Naomi Osaka Fights Back To Deny Vekic Famous Win - UBITENNIS
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Naomi Osaka Fights Back To Deny Vekic Famous Win

Naomi Osaka battled back from a seemingly impossible position in the decider to edge out Donna Vekic and reach the semi-finals in Stuttgart.




Naomi Osaka (@PorscheTennis on Twitter)

Naomi Osaka produced a remarkable third-set comeback to beat Donna Vekic 6-3 4-6 7-6(4) and advance to her first-ever clay-court semi-final on the WTA tour.


The Japanese player, 21, seemed certain to be heading for the exit door when she fell 5-1 behind in the decider. But she dug in and fought back to secure an unlikely win.

“(At 5-1 down) I told myself I didn’t want to have any regrets,” the Japanese player said in her on-court interview. “We’ve played and practised a lot before, but this is a big occasion so maybe (it got to her).”

She continued, “(Before I turned it around) I was stressed out and making a lot of excuses. But there comes a point where you realise you want to play the best you can.”

The first two sets were high-quality affairs. Both players served superbly and each set was decided by a single break.

In the opener, Osaka won 21 of 27 points on serve and earned the one break she needed in game six. After a couple of sloppy points from Vekic, the Japanese played pounced to move 4-2 ahead. She then quickly wrapped up the set 6-3.

In the second set, the Croatian served even better than she had in the opener. She won 24 of 35 points on serve and only allowed Osaka to take her to deuce once during those games.

However, the World No.1 also served well and there were no breaks in the first nine games. But then Osaka faltered just a little, and Vekic seized her moment and hit an excellent forehand winner en route to a set-sealing break.

Osaka wins crazy deciding set

Donna Vekic (@PorscheTennis on Twitter)

Nothing in those two sets hinted at what was to come in the decider. The Japanese player made a series of errors during the first six games and the Croatian took full advantage to storm into a 5-1 lead.

What happened next was extraordinary. Vekic went 30-0 up and was just two points from victory. But Osaka turned the game around to break and keep the match alive.

She then held to love to put the pressure on the World No.25 as she attempted to serve for the match again.

Vekic made errors after a couple of loopy returns from the Japanese player landed on the baseline. These lost points cost her dearly as the World No.1 broke again to make it 5-4.

Although the Croatian steadied herself to force a tie-break, Osaka produced some of her best tennis to win it 7-4 and seal her place in the last four.

Kvitova’s excellent year continues

Petra Kvitova (@PorscheTennis on Twitter)

Petra Kvitova recovered after losing the first set to beat Anastasija Sevastova 2-6 6-2 6-3 and progress to her fourth semi-final of the year.

The Czech, 29, offered up three break points in her opening two service games and her Latvian took two of them to open up a 4-0 lead.

After Sevastova wrapped up that set 6-2, Kvitova served much better in the second set. She recorded three easy holds to move into a 3-2 lead.

Then the World No.13’s level really dipped. She lost twelve points in a row – including eight on her own serve – to enable the Czech to level the match at one-set-all.

As is often the case, the decider was the closest set. Kvitova broke in the fourth game to lead 3-1. Sevastova broke back to make it 4-3. But the World No.3 then broke again to move 5-3 up, before clinching the win with a clinical hold.



Krystina Pliskova upsets Petra Martic to reach the third round at the Prague Open




Krystina Pliskova upset Petra Martic 6-1 7-5 after 1 hour and 22 minutes to reach the third round at the Prague Open. Pliskova hit 28 winners to 13 unforced errors. The twin sister of Karolina Pliskova scored her seventh career top 20 win and the second this season after beating Aryna Sabalenka in Shenzhen last January. 


Krystina reached the Prague tournament final in 2017. The Czech player reached her eighth WTA clay quarter final or better since 2017. 

Pliskova won the first game with four unreturned serves and reeled off nine of the first ten to open up a 3-0 lead. The Czech player saved two break points with heavy groundstrokes in the third game before breaking serve in the sixth game to close out the first set with three consecutive aces. 

Martic saved a break point in the third game of the second set. Pliskova fended off a break point in the fourth game with a service winner. Martic saved the first three break points, but Pliskova converted her fourth opportunity to take a 6-5 lead in a marathon five-deuce game before sealing the win on her second match point. 

“I feel I am playing on clay each year. Everybody was saying I cannot move and stuff, but I don’t think it’s like this. I have more time, so it’s good for me that clay is not that fast, I can focus on my game”, said Pliskova. 

