Kristina Mladenovic and Eugenie Bouchard March On In Washington Campaigns - UBITENNIS
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Kristina Mladenovic and Eugenie Bouchard March On In Washington Campaigns

2nd seed Kristina Mladenovic and 2014 Wimbledon finalist Eugenie Bouchard are just a couple of players that continue their journeys to the title in Washington, D.C.

Jakub Bobro

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No. 2 seed in the Washington draw Kristina Mladenovic struggled through her opening match against Tatjana Maria of Germany. It was apparent that the talented Frenchwoman was bothered by injury, and actually took a medical timeout in the third set. Despite being a break down to Maria in the deciding set, Mladenovic fought her opponent and her body successfully. The World No. 13 won 7-5 3-6 6-3 and got her 40th win of the year. 17 year-old Bianca Andreescu will be Mladenovic’s Round of 16 opponent, looking to pull off two upsets in a row.

 

The Former World No. 5 Eugenie Bouchard has continued to look for her game in 2017. Other than her stand-out results (quarterfinals in Madrid, semifinals in Sydney, Round of 32 at Australian Open), the Canadian has struggled to win matches. Bouchard won her first match since the French Open in the opening round of Washington. The World No. 73 was faced with the 8th seed Christina McHale. In a dramatic first set, Bouchard came out victorious after closing the set out on her 8th set point. The match was won in the first set tiebreak, as McHale didn’t put up a fight in the second set. Bouchard won 7-6(6) 6-0 and will next face Andrea Petkovic. Both players have spent time inside the Top 10, and are now struggling to keep themselves in the Top 100. Petkovic carries a significant advantage, leading the head-to-head 4-1, which may turn out to be the deciding factor.

There were also three 2nd Round matches played later in the day. 7th seed Ekaterina Makarova was the only one to come through in straight sets. It was also the most surprising, as she faced the trickiest of the unseeded opponents in Monica Puig. The Russian came through and won 6-2 6-4.

No. 5 seed Oceane Dodin won 3-6 7-5 6-1 over Sara Errani. It was a match full of twists and turns, played by two very different contestants. Dodin is a young aggressive 20 year-old, somewhat reckless in her game. Errani, at 30 years old is outside the Top 100, but enjoyed her tenure inside the Top 10. Due to her size (Errani is 19 cm shorter than Dodin), the Italian plays a grinding, calculating game; always waiting for her opponent’s mistakes. Errani looked the better player in the opening set and for the majority of Set 2. The veteran worked her way to 3 match points when she was serving for the match at 6-3 5-4. From there, Dodin became unstoppable. The young Frenchwoman won 9 out of the next 10 games, and the match. Dodin’s next opponent will be Aryna Sabalenka or Sabine Lisicki.

An even more dramatic match was played out by 4th seed Julia Goerges and Alison Van Uytvanck. The Belgian was outplaying the seeded German, and had a lead of 6-3 3-1. Goerges did not let that stand, and launched a comeback, winning 5 games in a row. Van Uytvanck and Goerges were very stable on serve in the final set. Though Van Uytvanck had match point at 5-4, the set went into a tiebreak. The World No. 104 was leading 6-3, but lost 3 more match points. Goerges ended up winning the final set tiebreak 11-9, squandering two match points, but saving five.

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Rebecca Peterson clinches her maiden WTA title

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Twenty-four year-old Swedish player Rebecca Peterson lifted the first title of her career at the Jangxi Open in Nanchang after beating Kazakhstan’s Elena Rybakina 6-2 6-0.

 

The world number 78 Petterson, who had reached only a quarter final so far this season, has become the 14th first-time winner on the WTA Tour so far in 2019.

Peterson reeled off nine consecutive games from 3-2 in the first set to clinch the win, breaking serve four times.

Peterson dropped only nine points in her service games and did not face any break points. The Swede earned her first break in the first game after a double fault from Rybakina. Peterson consolidated the break by holding serve at love and opened up a 4-2 lead, when Rybakina sent a forehand long.

