Tsvetana Pironkova Eases Through Against Kurumi Nara At The Aegon Open Nottingham - UBITENNIS
Connect with us

Latest news

Tsvetana Pironkova Eases Through Against Kurumi Nara At The Aegon Open Nottingham

Published

on

Tsvetana Pironkova vs Kurumi Nara

Tsvetana Pironkova is enjoying life back on the grass as she booked her place in the quarterfinals at the Aegon Open Nottingham with a strong win over Kurumi Nara 6-3, 6-2.

The former Wimbledon semifinalist recovered from an early break down after a shaky start but was able to work her opponent around the court to finish the set strongly. Pironkova grew stronger in the second set and threatened to take it 6-0, but Nara held on to at least force her opponent to finish off the match on her own serve, a task which the Bulgarian completed.

These two players had met once before on the hard courts of Istanbul back in 2015 and it was the Bulgarian who prevailed 6-3, 1-6, 6-1. Nara had a fine win over third seed Lauren Davis 6-3, 6-3 and the Bulgarian also had a straight sets win in her first round over qualifier Tereza Martincova 6-2, 6-2.

It was the higher-ranked Nara who got off to the better start, bringing up two break points in the third game of the match. Pironkova managed to save both of them but a foray to the net brought up another chance for the Japanese player. She capitalised on this opportunity after hitting a backhand up the line return of serve winner.

The following game was a lengthy battle and after Nara squandered a number of chances to hold her opponent only needed the one chance to break back after the world number 91 went long with her backhand.

In the sixth game Pironkova completed the turnaround, striking a couple of fierce backhand winners down the line to break her opponent to love before moving 5-2 in front. At this point unsurprisingly Nara requested to see her coach, but Pironkova requesting a medical timeout was not expected. The Bulgarian was playing with strapping on her right shoulder but judging by the way she was striking the ball that appeared to be more precautionary rather than an injury. The world number 126 was receiving treatment on her left foot but that did not affect her or stop her closing out the first set 6-3 as she held serve to love, closing with a forehand drop volley winner.

Leading by a set Pironkova was in cruise control and took flight in the next set, swiftly establishing a 3-0 lead with a double break. The Bulgarian out manoeuvred her opponent and used the angles well, closing with her big weapon, the double handed backhand.

Nara looked to be on the verge of going out and being bagelled in the process as she faced break point in the fifth game. Fortunately for her Pironkova netted her return on the second serve and the Japanaese player was able to win her first game of the second set after taking it on her fourth game point.

The world number 91 forced the Bulgarian to serve the match out and she duly obliged, closing with a trademark backhand winner to seal a straight sets victory in one hour and 17 minutes.

Waiting next for the Bulgarian, either fifth seed Lucie Safarova or Hsieh Su-Wei. 

ATP

Rafael Nadal To Play Laver Cup In Berlin

Published

on

Rafael Nadal has eased speculation that he might be retiring from the sport soon after signing on to play in the Laver Cup later this year. 

The 22-time Grand Slam champion is the latest player to join the line-up for this year’s team competition which features Europe taking on the rest of the world over three days. It will be Nadal’s fourth appearance in the competition and his first since 2022. He competed in the inaugural edition of the event back in 2017 alongside co-founder Roger Federer. 

“I am very happy to be playing Laver Cup in Berlin for Team Europe,” Nadal said in a press release. “I have some really special memories from my Laver Cup experiences, including all the emotions from London two years ago playing alongside Roger for the last time.”

Nadal’s decision to play comes amid questions about his future in the sport. The former world No.1 has previously indicated that this year could be his last on the Tour but he has stated that no decision has been made. In recent months he has been sidelined from action due to injury setbacks and has only been able to play in two tournaments so far this year. 

“At this stage in my career I really want to go out there and make the most of every opportunity I am given,” he explains.
“Teaming up is always an incredible experience and I have always enjoyed it, the competition is different and exciting. I’m looking forward to going to Berlin and helping Team Europe win back the Laver Cup.”

Other European players confirmed to be playing are Carlos Alcaraz, Daniil Medvedev and Alexander Zverev. Meanwhile, Alex de Minaur, Taylor Fritz and Tommy Paul have agreed to play for Team World. This year’s event will be held in Belin at the Uber Arena between September 20-22. 

The Laver Cup was inspired by golf’s Ryder Cup. It was co-founded by Federer’s Team8 management company (which he formed with agent Tony Godsick), businessman Jorge Paulo Lemann and Tennis Australia. In 2019 it became an official ATP sanction event and now has a place on the official calendar. 

