Roberta Vinci Beats Ana Ivanovic to Reach Maiden WTA Premier Final in St. Petersburg - UBITENNIS
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Roberta Vinci Beats Ana Ivanovic to Reach Maiden WTA Premier Final in St. Petersburg

Roberta Vinci moved one step closer to her top 10 dream after beating Ana Ivanovic in straight sets by 7-5 6-4 in the semi-finals of the WTA Premier event in St. Petersburg. The Italian reached her first ever final in a WTA Premier tournament.

Ivan Pasquariello

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Roberta Vinci reached her maiden WTA Premier final on Saturday in St. Petersburg, her first final on the tour since her historical run at the US Open. It is Vinci’s 15th WTA final. The Italian will be looking for her 10th WTA career title.

 

Ana Ivanovic started the match better, pressurising Roberta Vinci on her second serve, saving a break point in the first game and building on her first chance to break the Italian’s serve. The Serb took control of the rallies, cutting the points short and not allowing Vinci to create and work on her web of pace and shot mixing. The 2008 French Open champion took a 3-0 lead as Vinci called on court her coach Francesco Cina, angrily discussing the slow start of the match.

Reinvigorated by the meeting with her coach the Italian won 8 of the following 10 point, working her way onto the scoreboard and into the match, quickly impacting back at 3-3. Ivanovic felt the change in momentum and started to miss more, unable to keep the rallies short and take control of the actions right away.

Serving down 3-4 the Italian faced another break point, but saved it with a deep first serve. Coming at the net, more aggressive with her forehand, the US Open finalist managed to trail back at 4-4, and was called to serve to stay in the set down 4-5 with Ivanovic keeping a good percentage of first serves.

Firing a forehand winner down the line, the Serb saw a chance to close the set up 15-30 on Vinci’s serve. The Italian managed not to face break points serving two strong first serves and closing the game with a stunning backhand drop shot. Up 40-15 on her serve at 5-5, Ana lost her rhythm, hit a double fault and missed a forehand to lose the game as Vinci broke serve for the second time in the set, setting herself up to serve for the set up 6-5.

Roberta served her second ace in the match and closed the game to 30 clinching the first set, after 44 minutes. Vinci won the set point at the net, her 13th point won at the net in the set.

Both players started the second set serving well and not facing break points to set the score at 3-3. As Ivanovic hit a backhand in the net, Vinci was the first to see a break point chance. The Serb missed another backhand, this time long, allowing the Italian to regain the lead up 4-3.

Despite having a chance up 15-30 on the Italian’s serve, Ivanovic kept on missing easy shots, ending up losing yet another game. With Vinci leading 5-3, the Serb served to stay in the match. At 15-15 the Serb hit a double fault, but got right back into the game thanks to a backhand cross court winner that caught the line. The Serb closed the game with a forehand inside out winner, making sure to have Vinci needing to serve for the match to win.

Ivanovic won the first two points of the 10th game with a return winner and forehand down the line. Vinci managed to get back into the game, firing an ace to get to 30-30. The Serb got to break point with a forehand return fired full power. Vinci responded with a first serve and forehand winner.

The Serb missed a drop shot at deuce, as Vinci saw her first match point opportunity. The Italian approach the net with a backhand slice attack and won the match as Ivanovic missed her last backhand of the match long.

Vinci won the match 7-5 6-4 in 1 hour and 18 minutes.

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Former Finalist Marketa Vondrousova To Miss French Open Following Surgery

The Olympic silver medallist will miss a Grand Slam tournament for the first time in two-and-a-half years.

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Image via https://twitter.com/WTA_insider

Czech world No.35 Marketa Vondrousova has pulled out of next week’s French Open after undergoing what she describes as a ‘small surgery.’

 

Vondrousova, who reached the final at Roland Garros back in 2019, underwent a procedure on her left wrist after experiencing recurring pain. She decided to do so following a medical consultation and will be soon going through rehab. It will be the first Grand Slam event she has missed since the 2019 US Open which she also withdrew from due to a wrist injury.

