Ash Barty On The Verge Of Losing No.1 Spot After Toronto Exit - UBITENNIS
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Ash Barty On The Verge Of Losing No.1 Spot After Toronto Exit

Should one of Barty’s rivals win a match this week, her reign at the top of the WTA rankings will come to an end.

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Ash Barty has fallen at the first hurdle at this year’s Rogers Cup in Toronto after suffering a shock three-set loss to Sofia Kenin.

 

The French Open champion crashed out 6-7(5), 6-3, 6-4, to the American in what was her first match since the fourth round of Wimbledon. Barty boasted a 3-0 head-to-head lead over Kenin heading into the clash, but was unable to tame some spirited play displayed by her rival. Who hit 27 winners to 35 unforced errors. An almost identical statistic to Barty’s tally of 27 and 32.

“I think these conditions are very different. The conditions here are very unique.” Barty reflected in her press conference. “I think I wasn’t able to adapt quickly enough or well enough to play a match of the standard that I expect myself to play and I want myself to play. Sofia served today in the big moments. She served particularly well and got a lot of free points.’
“I think these are courts where you need to be aggressive. You need to be confident and trust yourself and really hit through the ball, and today I didn’t have quite enough of that.” She added.

It is the first time this year Barty has lost her opening match at a WTA tournament. Heading into Toronto, she held a win-loss record of 39-6. The loss is also her earliest ever exit from the Rogers Cup, which she reached the semifinals of last year when the tournament was held in Montreal.

Barty’s early exit means that she is in danger of losing her No.1 ranking. A position she has held since June 24th. The two players in contention of dethroning her are Naomi Osaka and Karolina Pliskova. Should Osaka win her opening match, there will be a new No.1 player. Meanwhile, Pliskova needs to reach the semi-finals to have a chance.

“It’s not something I focus about or worry about. I came here and tried to do my best and it wasn’t enough.” She commented on the situation.
“I have no control over the rest of the week, and I’m not sure who can take it (the No.1 position). But whoever it is, if they play well enough and they haven’t given up points or whatever it is, they deserve to take the ranking.”

As Barty switches her focus to the doubles, Kenin will take on either Victoria Azarenka or Dayana Yastremska next. The 20-year-old is the youngest American to defeat a No.1 player since Christina McHale back in 2011.

The world No.1 scenarios

– Barty will stay at the top if Osaka doesn’t win a match in Toronto and Pliskova fails to reach the semi-finals
– Osaka will become No.1 is she wins a match and Pliskova doesn’t go beyond the quarter-finals
– If Osaka reached the quarter-finals, Pliskova needs to reach the final
– Should Osaka and Pliskova face each other in the final, the winner claims the top position

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Jennifer Brady cruises past Elina Svitolina in Dubai

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US qualifier Jennifer Brady upset 2017 and 2018 Dubai champion Elina Svitolina 6-2 6-1 in one hour at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships. Brady hit three consecutive backhand to hold serve. She did not face any other break point in the rest of the first set and won nine consecutive games.

 

Brady broke Svitolina in the sixth game with a bakhand down the line and in the eighth game, as Svitolina sent a backhand into the net.

Brady earned two consecutive breaks in the second game of the second set to open up a 4-0 lead. Brady wasted a 40-0 lead on her serve in the fifth game. Svitolina pulled one of the two breaks back, but she dropped her serve for the third time. As Brady was serving for the match, she came back from 0-30 down and sealed the win with her fifth ace.

Kristina Mladenovic reached the second round with a 6-4 6-3 win over Aliaksandra Sasnovich.

Sasnovich held a 4-1 record in her five head-to-head matches and won all their three previous clashes played on hard-court.

The first set was marked by seven breaks in the first ten games. Sasnovich went up a break three times, but Mladenovic broke back each time to draw level to 4-4. Mladenovic closed out the first set with a break in the 10th game thanks to an inside-out forehand return.

Mladenovic opened up a 3-0 lead with a break in the second game and closed out the second set on her third match point with a forehand winner with a forehand winner after 1 hour and 33 minutes. The French player set up a second round match against Karolina Pliskova in a re-match of the first round match at the Australian Open. Pliskova beat Mladenovic in straight sets, but the the French player scored a 6-4 6-2 in their first clsh played in Dubai in 2017.

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Anastasya Pavlyuchenkova rallies from slow start to beat Belinda Bencic in Dubai

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Anastasya Pavlyuchenkova came back from one set down to beat defending champion Belinda Bencic 1-6 6-1 6-1 in 1 hour and 30 minutes reaching the second round at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships.

 

Bencic reeled off the first 19 points of the match to win seven of the first eight games of the match. Pavlyuchenkova bounced back by winning 12 of the last 13 games to clinch her 15th career top 5 win. The Russian player clinched only the second of her six head-to-head matches against Bencic and her first victory against her Swiss rival since Washington 2015. Bencic had won her past three clashes against Pavlyuchenkova at the 2018 Hopman Cup, at Wimbledon 2019 and in the Moscow final 2019.

Bencic earned her first break in the second game after four consecutive unforced errors from Pavlyuchenkova. The Swiss player went up a double break to open up a 4-0 after Pavlyuchenkova made three double faults.

Pavlyuchenkova stopped a losing streak of 19 consecutive points in the fifth game at 15-40 down, but Bencic held her service game at deuce. Bencic missed a point for the bagel, as Pavlyuchenkova won her first game with a service winner. Bencic served out the first set in the next game with consecutive unreturned serves.

Bencic earned an early break at the start of the second set after two double faults from Pavlyuchenkova. The Russian player turned around the match by winning six consecutive games to win the second set 6-1.

Pavlyuchenkova broke at love in the second game and earned the second and third breaks in two deuce games. Pavlyuchenova won a return game for 5-1 with a drive volley and served out on his first set point, as Bencic sent her pass long.

Pavlyuchenkova earned an immediate break with three consecutive winners. The Russian player, who reached the final in Osaka and Moscow, went up a double break to take a 3-0 lead. Bencic pulled back one of the two breaks in the fourth game. Pavlyuchenova broke for the fifth game to open up a 4-1 lead. She broke Benci for the seventh consecutive time, as Bencic hit her backhand in the net.

“As soon as I won one or two points, I was like right, this is something I need to keep doing. I was trying to realize why I won it, what did I do right. I was just trying to find that rhythm”, said Pavlyuchenkova.

 

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Marketa Vondrousova eases past Anastasija Sevastova in Dubai

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Last year’s Roland Garros finalist Marketa Vondrousova eased past Anastasija Sevastova 6-3 6-2 after 1 hour and nine minutes to reach the second round at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships.

 

Vondrousova saved all five break points she faced and converted three of her four chances. The Czech player built up a 4-1 lead with a break in the opening set. Sevastova earned two break-back points at 4-2, but Vondrousova held her serve after four deuces.

Sevastova held serve at love for 5-3 forcing Vondrousova to serve for the set. Vondrousova earned three set points with a dropshot winner and converted her first chance with a drop volley.

Vondrousova earned an early break to take a 2-1 lead in the second set and backed it up to open up a 3-1 lead. Vondrousova went up a double break in the seventh game and converted the first of her three match points with an ace to set up a second round match against either Elina Svitolina or US qualifier Jennifer Brady.

Vondrousova made her come-back at last January’s Australian Open after undergoing surgery last year.

“I know Sevastova is a good player. We played once. I expected a tough match. It was a late match, so I had to stay calm. I am just happy with my win”,said Vondrousova.

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