Petra Kvitova and Jelena Ostapenko reach the third round at Indian Wells after three-set wins - UBITENNIS
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Petra Kvitova and Jelena Ostapenko reach the third round at Indian Wells after three-set wins




Number 9 seed Petra Kvitova has scored her 14th consecutive win with a 6-7 (4-7) 7-6 (7-3) 6-4 victory over Yulia Putintseva after 3 hours and 17 minutes to reach the third round at Indian Wells. Kvitova came back from one set down for her third match in a row.


The double Wimbledon champion has equalled the longest winning streak of her career. Kvitova has not played well in the Californian desert and has reached the quarter finals twice at this tournament so far in her career.

Kvitova hit 66 winners and 7 aces, but made 78 unforced errors and 18 double faults. The Czech star went down a break twice in the first set. In the eighth game she dropped her serve after five netted forehands and two double faults. Kvitova broke back in the ninth game to draw level setting up a tie-break, as Putintseva was serving for the set. Putintseva prevailed in the tie-break by 7-4.

In the second set Kvitova fended off four break points in her first three service games, including three in a four-deuce fifth game. Kvitova hit four returns to get a crucial break in the the eighth game. Putintseva broke straight back in the ninth game to set up a second tie-break. Kvitova won the tie-break of the second set 7-3 to force the match to the decider.

Putintseva recovered from an immediate break to open up a 4-2 lead, but Kvitova reeled off 12 of the next 15 points to take a 5-4 lead with two breaks of serve in the seventh and ninth games. As she was serving out the match, Kvitova wasted her first match point with her 18th double fault and had to save two break points. After three deuces Kvitova held serve to seal the win, as Putintseva sent her forehand wide.

“It’s tough to explain, because it was really up and down. My mental side wasn’t really tough. It was a good point and I was up mentally, and the nit was a bad point, and I was down. That was almost all match. I could not show the game which I played the last few weeks. I just really stayed very calm”, said Kvitova.

Jelena Ostapenko made a winning start to her Indian Wells campaign by beating Belinda Bencic 6-4 3-6 6-1. Both players split the first two sets by a difference of one break to set up a decisive set. Ostapenko cruised through to a 6-1 win in the third set by breaking serve four times and winning 74 % of her return points.

Ostapenko broke serve in the fourth game to open up a 4-1 lead in the first set. Bencic reeled off three consecutive games to draw level to 4-4. Bencic earned four break point chances to extend her winning streak to four consecutive games and serve for the first set, but Ostapenko held serve after a six-deuce ninth game. The 2017 Roland Garros champion came back from 30-0 down to break serve and wrap up the first set.

Bencic dropped just six points on serve in four service games in the second set and served at 86 %. The Swiss player broke serve twice in the fifth and ninth games to seal the second set with a forehand return winner.

Ostapenko won five consecutive points to break serve in the first game of the decisive set. Bencic pulled one of the two breaks back at love in the fourth game, but Ostapenko won 12 of the last 15 points including two breaks in the fifth and seventh games to close out the match.

“I was just trying to fight, because in the first set I started pretty well, but she played well in the second set. The key game was the first game in the third set when I broke her serve from 40-0. I kind of felt my confidence and it went my way. It’s only my second time here, but hopefully I have many more times to come. I really enjoy playing out here in front of this crowd. I was fighting really hard for the first game of the third set. She made like one easy mistake when it was 40-30 on her serve and then it kind of turned my way. I just felt the confidence, it came back to me, and I felt much better”, said Ostapenko.

Ostapenko will take on Petra Martic, who beat Barbora Strykova 7-5 6-4.


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Venus Williams Explains Met Gala Photo With Maria Sharapova

The former world No.1 says she and her sister Serena have ‘respect and love’ for Sharapova.




Venus Williams, Maria Sharapova and Serena Williams at the 20201 Met Gala (image via Instagram)

Seven-time Grand Slam champion Venus Williams says there are no hard feelings between her, her sister Serena and Maria Sharapova after the trio took a photo together at the Met Gala.


The former world No.1s was seen smiling and laughing together at the New York fundraising event with both of the Williams sisters uploading a photo of them all on their Instagram story. Prompting surprise from some fans considering the at times icy rivalry between Serena and Sharapova that dates back to the 2004 Wimbledon Championships.

In her 2017 autobiography, Unstoppable: My Life So Far, Sharapova mentioned Serena’s name more than 100 times. She says the American hated her for beating her at Wimbledon that year and that the two were ‘not friends.’

“What I heard when I came in to the locker room was Serena Williams bawling,” Sharapova wrote.
“Guttural sobs. I got out as quickly as I could, but she knew I was there.
“I think Serena hated me for being the skinny kid who beat her, against all odds … I think she hated me for seeing her at her lowest moment.
“But mostly I think she hated me for hearing her cry. She’s never forgiven me for it.”

Responding to the claims, Serena hit back at the book in 2018 by describing it as ‘hearsay’ and said she never had any ‘negative feelings’ towards Sharapova. The two clashed on the Tour no fewer than 22 times with Serena winning 20 of those meetings.

“So I don’t have any negative feelings towards her, which again, was a little disappointing to see in that hearsay book,” Williams commented back in 2018. “So I have always, you know, and especially having a daughter, like, I feel like negativity is taught. One of the things I always say, I feel like women, especially, should bring each other up.”

Three years later and it now seems that all parties have put their disagreements behind them. At the Met Gala they were seen getting on pretty well. Besides posing for a photo together, they were also seen together in the bathroom at the event. A photo taken by pop star Anitta and rapper Saweetie which showed them in the background.

Speaking about the event for the first time, 41-year-old Williams said she wishes Sharapova was still playing before adding that they still ‘respect and love’ each other.

“First of all, Serena and I were talking about Maria the day before,” the 41-year-old explained on Instagram.
“We were like, ‘Damn, I wish Maria was still playing.’
“And we saw her, and we both told her separately, ‘Oh my gosh, we were just talking about you yesterday, we wish you were still on tour.’
“We were so happy to see each other. There was hugs, there was laughing, there were stories, and there was a photo.
“So the backstory is that even though us players compete really hard of the court for years, we still respect and love each other, and love Maria

Williams, Serena and Sharapova have won a total of 35 Grand Slam singles titles between them.

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Emma Raducanu Launches Own Weibo Account With Viral Video

In her first video, the teenage sensation promised to play in China next year.




Emma Raducanu reacts after winning a Women's Singles semifinal match at the 2021 US Open, Thursday, Sep. 9, 2021 in Flushing, NY. (Darren Carroll/USTA)

British tennis sensation Emma Raducanu is gaining a rapidly growing fan base in China with her first video on the social media account Weibo surpassing one million views in less than two days.


The 18-year-old has become one of the most talked about athletes in the world of tennis following her unprecedented run to the US Open title. At the Grand Slam she didn’t drop a single set in 10 matches played to become the first qualifier in history to ever win a major title. Even more remarkable was the fact Raducanu was playing in a Grand Slam main draw for only the second time in her career.

In her native UK bookmakers are already tipping the youngster as a strong contender to win this year’s prestigious BBC Sports personality of the Year award. Although it isn’t just Britain where she is proving to be a hit. Raducanu was actually born in Canada to a Romanian father and Chinese mother who both work in the finance section. The family moved to the UK when Raducanu was two-years-old.

“My mum comes from a Chinese background. They have very good self-belief. It’s not necessarily about telling everyone how good you are, but it’s about believing it within yourself. I really respect that about the culture,” she said.
“She’s always instilled a lot of discipline and respect for other people into me, so I think that having parents like I do, they always push me, they have high expectations so I’ve always tried to live up to that. And I just hope I did them proud this week and I’m going to keep trying to go, keep going.”

Shortly after her US Open win, the world No.23 delivered a message in mandarin which was posted on the tournament’s Weibo account. SportsPro Media reports that the video generated more than 11 million impressions.

Now Raducanu has launched her own Weibo account with a video message to her fans., which is a website powered by Chinese newspaper Shanghai Daily, said that the British player has promised to play in the country next year. This season’s Asian swing has been cancelled due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Shine also said she spoke with a slight ‘accent from northeast China’ where her mother is from.

According to the latest view count, the video has been watched more than 1.22 million times since it was published. The view count may look impressive but it is by no means a one off. The Guardian newspaper recently reported that two hashtags related to Raducanu on Weibo have been viewed at least 200M times each as a result of her US Open win. These hashtags were ‘18-year-old ethnic Chinese young player wins US open championship‘ and ‘Raducanu.’

Despite her relative inexperience on the Tour, many are tipping Raducanu to become one of the most marketable athletes in the world. Her ability to interact with the Chinese market will play a significant role in those considering the country has invested millions into the sport and hosts a series of prestigious women’s events. However, in the immediate future the teenager says her focus is on the tennis.

“I have a few days’ rest and recovery – I think needed after the last seven weeks,” she told CNBC’s Closing Bell earlier this week.
“But then I am straight back to training and hungry to get better and come back out and play some more tournaments.”

Besides Weibo, Raducanu also has over 583,000 followers on Twitter, 1.9M Instagram followers and 63,000 followers on her official Facebook page.

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World No.1 Ash Barty May Skip WTA Finals Over ‘Ridiculous’ Conditions, Says Coach

The decision to move the event to Mexico could result is the loss of the wortld No.1.




Ashleigh Barty (AUS) celebrates defeating Barbora Krejcikova (CZE) in the fourth round of the Ladies' Singles on No.1 Court at The Championships 2021. Held at The All England Lawn Tennis Club, Wimbledon. Day 7 Monday 05/07/2021. Credit: AELTC/Florian Eisele

The season-ending WTA Finals could take place without the world’s highest ranked player due to the change of venue and its conditions, according to her coach.


Ash Barty is the reigning champion of the event, which was cancelled last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It is usually held in the Chinese city of Shenzhen but this year’s edition has been relocated to South America. Earlier this week the WTA confirmed that it will be hosted in Guadalajara, Mexico during the early part of November.

Reacting to the latest development, the mentor of reigning Wimbledon champion Barty has hit out of the new location. Craig Tyzzer has voiced his concern over the decision to use pressure-less balls at the event which will be played at high altitude. Going as far as describing the situation as ‘ridiculous.’

“We only just found out it’s in Mexico at 1500 metres (above sea level) and they’re using pressure-less balls,” Tyzzer told the Australian Associated Press.
“Pressure-less balls absolutely fly. It’s a ball that, if you use it in normal conditions, it doesn’t bounce. It’s not the greatest advertisement for the best girls in the world to be playing something they’ve never done before.’
“In conditions they’ve never played, in a country they don’t play and at altitude, I just feel it’s ridiculous. As a spectacle, it’s just frightening.”

Guadalajara already hosts a WTA 250 event during the first quarter of the season. In this year’s tournament no top 20 players were present in the main draw which was won by Canada’s Leylah Fernandez.

Barty is currently taking a break from the Tour following her third round loss at the US Open. Tyzzer said the chances of the world No.1 playing in the WTA Finals is up in the air due to the current travel restrictions in place. When Barty returns to her native Australia she is required to spend two weeks in isolation. Therefore the later she leaves it to go home, the less time she will have to prepare during the off-season.

“Indian Wells (next month) is still on the radar but she just needs a rest. So I told her to just get away and have a holiday,” he said.
“It certainly isn’t easy for us to get there and to play that event in Mexico and then to come back and have to do two (more) weeks (in quarantine) and then your summer is sort of ruined as well. It’s a decision we’ll have to sit and mull over quite a bit.”

So far this season Barty has registered a win-loss record of 42-7 and has won a total of five Tour titles. Besides Wimbledon, she has also triumphed at two Premier Mandatory and two Premier 700 events.

The WTA Finals features the eight highest ranked players in the world with a multi-million dollar prize money pool. This year will be the first time in it’s 49-year history that the tournament will take place in South America before returning to the scheduled home of Shenzhen in 2022.

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