Nadal is set to return to competitive action at the Madrid Masters which he has won on five previous occasions. He has been drawn to play teenage wild card Darwin Blanch in the first round. If he wins, Nadal will then play Alex de Minaur who knocked him out of the Barcelona Open last week. 

Continue Reading

Latest news

Iga Swiatek beats Emma Raducanu to extend her winning streak to ten consecutive matches in Stuttgart

Published

on

Two-time defending champion Iga Swiatek held off 2021 US Open champion Emma Raducanu 7-6 (7-2) 6-3 after 2 hours and 3 minutes to extend her winning streak to 10 consecutive matches at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart. 

Swiatek set up a semifinal match against 2022 Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina, who came back from a break down in the third set to beat this year’s Dubai champion Jasmine Paolini.

Raducanu came back from 0-40 down to earn the first break of the opening set. Swiatek converted her third break point in the second game in a seven-deuce second game. Raducanu saved the only other break point at deuce in the sixth game. Swiatek won the first four points and five of the first six points to win the tie-break 7-2. 

Swiatek earned five break points in the second, sixth and in the 12thgame, but she converted only one opportunity. Raducanu converted her only break point in the first game. Swiatek won nine more points than Swiatek. 

Swiatek broke Raducanu in the second game to open up a 2-0 lead. This break was decisive, as both players held on their next serve in their next games. 

Swiatek earned six break points in the third, fifth and ninth games, but she converted one chance. The Pole did not face a single break point and won eight more points than Raducanu.

“Raducanu started playing at the beginning pretty loose, like she had nothing to lose, and I totally get that. Sometimes it is like that. I knew I was questioning if she is going to be able to keep the same intensity throughout the whole match. It was not about service games or return games. I was just waiting for my chances to break back and I was sure that I am going to get them”, said Swiatek.

Continue Reading

Latest news

Stefanos Tsitsipas beats Sebastian Ofner in Barcelona to extend his winning streak

Published

on

Stefanos Tsitsipas beat Sebastian Ofner 6-4 7-5 at the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell to extend his winning streak to seven consecutive matches after claiming his third title at the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters last week. 

Tsitsipas earned an immediate break in the first game. Ofner broke straight back to draw level to 1-1. Tsitsipas earned his second break  in the seventh game to take a 4-3 lead and served out the first set 6-4 with a hold at 15. 

Tsitsipas broke in the fifth game to take a 3-2 lead. Ofner won three consecutive games with two breaks of serve to take a 5-3 lead. Tsitsipas came back by winning four consecutive games with two breaks of serve to seal the second set 7-5.

Tsitsipas has a record of 17 wins to 5 defeats in Barcelona. The Greek player reached three finals at this tournament in 2018, 2021 and 2023.  

“I feel pretty good, but it is still early in the tournament. The conditions here are very different to Monte-Carlo and I felt it today when I was playing. My job is to adapt and to ensure I can bring my A game again in Barcelona this week. Today was a great test to see where I stand. I am hoping to keep on improving and getting good wins like this under my belt”, said Tsitsipas. 

Tsitssipas set up a third round match against Roberto Carballes Baena, who beat Lorenzo Musetti 7-6 (7-4) 6-4 in 2 hours and 15 minutes. 

Musetti saved three break points in the first game of the opening set. The Italian player earned two break points with a backhand down the line. Musetti saved two break points in the seventh game. Both players went on serve un the 12th game when Carballes Baena saved a set point. Carballes Baena went up a 5-1 lead with two mini-breaks in the tie-break. Musetti won three consecutive points to reduce to 4-5. Carballes Baena won the final two points to take the tie-break 7-4. 

Carballes Baena converted his fourth break point in the fourth game to take a 3-1 lead. Musetti broke back in the fifth game. Carballes Baena saved a break point in the sixth game. The Spanish player sealed the win with a break on his second match. 

Last week’s Monte-Carlo finalist Casper Ruud beat Alexandre Muller 6-3 6-4 to claim his 25th tour-level win of the season. Ruud has drawn level with Jannik Sinner for the most wins in 2024 on the ATP Tour. 

Ruud set up a third round match against Jordan Thompson, who beat Jaume Munar 6-4 2-4 6-4. Roberto Bautista Agut beat Andrea Vavassori 4-6 6-4 6-1 to claim his milestone 400th match win on the ATP Tour. Bautista Agut set up a third round match against Cameron Norrie. 

Continue Reading

Trending