Ash Barty Roars Into French Open Quarters, Faces Madison Keys Next - UBITENNIS
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Ash Barty Roars Into French Open Quarters, Faces Madison Keys Next

The Australian is the first woman to reach back-to-back grand slam quarter-finals this season.

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Australian eighth seed Ashleigh Barty has secured a placed in her second consecutive grand slam quarter-final after defeating Sofia Kenin 6-3, 3-6, 6-0, at the French Open.

 

Barty, who had never progressed beyond the second round at Roland Garros until this year, came out on top against her less experienced opponent. 20-year-old Kenin was contesting her first fourth round of a major after defeating Serena Williams on Saturday. Barty’s use of the slice and her defensive play proved too much for the American as she hit 11 aces and capitalized on 29 unforced errors committed by Kenin.

“It was my first time this week playing on this beautiful court (Philippe Chatrier) and I just wanted to come out here and enjoy it. To play with fight, play with freedom and enjoy myself.” Barty said during her on-court interview.

During what was a roller-coaster encounter, both players illustrated the talent they pose on the court. At a set apiece, it was a Kenin backhand into the net which allowed Barty to break immediately at the start of the decider. With the American looking more fragile behind her serve, the eighth seed secured the double break at the expense of more errors coming from across the court. Prompting a look of exacerbation on Kenin’s face.

Easing towards the finish line against her erratic rival, Barty prevailed on her second match point opportunity. Benefitting from a forehand mistake from Kenin. It is the first time she has bagelled a player in a grand slam since the first round of the 2017 US Open against Ana Konjuh.

Barty, who is a former world No.1 junior player, once took a break from the sport to embark upon a career in cricket. Playing in the Big Bash League during 2015 before returning to tennis a year later. An experience she believes has helped contribute towards where she is today.

“It was incredible. I meet new friends, got new skills and I think it made me more hungry and passionate to come back and play tennis.” She recounted.
“I feel like I’m in a very good place and I’m very much enjoying myself.”

Becoming the first player from her country to reach the last eight at Roland Garros since Sam Stosur back in 2016, Barty will next take on Madison Keys. Keys produced a solid display during her 6-2, 6-4, win over Katerina Siniakova. Breaking her opponent five times during the match and hitting 26 winners past her. Keys was one of only two players to reach the quarterfinals three grand slam events last year. The other being Angelique Kerber.

“I’m definitely happy that I could close it out in two sets. Playing in heavy conditions for three sets didn’t sound like much fun.” Said Keys.
“I love clay courts and I love Paris. I’m very happy to be here and I’m so happy that I get to play another match.” She added.

Barty is currently tied at 1-1 in her head-to-head with Keys.

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Stefanos Tsitsias Draws Positives From Huge Scare At Queen’s

It was a difficult day at the office for the world No.6.

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London: Stefanos Tsitsipas narrowly avoided a shock exit from the Fever-Tree championships after coming through a marathon second-round encounter.

 

Gracing his presence on the grass courts in London for the second time on Thursday after finishing his first round match earlier, he faced France’s Jeremy Chardy. A semi-finalist at the tournament 12 months ago, who has lost his last seven matches against top 10 opposition. On paper, the Greek was the heavy favorite to triumph, but in reality, it was a more closely contested encounter with Tsitsipas coming out on top to win 4-6, 7-6(0), 7-6(4). Hitting 40 winners to 26 unforced errors, and saving seven out of the 11 break points he faced.

“I didn’t play very well at the beginning of the match. I found my rhythm for some reason when he (Chardy) was serving for the match.” Tsitsipas said afterward.
“Everything was working, positive and good. I managed to win the tiebreak in the second set, kept the momentum going.’
“I didn’t play my best, but somehow I survived.”

The roller coaster encounter saw the Greek struggle with his consistency early on against Chardy, whose use of slice came in handy for him. Down a set, it looked as if it was over for Tsitsipas after he got broken at 4-4 in the second. Handing the Frenchman a chance to serve the match out. Nevertheless, the top seed battled back to force the proceedings into a tiebreaker. Which he emphatically dominated with a seven-point winning streak.

All to play for, a marathon Chardy service game lasting almost 15 minutes opened up the decider. Fighting hard, Tsitsipas secured his breakthrough two games later as he broke for only the second time in the entire match. Closing in on the victory, the seesaw continued with an exchange of breaks occurring twice. With little disparity between the two, it was only fitting that a tiebreaker should separate the two. Which Tsitsipas managed to prevail in after spending two hours and 38 minutes on the court.

“In my first round match, I didn’t feel very good on the court. Now I feel a little bit better. Like I am advancing and proceeding with my play.” The world No.6 evaluated.
“It’s a very short period that you play on the grass. You kind of forget when you leave the grass season. You mentally forget how it is because there are certain thoughts on the grass that takes time to digest.”

