World No. 1 Angelique Kerber Cruises Into Round of 16, Coco Vandeweghe Battles Past Eugenie Bouchard - UBITENNIS
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World No. 1 Angelique Kerber Cruises Into Round of 16, Coco Vandeweghe Battles Past Eugenie Bouchard

After two tough wins, 1st seed Angelique Kerber catches a break with a 6-0 6-4 win over Kristyna Pliskova. In what was probably the most high-profile match between two unseeded players possible, Coco Vandeweghe outlasted Genie Bouchard 6-4 3-6 7-5 after 2 hours and 21 minutes.

Jakub Bobro

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Angelique Kerber struggled in her opening rounds against Tsurenko and Witthoeft who pushed the No. 1 seed to three sets both times. Kristyna Pliskova is on a similar level to those players and she has been playing in good form, getting the win over 29th seed Irina-Camelia Begu, mainly due to her serve. This match didn’t look like a possible upset, but it looked like it could be tricky for the German if Pliskova kept going strong on her serve. However the match itself was much different. Kerber was consistent in her rallies and on her serve, while Pliskova was definitely nervous and was misfiring a lot. That showed one of the key differences between Kristyna and Karolina. Kristyna didn’t keep her cool, and didn’t have a Plan B when her game wasn’t on. Kerber won the set in 21 minutes, giving the Czech only 3 game points. In the second set, Pliskova calmed down a bit and finally found her serve, winning her first game at 0-6 0-2. She kept her game together for much of the set and challenged Kerber, but the German put pressure on Pliskova when she was serving at 4-4, broke and took the match 6-0 6-4. The worrying takeaway for Kerber is that the moment Pliskova started to play solid tennis, she matched Kerber. She faces Vandeweghe next, who is a similar player to Kristyna Pliskova, but overall better and more mentally strong, so this will be a real test for Kerber. It doesn’t look too good with the World No. 1’s title defense in my opinion.

 

In what was a strong contender for match of the day, and probably the best match possible between two unseeded players, hard-hitting American Coco Vandeweghe took the match to the Canadian and Wimbledon finalist Eugenie Bouchard. Both players started on a high level, holding their serves pretty comfortably. First break came at 3-3 with Bouchard serving. She made some unnecessary unforced errors and went down a break which eventually cost her the set. The Canadian re-grouped quickly and went up a break early in the second set. She started moving better, exposing Vandeweghe’s weaknesses that she still had, even though she was playing well. Bouchard held on to her early break and took the second set 6-3. Bouchard kept her insane level going, as she took the early break. At 4-2 in the final set, it seemed to be all over, but at 4-3, she started to make some errors that she was making in the first round, and Vandeweghe took advantage immediately. The American broke back and then followed the key game of the match, Vandeweghe serving at 4-4. After 8 deuces, saving 4 break points and about 14 minutes, Vandeweghe put together a string of 3 great first serves and went up 5-4. In a nerve-wracking finish, both players held, so Bouchard was serving at 5-6. She got to 40-30, but Vandeweghe went for it, and won the match.

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Simona Halep wins the all Romanian battle in Cluj

Simona Halep is into the second round in Cluj after a dominant performance.

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Simona Halep (@TransylvaniaOpn - Twitter)

The world number 18 and the top seed managed to beat her Romanian counterpart in straight sets.

 

Simona Halep is through round one of the Transylvania Open, being played at the BT Arena in Cluj-Napoca, after beating a fellow Romanian Elena Gabriella Ruse in straight sets 6-1, 6-2 in one hour and 13 minutes.

The number one seed served six aces and won 83% of her first serve points in a match that seemed one-sided and Halep was pulling amazing shots and winners throughout the entire match.

“It’s not easy to face a Romanian in the first round of a Romanian tournament but I was very focused and concentrated on what I have to do and I didn’t really think of who I would play, I just wanted to play my game and I felt great on court today.”

It was actually the world 85 with the first breakpoint of the match in the first game but it was denied when Halep stepped up to the service line and fired an ace to save it.

After holding serve the world number 18 started looking for the early lead and she was able to get it after a poor service game from Ruse and after consolidating the break managed to turn it into a double break.

Halep served out the first set in a mere 29 minutes and it was clear she was the better player today.

She continued to ride the momentum into the second set and at 1-1 earned three more chances to break and broke with a stunning return winner that caught Ruse off guard for the 2-1 lead.

At 4-2, the top seed managed to go up a double break with another amazing passing shot and she served out the match and after the match in her post-match press conference, she spoke about pulling off those amazing shots on breakpoints.

