Veterans Roberta Vinci and Svetlana Kuznetsova Advance Past Tricky Opponents To Wimbledon Second Round. - UBITENNIS
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Veterans Roberta Vinci and Svetlana Kuznetsova Advance Past Tricky Opponents To Wimbledon Second Round.

Due to the rain ending the play at Wimbledon early, not many big names appeared today, with the obvious exception of Serena Williams. The most notable of today’s players were the WTA tour veterans Roberta Vinci and Svetlana Kuznetsova, and recent Eastbourne winner Dominika Cibulkova.

Jakub Bobro

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The 6th seed Roberta Vinci was on upset alert in her opening round match against Alison Riske. The No. 1 Italian has not gone past first round at SW19 since 2013, and Alison Riske is a very dangerous opponent on a grass court. Vinci got an early break of 2-0, but Riske broke back for 2-2. The Italian then shifted into another gear and didn’t allow Riske to win another game. The veteran took a lead of 4-2 in the second set as well, but Riske kept on fighting and won the second set 7-5. Riske took a lead of 3-1 in the final set, and Vinci showed her experience and why she is a Top 10 player, winning 5 games in a row and the match, the final scoreline read 6-2 5-7 6-3 for Vinci. The 6th seed Roberta Vinci will next face the Chinese lucky loser Duan Ying Ying.

 

“I’m try(ing) to play aggressive, try to play my game,” explained Vinci, acknowledging the difficulties in closing out the win. “At the end, I was a little bit nervous. A lot of match point saved. But I’m happy. Finally I won.”

“I’m the top 10. I’m No.6 (seed). I’m so happy. I play today on Court No.3, a good court. Of course, I’m happy. I like to enjoy this tournament, of course, try my best. Every single match will be tough. But step by step.”

Svetlana Kuznetsova, seeded 13th, had a much more well known opponent. The Russian faced a former World No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki, who after her injuries dropped down to No. 45 in the rankings. The first set was very level between both players and it resulted in Kuznetsova winning 7-5. Kuznetsova continued to use her power and hit through Wozniacki, which rapidly gave her a 4-0 lead in the second set. Kuznetsova was at 5-1, 30-0 in the second set, when Wozniacki won 12 points in a row to make it 4-5. Kuznetsova didn’t flinch and served the match out, 7-5 6-4.

Other seeded players that advanced to the second round today were the 19th seed Dominika Cibulkova, who recently won Eastbourne. The Slovak dealt with Mirjana Lucic-Baroni of Croatia in striaght sets 7-5 6-3. 27th seed Coco Vandeweghe also had a challenging opponent on grass, who was Kateryna Bondarenko. This match played under the Centre Court roof was won by the American 6-2 7-6(3). Caroline Garcia, seeded 30th, was faced with the task of defeating Turkey’s finest Cagla Buyukakcay. She did so in an impressive manner, winning 6-2 6-3.

Four Wimbledon wild cards were in action today as well. Tara Moore was the only one to take advantage of it, as she cruised past Alison Van Uytvanck 6-2 6-3. Daniela Hantuchova, Marina Melnikova and Katie Swan all lost their matches in straight sets.

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Svetlana Kuznetsova Becomes Latest Grand Slam Winner To Skip US Open Over Virus Fears

Nine top 40 players on the WTA Tour have now pulled out of the Grand Slam.

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This year’s US Open has taken another blow with their 2004 women’s champion pulling out of the event due to what she describes as an ‘unfavourable situation.’

 

Svetlana Kuznetsova has become the latest figure in the sport to pull out of the New York major amid concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic in America. The country has recently seen a spike in cases but in New York itself the levels haven’t been as high. Although officials at the tournament are taking no chances with fans being banned for attending for the first time in history and players are being kept in what is being described as a ‘bubble.’

Despite assurances from the United States Tennis Association, who runs the US Open, Kuznetsova still has her concerns. In a statement published on her Instagram account, the Russian said the pandemic has made it too complex for her to travel to the region. Citing the restrictions placed on players with how many members of their team they are allowed to bring with them.

Due to an unfavourable situation caused by coronavirus, and therefore the inability get together all my team I made a difficult decision to refuse to participate in Cincinnati and the US Open,” the world No.32 wrote.
“I feel very sad, because I have been waited for these tournaments so much, but the pandemic changes all plans.’
“I hope the situation will be more positive by the next tournaments.”

It will be only the second time Kuznetsova has missed the US Open since making her main draw debut back in 2002. She also missed the 2012 event due to a knee injury. Overall, she won 35 out of 51 matches played in Flushing Meadows.

