Anett Kontaveit and Kiki Bertens on a collision course for dream final in Gstaad - UBITENNIS
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Anett Kontaveit and Kiki Bertens on a collision course for dream final in Gstaad

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Two of the tournament’s biggest names remain on a collision course for a hard-hitting final in the Swiss Alps as third-seeded Estonian Anett Kontaveit and second-seeded Dutchwoman Kiki Bertens rounded out the semifinal field at the Ladies Championships Gstaad.

 

The possibility for a dream final between two big-hitters in Gstaad continues as Estonian third seed Anett Kontaveit and second-seeded Dutchwoman Kiki Bertens made light work of their respective quarterfinal opponents to join Czech Tereza Martincova and Spaniard Sara Sorribes Tormo in the last four in the Swiss Alps. Looking to battle past the rain and their last eight opponents, Kontaveit powered past big-hitting German Carina Witthoeft in straight sets, while Bertens did the same to overcome good friend Johanna Larsson of Sweeden.

The final match of the day on Centre Court, Kontaveit, one of the in-form players on the WTA tour at the moment, put up a clinical display of power tennis to move past eighth seed Witthoeft 6-2, 6-4 late in the evening in southwest Switzerland. The ‘s-Hertogenbosch champion was dominant on serve in the opening set, breaking the German immediately in the first game and subsequently in the seventh as well to eventually close out the first set 6-2.

The second set was slightly more competitive, as Witthoeft’s powerful groundstrokes, similar to Kontaveit’s, began to find their mark. Despite being broken back immediately following a break of the German’s serve in the fifth game, the Estonian third seed continued where she left off, snatching the break right back to go up 4-3, riding that advantage to ultimately serve out the match on her first time of asking and book a place in the semifinals in the Swiss Alps.

“It was really good to get on court today. I thought I managed to play pretty well, the conditions weren’t easy – but tried to stay focused and do my thing,” said Kontaveit, the world number 32. “[Another semifinal] really great, I’ve been having good results recently and it’s definitely building up my confidence, and I’m feeling good on court.” 

Anett Kontaveit celebrates after winning a point at the Ladies Championships Gstaad/WTA Tennis

“I felt like I played really well in the key points. I managed to turn [those moments] to my side, and that was the difference today. All the hard work is starting to pay off. I’ve gained confidence and had some good wins, so I’m super excited about this year,” commented the Estonian third seed, who is enjoying a career year following wins over Wimbledon champion Garbine Muguruza and two-time major winner Angelique Kerber this spring in Stuttgart and Rome and her first career title on the grass of the Ricoh Open in the Netherlands.

Asked about her next opponent, unseeded Czech Tereza Martincova, who beat German Antonia Lottner 3-6, 6-1, 7-5 to reach the last four meeting with Kontaveit, the 21-year-old said, “I don’t think I’ve played her before. She’s had a really good week, so it’s definitely going to be a tough match. She’s beaten some good players, so she’s definitely confident. I’m just going to try to fight every point as I do, and play my game,” concluded the third seed here in Gstaad, who earlier this year reached her first tour-level final in Biel-Bienne.

For former French Open semifinalist and second seed this week Kiki Bertens, it was similar dominance as to what Kontaveit put up as well on Centre Court, getting past good friend and Swede Johanna Larsson. After some very long early games in the opening set and trading breaks, the Dutchwoman started to find her groove, breaking her fifth-seeded opponent at an optimal time to secure the first set 6-4 on her second time of asking.
The second set was similar as an early break was squandered by Bertens, only to once again snatch it back as Larsson was serving to stay in the match to earn herself a spot in the semifinals 6-4, 6-4.

“It’s tough [to play a friend]. Sometimes, you’re thinking like, where I’m going to serve and she thinks I’m going there, so it’s a little bit of a mental game also,” said Bertens. “You don’t want to scream come on to often, which you maybe normally do, but I think it was a good match.” 

Kiki Bertens hits a forehand at the Ladies Championships Gstaad/WTA Tennis

“I think playing aggressive, serving well, putting as many balls in the court but in an aggressive way and letting her make the mistakes [worked] — I did that pretty good,” concluded the second seed on her quarterfinal performance.

Bertens will next face Spaniard Sara Sorribes Tormo, who eased past unseeded German Tamara Korpatsch 6-2, 6-3 to book her matchup with last year’s French Open semifinalist tomorrow on Centre Court in Gstaad.

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Why Newly Married Elina Svitolina Has No Plans To Change Her Surname

The Ukrainian explains why she isn’t using her husband’s surname of Monfils just yet as she books her place in the third round at Tokyo 2020.

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Just over a week ago Elina Svitolina tied the knot with her long-time partner Gael Monfils at a ceremony in Geneva, Switzerland.

 

Shortly after the world No.6 took to social media and changed her name on Twitter to Elina Monfils as part of the tradition that the woman takes on the man’s name once they are married. As a consequence, various websites started to identify the Ukrainian under that name. Although she would rather that they don’t do such a thing.

“I don’t know why they changed my surname. Maybe they saw that I had changed it on my social networks,” Svitolina told BTU.
“I’m going to play as Svitolina till the very end of my professional career and will change it only after retirement.”