“The last few weeks were not easy, I have been experiencing recurring pain in my wrist,” Vondrousova wrote in an Instagram post published on Monday. “After seeing a couple of doctors I decided to get this small surgery done to be able to play pain-free.”
“Staying positive through the recovery and can’t wait to be back on the court soon,”
she added.

The 22-year-old last played on Tour at the Stuttgart Open where she lost in the first round to Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur. So far this season she has achieved a win-loss record of 13-5 with her best run being to the semi-finals of the Dubai Tennis Championships as a qualifier. Vondrousova also reached the fourth round of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells and defeated Emma Raducanu in the Billie Jean Cup.

A former junior world No.1, Vondrousova has been ranked as high as 14th in the world. So far in her career, she has won just one WTA title which was back in 2017 at the Lugano Open in Switzerland. However, she has reached the final at another four events with the last being at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. She has scored a total of six wins over top 10 players.

Another player in doubt for the French Open is defending champion Barbora Krejcikova who hasn’t played a match on the Tour since February. The world No.2 has been sidelined from action due to an elbow injury but remains on the entry list for the Grand Slam which will begin on Sunday.

The French Open draw will take place on Thursday.

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Ukraine’s Elina Svitolina Announces Pregnancy

Tennis’ power couple are set to become parents later this year.

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Former world No.3 Elina Svitoliva has announced that she is expecting a baby girl in October on social media.

 

The 27-year-old made the announcement on Sunday morning with a picture of her and her husband, French tennis star Gael Monfils. Known by some as the sports ‘power couple,’ the two tied the knot last July in Geneva ahead of the Tokyo Olympic Games after first going public about their relationship in 2019. They even have their own Instagram account called ‘g.e.m.s. life’ which has more than 139,000 followers.

“With a heart full of love and happiness, we are delighted to announce that we are expecting a baby girl in October,” the couple wrote on Twitter.

https://twitter.com/ElinaSvitolina/status/1525778313918177280

Svitolina hadn’t played on the Tour since losing to Heather Watson at the Miami Open in March after deciding to take time away from the sport due to events happening in her home country. Russia launched a military operation against Ukraine earlier this year which has claimed thousands of lives. Svitolina is one of the sport’s most outspoken players regarding the conflict. She has previously spoken out against the decision to ban Russian and Belarussian athletes from Wimbledon by arguing that they should be allowed to participate if they condemn the actions of their home countries.

We don’t want them banned completely,” Svitolina told BBC Radio 5 Live Breakfast.
“If players don’t speak out against the Russian government then it is the right thing to ban them.”

Prior to announcing her pregnancy, Svitolina has achieved a win-loss record of 5-8 on the Tour this season with her best runs being to the third round of the Australian Open and the quarter-finals of a WTA event in Monterrey.

During her career, the Ukrainian has won 16 WTA titles and reached the semi-finals of two Grand Slams during 2019.

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Bianca Andreescu reaches Rome quarterfinals after beating Petra Martic

The Canadian was able to get by her Croatian opponent in straight sets on Thursday afternoon in the Italian capital.

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Photo by Roberto Dell’Olivo

Bianca Andreescu is through to the quaterfinals of the Italian Open being played at the Foro Italico in Rome after beating Petra Martic in 6-4, 6-4 in one hour and 45 minutes.

 

The Toronto native served four aces and won 76% of her first serve points in a match that was pretty straight forward for the world number 90 who makes her first quaterfinal this season.

During the first set both players did a good job holding serve and it was pretty tight until 4-4 when the Canadian was able to convert and served out the first set to take a 1-0 lead.

Andreescu was hungry for the early break in the second set and she got it but the Croat broke right back the following game to level the set at 2-2. She was then put on the defensive as the world number 47 started putting pressure on the Canadian but Andreescu was able to save two breakpoints before being able to hold serve to make it 3-3.

The next game Martic produced a poor service game and the 2019 US Open champ took full advantage, getting the break and that one break was enough for her to serve out the match.

Her reward for reaching the quarterfinals a date with the world number one Iga Swiatek who had no issues beating the Minsk native Victoria Azarenka 6-4, 6-1.

This will be their first ever meeting on the WTA Tour.

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