Anett Kontaveit edges past defending champion Julia Goerges in Zhuhai - UBITENNIS
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Anett Kontaveit edges past defending champion Julia Goerges in Zhuhai

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Anett Kontaveit edged past defending champion Julia Goerges 6-2 4-6 6-4 to take a much needed win and keep her hopes alive to reach the semifinals at the Hengqin Life WTA Trophy in Zhuhai. If Kontaveit had lost this match, she would have been knocked out of the Rose Group. In the first match Kontaveit lost against this year’s Australian Open semifinalist Elise Mertens.

 

Kontaveit broke twice in the first and fifth games to build up a 4-1 lead. She held serve before breaking ser to earn her chance to serve out for the first set. She held her serve to close out the first set 6-2 in just over half an hour.

Goerges got her first break in the fourth game of the second set to open up a 3-1 lead. Kontaveit broke back in the ninth game to claw her way back to 5-4. Goerges earned another break to seal the second set 6-4.

Goerges converted her third break point at deuce to open up a 2-0 lead. Kontaveit broke back in the third game and held her service game to get back on serve at 2-2. Kontaveit got her second break in the seventh game for 4-3 and held her final two games to serve out the third set 6-4.

“I played a great set in the first and I was playing quite consistent. It was a big improvement from yesterday. It was a very close match. In the third set I was just trying to stay tough”, said Kontaveit in the post match interview.

Madison Keys opens her Azalea round robin group with a straight-set win over Daria Kasatkina: 

Madison Keys beat Daria Kasatkina 6-2 6-4 in her opening match of the Azalea round robin Group. Keys has improved her record in her head-to-head matches against Kasatkina to 4-0.

Keys built up a 5-1 lead with two consecutive breaks in the fourth and sixth games. Kasatkina pulled one break back on her third chance for 2-5, but Keys broke for the third time at 15 to seal the first set 6-2.

Both players traded breaks twice from the fourth to seventh games in the second set. Keys built up a 6-2 4-2 lead, but Kasatkina broke back in the seventh game and held her serve to draw level to 4-4 in the second set. The young Russian player fended off a match point in the 10th game, before earning a game point for 5-5. Kasatkina won the final two points to seal the second set with her third break of serve.

“I think I had a really good start today and that definitely helped me. I think I served well. I think there was a bit of lull in the second set, but overall  I was happy with that”, said Keys in the post-match interview.

Muguruza comes from one set down to beat Zhang Shuai 

Number 7 seed and two-time Grand Slam champion Garbine Muguruza came back from one set down to beat Chinese wildcard Zhang Shuai 3-6 6-2 6-2 to take the top in the Camelia Group.

Zhang got an early lead to open up a 2-0 lead and saved two break points to hold serve at 4-1 and served out the first set in the ninth game.

Muguruza earned seven break points in Zhang’s opening two service games in the second set before earning her first break of serve in the sixth game to take a 4-2 lead. The 2018 Monterrey champion and Roland Garros semifinalist closed out the second set forcing the match to the third set.

Both players traded breaks six times in the third set. Muguruza was the first to hold her serve in the sixth game  to open up a 4-2 lead after five consecutive breaks in the first five games and sealed the win with another break in the seventh game on her third break point chance.

“I didn’t start very well. I didn’t find my rhythm. I gave her a lot of free points. She was playing well since the beginning. It was a good challenge to look for something more and try to change it, to try to have the chance to win the match at the end”, said Muguruza in the post match interview.

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Amanda Anisimova becomes the second US player to reach the final in Bogotà

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US 17-year-old Amanda Anisimova fought back from one set down to beat Brazil’s Beatriz Haddad Maia 4-6 7-6 (7-2) 6-2 after 2 hours and 40 minutes at the Claro Open Colsanitas in Bogotà.

 

Roland Garros Junior finalist Amanda Anisimova has become the second US player to reach the final in Bogotà and the first since Irina Falconi in 2016. She has reached the second final of her career.

Haddad Maia earned the first break in the third game to take a 2-1 lead, but Anisimova broke straight back in the next game. Haddad Maia got another break lead for 3-2. Anisimova brought up five break point chance on Haddad’s next three service games, but the Brazilian player held on her service games to clinch the opening set 6-4.

Anisimova earned six break points, but Haddad Maia saved them setting up a tie-break. Anisimova opened up a 2-0 lead, but Haddad Maia pulled back the mini-break to draw level to 2-2. Anisimova reeled off five consecutive points to seal the tie-break 7-2 sending the match to the third set.

Anisimova went up a double break to open up a 4-1 lead. Haddad Maia got one of the two breaks back, but Anisimova broke again for 5-2, when the Brazilian player made a double fault. Anisimova saved five break points before serving out the match after three deuces.

“She is a great player, and I have never played her before. I was expecting a really tough match, because especially on clay she is really good”, said Anisimova.

Anisimova will face Australia’s Astra Sharma, who beat 2012 Bogotà champion and 2017 and 2018 finalist Lara Arruabarrena 7-5 6-1 after 66 minutes reaching the first final of her career.

The first set went on serve in the first eight games with no break point chances. Arruabarrena earned the first break in the ninth game to take a 5-4 lead. Sharma got the break back after saving two set points. Arruabarrena held two game points in the 12th game, but Sharma rallied from 15-40 to break serve for 7-5 after a double break from the Spanish player.

Sharma earned two consecutive breaks in the fourth and sixth games to cruise through to winning the second set 6-1.

