WTA Rome: Simona Halep Given Tough Path As Svitolina Looks To Defend Title - UBITENNIS
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WTA Rome: Simona Halep Given Tough Path As Svitolina Looks To Defend Title

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Simona Halep (zimbio.com)

Simona Halep has been given a tough draw in Rome as she and many others look to dethrone defending champion, Elina Svitolina.

 

The current world number one will begin her campaign in Rome against either Indian Wells champion Naomi Osaka or Victoria Azarenka. In later rounds, last year’s finalist could then face the likes of Madison Keys and 7th seed Caroline Garcia, who reached the Semi-Finals in Madrid this week.

The other quarter in the top half of the draw sees 3rd seed Garbine Muguruza and 5th seed Jelena Ostapenko face each other in a potential Quarter-Final. The Spaniard, who reached the last four last year will face either Daria Gavrilova or Cici Bellis in her first match, with Ashleigh Barty or Maria Sharapova potentially awaiting in the third round. While the reigning Roland Garros champion will play either Shuai Zhang or Mihaela Buzarnescu in her first match as the winner of Petra Kvitova’s match against Johanna Konta potentially facing the Latvian in the third round.

The bottom half of the draw sees the 4th seed and defending champion, Elina Svitolina, where she will begin her defence of her title against either Lesia Tsurenko or Petra Martic. The Ukrainian has been handed a dangerous third round opponent though as 14th seeded Russian, Daria Kasatkina could await in the last 16. Also in this section of the draw is in-form Karolina Pliskova and a returning Angelique Kerber, who faces Ekaterina Makarova in the first round.

The final and arguably weakest section of the draw sees second seed Caroline Wozniacki, who will be looking to improve on her second round exit in Madrid as she will face Sam Stosur or a qualifier in her first match. Should she get through that match then either Anastasija Sevastova or Kristina Mladenovic could await in the third round. The final top eight seed is Venus Williams, who is joined by Anett Kontaveit and Coco Vandeweghe in her section of the draw.

Here is the full draw, with first round matches kicking off this Sunday:

https://twitter.com/InteBNLdItalia/status/994984221025488897

 

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Dominic Thiem beats Andrey Rublev in a high-quality match at Thiem’s tournament in Kitzbuhel

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Dominic Thiem beat Andrey Rublev 7-5 6-4 in a high-quallty match to take the lead in his round-robin group at Thiem’s tournament in Kitzbuhel.

 

Thiem converted his fourth break point chance at deuce in the first game of the second set to take a 1-0 lead. Rublev broke back in the fourth game to draw level to 2-2. Thiem earned his second break at 15 to win the first set 7-5.

The Austrian player converted his only break point in the seventh game to take a 4-3 lead and saved Rublev’s only break point chance to seal the second set 6-4 on his third match point.

The 2020 Australian Open finalisti s the only player in his group with two wins.

Dennis Novak bounced back from the defeat in his opening match with a 6-1 6-4 win over Karen Khachanov.

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Rafael Nadal casts doubts about travelling to New York for the US Open and commits to the Madrid Mutua Open

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Rafael Nadal has cast doubts about travelling to New York to play at the US Open and could not defend the title he won last year. The 19-time Grand Slam champion has confirmed that he will play at the Madrid Mutua Open, which will be held from 12 to 20 September one week after the US Open. The Madrid Mutua Open and the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome are the two clay Masters 1000 tournaments leading to the French Open, which will be held from 27th September to 11th October 2020.

 

“Rafael has confirmed his participation in Madrid. I talked to my friend Rafael Nadal and has confirmed his participation in Madrid next September. We wait for you as always with open arms in the Magic Box”, said Madrid tournament director Feliciano Lopez.

Last year Nadal won his fourth title in New York and the 19th Grand Slam trophy of his career beating Danil Medvedev in five sets. He also won 12 Roland Garros titles, two Wimbledon titles and the Australian Open once.

Novak Djokovic, who has tested positive for coronavirus during the Adria Tour, has not committed to play the US Open.

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Matteo Berrettini beats Roberto Bautista Agut to take the lead in his round robin group at the Thiem’s 7 tournament in Kitzbuhel

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Matteo Berrettini beat Roberto Bautista Agut 6-4 6-3 to take the lead in the Soccer Coin round-robin group at the Thiem’s 7 in Kitzbuhel.

 

Both players earned two break points in the opening set, but they held their serve in the first sixth games. Berrettini converted his second break point chance in the seventh game to take a 4-3. The 2019 US Open semifinalist saved two break points in his next two service games to close out the first set 6-4.

The second set went on serve in the first four games. Berrettini earned two break points and did not face a single break point chance in the second set. The Italian player broke serve in the fifth game at love to take a 3-2 lead. The world number 8 player went up a double break in the ninth game to clinch the second set 6-3.

With two wins in the first two matches Berrettini will face Karen Khachanov in the third and final match of the round robin group. Berrettini hit five aces and won 71% of his first serve points.

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