Women's Qualifying for the Australian Open sees a number of shocks, Francesca Schiavone wins - UBITENNIS
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Women’s Qualifying for the Australian Open sees a number of shocks, Francesca Schiavone wins




Schiavone, who is forced to attempt to qualify for this year’s event, was a quarter-finalist in 2011 (Image via Zimbio.com)

It is not everyday that a former Grand Slam champion is forced to qualify for the main draw of a Grand Slam event, yet that is the situation that Italian Francesca Schiavone found herself in at the 2016 Australian Open. The 2010 French Open champion, seeded sixth in qualifying, survived a tough encounter against An-Sophie Mestach 7-6, 4-6, 6-0 on a day when a number of seeded players were beaten. 


The top two seeds Qiang Wang of China and Nicole Gibbs of the United States suffered no disappointment, as they both progressed with straight sets wins over Misa Eguchi 7-5, 6-2, and Olivia Tjandramulia 6-2, 6-2 respectively.

The same could not be said of Naomi Broady (3), the sister of ATP player Liam Broady. She was beaten by Alize Lim of France 6-3, 2-6, 6-3. Elena Vesnina (11), who has enjoyed a singles ranking as high as twenty-one in the world in 2013, was beaten 6-3, 4-6, 9-7 by China’s Lin Zhu. Sesil Karatantcheva (4) continued the poor luck for seeds going out after a 6-2, 6-0 defeat to Jessica Pegula of the United States.

There were wins for (8) Ying-Ying Duan, over Petra Martic 6-1, 6-2 and (14) Tamira Paszek over Kateryna Kozlova 6-2, 6-4, as some matches finally started going according to ranking.

Pauline Parmentier (10) then returned play to ranking upsets, as she fell 6-3, 6-2 to Risa Ozaki. She was joined in exiting the tournament by Patricia Maria Tig (12) who lost a real battle 7-6, 6-7, 6-3 to Barbora Krejcikova of the Czech Republic.

Maria-Teresa Torro-Flor (13) and Cagla Buyukakcay (19) continued to add to the seed exodus, as they were beaten by  Paula Kania and Maria Sakkari respectively. Rebecca Peterson (20) of Sweden followed, with a 7-6, 6-3 defeat to Lesley Kerkhove of the Netherlands, and Marina Erakovic (24) also suffered an early loss, 0-6, 6-4, 7-5 to Michelle Larcher De Brito of Portugal.

Latvian Anastasija Sevastova (5) managed to avoid the fate of so many others, as she defeated Destanee Aiava comfortably 6-3, 6-2. Shuai Zhang (18) also won by the same scoreline over Luxembourg’s Mandy Minella.

Kai-Chen Chang (22), Tereza Smitkova (17), Julia Glushko(16), and Alexandra Panova (21) all managed to win in straight sets.

Other selected results:

Yafan Wang defs. Katerina Stewart 6-3, 7-5.

Kai-Lin Zhang defs. Su Jeong Jang 6-2, 6-3.

Jana Fett defs. Sara Tomic 6-3, 6-2.

Ivana Jorovic defs. Olivia Rogowska 6-1, 6-1.

Arina Rodionova defs. Stephanie Vogt 6-4, 6-1.

Amandine Hesse defs. Kimiko Date-Krumm 6-2, 6-7, 6-4.

Hiroko Kawata defs. Silvia Soler-Espinosa 6-3, 6-7, 12-10.

Ysaline Bonaventure defs. Zoe Hives 6-2, 6-4.

Luksika Kumkhum defs. Alexa Glatch 6-3, 6-1.






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Novak Djokovic secures win for Serbia in Davis Cup Finals in Innsbruck




Novak Djokovic eased past Dennis Novak 6-3 6-2 to secure a 2-0 win over Austria in Group F at the Davis Cup by Rakuten Finals in Innsbruck. 


Djokovic did not face a break point and won nine of the last eleven games to seal the win after 60 minutes. Djokovic has won his 16th consecutive Davis Cup match. The Serbian player dropped six points on his first serve and never faced any break points. He converted three of his five break points. 

Djokovic earned his first break in the eighth game with an unreturned serve to open up a 5-3 lead and closed out the first set with a hold at 15 in the ninth game after 30 minutes. 

Djokovic went up an early break at the start of the second set and opened up a 3-0 with a double break. Both players held serve in the next five games without facing any break points. Djokovic hit a backhand down the line winner to close out the match, as he was serving for the win at 5-2. 

“It feels great to play for Serbia again. We are part of an individual sport, but I love to play for my country and I try to play when they need me. It has a long year, but you always find extra motivation playing for your country”, said Djokovic. 

Earlier today Dusan Lajovic earned a late break in the third set to battle past Gerald Melzer 7-6 (7-5) 3-6 7-5 to give Serbia an early 1-0 lead. Lajovic wasted a break point but he came back to convert his fourth match point after 2 hours and 42 minutes. 

Spain beats Ecuador 3-0

Olympic bronze medallist Pablo Carreno Busta battled past Ecuador’s Emilio Gomez 5-7 6-3 7-6 (7-5) to seal the win for Spain in Group A at the Caja Magica in Madrid. 