Svitolina explains she believes it is better if all of her achievements are made under the same name instead of two. So far in her career she has won 15 WTA titles, reached two Grand Slam semi-finals and has earned more than $20.5M in prize money.

I had numerous achievements and people know me as Svitolina. My father would be upset if I changed the surname and played as Monfils,” she joked.
“I am proud to be Svitolina and my tennis career will always be connected with this surname.”

Over the coming week the 26-year-old is hoping to add an Olympic medal to her resume. On Monday Svitolina survived a stern scare after coming back from a set down to defeat Ajla Tomljanović 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 and move into the third round of the tournament. Her win came on the day where there were shocks galore in the women’s draw with seeds Aryna Sabalenka, Iga Swiatek and Petra Kvitova all crashing out.

Svitolina will play Greece’s Maria Sakkari in the next round whom she has lost to in two out of their three previous meetings.

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Why Ash Barty Isn’t Staying At The Olympic Village In Tokyo

The two-time Grand Slam champion has opted to stay at an alternate venue heading into the Games.

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Ashleigh Barty (AUS) playing against Angelique Kerber (GER) in the semi-final of the Ladies' Singles on Centre Court at The Championships 2021. Held at The All England Lawn Tennis Club, Wimbledon. Day 10 Thursday 08/07/2021. Credit: AELTC/Jed Leicester

Ash Barty will prepare for her debut at the Olympic Games by staying at a base located outside of the athletes village as part of her ‘performance plan.’

 

The world No.1 heads into Tokyo as one of the favourites for gold following her triumph at Wimbledon where she defeated Karolina Pliskova in the final. She is one of six top 10 players set to play in the women’s singles tournament which will start on Saturday.

Leading up to the Games, the head of the Australian Olympic delegation has told reporters that Barty’s decision not to stay in the village will enhance her gold medal chances. In previous Games athletes have stayed outside of the villages but this year it is more challenging to do so due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Tokyo is currently in a state of emergency and fans are banned from attending the event amid fears of the virus spreading if they do so.

“Ash is staying elsewhere,” chef de mission Ian Chesterman told the Australian Associated Press.
“We have a number of athletes staying outside the village. We allow that, it’s just what works best for them.
“Something I’ve always been very big on is driving performance takes a whole lot of flexible decisions, flexible options.
“In terms of her performance plan, it’s best served by her being able to control her environment and we respect that.”

The exact location of Barty’s base has not been disclosed but it is near to the village where she was said to have visited and had a cup of coffee on Tuesday morning.

She is staying in an Australian environment where she can still easily access the village,” Chesterman stated.

The 25-year-old is bidding to become only the second Australian in history to win a medal in the women’s singles at the Olympics. The first was Alicia Molik who claimed a bronze medal back in 2004.

During a recent interview with The ITF, Barty said playing at the event is a dream come true for her as she describes representing her country as the ‘highest honour.’

“Being an Olympian has always been a dream of mine as a kid, I think representing your country is the highest honour,” Barty told the ITF.
“For an Aussie it’s the best thing you can do and I can’t wait to have an opportunity to wear the green and gold.
“You’re playing for something bigger than yourself. You’re playing to represent your nation. You’re playing to make people proud and that’s not just with results it’s with your attitude.”

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Bianca Andreescu pulls out of Tokyo Olympics

The world number five has officially pulled out of the Olympics in Tokyo stating reasons due to the ongoing pandemic situation.

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Bianca Andreescu will not be making the trip to Tokyo to play in the Olympics after withdrawing due to the current pandemic situation.

 

The former US Open champion issued a statement concerning what she describes as a ‘difficult decision.’ Andreescu is the latest top name to pull out of the Olympics. Last week Nick Kyrgios also said he wouldn’t be playing for similar reasons. Due to a a surge of COVID-19 cases in Tokyo, the city has gone into a state of emergency which prompted organisers to ban spectators from attending Olympic events in the city. Athletes will be subjected to tough restrictions during their time at the event, as well as regular testing.

” I would like to inform you that I have made the very difficult decision to not play in the Tokyo Olympics later this month,” Andreescu wrote on Instagram. “I have been dreaming of representing Canada at the Olympics since I was a little girl but with all the challenges we are facing as it relates to the pandemic, I know that deep in my heart, this is the right decision to make for myself. I look forward to representing Canada in future Fed Cup ties, and competing at the 2024 Olympics in Paris! “

The Canadian hasn’t played since losing in the first round of Wimbledon to Alize Cornet of France and most recently split with her coach Sylvain Brunneau after a four-year partnership.

Her 2021 season has been up and down starting in Australia where she lost in the second round before making the semifinals at the Phillips Island Trophy event. She then made the final at the Miami Open before taking a fall in the final against Ash Barty and was forced to retire due to injury.

Then the clay-court season came and Andreescu tested positive for Covid. She was forced to miss events in Madrid and Rome, so she headed to Strasbourg for some preparation before the French Open. The world No.5 won two matches in Strasbourg before pulling out due to an ab injury. She then lost in the first round of the French Open.

The Canadian moved on to the grass-court season heading to Berlin but again would get upset in the first round by Alize Cornet before winning one round in Eastbourne and losing to Anett Kontaveit.

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