up a 2-0 lead. In the third game Bouchard hit her first ace of the match at 40-0 to break the losing streak of six consecutive games for 1-2. Radwanska never looked back and converted her third break point chance of the match to race out to 5-2 before converting her match point at deuce in the next game. Bouchard made a total of 37 unforced errors, including a forehand long on the match point, after wasting three breakpoint chances in that game.

Radwanska will face either Krystina Pliskova or Monica Puig in the third round.

“Of course, that was a great challenge for me to play somebody like Eugenie in the second round. But I think I was doing everything right today. That’s why I win that match in two sets. Definitely it was not an easy draw. I have not  played her for a while. I think she is playing better now than in the last season. She is on the good way to come back. I think in a couple of months we are going to see her much deeper in Grand Slams. I was 100 percent prepared for this match but I knew it wasn’t going to be easy. She has had a good start to her year playing a couple of good matches. I knew I would have to play good tennis today. She was hitting the ball very well. I think I was just more consistent today. That’s why I could really come back in that first set. I was serving good. I was focusing on thatThat helped as well”, said Radwanska. 

Radwanska has continued her excellent period of form after finishing off her 2015 campaign in great style winning the WTA Finals in Singapore.

“I am happy I am still playing the same tennis I was playing at the end of the year. This is a new season and a new tournament. I think it doesn’t really matter what happened last year. We already start a new season. I am confident about my game and I really feel good on courtIt’s not sure I am going to win the match. I still need to work hard. Nothing is going to come for free.”, said Radwanska.

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Linda Noskova cruises past Jelena Ostapenko in Stuttgart to clinch her third top 10 win



Linda Noskova cruised past number 8 seed Jelena Ostapenko 6-3 6-1 on her debut at this tournament in just 68 minutes to reach the second round at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart.

Noskova has claimed her third top 10 win this year. She beat Iga Swiatek in the third round of the Australian Open en route to her first Grand Slam quarter final and Maria Sakkari in Doha. 

Noskova raced out to a 5-1 lead with two breaks of serve in the first and third games. Ostapenko pulled one break back in the eighth game for 3-5. Noskova earned three set points in the ninth game with a return winner and converted her first chance to clinch the first set 6-3. 

Noskova broke twice in the second and fourth games to cruise through the second set 6-1. 

Noskova converted all her five break points. 

Marketa Vondrousova beat Donna Vekic 6-4 6-3 in 1 hour and 26 minutes to reach the second round. The reigning Wimbledon champion converted four of her eight break points. 

Vondrousova went down 2-4 down in the first round, but she came back by winning four games to clinch the first set 6-4. Vondrousova broke in the fourth game of the second set to take a 3-1 lead. The Czech player earned three game points to lead 4-1, but Vekic pulled back on serve at 3-2 with a passing winner. Vondrousova earned another break to take a 5-3 lead after a drop-shot misfire by Vekic and served out the win with two consecutive aces. Vondrousova now leads 2-1 in her head-to-head matches against Vekic. 

Elise Mertens overcame Tatjana Maria 6-1 4-6 6-0 to set up the first clash of her career against world number 1 Iga Swiatek. 

“At the age of 22, it’s unbelievable what Swiatek has already achieved. Definitely in the future, she will achieve a lot more. She is a bit like an all-court, all-around player, so you don’t really find a lot of weaknesses. That’s why she is world number 1”, said Mertens. 

This year’s Abu Dhabi champion Jasmine Paolini cruised past her doubles partner Sara Errani 6-1 6-0 with three breaks of serve in each set. 

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Rafael Nadal makes a winning come-back against Flavio Cobolli in Barcelona



Rafael Nadal made a winning come-back by beating Italy’s Flavio Cobolli 6-2 6-3 in 1 hour and 26 minutes at the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell. The twelve-time Barcelona champion won his third match this year. 

Nadal is playing just his second tournament of the year and his first since last January, when he reached the quarter final in Brisbane. 

