Karolina Pliskova Reaches Brisbane Final As Sabalenka Reigns In Shenzhen - UBITENNIS
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Karolina Pliskova Reaches Brisbane Final As Sabalenka Reigns In Shenzhen

Karolina Pliskova is into her second Brisbane International final after a straight sets win over Donna Vekic.

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Karolina Pliskova (zimbio.com)

Karolina Pliskova reached her second final in Brisbane after a 6-3 6-4 win over Donna Vekic as Aryna Sabalenka claimed the first WTA title of the season. 

The Czech Republican broke four times as she sealed victory in 1 hour and 20 minutes to seal her place in another Brisbane final.

A 1st serve percentage of 70% saw her finish with the win and now sets up a great final with in-form Ukrainian Lesia Tsurenko.

Meanwhile in Shenzhen Aryna Sabalenka won the first WTA title of the season in Shenzhen with a 4-6 7-6(2) 6-3 win over Alison Riske.

The first set saw both women feel each other’s game out as they shared breaks for 2-2 in the opening set as Pliskova looked to dominate on serve.

However Vekic lacked penetration in the back-end of the first set and the clinical Pliskova took advantage as she grabbed the crucial break for a 4-2 lead.

There was no retaliation from Vekic as Pliskova cruised to the first set in 39 minutes as she looked to start her 2019 season with a final.

The second set was a much better response from Vekic, who had a very good tournament to get to the semi-finals. The breaks were shared in the fifth and six games as Pliskova was looking to find a weakness in Vekic’s game to seal the match.

But in the end Pliskova used her experience to seal her place in the final after an immediate break back for a 4-3 lead. After saving four match points, Vekic could do no more as the world number 8’s mental composure was too much for the Croatian she claimed victory.

The Czech Republican will now look to win the title tomorrow against Lesia Tsurenko.

Sabalenka Claims First WTA Title Of 2019

Aryna Sabalenka claimed the first WTA title in Shenzhen after a three set battle over Alison Riske. The American came so close from taking the title away from the Belarusian but it was the rising star’s day as she won the third WTA title of her career.

After the win, Sabalenka gave all the credit to Riske for giving her a competitive match which went right down to the wire, “It was a tough day for us, especially to come back after the first set. She played unbelievable, an incredible match,” Sabalenka explained.

“She was putting everything in, down the lines, and she was playing really good. I’m so happy that I found a way how to win.”

Sabalenka will look to continue her momentum when she compete in a super-competitive field in Sydney.

 

 

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WATCH: Fans Fight Over Aryna Sabalenka’s Headband Before Security Takes Item Away

Watch the moment two tennis fans lose it over a headband!

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It is traditional for a player to celebrate their victory by throwing some of their unwanted items into the crowd. However, at the Australian Open Belarus’ Aryna Sabalenka got more than she bargained for.

The 11th seed moved into the third round of the tournament on Wednesday following a 6-3, 6-4, win over Great Britain’s Katie Boulter. Recording her seventh win of the season. Shortly after her victory, she threw her headband into the crowd at the Melbourne Arena. Inadvertently creating a tug of war between two stubborn tennis fans. Resulting in them both being escorted off the premises!

https://twitter.com/JeddZetzer/status/1085438472863633408

Following the both bizarre and funny showdown between the two spectators, many are wondering who the winner was. Ironically, it was neither. According to Sporting News, security escorted both women away and then took the item from them as they couldn’t agree as to who should get it.

I guess you can’t win them all!

The two ladies involved in the tussle (image via https://twitter.com/standardsport)

 

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Kiki Bertens knocked out by Pavlyuchenkova

Pavlyuchenkova earned a big win over 9th seed Bertens, while Sasnovich also stunned 20th seed Kontaveit.

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Kiki Bertens became the highest seeded casualty in the women’s draw so far when she lost an entertaining three-set encounter 3-6 6-3 6-3 to Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.

The Dutchwoman, 27, had her best-ever year on the WTA tour in 2018. She won three titles, including the Premier 5 event in Cincinnati, but she will not back up those successes with a good run in Melbourne.

In the first set, Bertens looked comfortable as she broke Pavlyuchenkova twice to establish a 5-1 lead. However, the Russian gained a foothold in the match when she earned her first break in the seventh game.

Pavlyuchenkova built on that momentum in the second set when she went 3-0 up thanks to an early break. And she continued to serve impressively to level the match at one-set all.

The decider was more unpredictable. The Russian broke in the first game, but her Dutch opponent responded with an immediate break back.

However, Pavlyuchenkova’s groundstrokes looked in excellent working order by this stage and she used them to great effect to break Bertens twice more in the fifth and ninth games to take the set 6-3 and clinch a superb win.

“I’m really happy with the win and the way I played today,” the Russian said in her post-match interview. “She is a very tough opponent so that is a great win for me.”

Sasnovich shocks Kontaveit

Pavlyuchenkova’s opponent in round three will be another seed-killer after Aliaksandra Sasnovich beat 20th seed Anett Kontaveit 6-3 6-3.

The Belarussian claimed a headline-grabbing win over Petra Kvitova at Wimbledon last year and she is in scintillating form so far in 2019.

Sasnovich, 24, reached the quarter-final in Brisbane and the semi-final in Sydney and she has carried that momentum into the Australian Open.

She thrashed former Grand Slam semi-finalist Kirsten Flipkens 6-1 6-1 in the first round and then beat Kontaveit almost as convincingly.

Stephens, Garcia and Martic advance

Sloane Stephens had no such trouble in her match against Timea Babos. She beat the Hungarian 6-3 6-1 to set up a third round meeting with Petra Martic, who took out Marketa Vondrousova 6-4 7-5.

Caroline Garcia also looks to be in good form. She backed up a first-round victory over qualifier Jessika Ponchet with a 6-3 6-3 win over Australian wildcard Zoe Hives.

 

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Naomi Osaka takes straight set win to cruise through to the second round

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Last year’s US Open champion and number 4 seed Naomi Osaka beat Magda Linette 6-4 6-2 in 58 minutes to cruise through to the second round at the Australian Open.

Osaka avenged her 6-2 3-6 6-3 defeat against Linette, who won their most recent defeat in the second round at Washington last summer.

The US-based Japanese player claimed four breaks of serve and hit 30 winners to just 16 unforced errors.

Both players traded breaks in the third and fourth games to draw level to 2-2. Osaka earned her second consecutive break in the fifth game to take  a 3-2 lead and held three consecutive service games at love to close out the opening set 6-4. The Japanese player held his service games in his service games and got two breaks in the third and seventh games to close out the second set 6-2.

Osaka won 24 of her 25 points behind her first serve and fired six aces.

The 21-year-old Japanese player will take on Tamara Zidansek, who stunned Daria Gavrilova 7-5 6-3 in her debut at the Australian Open.

“I had a lot of fun. It’s not often that I get to play a night match at Rod Laver. For me it was the first time. I did not feel nervous either, which was a bit unexpected. I thought that I would, being that it’s the first match. I just felt like I had a lot of fun today. For me it was more a test. I was testing myself on how well I can move”,said Osaka.

This year’s Brisbane International champion Karolina Pliskova broke serve four times and dropped her serve twice to cruise past her compatriot Karolina Muchova 6-3 6-2.

Elina Svitolina dropped just three games in her 6-1 6-2 win over Viktorija Golubic with five breaks of serve.

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