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Serena Williams sets up clash against her sister Venus




Former world number 1 and 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams rallied from one set down to beat her compatriot Bernarda Pera 4-6 6-4 6-1 to reach the second round at the inaugual edition of the Top Seed Open in Lexington (Kentucky). 


Williams was playing her first match since the Fed Cyp tie where she helped lead the United States to a Fed Cup win over Latvia. 

Croatian-born player Pera broke into the top 100 for the first time in 2018, when she reached the third round at the Australian Open and scored her first win over a top 10 when she beat Joanna Konta. She reached three semifinals in Prague, Lausanne and Juurmala, where she beat former French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko in the first round.

In the opening set Pera earned a break in the fifth game and saved two break points on her serve. Pera converted her first set ooprtunity with a forehand winner. 

Williams rallied from 0-40 down at the start of the second set and opened up a 3-1 lead with a break before Pera broke back to draw level to 3-3. When she was down 0-40 at 4-4 Williams saved four break points that would have helped Pera serve for the match. 

Williams earned two set points on Pera’s serve and converted her second chance with a forehand. Williams broke serve at the start of the third set to take a 3-1 lead and fended off two break points in the next game. Williams rallied from 0-40 down by winning the final nine points to claim the win. 

“It was a really calm atmosphere, really chill. I can’t say I disliked it. It was different. I have been through so many things in my career. I think I won today because I was calm for once, so that was really helpful”, said Serena Williams after the match. 

Serena set up a clash against her sister Venus, who beat Victoria Azarenka 6-3 6-2. Serena holds a 18-12 head-to-head lead over Venus. 

Both players held serve in the first four games. She hit an ace to hold serve for 3-2 before earning three break points. The US player converted her first chance to take a 4-2 lead after a double fault from Azarenka. Williams served for the set at 5-3. Azarenka earned a chance to get back on serve as Williams netted a forehand error at 30-30. Williams saved it and earned a set point. 

Azarenka made a double fault in the first game of the second set to face a break point. Williams got a double break to open up a 3-0 lead. Azarenka got her first game at 4-1. Williams pulled away to 5-1 with her solid serve. Azarenka held serve for 2-5. In the next game Williams earned her first match point and sealed the win with a lob winner. 


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Simona Halep makes a winning start to her Prague Open campaign




Number 1 seed and last year’s Wimbledon champion Simona Halep edged past Polona Hercog 6-1 1-6 7-6 (7-3) in two and a half hours in the opening round of the Prague Open on her seventh match point after 2 hours and 31 minutes. Halep played her first match since claiming her 20th title in Dubai. 


Halep wasted six match points before claiming the win in the tie-break of the third set to secure his spot in the Round of 16. Halep won four points more than Hercog and saved five of the 11 break points he faced. 

Both players traded breaks in the second and third games of the opening set. Halep earned two consecutive breaks in the fourth and sixth games to win the first set 6-1, as Hercog made 12 unforced errors to only two winners. 

Hercog came back from a break down early in the second set to get three consecutive breaks and won the second set 6-1. 

Both players traded breaks in the fourth and fifth games of the decider. Halep earned another break to open up a 5-3 lead. Hercog broke back in the ninth game and saved six match points in the 10th and 12th games to set up a decisive tie-break. Halep claimed the tie-break 7-3. 

Before the five-month break Halep lost to Garbine Muguruza in the semifinal of the Australian Open and won the Dubai final. 

Last week’s Palermo semifinalist Camila Giorgi came back from one set down to beat Ukraine’s Marta Kostyuk 4-6 6-2 7-6 (7-4) after 2 hours and 14 minutes. Giorgi converted six of her eight break points. 

Kostyuk earned the first break in the fourth game. Giorgi broke straight back in the fifth game. Both players traded breaks in the sixth and seventh games. Giorgi saved a break point in the eighth game to draw level to 4-4. Kostyuk broke for the third time in the 10th game to win the first set 6-4 after 44 minutes. 

Giorgi broke twice in a row to race out to a 4-0 lead, Kostyuk pulled one break back in the sixth game for 2-4, but Giorgi broke again in the seventh game to win the second set 6-2 in 31 minutes. 

Kostyuk broke serve in the third game of the decider to open up a 3-0 lead. Giorgi broke back to draw level to 3-3. In the eighth game the Italian star fended off another break. The set came down to the tie-break. Giorgi opened up a 4-2 lead. Both players traded mini-breaks. Giorgi earned two match points and converted her first chance to win the tie-break 7-4. 

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