Peterson broke serve in the seventh game to race out to a 5-2 lead, as Rybakina made a backhand error. Peterson sealed the first set with a forehand crosscourt winner in the eighth game.

Peterson earned an early break, after Rybakina sent a forehand long, and went up a 3-0 lead. Rybakina did not win a single game point and sent Petersen to deuce in the fifth game of the second set, but she dropped serve. Petersen wrapped up the match with a bagel thanks to a service winner on her first championship point.

Rybakina, who scored two three-set wins against Viktoria Golubic in the quarter final and Peng Shuai in the semifinal, hit 3 winners to 11 unforced errors. She had won her maiden title in Bucharest last July.

 

 

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Karolina Pliskova lifts her fourth title of the season in Zhengzhou

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Number 1 seed Karolina Pliskova cruised past number 7 seed Petra Martic 6-3 6-2 after 1 hour and 36 minutes in the final of the Zhengzhou Open, an inaugural WTA Premier tournament. The final was postponed by six hours after torrential rain.

 

Pliskova came back from 0-2 in the first set by winning 12 of the next 15 games to win her fourth title this season after Brisbane, Rome and Eastbourne. The Czech player is the fifth top seed to win a tournament this season after Aryna Sabalenka in Shenzhen, Alison Van Uytvanck in Budapest, Caroline Garcia in Nottingham and Anastasjia Sevastova in Jurmala.

Pliskova took a re-match against Martic, who beat the Czech player in four of their previous five head-to-head matches and won their third round clash at Roland Garros.

Pliskova saved two of her three break points and converted four of her eight break points.

Martic earned an early break with a forehand return winner to open up a 2-0 lead in the first set. As the match resumed after a rain delay Martic did not convert a double break point. Pliskova broke back in the fourth game with a forehand winner to draw level to 2-2.

Pliskova saved a break point chance in the seventh game with a forehand down the line. The Czech player broke serve in the eighth game, when Martic made a forehand error and sealed the first set 6-3 with a service winner.

Pliskova dropped only six points on her first serve in the second set and broke serve in the third game when Martic sent a backhand slice wide. The former world number 1 player held her serve with an ace before breaking for the second time in the fifth game. She hit four winners to seal the win, as she was serving for the match at 5-2.

“I think I played good matches. Of course, not all the matches were perfect, the week never can be really perfect because it’s so many days and so many things can be just different every day. I beat tough players, which I maybe lost to a couple of times before. I think that was the biggest plus of this week, especially with Petra. These wins are always important. It doesn’t matter where you play, which tournament you play, but it’s always important. To get the trophy is always special. It does not matter really which tournament or how big the tournament is, it’s always good”, said Pliskova.  

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Nao Hibino beats Misaki Doi in all-Japanese final in Hiroshima

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World Number 146 Nao Hibino beat Misaki Doi 6-3 6-2 in the all-Japanese final of Haa-Cupid Japan Open in Hiroshima.

 

Doi broke serve at 15 in the second game with a deep return, but she dropped her serve at love in the third game. Dou earned another break with a forehand to open up a 3-1 lead. Hibino pulled the break back in the fifth game, when Doi sent her backhand long.

Hibino reeled off nine consecutive games from 1-3 down to build up a 6-3 4-0 lead with two consecutive breaks in the seventh and ninth games of the first set and two more breaks in the first and third games of the second set. Doi dropped her serve in six consecutive service games and hit 8 winners to 14 unforced errors. Doi pulled back one break in the fifth game. Hibino broke for the third time at deuce to win the second set 6-2.

Hibino claimed both the singles and the doubles titles at the same tournament for the first time in her career. She teamed up with Doi to clinch the doubles title with a 6-3 4-6 10-4 win over Christina McHale and Valeria Savinykh.

“I was so nervous today, so much more than the semifinals, but because I experienced being nervous in the semifinals, I knew what to expect. I was able to stay positive during the match today”, said Hibino.

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