Kiki Bertens reaches first Premier final after beating Keys in thriller - UBITENNIS
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Kiki Bertens reaches first Premier final after beating Keys in thriller

Kiki Bertens beat Madison Keys 6-4 6-7 7-6 in a thrilling semi-final in Charleston to book a place in her first WTA Premier final.



Kiki Bertens beat Madison Keys 6-4 6-7 7-6 in a pulsating encounter to reach her first WTA Premier final.


The Dutchwoman, 26, has already won four International titles on clay and now has the daunting task of trying to claim the biggest title of her career just a few hours after booking her place in it after yesterday’s heavy rain forced organisers to postpone the semi-finals.

It was an extraordinary semi-final against the American that was never predictable at any stage. This was perfectly demonstrated by the start, as the clash opened with three consecutive breaks of serve.

Bertens earned two of them to gain the early advantage. Keys managed to break back in game six but was broken again immediately and never recovered as the Dutchwoman took the set 6-4.

The second set was a battle throughout, as Keys stepped up her aggression and broke twice to lead before being pegged back by Bertens both times.

Having weathered the storm from the American, the Dutch player seemed set to wrap up a straight-sets win when she broke to go 6-5 up and then had two match points on her serve.

However, Keys saved one with a huge forehand and Bertens wasted the second when she hit a poor forehand straight to the American, who was waiting at the net to put away an easy volley.

By this point, the Dutch woman seemed very rattled and she gifted Keys the break with two sloppy errors. And the errors kept on coming from Bertens in the tie-break as she lost it 7-2.

Bertens edges epic decider

Both players were far more secure on their own serves for the majority of the decider and the score was locked at 4-4 after eight comfortable holds.

Then chaos returned, as Keys took advantage of two errors from Bertens by hitting a pinpoint backhand down the line to make it 0-40 on the Dutch player’s serve.

After Bertens double-faulted, the American had the chance to serve for the match. She started the game well, hitting two winners to gain a match point at 40-30. However, she netted a forehand and was broken by the determined Dutchwoman shortly afterwards.

Keys produced a sublime drop shot and a huge forehand winner to break again and earn a second chance to serve it out. But she failed again as Bertens hit a superb forehand winner at 30-30 and then a calm smash to seal the game.

The Amercian gifted the Dutch player a 3-1 lead in the deciding tie-break with a couple of wild forehands, before battling back to 5-5 with some brilliant backhands and a composed smash.

However, it was Bertens who had the final say. The Dutchwoman hooked a spectacular forehand return wide to Keys’ right and the American hit it just wide of the court to give her a third match point. And this time Bertens clinched victory as Keys netted a backhand.

“I’m really happy,” Bertens said in her on-court interview. “It was a little bit tough in the second set and I couldn’t get the win but I just kept on fighting.”

When the Dutchwoman was asked what it is like to reach her first Premier final, she said, “It’s incredible. I love the clay – I think everyone knows that. I’m really happy with the way I’m playing here.”

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Asian Games Champion Qinwen Zheng Reveals Shock Departure Of Coach Fissette



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China’s Qinwen Zheng says she feels ‘hurt’ by the decision of her former coach to end their collaboration in order to work with another player. 


The US Open quarter-finalist had been working with Belgium’s Wim Fissette in recent weeks following the departure of Pere Riba who is now the coach of Coco Gauff. Fissette has a wealth of experience in women’s tennis after working with the likes of Kim Clijsters and Naomi Osaka. However, Zheng says she is now looking for a new mentor.

“I understand his decision, but my family and I feel hurt. Right now I don’t want to talk about this person (Fissette),’ journalist Bendou Zhang quoted her as saying. 

Fissette is yet to comment on his departure. He had previously coached former world No.1 Osaka between 2019-2022 and during this period she won two of her four Grand Slam titles. The American-based Japanese player is on maternity leave from the sport and gave birth to her first child in July.