Nadal converted two of his eight break points and held four service games in the first set. The Spaniard held serve from 0-30 down in the first set. Cobolli faced two break points in the fourth game and saved them. The Italian player wasted a game point and was broken on Nadal’s third break point after a backhand error. Nadal consolidated the break by holding serve with a service winner to take a 4-1 lead. Cobolli faced four break points in the sixth game, but he saved three of these break points with service winners and held serve with a powerful serve to reduce the gap to 2-4. Nadal held serve at love in the seventh game with a service winner.

Cobolli missed a game point after Nadal’s backhand crosscourt winner, as he was serving to stay in the set in the eighth game. Nadal earned a set point after a forehand error from Cobolli and converted it, when the Italian player netted a forehand. 

Cobolli earned his first break point in the opening game of the second set. Nadal fended it off with a drop shot winner to hold serve after Cobolli’s forehand error. 

Nadal earned two break points, as Cobolli netted a backhand in the second game. The home star converted his break point to open up a 2-0 lead, as Cobolli hit a forehand long. Cobolli broke back in the third game after Nadal made a backhand error. 

Nadal broke serve again in the fourth game to open up a 3-1 lead, when Cobolli made a double fault. The former world number 1 player held his service game with a service winner in the fifth game to open up a 4-1 lead. 

Cobolli held serve to love in the sixth game with a forehand winner to reduce the gap to 2-4. Nadal held serve in the seventh game after a forehand error from Cobolli to open up a 5-2 lead forcing the Italian player to serve  to stay in the match. Cobolli held at love to cut the deficit to 3-5. 

Nadal served out the win with a hold at 15 after Cobolli’s backhand error. Cobolli made 41 unforced errors, including 27 in the opening set. 

Nadal set up a second round match against Alex De Minaur. The 92-time titlist leads 3-1 in his four head-to-head matches against his Australian opponent. 

“Every time it is more difficult and especially when you are at an advanced age. It makes things even tougher. I am going through tough moments but at the same time, when I am able to be on Tour for a few days and practise with the guys then be able to compete a little bit, it means a lot to me. It’s still enjoyable enough to keep going. I am happy to start with a victory without a doubt”, said Nadal.

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Rising Star Mirra Andreeva Teams Up With Wimbledon Champion Martinez



Mirra Andreeva – Australian Open 2024 (foto: X @WTA)

Teenage sensation Mirra Andreeva has begun working with a former Grand Slam champion on a trial basis ahead of the French Open.

The 16-year-old has linked up with Conchita Martinez, who is overseeing her run at this week’s Rouen Open in France. Martinez peaked at a ranking high of No.2 during her career and won 33 WTA titles. After retiring from the sport, she has coached Garbine Muguruza and Karolina Pliskova. 

Andreeva’s latest partnership was formed with the help of her agent ‘two or three weeks ago.’ According to the WTA website, their practice week went well and now they are testing working together during a tournament. 

“So far, so good,” said Andreeva“I like it, I hope she likes it too. We will see how it will go and then we will decide about our next tournaments. I cannot say there are special aspects we are working on. But the first thing we worked on was my slice, because she was a good slicer. So she told me some tricks, and I’m trying to use it when I have time and a good possibility on court.”

Andreeva is currently ranked 43rd in the world and is the youngest player in the top 100. She has already reached the fourth round of both Wimbledon and the Australian Open but is yet to win a WTA title. So far this year the Russian’s best result was a quarter-final appearance at the Brisbane International. 

Martinez, who also reached the last 16 of a major at the age of 16, spoke about the teenager with Ubitennis during last year’s Wimbledon Championships. At the time she pointed out that consistency is key for the youngster.

“The most important thing is that she keeps practising and focusing on what she has to do to get better. It’s great what she is doing now but she has to maintain it,” she commented.

Andreeva kicked off her campaign in Rouen with a 6-1, 6-3, win over Nadia Podoroska. 

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