Karolina Pliskova Annihilates Bertens To Book Kerber Final - UBITENNIS
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Karolina Pliskova Annihilates Bertens To Book Kerber Final

Karolina Pliskova thrashed Kiki Bertens in Eastbourne to gain revenge for the Dutchwoman’s defeat of her at Wimbledon last year.



Karolina Pliskova hammered Kiki Bertens 6-1 6-2 to set up a mouth-watering Eastbourne final against Angelique Kerber.


It was one of the most one-sided semi-finals imaginable, as the Czech did not face a break point, won 76% of the points played on her serve and broke her Dutch opponent on four occasions.

During the match, Pliskova sent down plenty of trademark huge serves and unleashed a series of powerful winners. She looks in stunning form – and at exactly the right time with less than 72 hours to go before Wimbledon gets underway.

“I played much better than last year (against Bertens at Wimbledon),” the Czech said. “I was freer and just went for it a little bit more. So she was always under pressure and I was always attacking, even though she still served well at times.”

She continued, “I came to the net a little bit more than last year and just used my game better against her.”

Pliskova predicted yesterday that the conditions could help her, and she believes that was the case. “I think she was struggling with the wind,” she said. “If you are maybe serving with the wind, then it can really help and you can go 3-0 up and then it’s big pressure on the other player.”

“And I felt like although my (first) serve was not always great, my second serve was quite effective today. Even from the baseline, I felt confident to play rallies, so I was not stressed when she got the ball back.”

“Maybe last year at Wimbledon there were too many rallies. I think I was too passive, which I didn’t want to be today. So I really put some pressure on her serve and it worked out.”

Pliskova ready for Kerber challenge after Jabeur pulls out with injury

Angelique Kerber (@BBCSport on Twitter)

After Ons Jabeur was forced to withdraw from her semi-final against Kerber due to injury, the Nature Valley International final will feature the two women who are playing the best tennis in Eastbourne this week: Pliskova and Kerber.

“I’m ready,” the Czech. “It doesn’t matter what happens tomorrow. It’s been a good week and a good tournament for me on grass. I had good matches, and I have been playing well.”

She continued, “Kerber defends and returns so well, so everybody always attacks her serve. But she’s so good on her legs and she’s just ready for difficult balls.”

“That’s why I think a lot of people, after they make more mistakes because of this, feel like, ‘ah, this is not the fastest serve’ so they want to kill (against it). That’s what I don’t want to do tomorrow.”

“But I’ve beaten her before. We played once on grass (in the final of Birmingham in 2015), so I will have to look back on that match to get the positives out of it and let’s see.”


Ahsleigh Barty overcomes Garbine Muguruza to reach the semifinals in Doha



Ashleigh Barty fought back from losing the second set to beat Garbine Muguruza 6-1 6-7 (4-7) 6-2 after 1 hour and 51 minutes at the Qatar Total Open on Centre Court in Doha.


Barty and Muguruza were level at 1-1 in their two previous head-to-head matches, which went to the third set.

Barty received a walkover into the quarter final as Elena Rybakina pulled out injured after reaching two consecutive Premier-level finals in St. Petersburg and Dubai.

Barty broke twice in the second and sixth games and did not face a break point to win the first set 6-1.

Muguruza earned the first break of the second set in the sixth game to take a 4-2 lead. Barty broke straight back in the eighth game to draw level to 4-4 to force the second set to the tie-break. Muguruza raced out to a 5-0 lead. Barty came back by winning four of the next five games, but Muguruza clinched the second set on their second set point.

Barty saved a break point in the first game of the third set and opened up a 5-2 lead after a streak of three consecutive breaks. The Australian player came back from 15-40 down in the last game and forced a backhand into the net from Muguruza on return to earn a match point and sealed the win with a break, as Muguruza sent her forehand wide.  Barty sets up a semifinal against Petra Kvitova in a re-match of the Australian Open quarter finals.

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Svetlana Kuznetsova and Petra Kvitova reach the semifinals in Doha



Svetlana Kuznetsova beat Belinda Bencic 6-4 6-4 in 1 hour and 36 minutes to advance to the semifinal at the Doha Total Qatar Open. Kuznetsova took a re-match against the Swiss player, who won their previous head-to-head match in St. Petersburg earlier this month by the scoreline of 7-6 (7-4) 6-4. Kuznetsova reached two finals in Doha in 2004 and 2007 in his 11 previous appearances in Doha.


Kuznetsova wasted eight break points in the first set before breaking serve in the ninth game to take a 5-4 lead with a backhand down the line winner. Kuznetsova earned a double break to open up a 4-1 lead, as Bencic hit a volley into the net. Bencic pulled one of the breaks back in the sixth game. Kuznetsova saved a double break-back in the eighth game to open up a 5-3 lead with her sixth ace. Bencic fended off one match serving at 4-5 as Kuznetsova netted a forehand. Bencic took a 0-30 lead as Kuznetsova was serving out for the match. Kuznetsova won the final four points to clinch the second set 6-4 setting up a semifinal match against Aryna Sabalenka.

Petra Kvitova battled past Ons Jabeur 7-6 (7-2) 7-6 (7-4) after 1 hour and 44 minutes. Kvitova went down a break in the second set and saved two set points before clinching her ninth consecutive win in Doha.

Kvitova raced to a 4-0 lead with a double break in the opening set. Jabeur pulled back both breaks to draw level to 4-4 and broke Kvitova, as she was serving for the set to force a tie-break.

Kvitova earned a decisive mini-break and won the final five points from 2-2 to clinch the first set tie-break.

Jabeur broke at the start of the second set to open up a 3-1 lead. Kvitova broke back in the sixth game to draw level to 3-3. Both players traded breaks in the 11th and 12th games to set up a second tie-break.

Kvitova raced out to a 6-2 lead in the tie-break. Jabeur saved two match points but Kvitova closed it out at his third opportunity setting up a semifinal against either Gabrine Muguruza or Ashleigh Barty.

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Aryna Sabalenka comes back from a set down to beat Zheng Saisai on a windy day in Doha



Aryna Sabalenka came back from a set down and a break down in the third set to beat unseeded Chinese player Zheng Saisai 3-6 7-6 (7-2) 6-3 after 2 hours and 21 minutes on a windy day at the Qatar Total Open in Doha. Sabalenka took a re-match against Zheng, who won their first head-to-head match in San José last August.


Zheng saved three break points in her first service game. After a trade of breaks in the fifth and sixth games, Zheng came back from 40-0 down to break serve in the seventh game to take a 4-3 lead after saving six game points. Zheng held serve for 5-3 before breaking serve for the third time in the ninth game, as Sabalenka made her sixth double fault.

Sabalenka broke serve in the third game at 30 to take a 2-1 lead. Zheng broke straight back after a backhand pass followed by a volley error from Sabalenka.

Sabalenka saved a break point in the sixth game with a service winner. Both players held serve in the next eight consecutive games to force the second set to the tie-break. Sabalenka raced out to a 3-0 lead with two volley winners and sealed the tie-break 7-2 with a croscourt backhand forcing the match to the third set.

Zheng earned the first break of the third set with a backhand winner down the line in the first game. Sabalenka broke back in a four-deuce sixth game to draw level to 3-3. Sabalenka reeled off 15 of the final 16 points to win the final three games with a break in the eighth game. The Belarusian player sealed the win with an ace setting up a semifinal against either Belinda Bencic or Svetlana Kuznetsova.

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