Garbine Muguruza Downs Rising Star Yastremska In Dubai - UBITENNIS
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Garbine Muguruza Downs Rising Star Yastremska In Dubai

It was a tough day at the office for the seeded players at the Aviation Club Tennis Centre.

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Garbine Muguruza (photo by chryslène caillaud, copyright @Sport Vision)

Former world No.1 Garbine Muguruza has kicked-off her campaign at the Dubai Tennis Championships With a hard fought 4-6, 6-3, 6-3, win over Dayana Yastremska.

 

Muguruza, who reached the semi-finals of the tournament last year, had lost to Yastremska in their two previous meetings. Losing both of those matches in straight sets. However, the two-time grand slam champion got her revenge during what was a roller coaster match that exceeded the two-hour mark. The rocky display saw Muguruza hit only 14 winners to 47 unforced errors as she converted eight out of her 11 break point opportunities.

“I love coming here, it is such an entertaining tournament. I have done well in the past, so it is always good to be back.” Muguruza said during her on-court interview.
“She was playing really well the previous two times. I think she played better today as well, but I managed to increase my level and win.”

Seeded 12th in this year’s tournament, Muguruza faces a potentially tricky route to the title. In her quarter, she could play Elina Svitolina in the third round followed by top seed Naomi Osaka. Before then, she faces China’s Saisai Zheng in the second round.

“I have also played here recently.” Muguruza said of Zheng. “I mean, come on, every match here is difficult in such an important tournament. So I’m ready to fight.”

Elsewhere at the tournament, Russia’s Daria Kasatkina won only her second match of 2019. The Russian 11th seed battled her way to a 6-3, 3-6, 6-4 win over Polish qualifier Magdalena Frech. Recovering from a 0-3 deficit in the decider by winning six out of the next seven games played in the match.

“She [Frech] has always been a tough opponent. That was a long time out there on court and I am tired. But I am happy to be ending on the winning side,” The Gulf News quoted Kasatkina as saying.
“She doesn’t make things easy for you out there. She does a lot of slicing and the ball tends to bounce a little bit more here. That doesn’t make life easy as well. In the end, I will take this win and hope I can get past my crisis,” she added.

Belarus’ Aliaksandra Sasnovich was another seed to experience difficulty in the first round. The 24-year-old staged an epic comeback to defeat Ekaterina Makarova 0-6, 7-4, 6-4. At one stage of the match, Sasnovich trailed the match 0-6, 1-4, and was down a break in the final set.

Finally, Kristina Mladenovic will be the first player world No.1 Osaka plays in the tournament. The Frenchwoman downed wild card Fatma Al-Nabhani 6-1, 6-1.

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Dominic Thiem signs up to defend his Barcelona title

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Defending champion Dominic Thiem has signed up to play at the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell in 2020. The 26-year-old Austrian player will make his sixth main draw appearance in Barcelona, where he won the title last year beating Danil Medvedev.

 

Thiem reached the round of 16 as a qualifier in his debut at this event in 2014. One year later Thiem lost in the first round in 2015 and did not play in 2016.

The player from Wiener Neustadt lost the 2017 final to 11-time Barcelona champion Rafael Nadal. In 2018 Thiem was beaten by Stefanos Tsitsipas in the quarter final. In last April’s edition Thiem lifted the title without dropping a set. He beat Nadal in the semifinal before claiming a win over Medvedev in the final.

Thiem tied with Djokovic for ATP Tour-lead with five titles. He won his biggest title at Indian Wells Masters 1000 beating five-time champion Roger Federer and joined his compatriot Thomas Muster as second Austrian player in history to win an ATP Masters 1000 title. Thiem claimed three more titles in Kitzbuhel, Beijing and Vienna and beat Novak Djokovic in five sets to advance to his second consecutive Roland Garros final. Thiem saved two match points against Federer in Madrid Masters 1000 quarter final before losing to Novak Djokovic in semifinal.

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Late Replacement Tomljanovic To Face Maria Sharapova In Abu Dhabi

The order of play for the first day of the Mubadala World Tennis Championship have been confirmed.

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There has been a change made to the line-up for next week’s Mubadala World Tennis Championship with Ajla Tomljanovic making a last-minute entry.

 

Tomljanovic, who achieved a ranking best of 39th back in April, will be making her debut at the three-day exhibition event. Which will feature a women’s match for the third time in a row. The Australian has been called in to replace French Open semi-finalist Amanda Anisimova, who has been forced to pull out due to injury.

“It’s really disappointing to have to withdraw from the Mubadala World Tennis Championship,” Anisimova said in a press release. “I was looking forward so much to coming to Abu Dhabi and I hope to make the trip in the future.”

The 26-year-old will take on five-time grand slam champion Maria Sharapova on the opening day of the event. Who hasn’t played on the WTA Tour since her first round loss at the US Open due to a shoulder problem. Sharapova will also be making her debut at the Zayed Sports City’s International Tennis Centre. The two players have never faced each other on the tour.

“I’ve heard amazing things about Abu Dhabi and the championship, and I’m really looking forward to playing in front of this crowd against Maria.” Said Tomljanovic, who will be the first Australian to play at the event. “It will give the perfect challenge ahead of a big season.”

Tomljanovic’s clash with Sharapova is set to be the final match to take place on the opening day of the event. They are only the fourth and fifth woman to ever play in the competition, which has hosted a men’s tournament since 2009. Jelena Ostapenko (2017), Serena Williams (2017 and 2018) and Venus Williams (2018) are the only other WTA players to have taken part.

The full order of play for the opening day has been confirmed by the organisers. Prior to Sharapova’s match, two men’s quarter-finals will take place. ATP Finals champion Stefanos Tsitsipas will play Gael Monfils with the winner booking a clash against Novak Djokovic. Then world No.4 Daniil Medvedev takes on South Korea’s Hyeon Chung. The winner of that match will play Rafael Nadal.

“The 12th edition of the Mubadala World Tennis Championship is fast shaping up to be the most exciting in the event’s history. We are looking forward to providing our spectators with a dynamic combination of world-class tennis and family fun in what is an unmissable event,” said John Lickrish, CEO of Flash Entertainment.

The Mubadala World Tennis Championship takes place between December 19-21.

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Juan Martin Del Potro will play at the Australian Open using the protected ranking

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Juan Martin Del Potro will play at the Australian Open using the protected ranking. The player from Tandil has not played since suffering from a knee injury at the Queen’s ATP 500 tournament, when he slipped on the grass, but was able to win his first round match against Denis Shapovalov. A scan revealed a knee injury. The Argentine underwent a season-ending knee surgery in Barcelona on 22nd June. As a cosequence Del Potro has dropped to world number 123 in the ATP Ranking during his six-month lay-off from the ATP Tour.

 

The former world number 3 will make his 10th appearance at Melbourne Park. He lost to Roger Federer in the quarter final twice in 2009 and 2012.

During his 2019 season Del Potro reached the quarter final in Delray Beach and wasted two match points against Novak Djokovic in Rome quarter final. He beat Yoshito Nishioka in five sets en route to Roland Garros fourth round before losing to Karen Khachanov.

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