Serena Williams Races Through As Rival Radwanska Goes Out At Australian Open - UBITENNIS
Connect with us

WTA

Serena Williams Races Through As Rival Radwanska Goes Out At Australian Open

Avatar

Published

on

Serena Williams (image via zimbio.com)

Second seed Serena Williams experienced little difficulty during her 6-3, 6-4, triumph over Lucie Safarova.

 

Embarking on her first meeting with Safarova since the 2015 French Open final, Williams was aware that she faced a somewhat different opponent. Since their encounter on the Paris clay courts, the Czech has slid down the rankings to outside the world’s top 60 due to injury setbacks as well as illness.

Snippets of both players impressive shot-making was on display. Safarova made use of some aggressive groundstrokes from her forehand side as Williams dictated with her power. The game plan of Williams was evident, crush her opponents fragile second serve. A slow second serve from the Czech was returned with interest from the 35-year-old as she broke for a 5-3 lead. The breakthrough sealed the first set as an ace the American secured the lead.

The second set was a case of deja vu. Once again, both players were delighting the crowd with their shots, but Williams’ power proved too much for Safarova. In an almost identical fashion to earlier in the match, the patchy serving for the unseeded player lead to her fall. A double fault moved Williams to a set and a break as she served that match out. An ace secured her first match point before an overcooked backhand drew proceedings back to deuce. Williams finally triumphed on her third opportunity when a breathtaking 17-shot rally ended with the Czech hitting the ball out.

“It’s never easy having to play someone in the second round that you have seen in the final on the biggest stage of tennis.” The 35-year-old said after her win.
“It wasn’t easy, but I’m really happy I got through that.”

During her latest win, the 22-time grand slam champion produced 15 aces and 35 winners. Her only downfall occurred behind her second serve, where she could only clinch 11/27 points available (41%). Safarova is the second former top 10 player Williams has beaten in Melbourne following her opening round win over Belinda Bencic.

“I definitely played two really tough opponents, two former top 10 (players).” Williams said about her start to this year’s Australian Open. “It’s a great way to start the tournament. It’s not going to get any easier, so I think that was pretty good.”

Williams will play world No.92 Nicola Gibbs in the third round.

Veteran Stuns Radwanska

Williams enters the last 32 in Melbourne with the absence of third seed Agnieszka Radwanska. The Polish player was crushed 6-3, 6-2, by veteran player Mirjana Lucic-Baroni.

Making her Melbourne debut back in 1998, Lucic-Baroni had only recorded one main draw win at the event in her career before this year. Nevertheless, her attacking play overwhelmed the third seed as she fired 33 winners throughout the 64-minute match.

“It’s amazing, oh my God,” said Lucic-Baroni. “It’s been so long since I won a match or two (at a Grand Slam). Actually as I’m getting older, it seems like I’m getting better.
“I knew until the very last point I would have to fight… I was able to do that and stay calm. My heart is so full. I’m so happy.”

Lucic-Baroni’s win comes on the 19th anniversary of her first major achievement. At the age of 15 she teams up with Martina Hingis to win the 1998 Australian Open doubles title in what was her first and so far only triumph in a major tournament. She also reached the finals in the mixed doubles at Wimbledon later that year.

“I was a little baby back then,” she says of her early success. “Now, I can be maybe more relaxed. I said to myself today on the court, don’t worry, be happy.”

The Croat will play Greece’s Maria Sakkari next, who defeated Alize Cornet in three sets.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

WTA

Fiona Ferro beats Camila Giorgi to set up final against Anett Kontaveit

Avatar

Published

on

France’s Fiona Ferro came back from one set down to beat Italy’s Camila Giorgi 2-6 6-2 7-5 reaching her first final of the season at the Ladies Open in Palermo. Ferro sets up a final against Anett Kontaveit, who beat top seed Petra Martic 6-2 6-4. 

 

Giorgi broke twice in a row to open up a 4-0 lead and saved three break points before holding serve for 5-0. Ferro pulled one break back, when Giorgi was serving for the first set. Giorgi sealed the opening set 6-2 with her third break in the eighth game. 

Ferro earned an early break in the first game of the second set and held her serve after saving two break points to open up a 2-0 lead. Ferro went up a double break in the fifth game to race out to a 4-1 lead, but Giorgi got one break back for 2-4. Ferro broke again in the seventh game and served out the second set 6-2. 

Giorgi dropped her serve in the third game of the second set and saved a break point in the fifth game. Giorgi broke back in the 10th game, as Ferro was serving for the match at 5-4. Ferro broke serve in the 11th game and served out the win on her second match point. 

Giorgi was aiming to become the first Italian player to reach the final in Palermo since Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci battled for the title in 2013. Ferro is unbeaten in all her four post-lockdown matches on the WTA Tour.

Ferro beat an Italian opponent for the second evening in a row one day after her win over Sara Errani. 

“I would have never won those matches two years ago. I used to focus on my opponent when she was playing aggressive, and I did not find solutions. Today I am very happy to be through because I managed to focus more on my game and not on my emotions”, said Ferro.

“I have no regrets. I felt in good shape and I tried to play my own game. The break in the third set made the difference”, said Giorgi.

Continue Reading

ATP

Anett Kontaveit beats Petra Martic to reach the final in Palermo

Avatar

Published

on

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. 

Continue Reading

WTA

Camila Giorgi battles past Dayana Yastremska in late-night clash in Palermo

Avatar

Published

on

Italy’s Camila Giorgi battled past number 7 seed Dayana Yastremska 4-6 7-6 (7-5) 6-3 after 2 hours and 52 minutes to secure her spot in the semifinal at the Ladies Open in Palermo. 

 

Giorgi fended off two match points in the second set before completing her come-back in a late-night epic clash which ended at nearly 1.30 a.m. local time. Giorgi set up a semifinal against French player Fiona Ferro, who beat another Italian player Sara Errani.

Both players traded breaks in the first and fourth games of the opening set to draw level to 3-3. Giorgi saved three break points in the seventh game, but Yastremska converted her fourth chance with a service return to take a 4-3 lead. 

Yastremska served for the first set at 5-4, but Giorgi earned a break point, when the Ukrainian player made a double fault. Giorgi missed two groundstrokes and Yastremska earned a set point. Giorgi fended off four set points, but she was not able to reach a break point. Yastremska hit an ace to earn he fifth set point and converted it after Giorgi sent a forehand wide. 

The second set started with two trades of break en route to 3-3. Yastremska broke serve, as Giorgi sent a forehand wide on the third break point. Yastremska earned her first match point with an ace at 5-4. She earned a second opportunity with a forehand winner. Giorgi saved them with her powerful returns before breaking serve to draw level to 5-5. The Italian player raced out to a 4-0 lead in the tie-break and hit a backhand winner down the line to pull away to 6-3. Yastremska saved the first two set points, but Giorgi sealed the second set on her third opportunity. 

In the third set Yastremska earned two break points at 3-2, but Giorgi held serve to draw level to 3-3. Giorgi broke serve in the seventh game to take a 4-3 and held serve in the eighth game for 5-3. Giorgi earned a match point, when Yastremska netted a groundstroke, and converted it, when her return forced a wide error. 

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending