Angelique Kerber Avenges Fed Cup Loss To Kvitova In Stuttgart - UBITENNIS
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Angelique Kerber Avenges Fed Cup Loss To Kvitova In Stuttgart

Angelique Kerber thrashed Petra Kvitova 6-3 6-2, while Simona Halep fought back from a set down to beat Magdalena Rybarikova 4-6 6-2 6-3.




Angelique Kerber produced a polished performance to see off the challenge of Petra Kvitova 6-3 6-2 in the first round of the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart.


It was quite a turnaround for the German, who lost 6-2 6-2 to the same opponent on exactly the same court in the Fed Cup during her country’s 4-1 defeat by Czech Republic just a few days earlier.

In that match, Kvitova was on top form and her trademark powerful groundstrokes proved too good for Kerber.

However, the Czech was unable to reproduce that kind of performance as she made 32 errors and surrendered her serve four times.

The German played far more consistent tennis. She made very few unforced errors and won 71% of points on her first serve and 57% behind her second. She also saved three break points as she held throughout.

Both players took a while to get going at the start of the match, but they held firm on their serves initially. Then Kerber went on a charge and only lost four points in the next four games from 2-3.

She held to love and earned her first break thanks to some sloppy groundstrokes from Kvitova. The German then followed that with another easy hold to establish a 5-3 lead, before clinching the set by breaking her Czech opponent for the second time in succession.

Kvitova wastes chances

Despite the more emphatic scoreline, the games were actually closer in the second set. Kvitova had break points in Kerber’s first two service games of the set but she was unable to convert them.

And ultimately that cost her, as the German took her first chance to break to lead 3-1 and never faced another break point in the set. She sealed her victory with another break in game eight.

“I know what to expect, and it’s not an easy match,” Kerber told “I lost against Petra on Sunday, but I was trying to play my game and focus more on my side of the court, and playing aggressive. I’m happy to be in the next round.”

The German’s next test will be against Anett Kontaveit in the last 16, after the big-hitting Estonian edged out Kristina Mladenovic 5-7 7-6(3) 7-6(5) in a titanic battle that lasted over three hours.

Halep battles back

Simona Halep came through a more difficult encounter than her German rival as she fought back from a set down to beat Magdalena Rybarikova 4-6 6-2 6-3.

The Romanian received treatment for a muscle problem as she struggled for rhythm in the opening set. However, she said in her on-court interview after the match that she “didn’t want to stop”.

And the World No.1 certainly did not let her discomfort discourage her as she clawed her way back into the match after going a break down in the second set.

Trailing 2-1, Halep produced her best tennis of the match so far to break back immediately and that kick-started a run of five games in a row to take the second set.

Then the Romanian stepped things up again in the decider. After losing a tight game on serve, she put relentless pressure on Rybarikova’s serve. The Slovakian crumbled and parity was restored.

Halep looked confident at this point, and she earned the decisive break in game six. She produced a superb cross-court backhand to win the point of the match and go up 0-30, and then crunched a forehand at Rybarikova’s feet as she attempted to serve and volley.

The World No.1 sealed the break to love with a superb forehand winner and closed out the match with two comfortable holds.

Comfortable on clay

“I tried to stop missing because at the beginning of the second set I started to miss a lot,” Halep said in her on-court interview. “Then I found my rhythm and played point by point.”

“Always on clay I’m thinking about keeping the rallies longer. If we go to a third set, I feel that I’m strong enough to play good tennis. I’m not afraid to stay in the match and the rallies, so that’s why I like clay.”

Halep also spoke about her injury scare. She said, “In the first set at 3-3, I just felt my muscle, so it was really tough to keep playing, but I didn’t want to stop. And then I just didn’t think too much about the injury and kept playing.”

“It’s really tough on this court, and I’ve never played my best tennis here. But if you get used to it, you can play at a good level.”


Tereza Martincova and Belinda Bencic reach the quarter final in Ostrava




Czech wildcard Tereza Martincova upset Roland Garros Anastasya Pavlyuchenkova 7-6 (7-5) 7-6 (8-6) after 2 hours and 19 minutes to advance to the quarter finals at the J&T Banka Ostrava Open. 


Martincova claimed her third top 20 win of her career and reached her second quarter final on home soil this season after finishing fourth in Prague. 

Pavlyuchenkova earned the first break to take a 4-3 lead and served for the first set in the 10th game, but she never reached a set point. The Russian player came just two points away from winning the first set at 5-4 30-15, but Martincova won four consecutive points before winning the tie-break 7-5. 

Martincova dropped just eight points in the first six games of the second set. The Czech player fended off two break points to consolidate her lead for 2-0. She raced out to a 7-6 (7-5) 5-1 lead, but Pavlyuchenkova saved two match points to hold serve forcing Martincova to serve for the match. Martincova dropped four consecutive points. Pavlyuchenkova got another break, when Martincova was serving for the match for the third time at 6-5. Martincova went up a 4-1 lead in the tie-break, but Pavlyuchenkova drew level to 4-4 before saving a third match point. Martincova won the final two points to claim the tie-break 8-6. 

Martincova set up a quarter final match against Maria Sakkari, who beat last week’s Luxembourg finalist Jelena Ostapenko. 

This year’s Olympic champion Belinda Bencic cruised to a 6-2 6-3 win over Sara Sorribes Tormo in just 88 minutes. Bencic claimed her 15th win in her last 18 matches. Bencic broke six times and reeled off eight consecutive games from 2-2 in the first set to cruise through to a a straight-set win. Sorribes Tormo saved a break point to win her first game for 1-4 and pulled one break back in the sixth game, but Bencic sealed the win with her third break in the ninth game. “I think I prepared well for this match tactically, and also mentally, because it’s very tough. You have to win the point many times against her, especially on this surface, where it’s very slow. I am happy that I stayed disciplined for the whole match”, said Bencic. 

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Naomi Osaka Withdraws From Indian Wells, Unclear If She Will Play Again This Year

There is no official word but it looking increasingly likly that the world No.8 might have pulled the plug on her 2021 season.




Japan’s Naomi Osaka has officially withdrawn from the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells just weeks after saying she will take a break from the sport due to personal reasons.


The former world No.1 hadn’t played a match since her loss to Leylah Fernandez in the third round of the US Open. Speaking to reporters in New York, Osaka said she didn’t know when she would play another match on the Tour. Earlier this year she opened up about her mental health struggles after revealing she has been suffering from social anxiety and depression. Osaka also took time away from the sport during the summer after pulling out of the French Open before deciding to skip Wimbledon.

“This is very hard to articulate. Basically I feel like I’m kind of at this point where I’m trying to figure out what I want to do, and I honestly don’t know when I’m going to play my next tennis match. Sorry,” she said following her loss to Fernandez.
“I think I’m going to take a break from playing for a while. How do I go around saying this? I feel like for me recently when I win I don’t feel happy. I feel more like a relief. And then when I lose, I feel very sad. I don’t think that’s normal. I didn’t really want to cry.”

Osaka’s withdrawal from Indian Wells was confirmed by the tournament who published an announcement on social media. Although they didn’t specify what reason she used to withdraw from the tournament which is one of the biggest events outside of the Grand Slams in terms of ranking points and prize money on offer.

It was Indian Wells where Osaka won her first prestigious title back in 2018 after defeating Daria Kasatkina in straight sets. The following year she was the top seed in the draw but lost to Belinda Bencic in the fourth round.

There has been no official comment from Osaka or her team about Indian Wells and if she will play again this season. Although it looks increasingly unlikely. She is in with a chance of qualifying for the WTA Finals in November but even if she does make the cut it is unclear if she will attend the event which has been relocated from China to Mexico.

This year Indian Wells will get underway on October 4th which is more than six months later than usual due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Simona Halep Ends Six-Year Collaboration With Coach Cahill

One of the longest coaching partnerships on the WTA Tour has come to an end.




Former world No.1 Simona Halep is on the lookout for a new coach after unexpectedly announcing her split from Darren Cahill on Wednesday.


The two-time Grand Slam champion has been working with the Australian mentor for most of the time since 2015. There was a brief period where Cahill stepped away from his duties to spend more time with his family before later returning. Under his guidance, the Romanian reached the top of the world rankings and featured in the final of three major tournaments, winning two of those.

“After six wonderful years working together, Darren Cahill and I have decided that it’s time to end our working relationship,” Halep wrote on social media. “Thank you D for everything, for making me a better tennis player and a better person.”

55-year-old Cahill is a former player himself who has also worked with a series of top players prior to Halep. In the past, he has coached both Lleyton Hewitt and Andre Agassi to world No.1 at different stages of their careers. Doubles specialist Horia Tecău reportedly told Romanian TV that it was rumoured Cahill received an annual salary in the region of one million euros during his time with Halep. Although this has not been verified.

The announcement comes a week after Halep married Macedonian businessman Toni Iuruc. One of those who attended the event was Illie Nastase who was one of the world’s best tennis players during the 1970s, winning both the French Open and US Open.

I didn’t know anything about Simona’s intention to break up with Darren Cahill. It took me a little by surprise. But Simona Halep has proven she knows what she’s doing. As I did not know, I do not see what I could comment. But there is no question of collaborating (with her),” Nastase told
I didn’t talk to her about this or to anyone else in her entourage… I think only Simona knows who her future coach will be. I trust her choices.”

So far in 2021 Halep has achieved a win-loss record of 15-7 during what has been a rollercoaster season. An Achilles injury forced her to miss both the French Open and Wimbledon, as well as the Tokyo Olympics. Since returning to the Tour from her injury she has won back-to-back matches in one out of three tournaments played. Reaching the fourth round of the US Open.

There has been no official word on who may replace Cahill as Halep’s coach.

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