Madison Keys Eclipses Ostapenko To Reach Last Eight In Charleston - UBITENNIS
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Madison Keys Eclipses Ostapenko To Reach Last Eight In Charleston

Madison Keys progressed to the quarter-final stage of the Volvo Car Open for the fourth time in her career with an impressive straight-sets win over Jelena Ostapenko.

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Madison Keys (@VolvoCarOpen on Twitter)

Madison Keys produced a clinical display to see off Jelena Ostapenko 7-5 6-2 and advance to the quarter-final in Charleston for the fourth time in her career.

 

The American, 24, has endured a difficult start to the year. After reaching the fourth round of the Australian Open, she suffered second-round losses in Indian Wells and Miami.

Despite these setbacks, she came up with some good tennis at times during her battling three-set win over Tatjana Maria in round two.

The court time from that testing encounter served Keys well when she slipped 3-1 behind after a good start from Ostapenko.

As errors crept into the Latvian’s game, the American took full advantage to win four games in a row and turn the scoreline on its head.

At that point, the set was seemingly over. But then Keys faltered and Ostapenko was back in at 5-4.

Two holds later, the American called for her coach. She was clearly concerned that the set would slip away from her.

But she need not have worried. Ostapenko served poorly in game twelve and made it far too easy for Keys to break her to love and claim the opening set.

Keys impresses in second set

In the second set, the American was rock solid. She served well and won 67% of the points behind it, which meant she did not face a single break point.

To begin with, the Latvian also performed well on serve as she held twice. However, everything changed in the sixth game of the set when Ostapenko made three consecutive errors to hand Keys three break points.

She saved the first with a superb drop shot and the second with a good serve. But the American seized the third with a deep backhand that the Latvian could not get back.

Ostapenko fought hard to stay in the match in the next game. She took Keys to deuce, but the World No.18 held firm to move into a 5-2 lead.

The American then finished off the match in style. From 15-15, she slammed a forehand winner down the line, ended a beautifully-constructed point with a volley and then unleashed an unstoppable inside-out cross-court forehand to conclude proceedings.

“My serve was there when I needed it in big moments,” Keys said in her on-court interview. “I also started points off well when I was returning too so there were very few times when I wasn’t in control of a point.”

The American could face one of her compatriots – top seed Sloane Stephens – in the last eight. However, the World No.8 will have to come through a very tricky encounter with Alja Tomljanovic to set up a meeting with Keys.

Wozniacki reaches first quarter-final of 2019

Caroline Wozniacki (@VolvoCarOpen on Twitter)

Caroline Wozniacki has had a difficult time recently. She was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis in the latter part of last season and she missed tournaments in Doha and Dubai in February with a viral illness.

Given these struggles, the Dane is bound to be pleased with her week in Charleston so far. She thrashed Laura Siegemund 6-2 6-2 and backed up that win today with a typically dogged 6-4 3-6 6-3 win over Mihaela Buzarnescu. Wozniacki will now play Maria Sakkari in the last eight.

Elsewhere in Miami, Monica Puig upset No.3 seed Aryna Sabalenka 6-2 7-5 to set up a quarter-final clash with Danielle Collins, who beat Kaia Kanepi 7-6(1) 6-1.

 

 

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Maria Sakkari Pondered Temporary Sport Switch During Tour Suspension

This summer could have looked very different for the world No.20.

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Greek tennis star Maria Sakkari could have been preparing to take part in a completely different sport this week if it wasn’t for the Palermo Open taking place.

 

The world No.20 considered switching her tennis shoes for running ones amid the uncertainty surrounding when the sport would start again. All professional tennis tournaments have been cancelled since March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but the WTA Tour is restarting this week in Italy.

Although if it wasn’t for Palermo staging the eagerly awaited return of tennis, Sakkari reveals that she might have instead switched her focus to athletics in order to maintain her competitive thirst. Taking part in the Greek athletics championships. Her discipline of choice would have been the 100 meters which her fitness trainer believes she would have made the final in.

“If the Tour was cancelled I was going to compete in the 100m track and field event at the National Championships,” Sakkari told reporters on Sunday.
“Greece National Championships starts on Aug. 8. We were kind of joking with my fitness coach, but inside of me I really needed competition.
“There were rumours going around that the Tour would get cancelled so I thought if the Tour gets cancelled I need to find something. I’m fast, I knew I was not going to win it for sure because I’m not a professional. But yeah, I was thinking of doing that.”

Sakkari can run 100M in a time of 12.7 seconds but that is without both running spikes and starting blocks. Her idea stemmed from the type of training she was doing back in Athens during the tour shutdown. Although tennis remains her first priority.

“I started playing tennis on May 4th, but before that, I was working with my fitness coach at outdoor areas where we were allowed to work out,” she said. “I was running a lot. I think I was running more than I ever did.”

