Alison Riske Ends Barty Winning Streak To Reach First Grand Slam Quarter-Final - UBITENNIS
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Alison Riske Ends Barty Winning Streak To Reach First Grand Slam Quarter-Final

Alison Riske has knocked out world number one Ashleigh Barty in three sets to reach her maiden grand slam Quarter-Final.

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Ashleigh Barty (@WeAreTennis - Twitter)

Alison Riske is into her first grand slam Quarter-Final after ending world number one Ashleigh Barty’s 15 match winning streak with a 3-6 6-2 6-3 win.

 

After losing the first set, it was an impressive performance from the American who reached her first grand slam quarter-final of her career.

The win for Riske ends Barty’s 15 match winning streak as today is the end of a magnificent summer for the Australian.

Next for Riske is either Serena Williams or Carla Suarez Navarro.

It was world number one who started the better, as she hit four aces in her first service game to send a massive statement to her American opponent.

The Australian had only dropped 13 games in the first week of Wimbledon and it was easy to see why with confident hitting as well as great variety.

Some stunning backhands and impressive serving saw Barty up 4-1 in the first set as she looked to continue her impressive run.

However Riske is no easy task as the American has already beaten Donna Vekic and Belinda Bencic in this tournament and looked to get back in the match.

Just like her previous matches, the American reduced the deficit having denied the Australian the opportunity to have a double break lead.

Some aggressive returning saw Riske gain the break back although the first set wasn’t back on serve for long as the top seed hit back immediately.

More impressive hitting and serving saw the opening set go the way of the Australian as she won the next two games.

Despite losing the opening set, Riske didn’t change her game-plan as she remained powerful and aggressive as she took the match to the Roland Garros champion.

As the 22 year-old was struggling with her ball toss, the American took her opportunity as she came up with some bold play to seal the early break.

The longer the set went on, the more frustrated Barty was as Riske was completely dominating the Aussie’s second serve on return.

Another break was sealed at the end of the set as Riske forced a decider with the world number one. That set ended Barty’s 21 set winning streak as she needed to solve her erratic ball toss.

Confidence was high for Riske and she continued that level of confidence in the deciding set, looking so comfortable on serve.

Although Barty looked more assured on serve, she just couldn’t convert her opportunities on a regular basis as Riske held firm.

Eventually the world number one crumbled on serve when it really mattered and continued to lose points that went above four shots in the rally.

Continuing the aggressive play, a powerful forehand down the line sealed the crucial break as she delivered the final blow to the world number one.

A comfortable hold sealed the American’s first grand slam quarter-final appearance at the expense of the Roland Garros champion.

One of the best moments of Riske’s career as she continues her good form on the grass as a match against Serena or Suarez Navarro awaits.

As for Barty, it is a disappointing way to end what has been an incredible summer having been the new world number one and a grand slam singles champion.

In other results, Elina Svitolina and Shuai Zhang are also into the quarter-finals. The Ukrainian defeated Petra Martic 6-4 6-2, while Zhang ousted out Dayana Yastemska 6-4 1-6 6-2.

 

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French Open Finalist Marketa Vondrousova Undergoes Surgery

It is a premature end to what has been a breakthrough season for the Czech.

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Czech rising star Marketa Vondrousova will miss the rest of the season after undergoing an operation on her left wrist.

 

The 20-year-old made the announcement on her Instagram account where she uploaded a picture of herself after undergoing the procedure. Vondrousova hasn’t played a match on the tour since Wimbledon, where she first sustained the injury. According to Czech media, she received treatment at the same facility which Petra Kvitova attended following a knife attack that severely injured her playing hand.

“For two months I tried to treat my wrist conservatively and tried everything possible. Unfortunately, nothing led to a significant improvement. That is why I decided on this solution, which should relieve me of my pain for good,” Vondrousova said is a statement issued by her team.
“Unfortunately for me, 2019 ended earlier than I wanted. I can’t wait to play back on the courts without pain anymore, she added.

The premature end draws the curtain on what has been a breakthrough season for Vondrousova. At the French Open she defeated Petra Martic and Johanna Konta en route to the final. Becoming the youngest player to do so at the tournament since Ana Ivanovic back in 2007. She was denied the title by Ash Barty, who prevailed in straight sets.

Yet to win a title, Vondrousova has managed to remain consistent on the tour by reaching the quarter-finals or better at six consecutive tournaments between February and June. Including the final of the Budapest Open. During that time, she managed to score two wins over Simona Halep. The highest ranked player she has defeated so far in her career.

Vondrousova is currently ranked 22nd in the world. She ends the season with a win-loss record of 29-9.

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‘Relaxed’ Su-Wei Hsieh Saves Match Point To Oust Muguruza In Osaka

Su-Wei Hsieh saved match point to eliminate Garbine Muguruza from the premier-level tournament in Osaka.