Next up for the Australian Open semi-finalist will be Canadian rising star Felix Auger-Aliassime. The world No.21 toppled the controversial Nick Kyrgios 6-7(4), 7-6(3), 7-5. The match ended with Kyrgios allegedly tanking on match point before throwing his racket outside of the court.

“I’ve never beaten Felix in the singles. He has a big game and big potential. He can play really well, really aggressive and can be unpredictable.” Tsitsipas previewed.

Earlier in the day, a duo of seeds crashed out of the tournament. Kevin Anderson, who was playing in his first tournament since Miami, lost 6-1, 4-6, 6-4, to Gilles Simon. Meanwhile, Stan Wawrinka was stunned by Nicolas Mahut. Wawrinka was leading the decider 5-3, but failed to serve the match out and ended up losing 3-6, 7-5, 7-6(2).

“I just kept fighting and I came back at the end of the second set.” Said 2007 finalist Mahut.
“I kept playing better and better. I’m so happy to play on this court. It is one of the best courts I have ever played on. It’s a great win for me, I have so much respect for Stan.”

Mahut and Simon will play each other in the quarter-finals.

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Nick Kyrgios Kicks-Off Queen’s Campaign In Controversial Style

The Australian accused the match umpire of ‘taking the f***ing p***’ at The Queen’s Club.

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LONDON: Nick Kyrgios caught the attention of many at The Fever-Tree championships on Thursday, but not for good reason.

 

The Australian rallied to a 7-6(4), 6-3, win over Roberto Carballés Baena. Although the talking point wasn’t his win, it was his behavior on the court. Leading 5-4 with a set point in his favor, Kyrgios raged at the officials after a second serve from his opponent was called in. Something he believed was out.

Engaged in a fiery conversation with umpire Fergus Murphy, Kyrgios demanded to speak with the tournament supervisor. Arguing that he has been hard done by concerning the calls which have been made. The supervisor arrived three games into the second set.

“Twenty people over there are saying it was way out,’ he pointed at the crowd. ‘Go and ask them yourself. They’re not going to lie to you, they’ve got no reason to. ‘An 80mph second serve. You actually can’t be that bad… That sh*t can’t happen. Know what I mean? Just ask the crowd. He’s the chair umpire and he doesn’t overrule it. I was waiting for a call.’ George Bellshaw from The Metro quoted Kyrgios as saying.

The words from the Australian failed to get him anywhere, but by now his mentality on the court was anything, but stable. Making jibes at the linesman, vocally criticizing himself and even choosing to watch the match next to him during a change of ends.

During the closing stages of the match, a poor lob shot from the Australian prompted him to criticize himself for his late-night gaming.

“So lazy, do something, so lazy you are. You were playing FIFA until 3am, what do you expect?”

It is not the first time Kyrgios has raised eyebrows at Queen’s for his antics. 12 months ago he was fined £13,000 for ‘inappropriate behavior’ after being caught making a lewd gesture with a water bottle.

Kyrgios will return to the courts later today to play his second round match against Felix Auger-Aliassime.

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Rafael Nadal To Play Grass-Court Warm-Up Event Ahead Of Wimbledon

The world No.2 will return to action next week in London.

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Reigning French Open champion Rafael Nadal will tune up his game ahead of the Wimbledon Championships at the Aspall Tennis Classic in Hurlingham next week.

 

The world No.2 has confirmed that he will play at the exhibition event, which is situated on the north bank of the River Thames in London. During its 25-year history, the event has featured an array of top names from both the men’s and women’s tour. Last year Maria Sharapova, Grigor Dimitrov, and Lucas Pouille all played. The tournament is run by management group IMG.

“I am always happy to play at The Hurlingham Club and be close to UK tennis fans. It is a prestigious ground in one of the best settings in the UK, making it the perfect way to warm up for Wimbledon.” Nadal said in a statement.

Joining Nadal is this year’s edition will be Nick Kyrgios, Marin Cilic, Lucas Pouille and Felix Auger-Aliassime. More names could also be added to the entry list in the coming days. For Nadal, it will be his eighth appearance in Hurlingham. In 2018 he scored a win over Australia’s Matthew Ebden, before losing to Pouille.

“The Aspall Tennis Classic is one of the most unique and wonderful tournaments in the country, set on the stunning 42-acre grounds of The Hurlingham Club. The tournament offers spectators the chance to watch some of the world’s best players in an intimate environment as they play in a series of singles exhibition matches. It’s the perfect warm up to Wimbledon.” Said Charlie grave from IMG.

Nadal has opted not to play an ATP tournament on the grass prior to Wimbledon. A common approach he has taken in recent years. He will be bidding to win the grand slam title for the third time in his career and the first since 2010.

The Aspall Tennis Classic will get underway on Tuesday.

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