Angelique Kerber secures her spot for the WTA Finals in Singapore - UBITENNIS
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Angelique Kerber secures her spot for the WTA Finals in Singapore

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Angelique Kerber has become the second player to secure her spot for the 2018 WTA Finals in Singapore after World Number 1 and this year’s Roland Garros champion Simona Halep.

The 30-year German star lifted the third Grand Slam title of her career in Wimbledon by beating Serena Williams and won 42 match wins. She will make her fifth appearance in the end-of-year tournament and achieved her best result in 2016, when she lost to Dominika Cibulkova in the final after winning all her three round-robin matches.

“I am honoured to qualify for the WTA Finals in Singapore this year. I have many memories of competing in Singapore this year. I have many memories of competing in Singapore, especially reaching the final in 2016, and I am excited to be back and play in front of the amazing fans”.

Kerber got off to a good start to her 2018 season when she won the Sydney title last January. The German player qualified for her second Australian Open semifinal before losing to Simona Halep. Kerber reached three consecutive quarter finals at Doha, Indian Wells and Miami and the semifinal at Dubai. She got through to her first French Open quarter final in six years before losing to eventual champion Simona Halep in three sets.

On grass Kerber lost in the semifinal to Caroline Wozniacki at Eastbourne after losing to Dominika Cibulkova, Danielle Collins and Daria Kasatkina. At Wimbledon Kerber beat 2017 Girls champion Claire Liu, Naomi Osaka, Belinda Bencic, 2018 Indian Wells finalist Daria Kasatkina in the quarter final and 2017 Roland Garros champion Daria Kasatkina to reach her second Wimbledon final, where she beat Serena Williams in a re-match of the 2016 final. During the US hard-court season in Cincinnati Kerber beat Anastasya Pavlyuchenkova in three sets before losing to Madison Keys in another three-set match.

Kerber lost to the Slovakian player in the third round at the recent US Open.

“I am feeling good. I was trying to do the best what I can do. It was maybe not the best preparation I had before the US Open. I had not really a lot of matches on hard court. I tried the best. Every match is always tough, especially in the Grand Slams. Now I will just try to take the good things about this trip and try to do better in the next trip”, said Kerber during the press conference after the third round loss to Dominika Cibulkova at the US Open.

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Camila Giorgi advances to the semifinals, as Victoria Azarenka withdraws from the match

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World Number 37 Camila Giorgi has advanced to the semifinal of the Toray Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo after Victoria Azarenka pulled out of the quarter final match due to illness, while she was trailing 3-5 after just 28 minutes in the opening set. Giorgi has extended her win-loss record in her head-to-head matches against Azarenka.

Giorgi hit 10 winners to 4 unforced errors and converted both break points to reach the Tokyo Toray Open semifinal for the first time in her career. She set up a semifinal clash against this year’s US Open champion Naomi Osaka, who beat Barbora Strycova scoring her ninth consecutive win.

Azarenka earned the first break of the match in the third game to take a 2-1 lead. Giorgi pulled the break back to love with a forehand return with a forehand return winner.

The Italian player hit a forehand reurn winner to pull the break back and won eight consecutive points to hold her next service game at love with a backhand volley winner.

Giorgi broke serve at love to open up a 5-3 lead before Azarenka was forced to withdraw from the match.

“The crowd are great here in Tokyo and it’s a real pleasure to play in front of the Japanese fans. Naomi Osaka is strong and powerful and I will play and focus on my game”, said Giorgi.

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Ekaterina Alexandrova upsets defending champion Jelena Ostapenko in the quarter finals in Seoul

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World number 122 Ekaterina Alexandrova upset 2017 Roland Garros champion and defending champion Jelena Ostapenko 6-3 6-2 after 71 minutes in a match delayed by rain to clinch the first top 10 win of her career at the KEB Hana Bank in Seoul.

Before today’s match Alexandrova has never won in her three head-to-head matches against to-10 players. Alexandrova converted five of her eight break point chances and won 79 first serve points.

The 23-year-old Russian player set up a tough semifinal clash against Chinese Taipei’s Hsieh Su-wei, who lifted the Hiroshima last week.

Ostapenko held serve in the first game with two consecutive aces, but she dropped her serve after a double fault. Alexandrova saved a break point to hold serve for a 3-1 lead. Ostapenko broke back in the sixth game to draw level to 3-3, as Alexandrova made a double fault. Alexandrova came back from 15-40 down to break again on her second chance with a forehand crosscourt winner.

Alexandrova earned three set points at 5-3, when Ostapenko hit a backhand wide. The Russian player hit a crosscourt backhand return winner to break serve at love.

In the second set Alexandrova got a break to open up a 3-1 lead, when Ostapenko made one of six double faults on the break point. Alexandrova held her serve to race out to a 4-1 lead after a hard-fought game. She hit a forehand winner to hold her serve for 5-2 in the seventh game and earned three match points with another forehand winner. She converted her first chance with a backhand return winner.

“I think it was a good match. I played well, and she also played well. I am just happy it worked out like this”, said Alexandrova.

Irina Camelia Begu beat Agnieszka Radwanska 6-4 6-3 to reach her third quarter finals this year.Number 2 seed Kiki Bertens edged past Jakupovic Dalila 6-4 7-5.

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Camila Giorgi beats Caroline Wozniacki to score the ninth top 10 win in Tokyo

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This year’s Wimbledon quarter finalist Camila Giorgi came back from one set down in the third set to knock out Caroline Wozniacki 6-2 2-6 6-4 at the Toray Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo scoring the ninth win over a top 10 player in her career. With this win the Italian player has reached the quarter finals.

Giorgi broke this year’s Australian Open champion and former world number 1 player Caroline Woznaicki twice in the first five games of the opening set. Giorgi fired 16 winners to Wozniacki’s 4 in the first set.

Wozniacki, who was playing her first match since losing to Lesla Tsurenko in the second round of the US Open, fended off all nine break points (including six in the first two games, one in the first game and five in the second game at 1-1) and broke serve twice to clinch the second set 6-2.

Wozniacki reeled off eight of the first nine points of the decider to open up a 2-0 lead with a break of serve. Giorgi fought back from 0-30 down to break back. The Italian got the decisive break lead in the seventh game to draw level to 3-3 in her six career head-to-head matches against Wozniacki. Giorgi converted on four of her sixteen break points and hit 45 winners to 29 unforced errors.

The Italian player will take on former Australian Open champion and past world number 1 player Victoria Azarenka, who beat Ashley Barty scoring her first first win against a top 20 player in six months.

Giorgi has scored her ninth career win against a top 10 player and the the first on hard court since she beat Agnieszka Radwanska in Katowice 2015. It’s also the fourth win over a top 5 player and the first since beating Elina Svitolina in Birmingham in 2017.

Giorgi has won 23rd match this year and achieved her best result in her third appearance in Tokyo.

“I will just focus on my game, like always, and I will hope to play like this, very consistent”, said Giorgi.

 

 

 

 

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