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Su-Wei Hsieh (@Wimbledon - Twitter)

Su-Wei Hsieh was in a relaxed mood as she saved match point to edge out Garbine Muguruza 3-6 7-6(1) 6-1 in Osaka. 

 

The Wimbledon doubles champion claimed her second straight win over the Spaniard having saved match point in the contest.

After winning a tight second set, Hsieh cruised through the deciding set to secure a spot in the second round against Elise Mertens.

Even though this final part of the season can prove quite tiring, Hsieh is approaching in a more relaxed manner, “I know that anything can happen because this is almost the end of the year,” Hsieh said to the press after the win.

“I just want to be more relaxed, going more to my game. Sometimes I lose a little bit of rhythm at the beginning, so I just need to play more games to get the rhythm.

“In the second set, I felt a little bit more rhythm, and more stable myself, my personal style. It helped me a lot to get into the match and to get more game.”

As for Muguruza, this loss would have hurt her confidence a lot having not won a WTA match since June and her ranking slowly falling by the week.

Next for Hsieh will be US Open doubles champion Elise Mertens, where they have split their opening two meetings which came last season.

In other results today there were comfortable wins for Madison Keys and US Open quarter-finalist Donna Vekic over Daria Kasatkina and Caroline Garcia respectively.

Here is the second round line-up, which matches will be played across Wednesday and Thursday:

Naomi Osaka (1) v Viktoriya Tomova – Wednesday

Varvara Flink v Yulia Putintseva – Thursday

Sloane Stephens (3) v Camila Giorgi – Thursday

Su-Wei Hsieh v Elise Mertens (9) – Wednesday

Madison Keys (5) v Zarina Diyas – Wednesday

Nicole Gibbs v Angelique Kerber (4) – Wednesday

Donna Vekic (7) v Misaki Doi – Thursday

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova v Kiki Bertens (2) – Thursday

 

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Despite New WTA Guidelines, Could Kim Clijsters’ Return Be Marred By Aberration?

Kim Clijsters will not have any restriction in the number of wildcards she receives. But she also deserves more in her upcoming third stint on the Tour

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Kim Clijsters, 2010 US Open, US Open
Photo Credit: WTA Tennis/Getty

By the time, Kim Clijsters makes her return to professional tennis in 2020, around eight years will have passed since her second retirement from the WTA Tour. In this near-about octet of years, there have been several changes on the Tour, especially for those women attempting a return post maternity. But where does the 36-year-old stand amid these alterations?

 

The Belgian was one of the earlier trendsetters – of this decade – to resume her professional activity after becoming a mother for the first time. In 2009, when she returned during the American hard-court summer, the subject never gained as much traction as it did when Williams returned to the game, in 2018 after her pregnancy hiatus in 2017.

Clijsters’ win at the US Open that year – the first for an unseeded player – stifled the mushrooming of any possible avenues of such ranking tweaks back then. Over the next couple of years, as Clijsters ascended in the rankings boosted by her performances, including re-attaining her career-high of no. 1, the topic became moot.

Now, after all these years, in spite of the WTA bringing in modifications to its rules – by way of provision of special ranking to women re-joining the Tour after motherhood, among other factors – Clijsters’ continues to remain an outlying scenario. The obvious reason for this is the lapsing of time of the four-time Major champion’s returning to pro tennis. According to the new rules, a player who is out of the Tour on account of pregnancy must make a comeback within three years after her child’s birth, at most.

Her previous successes and titles ensure Clijsters will never lack for wildcards from tournaments, as per the WTA regulations. However, the question stemming here is should an exception be made for the former world no. 1 vis-à-vis the special ranking while overlooking the passing of years?

When announcing her imminent return to the Pro Tour on the WTA Insider podcast, Clijsters mentioned about challenging herself. “I don’t feel like I want to prove something. I think for me it’s the challenge…,” she said.

“The love for the sport is obviously still there. But the question still is, am I capable of bringing it to a level where I would like it to be at and where I want it to be at before I want to play at a high level of one of the best women’s sports in the world. I don’t feel like I need to prove anything, but I want to challenge myself and I want to be strong again. This is my marathon. This is where I’m saying, ‘OK, let’s try this’.”

Clijsters’ path to trying this while taking it on as a challenge need not come at a cost of her being immediately pushed off the deep end in terms of encountering a higher-seeded opponent. The present state of the WTA would make it for an interesting match-up – whenever it happens – but it would also be akin to defeating the purpose underlining her return, regardless of how confident the 2011 Australian Open champion is with her timing.

The norms, too, could be nudged into further relooking easing them towards a player’s preference in ascertaining her post-childbirth return instead of clubbing them, at large. After all, as significant as Williams’ laurels were to usher in changes, Clijsters’ stunner yet again proves the variety that exists in women’s decision-making.

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