Ashleigh Barty comes back from one set down to reach her fourth quarter final this season - UBITENNIS
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Ashleigh Barty comes back from one set down to reach her fourth quarter final this season

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This year’s Miami champion Number 9 seed Ashleigh Barty came back from one set down to beat Yulia Putintseva 4-6 6-1 6-2 at the Madrid Mutua Open reaching her fourth quarter final of the season.

 

Ashleigh Barty came through a second consecutive three-set match to improve her winning streak to 11 consecutive matches.

Barty saved four of the seven break points she faced and and broke serve six times.

Putintseva, who reached two quarter finals at Roland Garros and beat Barty in their only previous head-to-head match in a junior event in Tralalgon, earned her first break in the third game to take a 2-1 lead. A streak of five consecutive breaks followed. Putintseva broke serve at 15 in the seventh game and held serve to take a 5-3 lead to seal the opening set on her third set point.

Barty fought back by breaking twice in a row and saved two break points in the fifth game to win the second set 6-1. The Australian player built up a 4-1 lead with two breaks. Putintseva earned two break-back points but Barty held on her final service games to seal the third set 6-2 after two hours and four games.

Barty had reached her previous best result on clay when she qualified for the semifinal in Strasbourg in 2018.

Barty has a seasonal record of 23 wins and just 3 defeats and has lost just one match since her first Grand Slam quarter final at the Australian Open. Last March she lost a 3-hour and 12-minute marathon match to Elina Svitolina at Indian Wells. She contributed to Australia’s win against Belarus in the Fed Cup semifinal last April, which helped her team reach the first final at this event since 1993.

 This year’s Dubai champion Belinda Bencic cruised past Kateryna Kozlova 6-0 6-2 after just 63 minutes. The Swiss player fended off all three break points she faced and broke serve five times. The Swiss player broke three times to take a bagel win in the first set and reeled off five consecutive games to seal her spot in the quarter final.

In the all-Croatian clash Petra Martic reached the quarter final after her compatriot Donna Vekic withdrew in the third round. Martic came back from 3-6 2-2 by winning seven of eight games to build up a 3-6 6-3 2-0 lead. Vekic took a medical time-out when Martic was leading 5-2 in the second set.

Martic will face Sloane Stephens, who fought back from a set down to edged Saisai Zheng 3-6 6-3 6-2 in just over two hours. Stephens saved 13 of the 16 break points she faced. Stephens has reached the first quarter final for the first time in Madrid in her first tournament with her new coach Sven Groenefeld.

Zheng converted her sixth break point chance in the fourth game to take a 3-1 lead. The Chinese player got another break to race out to 5-1. Stephens pulled back one of the two breaks back to claw her way back to 3-5, but Zheng served out the first set in the next game.

Stephens bounced back in the second set by converting her fifth break point in the fourth game to take a 3-1 lead. The 2017 US Open champion saved four break point chances to hold serve. Stephens broke serve again in the seventh game to take a 4-3 lead and held her service game to clinch the second set 6-3.

Stephens broke twice in the first and fifth games to build up a 4-1 lead and held her next service games to close out a one-sided third set.

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Madison Keys Marches Into Cincinnati Final With Win Over Kenin

Madison Keys set up a intriguing final against Svetlana Kuznetsova with an excellent straight-sets win over Sofia Kenin in the semi-finals.

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Madison Keys (@CincyTennis on Twitter)

Madison Keys advanced to her ninth career final with an impressive 7-5 6-4 win over Sofia Kenin at the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati.

 

The American, 24, has endured a patchy year on the WTA tour. But she found a rich vein of form in the early rounds to defeat Garbine Muguruza, Daria Kasatkina and Wimbledon champion Simona Halep.

And by the time Keys set about dispatching Venus Williams in straight sets in the quarter-final, she looked full of confidence.

The World No.18 started in similar fashion against Kenin. She dominated her first two service games and broke the younger American in the fourth game to establish a 3-1 lead. She then held off a couple of break points in game five to increase her advantage to 4-1.

