Ash Barty And Angelique Kerber Breeze Through Wimbledon Openers - UBITENNIS
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Ash Barty And Angelique Kerber Breeze Through Wimbledon Openers

It was a dream start to Wimbledon for two titles contenders in the women’s draw.

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WIMBLEDON: As the clock struck 1 pm at The All England Club two main features of the women’s draw took to the courts.

 

On the premier Center Court defending champion, Angelique Kerber took on rival Tatijana Maria. Continuing the tournament tradition of the reigning women’s champion opening up the premier court on the first Tuesday. At the same time, world No.1 Ash Barty graced her presence on Court one against China’s Saisai Zheng. Some may question the logic of playing both of these matches at the same time, but it was irrelevant.

Kerber illustrated why she is a threat to anybody on the grass as she disposed of Maria 6-4, 6-3. A potentially dangerous opponent, who defeated Elina Svitolina in the first round of the tournament 12 months ago. There would be no joy for the underdog this time around as Kerber prevailed in a roller coaster victory that saw her drop serve four times. Hitting 22 winners and converting seven out of her 11 break point opportunities.

“To come back and walk onto Centre Court is really special.” Said Kerber.
“A lot of emotions and memories were coming back.’
“ (Maria) was a tricky opponent. I was trying to find my game and play every single point.”

It was a more straightforward scenario for Barty, who defeated Zhang 6-4,6-2. She was well aware of the threat she faced after dropping a set against her opponent in their two previous meetings. However, this time around it was mainly one-way for the Australian, who has extended her winning streak to 13 matches. The solid performance saw the top seed win 86% of her first service points as she broke her rival four times. Twice in each set.

“The first round is always tough and I think it took a bit of time to get used to the conditions,” Barty told BBC Sport.

A lot has changed for Barty compared to 2018 when she was seeded 17th at Wimbledon. In recent weeks she has become the first woman since Justine Henin back in 2007 to win both the French Open and a grass-court title within the same season. She has won 37 matches on the WTA Tour this year, which is more than anybody else.

“It feels incredible, it is a little bit of a bizarre feeling, to be honest.” She commented about her rise to the top of the rankings.

Next Kerber will play Lauren Davis. Meanwhile, Barty has a meeting with Belgium’s Alison Van Uytvanck. A player who defeated Garbine Muguruza at Wimbledon last year.

“An exceptional challenge. Alison has a big game and is able to take it away from you on certain points. It will be important for me to look after my serve and work my way in.” Barty previewed.

Both of those matches will take place on Thursday.

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Elena Rybakina claims the second title of her career in Hobart

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Kazakh 20-year-old player Elena Rybakina beat China’s Shuai Zhang 7-6 (9-7) 6-3 at the Hobart International after 1 hour and 33 minutes to claim her first title of the 2020 season and the second of her career after Bucharest in 2019. Rybakina played her second consecutive final one week after losing to Ekaterina Alexandrova in Shenzhen. Rybakina converted all her three break points and dropped her serve once.

 

Rybakina earned an early break to race out to a 3-0 lead in the opening set and won her first 11 service points to open up a 4-1 lead. Zhang rallied from 0-40 down at 4-2 and broke back. Rybakina saved a break point at 5-5 with a forehand winner.

Both players stayed neck and neck until 6-6 and the first set came down to the tie-break. Zhang earned a set point at 6-5 with a backhand winner down the line, but Rybakina fended it off with a crosscourt backhand. Zhang saved Rybakina’s first set point at 7-6 with a wide return.

Rybakina got her second set point at 7-7 on her serve, as Zhang misfired on a wide backhand. The Kazakh player sealed the first set, as Zhang hit her return long.

Both players held on serve until 3-3 without facing any break points. Rybakina converted the first break point in the seventh game of the second set with a backhand down the line winner and held her serve with a down the line winner to open up a 5-3 lead. Rybakina won her fourth consecutive game on her first match point.

“I started very well, then I lost concentration for a few games, but I managed to come back and win the opening set. It was not easy. It was a bit windy. I played much better in the second set. Last week in Shenzhen my opponent played really good, and it was a tough match. Today I was just more focused, because it’s the second time in the final, and of course I wanted to win so much. I was focused 100 %”, said Rybakina.

 

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Ashleigh Barty clinches the eighth title of her career in Adelaide

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Ashleigh Barty beat unseeded player Dayana Yastremska 6-2 7-5 after 1 and 25 minutes to win the eighth title of her career and her first on Australian soil.

