Chance To Reclaim No.1 Ranking Irrelevant To Ash Barty In Cincinnati - UBITENNIS
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Chance To Reclaim No.1 Ranking Irrelevant To Ash Barty In Cincinnati

Why a return to the top is not on the mind of the Australian star.

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French Open champion Ash Barty has insisted that her focus is not on returning back to the top of the world rankings despite experiencing her best ever run at the Western and Southern Open.

 

The Australian No.1 has moved into the semi-finals of the Cincinnati event for the first time in her career on her third attempt. She sealed a spot in the last four after seeing off Greece’s Maria Sakkari 5-7, 6-2, 6-0, during what was a roller coaster encounter. Barty held a 5-2 lead in the opener, before dropping the first set. However, she regained her momentum to dismantle Sakarri by winning 12 out of the last 14 games played. Striking 29 winners and blasting 12 aces on route to the finish line.

“I think then for me it was going back to basics and then just kind of working on depth first and foremost to try and shift court position a little bit more.” Barty commented about her comeback.
“Then I think I changed some of my tactics back to what was working in the first place.’
“I’m pretty pleased with today.”

The 23-year-old is currently engaged in a two-way race to end the tournament as world No.1 along with Naomi Osaka. Barty held the position for seven weeks before losing it to Osaka on Monday.

Whilst No.1 is a dream for many players, in Barty’s case it is not the ultimate goal. With the US Open swiftly approaching her focus is to be match fit rather than where she is ranked.

“I’m in the semis for the first time here,” she said. “I’m not thinking of the ranking at all.
“I’m playing one match at a time. If I can win matches, the ranking will take care of itself.
“I’ve had an amazing three years with my team and an amazing season. I’m excited to be in new territory here in Cincinnati.”

Gaining in momentum on the North American hard courts, the question is how close is Barty to her top level? The run this week is a stark contrast to the Rogers Cup, where she lost in the first round to Sofia Kenin. However, she does have a record of hitting full throttle in time for the major. Barty in the only player in the current top 10 to have reached the fourth round or better at the four most recent grand slam tournaments.

“I’m Still not quite there, but we’re getting better and better each match.” The world No.2 assessed. “I think that’s the beauty of being able to stay alive in the tournament is to give myself an opportunity to keep getting better.’
“I think I’m still aiming to obviously do very well here, but the big picture is New York in 10 days’ time. Hopefully I’ll be ready to go for that.”

The next test for Barty will be Svetlana Kuznetsova in the semi-finals. The Russian knocked out Karolina Pliskova 3-6, 7-6(2), 6-3. Victory would elevate Barty into a WTA final for the fifth time this year and the 11th in her career overall.

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Simona Halep eases through her first final of the season in Dubai

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Simona Halep cruised past US qualifier Jennifer Brady 6-2 6-0 after just 62 minutes to reach her first final of the season at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships.

 

Halep saved the only two break points she faced and hit 16 winners to 8 unforced errors. Halep earned an early break in the opening game before saving two break points to hold serve for 2-0. The 2019 Wimbledon player went up a double break and held serve to race out to a 5-1 lead. Brady hit a backhand winner to win her service game for 5-2. Halep wrapped up the first set on her first set point in the next game.

Halep went up an early break in the first game of the second set. She hit a forehand winner on her third break point to race out to a 3-0 lead. Halep earned her third consecutive break in the fifth game for 5-0. Halep earned a match point with a backhand winner and sealed the win after a backhand error from Brady. Halep set up a final against Elena Rybakina, who beat Petra Martic 7-6 7-6.

“It felt much better than previous matches. I played really well. Everything went in my side. I felt the ball great. I feel like I played the best match since I came here. It’s amazing what Rybakina has done already this year”, said Halep.

 

 

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Elena Rybakina saves a set point in each set to overcome Petra Martic in Dubai semifinal

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Elena Rybakina came back from a break down and saved a set point in each set to overcome Petra Martic 7-6 (7-5) 7-6 (7-2) after 2 hours and 11 minutes reaching her fourth final this season at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships.

 

Rybakina has won 19 of her first 22 matches this season. She lost in Shenzhen before clinching her first title of her title in Hobart. She lost to Ashleigh Barty in the third round at the Australian Open. She advanced to her third final of the 2020 season in St. Petersburg before losing to Kiki Bertens.

Rybakina has won 19 of her first 22 matches this season. She lost in Shenzhen before clinching her first title of her title in Hobart. She lost to Ashleigh Barty in the third round at the Australian Open. She advanced to her third final of the 2020 season in St. Petersburg before losing to Kiki Bertens.

Rybakina has reached the sixth final of her career and her second at Premier level. She won two titles in Bucarest and Hobart and finished runner-up in Nanchang, Shenzhen and St. Petersburg. Earlier this week the Kazakh player beat two top ten players Sofia Kenin and Karolina Pliskova before beating Petra Martic in three hard-fought sets in the semifinal. Rybakina hit 32 winners to 23 unforced errors.

The opening set started with three consecutive breaks. Martic broke twice and maintained her lead until 5-4. Rybakina broke back in the 10th game to draw level to 5-5 to force the first set to the tie-break.

Rybakina saved a set point with a forehand pass to draw level to 5-5, as she was serving for the set. Rybakina built up a 6-2 lead. Martic saved three chances but Rybakina sealed her fourth set point with a volley at the net.

Martic earned an early break to open up a 3-0 lead. Rybakina saved a point to trail a double break at 0-4. Rybakina broke back in the seventh game, as Martic netted a dropshot. Both players saved break points in the final three games at deuce. Rybakina was just two points from losing the set, while she was serving at 4-5. Rybakina saved a set point at 5-6 with backhand winners forcing the second set to the tie-break.

Rybakina raced out to a 6-1 lead in the tie-break and sealed the win on her second match points with a backhand.

“I have to adjust because everything is new to me. It is always great to beat a player from the top 5  I alway try to do my best and want to win every match. I was focusing on on what I had to do”, said Rybakina.

 

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Elena Rybakina comes back from one set down against Karolina Pliskova to reach her fourth semifinal of the year in Dubai

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Elena Rybakina came back from a break down in the opening set to beat Karolina Pliskova 7-6 (7-1) 6-3 reaching the semifinal at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships.

 

Rybakina has qualified for her fourth semifinal this season. She opened the year with the final in Shenzhen followed by a title in Hobart. After losing to Ashleigh Barty in the third round at the Australian Open, the Kazakh player finished runner-up to Kiki Bertens in the final in St. Petersburg.

Rybakina hit 33 winners (including 11 aces) to 20 unforced errors and saved 10 of the 11 break points she faced.

Pliskova fended off a break point in the opening game of the first set before breaking serve in the sixth game to take a 4-2 lead after a pair of double faults from Rybakina.

Rybakina broke straight back in the seventh game with forehand return winners. The Kazakh player missed a break point at 4-4, but she held her serve in the 12th game with three consecutive aces to force the first set to the tie-break. Rybakina raced out to a 6-0 lead in the tie-break and sealed the tie-break on her second set point 7-1.

Rybakina broke serve in the second game to open up a 4-1 lead. She had to overcome a total of eleven deuces and saved six break points in her first three service games. She held serve for 1-0 with three consecutive service winners and hit a backhand crosscourt winner in the third game and a forehand down the line down break point in the fifth game.

Rybakina earned her first break in the second game of the second set to open up a 2-0 lead after a double fault from Pliskova.

Pliskova saved three break points in the sixth game to hold serve for 2-4. Rybakina held serve at deuce to take a 5-2 lead and rallied from 0-30 down to serve out the win.

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