Carreno Busta wasted a 5-2 lead in the third set and two match points at 5-3, but he fought back to win the third-set tie-break 7-5 after 2 hours and 39 minutes. 

“I am very happy because it was a very important victory for the confidence and for the rhythm. In the second and third sets I felt more comfortable than in the first set. I had to continue fighting until the end because he played really well”, said Carreno Busta.  

Earlier on Friday Spanish veteran Feliciano Lopez saved all five break point to beat Roberto Quiroz 6-3 6-3. 

“I still have the passion for the game. Without that passion I would not be here. I am 40 years old and have been playing on the Tour for such a long time and it is true without this passion it would not be possible to keep training each day. I have been waiting for moments like this, giving the first point to my country”, said Lopez. 

Carreno Busta and Marcell Granollers battled past Gonzalo Escobar and Diego Hidalgo 6-4 6-7 (5-7) 7-6 (7-2) after 2 hours and 45 minutes. 

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Italy takes a 2-1 win over the USA in the Davis Cup in Turin




Lorenzo Sonego and Jannik Sinner earned Italy a 2-1 win over the USA in the two singles matches in the Davis Cup by Rakuten Finals at the Pala Alpitour in Turin. 


Turin-native player Lorenzo Sonego beat US giant Reilly Opelka 6-3 7-6 (7-4) in 1 hour and 31 minutes minutes. Sonego won 90% of his first service points and saved the only break point he faced at 3-3 before earning his first break at deuce in the eighth game after a double fault from Opelka to take a 5-3 lead. The local favourite served it out on his first set point. 

Opelka fended off a break point in the seventh game to hold serve at deuce. Both players went on serve in the next games en route to the tie-break without facing any break points. Sonego earned the decisive mini-break on the first point and held on his serve to win the tie-break 7-4. 

“It was not easy. It was the first time for me competing at the Davis Cup and I am really happy about the match. Thank you everyone”, said Sonego.

Jannik Sinner cruised past John Isner 6-2 6-0 after 1 hour and 2 minutes. Sinner won 9 consecutive games from 3-2 in the first set. Sinner broke twice in the third and seventh games to seal the opening set 6-2. Sinner went up a break in the first game before saving three consecutive break points in the second game. The Italian player earned two more breaks in the third and fifth games to take a bagel win in the second set. Sinner hit 16 winners to just 4 unforced errors. 

“Playing here was very special. Today we have already won. We have a great team and everyone is a great guy as well, so we are just trying to stay together. I am very honoured to be a part of this”, said Sinner. 

Rajeev Ram and Jack Sock edged past Fabio Fognini and Lorenzo Musetti 7-6 (7-5) 6-2 after 1 hour and 36 minutes.  Fognini and Musetti went up a mini-break to take a 5-4 lead, but Ram and Sock won the final three points to win the tie-break 7-5. In the second set Fognini and Musetti wasted five break points. Ram and Sock earned two breaks in the first and fifth games to close out the second set 6-2. 

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Nicholas Mahut and Pierre Hugues Herbert take decisive doubles match win in the Davis Cup




This year’s Nitto ATP Finals champions Nicholas Mahut and Pierre Hugues Herbert came back from one set down to beat Tomas Machac and Jiri Lehecka 3-6 6-4 6-3 in the decisive doubles match sealing a 2-1 win for France over Czech Republic in Group C of the Davis Cup by Rakuten in Innsbruck. 


Lehecka and Machac broke twice in the fourth and sixth games to win the first set 6-3. Lehecka saved four break points, but they dropped their serve in the 10th game to lose the second set 6-4. Herbert and Mahut converted their second break point to close out the third set 6-3. 

“It was difficult because the Czech team played very well, and we arrived late from Turin. I thought we had a slow start, but in the second and third sets we played well”, said Nicholas Mahut. 

Mahut and Herbert saved four of the five break points and hit five aces to seal the win after 2 hours and five minutes. 

Twenty-one year-old Machac gave an early lead to Czech Republic with a 7-6 (7-3) 6-2 over French veteran Richard Gasquet on his Davis Cup debut in the opening singles match. 

Machac came back from a break down and broke straight back to draw level to 2-2. The Czech player earned four mini-breaks to win the tie-break 7-3. Gasquet saved four break points in the first game of the second set, but Machac broke serve twice to win the second set 6-2. 

“It feels really good. I am so happy I played today and won today for Czech Republic. It was a really tough match from the beginning, mentally especially. I am really happy. In the tie-break I played really well without any mistakes. That was the crucial moment”, said Machac. 

Adrian Mannarino came back from one set down to beat Jiri Vesely 6-7 (1-7) 6-4 6-2 after 2 hours and 38 minutes. Mannarino won 77% of his first serve points. Vesely came back from 2-5 down in the first set to win the win the tie-break 7-1. Mannarino earned a break at love in the third game to win the second set 6-2. Vesely saved four break points in the first game of the third set. Mannarino broke twice in the third and fifth games to seal the third set 6-2. 

“I was trying my best to keep fighting. I served very well in the key moments, which helps. I got used to the speed of his serve He was serving very fast and at beginning it was tough. On his second serve at the end, I was putting a lot of pressure on it”, said Mannarino. 

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