 

Barty became the first Australian player to win a title on home soil since Jarmila Wolfe at Hobart in 2011. The top seed reached two consecutive finals in Sydney, finishing runner-up to Angelique Kerber in 2018 and to Petra Kvitova in 2019. Barty has become the first Australian player to win an Australian tournament at WTA Premier level since Alicia Molik in Sydney in 2005.

Barty had already beaten Yastremska in Miami last year en route to winning the WTA Premier Mandatory title last year. The Australian player dropped 17 points in 10 service games and saved two of the three break point chances.

Yastremska held serve at love in the first game of the opening set. Barty broke serve at love in the third game after a forehand drive-volley error from Yastremska. Barty held her serve to consolidate the break for 3-1. He did not convert a break point in the fifth game, but she hit a service winner to open up a 4-2 lead.

Barty earned another break to race out to a 5-2 lead following a forehand error from Yastremska and held serve at love with a service winner to close out the first set 6-2 after 30 minutes.

Barty broke serve again at the start of the second set, when Yastremska hit her backhand long. Yastremska got the break back in the fourth game to draw level to 2-2.

In the second set Yastremska hit a backhand down the line winner in the fifth game to take a 3-2 lead. The 19-year-old Ukrainian player held serve in the seventh game and earned a break point chance in the eighth game, but Barty fended it off with a forced error. The 2019 Roland Garros champion saved another break point chance after a loose backhand from Yastremska. Yastremska saved a break point with a down the T line serve, but Barty got the decisive break at love at 5-5 and won the last ten points with three winners to close out the match to the delight of the home fans.

“This is incredible. A great start to the year. I definitely feel the love out there, I love playing in Australia. I love playing at home. It’s been incredible for my team to enjoy this week. It was nice to get the ball rolling this week. I can’t wait to get started in Melbourne on Monday”, said Barty.

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Elena Rybakina reaches her second consecutive final in 2020

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Elena Rybakina beat British qualifier Heather Watson 6-3 4-6 6-4 after 2 hours and 16 minutes in the Hobart International semifinal setting up a final match against China’s Zhang Shuai.

 

Rybakina has become the first player to reach back-to-back finals in the first two weeks of the year since Agnieszka Radwanska in 2013. The Kazakh player finished runner-up to Ekaterina Alexandrova last week in Shenzhen.

Rybakina earned the first break in the first game, but Watson broke back with two forehand winners in the fourth game to draw level to 2-2. Rybakina broke for the second time with a crosscourt forehand in the fifth game to take a 3-2 lead and sealed the first set with another break on the first set point, as Watson hit her dropshot into the net.

Rybakina saved three break points with two aces and a service winner, but Watson converted her fourth chance with her forehand return winner.

Watson went up a double break with a forehand pass and held her serve to race out to a 5-1. Rybakina converted her second break point chance to claw her way back to 3-5.

Rybakina earned two break points in the 10th game, but Watson saved the first chance with a backhand winner before serving out the second set with consecutive service winners.

Watson saved a break point in the second game of the third set as Rybakina made a backhand error. Rybakina fended off a break point chance in the fifth game with a down-the-line backhand winner. Rybakina converted her second break point chance with a drop-shot winner on the match point.

“It was a really tough match. I was still missing all these balls in the second set. In the last few games I was playing really risky, and I am really happy that I won this match”, said Rybakina.

Rybakina set up a final against Zhang Shuai, who reached the third WTA final of her career after a 6-3 6-4 win over Veronika Kudemertova.

Zhang earned three break point chances at 2-1 with a backhand crosscourt winner and converted her first chance after Kudemertova sent her forehand wide. Kudemertova won two hard-fought service game at 4-2 and at 5-3. Zhang closed out the set on her second set point in the ninth game.

Both players held on their service games in the second set until 4-4. Zhang earned a break point in the ninth game, as Kudemertova made a forehand error. The Chinese player got the break, as Kudemertova made her forehand error. Kudemertova earned her first two break points of the match, as Zhang was serving for the match. Zhang held her serve at deuce, as Kudemertova missed returns on the next four points.

“The winter training went really good for me. Training with the national team, a lot of coaches helped me, so I was already ready before this tournament. I think all matches I played really well this week, and also a lot of the Chinese fans are coming to cheer for me, so I have had a lot of motivationto win”,said Zhang Shuai.

 

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