“The most important thing this week has been keeping my keeping really good mentally. Staying positive, staying positive, not thinking too much or getting too negative on court. I have just been really solid and consistent, point by point”, said Sharma.

 

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Amanda Anisimova edges past fellow teenager Maria Camila Osorio Serrano to reach the semifinal in Bogotà

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US 17-year-old Amanda Anisimova edged past her fellow teenager Maria Camila Osorio Serrano from Colombia 6-2 1-6 6-3 after 1 hour and 51 minutes to reach the semifinal at the Claro Open Colsanitas in Bogotà.

 

In the opening set Anisimova fended off three break points in the first game and broke twice in the second and eighth games to seal the first set 6-2. Seventeen-year-old Serrano broke three times to cruise through to winning the second set 6-1 in less than 30 minutes forcing the match to the third set.

Anisimova went up a double break to open up a 3-0 lead in the decider. Serrano pulled one break back on her fourth break point chance in a very long fourth game featuring nine deuces. Anisimova saved three break points in the eighth game to hold her serve before closing out the match with a break in the ninth game to reach her first semifinal since Hiroshima last September.

“It was a really tough match. Playing someone in their country is really tough. I am really happy that I battled through it, and I mentally stayed strong. Osorio Serrano is a strong player and I have a lot of respect for her”, said Anisimova.

Anisimova will face a semifinal clash against Beatriz Haddad Maia, who came back from one set down to beat Sara Sorribes Tomo 6-7 (6-8) 6-2 6-3 after 2 hours and 45 minutes reaching her first seminal since Seoul 2017. Anisimova and Haddad Maia will meet for the first time in their careers.

Both players traded six times in the first nine games of the first set. Sorribes Tormo won the final four points after saving two set points at 4-6 to win the tie-break 8-6. Maia bounced back in the second set by breaking three times in a row to win the second set 6-2. After a trade of breaks in the third and fourth games of the third set Haddad Maia broke twice in a row to open up a 5-2 lead. Sorribes Tormo got back one break in the eighth game but Haddad Maia converted her third match point on return to seal the decisive set 6-3.

Spain’s Lara Arruabarrena saw off Tamara Zidansek 6-4 6-2 after 1 hour and 18 minutes. Arruabarrena saved five of the six break points she faced and broke serve four times. Arruabarrena reeled off nine of the last eleven games and raced out to a 5-0 lead in second set. She secured her semifinal spot on her fifth match point in a seven-deuce ninth game.

Australia’s Astra Sharma edged former Roland Garros finalist Sara Errani 6-1 7-5. Sharma broke five times and fended off seven of the nine break points she faced.

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Krystina Pliskova battles past Svetlana Kuznetsova to set up semifinal against teenager Iga Swiatek in Lugano

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World number 101 Krystina Pliskova came back from one set down in her 4-6 6-3 7-5 win over 2009 Roland Garros champion Svetlana Kuznetsova after 2 hours and 5 minutes at the Samsung Open in Lugano to reach her first semifinal since her run to the final in Prague 2017.

 

Krystina Pliskova (the twin sister of Karolina) had already beaten Kuznetsova in three sets in the second round at Wimbledon 2015 after coming back from a set down.

The first set featured 20 break points. Kuznetsova got an immediate break in the first game on her second chance. Pliskova converted her third break-back chance in the fourth game to draw level to 2-2. Kuznetsova earned a second break lead in the fifth game at deuce to take a 3-2 lead, but Pliskova broke straight back in the sixth game. Kuznetsova broke for the third time to take a 4-3 lead. Pliskova saved three set points to hold her serve for 4-5, as she was serving to stay in the set in the ninth game. Kuznetsova served out the first set on her fourth set point.

Pliskova held her service games and broke serve in the fourth game on her only chance to take a 3-1 lead. The Czech player held serve at 30 to seal the second set 6-3 forcing the match to the decider.

Pliskova saved five break point chance in the second game of the third set before converting her second break point chance in the third game to take a 2-1 lead. Kuznetsova broke back in the eighth game to draw level to 4-4. Pliskova reeled off 12 of the final 14 points at 4-5 to reel off the final three games thanks to a break in the 11th game securing her spot in the semifinal.

Pliskova will face Polish 17-year-old Iga Swiatek (Wimbledon Junior champion in 2018), who rallied from one set down to beat Vera Lapko 4-6 6-4 6-1 after 2 hours and 4 minutes. Lapko saved ten of the eleven break point chances she faced in the first set and broke serve twice in the ninth game to seal the first set 6-4. Both players traded breaks twice in the second set en route to 4-4. Swiatek sealed the second set 6-4 with a break in the 10th game. Swiatek went down a break in the first game of the decisive set, but she won six consecutive games with three breaks to close out the third set 6-1.

Polona Hercog from Slovenia beat Veronika Kudemertova 6-4 6-1 after 1 hour and 26 minutes. Hercog converted 5 of her 13 break points. The Slovenian player went down a break in the seventh game, but she came back by winning three consecutive games with two breaks to take the first set 6-4. Hercog went up a double break to race out to a 4-0 lead. Kudemertova pulled back one of the two breaks, but Hercog broke for the third time to close out the third set 6-1.

Twenty-two French player Fiona Ferro battled past Switzerland’s Stefanie Voegele 7-5 7-6 (7-5) after 1 hour and 54 minutes. Ferro came back from 4-5 down by winning three consecutive games to clinch the opening set 7-5. The young French player recovered from a break down in the seventh game of the second set with a break back in the eighth game before winning the tie-break 7-5 to secure her spot in the semifinal without dropping a set during the week.

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