“When I have a chance to do it I always do because I love these kinda shots and today it was a great one so it made me very happy.”

Halep will next face the Russian Varvara Gracheva in the next round after she beat the German Andrea Petkovic in three sets 6-4, 2-6, 6-4 on Tuesday night.

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Anett Kontaveit overpowers Krunic in Cluj-Napoca

Anett Kontaveit took a step towards the WTA Finals with a straight sets win in Cluj today.

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Anett Kontaveit (@TransylvaniaOpn - Twitter)

The number two seed only needed two sets and 70 minutes to beat her Serbian opponent.

 

Anett Kontaveit is through to the second round of the Transylvania Open, being played at the BT Arena in Cluj-Napoca, beating the Serbian qualifier Aleksandra Krunic in straight sets 6-3, 7-5 in one hour and 10 minutes.

The world number 14 served two aces and won 69% of the points on her first serve in a match where she seemed to outhit her opponent using her powerful groundstrokes.

“The match was close and it was only break in the first set and I thought I was playing pretty well and winning a lot of points on my first serve but I actually think she served well and it wasn’t an easy match and the second set got really close”.

The Estonian had the better start to the match holding serve in her opening game and putting pressure on the Serb right away earning two chances to break serve and got the early break to take a 2-0 lead.

That one break was enough for Kontaveitt to serve out the first set and take it 6-3.

The second set was a more competitive affair and it stayed on serve until 2-2 when the Tallinn, Estonia native was able to break the Serb at love to take a 3-2 lead and she was able to consolidate the break.

It stayed on serve until 4-3 when the world number 44 fought back and was able to break the Estonian serve and the set went back on serve. Once again both players did a good job holding serve until 5-5 when Kontaveit got the crucial break of serve and served out the match.

After the match in her post-match press conference, Kontaveit spoke about how she was feeling energy-wise after such a short turnaround time from winning the title in Moscow last week.

” I feel like the energy has dropped a little bit but I did manage to bring some of the energy today and still be active and be aggressive.”

Kontaveit will now face Alison Van Uytvanck in her next match after the Belgian beat Danka Kovinic in straight sets 6-4, 6-4 earlier in the day.

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Emma Raducanu battles back to beat Hercog in Cluj

Emma Raducanu won her first match on the WTA tour after beating Polona Hercog in Cluj.

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Emma Raducanu (@usopen - Twitter)

The US Open champion was pushed to the limit in a three-set win over her Slovenian opponent.

 

Emma Raducanu is through to round two at the Transylvania Open in Cluj-Napoca after beating the Slovenian Polona Hercog in three sets 4-6, 7-5, 6-1 in a match that lasted two hours and 27 minutes.

The Brit served four aces and won 75% of her first serve points in a match that went back and forth for all three sets and had a rollercoaster feel to it and it was the first time at tour-level Raducanu played a three-set match.

“I feel really happy to have won that match it was actually very difficult and I wasn’t playing my best tennis but Polona (Hercog) is a great opponent and she is really experienced so I really had to fight hard to pull that one through.”

After holding serve in the opening service game of the match the world number 23 put pressure on Hercog’s serve right away and in a game that lasted 10 minutes, it took the Brit six break points before she was able to get the first break of serve of the match.

It stayed on serve until 4-2 when the world number 124 struck back and managed to get the break back to go back on serve and at 4-4 got the crucial break needed to serve out the first set.

The second set stayed on serve with the 18-year-old getting the first chance to break at 2-1 but Hercog saved all three break points she faced and at 4-4 it was the Slovenian applying pressure and looking for the break.

Raducanu was able to save it and hold serve and at 6-5, she found herself at set point as she managed to win it to force a third and deciding set.

Winning the second set seemed to give the Britt a boost and the motivation to keep fighting and she managed to get the early break to take a 2-0 lead and at 3-0 broke again to go up a double break.

The next game she found herself at match point but the world number 124 was able to save it and the next game Raducanu serve out the match. In her post-match press conference, she spoke about what the key was to turn the match around.

“It feels like a huge win for me and it’s my first WTA tour win which makes me very happy and I think the key was to stay mentally composed and I knew myself I wasn’t playing very well so I just needed to keep going one point at a time and I am really proud of myself how I fought today.”

Raducanu will face a Romanian in her next match on Thursday in Ana Bogden who beat the Serb Ivana Jorovic on Monday and this will be their first-ever meeting.

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