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

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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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Anett Kontaveit beats Petra Martic to reach the final in Palermo

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World number 22 Anett Kontaveit from Estonia upset number 1 seed Petra Martic 6-2 6-4 to reach the final at the Ladies Open in Palermo. 

 

Martic has scored her third win in her seven matches against top 20 players after beating Belinda Bencic and Elina Svitolina. 

Kontaveit avenged her defeat against Martic in their only previous match played in Dubai last February before the lockdown. 

Kontaveit had to fight to hold her serve in the first game of the opening set at deuce and took control of the match by breaking in the fourth game to open up a 4-1 lead. 

Martic won only 56% on her first serve in the opening set. Kontaveit came back from 0-30 down to hold serve in the seventh game before breaking for the second time in the eighth game to win the first set 6-2. 

Martic earned an early break in the first game of the second set at deuce, but Kontaveit broke straight back to draw level to 1-1. The Estonian player saved a break point before holding serve to take a 2-1 lead. Kontaveit saved five of the six break points she faced. Kontaveit broke for the second time in the fourth game to open up a 4-1 lead. Martic held serve at 2-5 down before breaking serve at 15 in the ninth game to claw her way back to 4-5. The Croatian player received a medical time-out before Kontaveit for the third time in the tenth game at love to close out the second set 6-4. 

Kontaveit will chase her second title in tomorrow’s final three years after winning in S’Hertogenbosch in 2017.

“I felt like I played a very good match today. I was quite aggressive, consistent, and I served especially well in the first set. It got a bit close in the end, but I played a good game at 5-4 and I am happy to be in the final”, said Kontaveit. 

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Anett Kontaveit beats Elisabetta Cocciaretto to reach the semifinal at the Palermo Ladies Open

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Number 4 seed and world number 22 Anett Kontaveit ended Italian teenager Elisabetta Cocciaretto 6-1 4-6 6-1 to reach the semifinals at the 31st edition of the Ladies Open in Palermo. Kontaveit broke serve seven times and hit five aces. 

 

Kontaveit, who reached the Australian Open quarter final, broke twice and saved two break points in the second game to race out to a 4-0 lead. Cocciaretto got her first game on the scoreboard in the sixth game to avoid the bagel before Kontaveit served out the first set in the next game. 

Cocciaretto earned an early break in the second game to open up a 3-0 lead. Cocciaretto earned three game points for 5-2 in the seventh game, but Kontaveit broke back in a marathon seventh game. The second set ended with four consecutive breaks, as Cocciaretto claimed the second set 6-4. 

Kontaveit broke three times to cruise through to a 6-1 win in the third set after 1 hour and 54 minutes. The Estonian player set up a semifinal clash against Martic in a re-match of last February’s quarter final in Dubai. 

“It was really tough tonight. She played great and she had the home crowd definitely behind her. I am really happy with how I fought in the third set and that I managed to turn it around in the end”, said Kontaveit. 

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Petra Martic secures her spot in the semifinal in Palermo after hard-fought win over Aliaksandra Sasnovich

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Top seed and world number 15 Petra Martic from Croatia secured her spot in the semifinal at the 31st edition of the Ladies Open in Palermo after a 7-6 (7-5) 7-6 (7-3) win over former world number 30 Aliaksandra Sasnovich from Belarus. Martic produced 54 winners to 23 unforced errors. 

 

Martic fought back from a break down in the opening set and secured a hard-fought win on her fourth match points, as she served for the match twice in the second tie-break. 

The first set went on serve in the first eight games before Sasnovich broke serve in the ninth game to take a 5-4 lead. Martic broke straight back in the 10th game to draw level to 5-5. The Croatian player fended off three break points at 5-5 and did not convert her first set point in Sasnovich’s service game. 

Martic led 5-3 in the tie-break, but Sasnovich won the next two points to draw level to 5-5. Martic hit a forehand that forced a Sasnovich error and an unreturned serve to close out the tie-break after 75 minutes. 

Martic broke twice in the first and fifth games to build up a 4-1 lead in the second set. Sasnovich pulled one of the two breaks back in the sixth game. Sasnovich trailed 40-15 at 5-4 on Martic’s serve, but she saved both match points. The Belarusian player later fended off another match point after deuce to draw level to 5-5. Martic broke again in the 11th game to take a 6-5 lead, but Sasnovich broke straight back at 15 to force the second set to the second tie-break. Martic won five of the final six points to win the tie-break 7-3 reaching her second semifinal of the season after Dubai. 

“Overall, it was a great fight. I knew she was not going to give up until the match was over, and that’s what she proved once again. I think today was better than yesterday. There was some things that I was happy with, some things that I am not really happy with, but I am really just happy that I managed to win this match in two sets. I had two tough matches and my body’s holding up well. I have no major issues, just maybe soreness that I am sure we all have in the first tournament back. It feels nice to be reminded of how it feels to be that kind of tired, but all in all, I am happy. I had some good weeks of practice and it’s paying off”, said Martic. 

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