Another player skipping the event is Barbora Strycova, who is currently playing in the Prague Open. The Czech is a two-time doubles semi-finalist at the US Open with her best run in the singles being to the third round.

Following the latest developments, nine players out of the current top 40 on the women’s Tour have officially pulled out of the US Open. Including top 10 players Ash Barty (No.1), Elina Svitoliva (No.5) and Kiki Bertens (No.7). Meanwhile, Simona Halep is yet to make a final decision about her plans.

There are also notable absences in the men’s field with reigning champion Rafael Nadal and former winner Stan Wawrinka both opting to miss the event due to concerns related to COVID-19. Novak Djokovic is also yet to confirm is he will play or not.

The US Open will get underway on August 31st.

List of women’s singles player withdrawals (as of 10/8/20)

1 Ash Barty AUS
5 Elina Svitolina UKR
7 Kiki Bertens NED
29 Qiang Wang CHN
30 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova RUS
31 Barbora Strycova CZE
32 Svetlana Kuznetsova RUS
34 Saisai Zheng CHN
38 Julia Goerges GER
74 Lin Zhu CHN
85 Anastasia Potapova RUS
92 Ana Bogdan ROM
97 Sam Stosur AUS
103 Shuai Peng CHN
108 Xiyu Wang CHN
118 Barbora Krejcikova CZE

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Eugenie Bouchard wins her first clay match since 2018 in Prague

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Former Wimbledon finalist Eugenie Bouchard won her first clay match since Gstaad 2018 by beating number 8 seed Veronika Kudemertova 6-0 6-3 in the first round at the Prague Open. 

 

Bouchard broke three times in a row to take a bagel win in the first set in half an hour, although four of the six games went to deuce. 

Bouchard saved a break point in the first game to hold her serve at deuce and earned her only break to win the second set 6-3. 

“I feel like that the first set was tough in almost every game. It’s not like it was a walk in the park. I am proud of myself for battling in every single game. It ended up going my way most of the time. I stayed on every point and did not make too many loose errors. I played solid and aggressive, which is what I try to aim for. My rhythm was off on my serve in the first set, so I need to look at that. I felt better with it in the second set, so I am happy I could find a solution. It’s hard to know what to expect. I have not played a real match since January. I have played a couple of exhibitions, which helped a lot, but it’s still different. It’s not a real tournament. I did not set any expectations”, said Bouchard. 

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Simona Halep ‘Happy To Be Back’ Amid Uncertainty Over US Open Plans

The Romanian still has reservations about her future plans after taking her first international flight in five months.

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World No.2 Simona Halep admits the prospect of travelling from Europe to America will be ‘mentally tough’ as she ponders whether or not to play at the US Open.

 

The reigning Wimbledon champion is set to return to competitive tennis in the Czech Republic where she will play her first tournament in five months at the Prague Open. Halep was originally due to make her return in Palermo but withdrew from the event due to ‘travelling anxiety’ despite being assured she wouldn’t have to go through quarantine. Speculation has mounted in recent weeks about if the Romanian would travel to the US Open later this year with the 28-year-old confirming she will make her final decision after Prague.

“I haven’t made the final decision yet,” AFP quoted Halep as telling reporters during a virtual press conference on Sunday.
“The travelling from Europe is a little bit tough with changing flights — we don’t have straight flights — so it’s going to be tough for me personally, mentally,” she told a video conference.
“I don’t want to put myself into that stress. As I said I haven’t decided yet, but the conditions are tough for me at this moment.”

Three members of the top 10 on the women’s Tour have already pulled out of the New York major, which will be played behind closed doors for the first time in history. Ash Barty, Kiki Bertens and Elina Svitolina have all withdrawn from the major due to concerns. In comparison, only one member of the top 10 on the men’s Tour, Rafael Nadal, has withdrawn specifically related to COVID-19 concerns.

Prague is Halep’s first international trip after being in lockdown in Romania since February. A country which reported 1,378 new coronavirus cases and 50 new related deaths on Friday in what was their highest 24-hour figure since the pandemic began.

“I’m a bit nervous but things are very controlled here and very safe so I feel safe,” she said upon arrival in the Czech capital.
“I’m happy to be back, I’m happy to be healthy.”

It will be double duty for Halep in Prague. Besides being the top seed in the singles draw, she will also be playing the doubles alongside local favourite Barbora Strycova. Who reached the semi-final of Wimbledon last year before losing to Serena Williams. It is the first time ever the two are playing alongside each other on the Tour.

“I’m sure we will have fun. I’m sure that she will understand if I miss easy balls at the net, and I hope we’ll enjoy it.” Halep commented on their collaboration.

Halep will start her singles campaign against Slovenia’s Polona Hercog.

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