But Kenin is a fighter and she had no intention of giving up on the set. She broke Keys in game nine to make it 5-4 and then saved two break points to level the score.

The older American did not panic. She held serve comfortably and then hit a couple of excellent winners to break the 20-year-old for the second time in the set and take it 7-5.

Keys triumphs in close second set

There were a few momentum swings in the second set. Keys held to love in the first game but dropped her serve during a sloppy third game. Kenin then consolidated the break with a comfortable hold.

In response, the World No.18 fired down three aces as she held serve to love in just 42 seconds. She then unleashed a stream of winners to break the younger American and level the score at 3-3.

Both women played superb return games as they traded breaks to move the score along to 4-4. Then Keys unleashed a series of ferocious groundstrokes to repel a break point and hold for 5-4.

After an intense conversation with her father at the changeover, Kenin looked a bit subdued in game ten. She sent down a weak second serve on the second point which was punished by a backhand winner from the World No.18.

The 20-year-old made a double-fault to slip 15-30 behind. Then she came into the net and could only watch and admire as Keys guided a sublime backhand pass into the opposite service box for a winner that set up two match points.

The World No.18 did not have to wait long to celebrate victory, as an unforced error from Kenin on the next point sealed her win.

Keys will play Svetlana Kuznetsova in the final. The Russian continued her impressive week with an eye-catching 6-2 6-4 win over World No.2 Ashleigh Barty.

“I’m very happy to be in the final,” the American said. “Sveta has been playing incredibly well. She is a craftier player with a little bit of everything. It will be a pretty difficult match but I’m looking forward to it.”

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Madison Keys sets up an all-American semifinal against Sofia Kenin in Cincinnati

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Madison Keys hit 32 winners and never dropped her serve in her 6-2 6-3 win over Venus Williams in 77 minutes in an all-American quarter final at the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati to reach her first semifinal since winning the Volvo Car Open title in Charleston.

 

Keys broke three times and faced just two break points in the match. She earned her first break in the fourth game to open up a 3-1 lead, as Venus made three double faults. Keys went up a double break at 15 to seal the first set 6-3.

Williams saved four break points to hold her serve in the fourth game for 2-2, after hitting her first winner of the match, but Keys sealed the win with her only break in the eighth game of the second set and a hold at love setting up an all-American semifinal clash against Sofia Kenin

“It was nice to see against a really aggressive player like Venus being able to defend as well as I did. Overall, I am pretty happy with almost everything I did tonight. I am happy with how well I served. She is a very good returner, and being able to have fairly straightforward service games was my favourite part. The biggest thing, after having a couple of tough losses in the last tournaments I have played, being able to bounce back, and especially after my first round here, being able to get that win and then just building on that”,said Keys.

 

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Svetlana Kuznetsova completes her come-back by reaching the semifinal in Cincinnati

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Two-time Grand Slam champion Svetlana Kuznetsova came back from one set down to beat Karolina Pliskova 3-6 7-6 (7-2) 6-3 to secure her spot in the semifinal of the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati.

 

Kuznetsova, who was sidelined by a knee injury in the first half of the season, bounced back last week when she reached the third round at the Rogers Cup in Toronto. She beat Anastasija Sevastova, Dayana Yastremska and Sloane Stephens en route to the semifinal.

Kuznetsova hit 30 winners and broke three times to close out the match after 2 hours and 23 minutes.

Pliskova converted her only break point at love in the second game to win the opening set 6-3.

Pliskova saved three break points to hold serve at deuce in the fourth game before breaking serve at 15 to take a 4-3 lead. Kuznetsova broke back at 15 in the 10th game to draw level to 5-5. Kuznetsova earned four set points and converted her first chance to seal the tie-break 7-2.

Kuznetsova went up a break at love in the third game of the decisive set to take a 2-1 lead. Both Pliskova and Kuznetsova saved two break points in the fifth and sixth games. Kuznetsova sealed the win with a double break in the ninth game.

The Russian player set up a semifinal against 2019 Roland Garros champion Ashleigh Barty, who came back from one set down to beat Maria Sakkari 5-7 6-2 6-0.

 

 

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