Petra Kvitova sets up quarter final against Angelique Kerber in Sydney - UBITENNIS
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Petra Kvitova sets up quarter final against Angelique Kerber in Sydney

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Former Wimbledon champion and number 5 seed Petra Kvitova beat world number 28 player Hsieh Su Wei 7-6 (7-2) 6-2 to become the last player to secure her spot in the quarter finals of the Sydney International, a tournament that the Czech player won in 2015. Kvitova set up a quarter final against 2018 and number 2 seed Sydney champion Angelique Kerber.

Kvitova saved a break point in the opening game before getting an early break in the second game with a return winner to open up a 4-1 lead and earned two break points for 5-1 in the next game, but Hsieh held on her service game after two deuces. Hsieh fended off a set point and broke serve for the first time at the third opportunity in the ninth game to claw her back to 4-5. Hsieh held serve at 15 in the 10th game to draw level to 5-5 and fended off another set point in her last service game to set up a tie-break. Kvitova raced out to a 6-0 lead and sealed the tie-break with an ace on the ninth point.

In the second set Kvitova got an early break in the first game on her third opportunity. The Czech player rallied from 0-40 down in the fourth game before breaking for the second time in the second time to take a 4-1 lead, although five of the first six games of the second set saw break points for the returners. The Czech player hit a backhand down the line winner in the eighth game to seal the second set 6-2 booking her spot in the quarter final, where she will play against defending Sydney champion Angelique Kerber.

Kvitova hit 38 winners to 32 unforced errors and saved seven of eight break points she faced.

Former world junior number 3 player and two-time Roland Garros quarter finalist Yulia Putintseva fought back from one set and a break down to edge 2017 US Open champion and 2018 WTA Finals runner-up Sloane Stephens 3-6 7-6 (7-4) 6-0 after 2 hours and 3 minutes. Putintseva scored her sixth win over a top 10 player and her second consecutive win over the US player after her 5-7 6-4 7-6 win in the first round in Nurnberg.

Stephens clinched the only break point in the fourth game of the first set. She hit a forehand down the line to close out the first set. Stephens went up an early break in the second game. Putintseva pulled the break back in the fourth game to draw level to 2-2. Stephens broke immediately in the fifth game to take a 3-2 lead. Putintseva broke back to draw level to 5-5, as Stephens was serving for the match. Putintseva earned a set point with a backhand down the line and sealed the second set tie-break 7-4, as Stephens sent a backhand long.

Putintseva won 24 out of 33 points to win six consecutive games in the third set. The Kazakh player broke in the first game with a passing shot and in the third game with a dropshot return winner to take a bagel win in the third set. The world number 44 player hit a backhand winner to clinch a bagel win on her first match point setting up a quarter final match against Kiki Bertens.

Elise Mertens beat Anett Kontaveit 6-3 6-1 in 66 minutes to score her second win in a row over the Estonian player. Both players traded breaks at the start of the first set. Mertens fended off six break points and broke serve in the sixth game before wrapping up the first set in the ninth game. Mertens broke times four times in the second set stting up a quarter final match against Ashlegh Barty, who beat Simona Halep.

 

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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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