In Palermo Sakkari will be the third seed in the draw and faces Czech Republic’s Kristýna Plíšková in the first round on Monday. The world No.20 started 2020 by winning nine out of 15 matches played on the Tour with her best runs being to the fourth round of the Australian Open and semi-finals of the St Petersburg Open.

We’re back in competition so I’m blessed,” Sakkari said. “Blessed to be back.”

Sakkari is bidding to win the second WTA trophy of her career this week after triumphing last year at the Morocco Open.

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Petra Martic leads the field in the Ladies Open in Palermo

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Three top 20 players lead the field of the WTA International tournament in Palermo. World number 15 Petra Martic leads the field. 

 

The Croatian player won the Istanbul title and reached the final in Zhengzhou and the quarter final at Roland Garros in 2019. She started the 2020 season with a semifinal in Dubai. 

Martic will face Belgium’s Allison Van Uytvanck in the the opening round and could set up a match against last year’s Doha champion Elise Mertens. 

Mertens could square off against Daria Kasatkina in the second round. Donna Vekic will face either Anett Kontaveit or Irina Camelia Begu in the quarter finals. The possible semifinal clash in this section of the draw could pit Martic against either Begu or Kontaveit. 

In the bottom half of the draw last year’s Roland Garros Marketa Vondrousova is projected to meet Camila Giorgi in the second round and Dayana Yastremska in the quarter finals. Vondrousova will make her come-back with a quarter final in Adelaide last January after a wrist injury forced her to miss the second half of her 2019 season. 

Maria Sakkari will take on Krystina Pliskova. In this section of the draw France’s Kristina Mladenovic will meet Ekaterina Alexandrova. The winner of the Mladenovic vs Alexandrova clash will face either Sara Errani or Sorana Cristea. The other Italian player to receive a wild card is former Australian Open junior semifinalist Elisabetta Cocciaretto. 

Aliaksandra Sasnovich, Varvara Gracheva and Lara Arrabarruena reached the second round of qualifying at the 31st edition of the Palermo Ladies Open. The WTA season resumes this week after a five-month break due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

Aliaksandra Sasnovich battled past Anastasya Komardina 7-5 6-2 after a hard-fought match. Spain’s Lara Arrabarruena edged past number 3 seed Greet Minnen 6-0 2-6 6-1. Number 4 seed Oceane Dodin cruised past Italian wildcard Federica Bilardo 6-3 6-1. 

Number 8 seed Ysaline Bonaventure rallied from one set down and fended off three match points to beat Indy De Vroome 3-6 7-6 (11-9) 6-2 after 2 hours and 45 minutes. Liudmila Samsonova edged past Tereza Mrdeza 6-3 6-4. Kaia Juvan fought back from one set down to beat Magdalena Frech 2-6 6-2 6-2. 

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Serena Williams leads a high-quality line-up in Lexington

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Twenty-three time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams will be the top seed at the inaugural edition of the Lexington Open from 10th August 2020 on the same week as the Prague Open. The Lexington Open will be the first US tournament of the US hard court season, which will continue with the Western and Southern Open and the US Open, which will be held in the same venue at Flushing Meadows in New York. 

 

Serena was very close to tie Margaret Court’s record of 24 Grand Slam titles, but lost four times in a Major final after giving birth to her daughter Olympia. 

The US legend will play her first match since she hepled the US team beat Latvia in the Fed Cup last March in Everett. There Serena beat Jelena Ostapenko but she was defeated by Anastasija Sevastova. 

Williams will lead a star-studded line-up, which features this year’s Australian Open finalist and former Roland Garros and Wimbledon champion Garbine Muguruza, Aryna Sabalenka, Sloane Stephens, Johanna Konta, Amanda Anisimova and Yulia Putintseva, Ons Jabeur, Victoria Azarenka, Heather Watson and US rising star Cori Gauff. 

Sabalenka won two consecutive editions of the Wuhan tournament in 2018 and 2019, in Shenzhen in 2019, the WTA Elite Trophy in Zhuhai in 2019 and the Doha final in 2020. 

Stephens won her first Grand Slam title at the US Open in 2017 and reached the final at 2018 Roland Garros. She finished runner-up to Elina Svitolina at the 2018 WTA Finals in Singapore. The US player lost to Canadian teenager Leylah Annie Fernandez in Monterrey in her last WTA Tour match before the pandemic. 

Amanda Anisimova won her maiden WTA title in Bogotà in 2019 in her first professional tour tournament on clay. Last year the young US player beat Simona Halep en route to becoming the youngest semifinalist at the French Open since 2006. This year Amanda lost to Serena Williams in the semifinal in Auckland last January. 

Johanna Konta reached the French Open semifinal and the Rome Final in 2019. The British player enjoyed her best year in 2017, when she won the Miami title and reached the Wimbledon semifinal rising to her best ranking at world number 4. 

The Top seed Open will be the first WTA tournament to be played in the United States since the coronavirus pandemic swept across the United States. The Kentucky tournament will feature a 32-player singles draw and a 16-player doubles field. 

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