20-year-old Zheng is currently ranked 23rd in the world and won her maiden WTA title in Palermo earlier this year. She is the youngest player from her country to have reached the quarter-finals of a Grand Slam in the Open Era following her run at Flushing Medows. This year she has beaten top 10 players Ons Jabeur and Daria Kasatkina. 

Zheng’s latest career milestone is winning gold at the Asian Games on Friday. in the final, she defeated Zhu Lin 6-2, 6-4, in the blistering Hangzhou heat.

“The feeling was incredible,” Zheng said. “I’m really happy about that. That was not an easy match today and also yesterday (in semifinal against Alex Eala). All of them are good fighters.”

It is not clear who Zheng will be working with during the Asian swing. 

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Daria Kasatkina Criticises Decision To Not Use Roof At Sweltering Pan Pacific Open



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Daria Kasatkina has taken a swipe at organizers at the Toray Pan Pacific Open for not using the roof to cover their premier court on Thursday due to the heat. 


The Russian played her second round match against Despina Papamichail in temperatures around 30 degrees with the humidity making it feel even warmer. Kasatkina battled to a 6-4, 6-4, win after spending more than two hours on the court. She dropped serve four times in the match but managed to break Papamichail seven times en route to victory. 

Speaking on the court following his latest tour win, the world No.13 admitted that she struggled in the conditions and implied that she believed the roof should have been closed to shield the players from the sun. Tokyo, which is where the tournament is staged, has experienced a record-breaking number of ‘extremely hot’ days this year with their autumn season being warmer than usual. Something that some warn could be a more regular occurrence due to climate change.

“We cannot do much about it. We are using the ice towels and some supplements to keep you hydrated. By at the end, you cannot fight with something you cannot control,” Kasatkina commented on the conditions during her on-court interview.
“I think in these kinds of conditions, if you have a roof, better maybe to close it. If you have these opportunities, better to use it than to make players almost die on the field.” She added. 

Kasatkina is through to her seventh Tour quarter-final of the season. Awaiting her in the next round will be second seed Jessica Pegula who beat Spain’s Cristina Bucșa 6-1, 6-2, in her second round match on Wednesday. It will be only the second Tour meeting between the two players and their first on a hard court. 

Elsewhere in Tokyo, another player to reach the last eight in France’s Caroline Garcia who beat Anhelina Kahlinina 6-4, 6-3. Meanwhile, Anastasia Pavlychenkova defeated Czech Republic’s Linda Noskova 6-3, 4-6, 6-0. 

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Barbora Krejcikova Does The Double In San Jose



After what has been a challenging past few weeks on the Tour, Barbora Krejcikova has returned to the winner’s circle by claiming both the singles and doubles titles at the San Diego Open. 


The world No.13 battled to a marathon 6-4, 2-6, 6-4, win over Sofia Kenin in what was a clash of the former Grand Slam champions. Krejcikova was pushed to her limits throughout the two-and-a-half-hour clash with there being no break in the decider until the final game. It is the second singles title the Czech has won on the WTA Tour this season after Dubai and her seventh overall. 

“Normally I wouldn’t be here,” said Krejcikova, who received a wild card to play in the tournament “I really want to thank them (the tournament organisers). It was very special. I really enjoyed my stay here.”

Krejcikova’s run to the trophy has also seen her score wins over Beatriz Haddad Maia and Danielle Collins earlier in the week. She is the first player from her country to win the tournament. 

Following on from that triumph, the 27-year-old then clinched the doubles title alongside compatriot Katerina Siniakova. The duo beat Collins and Coco Vandeweghe 6-1, 6-4.

Krejcikova came into San Jose on a four-match losing streak which started at Wimbledon where she was forced to withdraw from her secound round clash due to a left leg injury. 

“I came here with not really good statistics after my injury, I didn’t actually win any matches,” she said. “So I just came here and I pretty much was hoping and believing that I could get the first win and go from there. It’s pretty special to be sitting here having won [the title].”

It is only the second time in Krejcikova’s career that she has won both the singles and doubles titles at the same event. The first time she did so was at the 2021 French Open where her partner in the doubles was also Siniakova.

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