Lacklustre Ash Barty Struggles But Wins US Open Opener - UBITENNIS
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Lacklustre Ash Barty Struggles But Wins US Open Opener

It was a tough day at the office for the second seed at Flushing Meadows.

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Former world No.1 Ash Barty survived a huge scare during her opening match at the US Open on Monday.

 

The Australian produced an at times erratic performance during her 1-6, 6-3, 6-2, win over Zarina Diyas. A 25-year-old Kazakh player currently ranked 80th in the world who has lost in the first round in three out of the past four grand slam tournaments. Despite the disparity in the form of the two players, it was Barty who struggled to find her footing early on before coming through. Illustrated by her 36 unforced errors as she only managed to get 43% of her first serves in.

“Zarina was able to put it (the ball) in difficult positions today, even off my slice.” Barty reflected during her on-court interview.
“I think she handled it particularly well, but for me it was just about continuing to try and deal with it under pressure and make her come up with some really good stuff.”

A sluggish start to the match from Barty enabled the underdog to claim five consecutive games with relative ease. Diyas moved freely around the court and placed pressure on her opponent from the onset. Meanwhile, a tentative hitting Barty produced an uncharacteristic 15 unforced errors to go down a double break (0-4). Eventually she managed to get onto the scoreboard, but the damage was already done. Serving for the first set, Diyas sealed the 6-1 lead with a love service game that ended after a Barty forehand landing beyond the baseline.

Coming into Flushing Meadows, Diyas had only managed to win two out of 21 matches against top 10 opposition. The most recent being over Andrea Petkovic back in 2015. As for 2019, she was yet to defeat a player ranked higher than 32nd (Barbora Strycova at the Sydney International). In contrast, Barty has developed a reputation of being one of the most consistent players on the tour with 42 wins this season.

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The fight back

A surge in Barty’s form paved way for a considerably more competitive second set. Matching each other game by game, she finally got the breakthrough she was searching for. Leading 4-3, a Diyas shot into the net gifted Barty her first break in the match and the chance to take proceedings in a decider. Something she did with the help of a 109 mph ace down the centre of the court.

Continuing to turn her fortunes around, Barty snatched a double break in the third set to close in on victory. Aided by an increase in her first serve percentage, the 23-year-old rallied to the finish line as she capitalized on her rivals rapidly increasing error count. Securing victory on her first match point after a Diyas forehand landed out.

“I think for me, I just had to start with my serve.” The world No.2 commented about how she managed to come back in the match.
“I really wasn’t giving myself enough chances on my serve and I don’t know what my percentage was in the first set, but it certainly wasn’t very good. I just started from basics and start again. Try to figure it out.”

It was the first time Barty had played on the Arthur Ashe stadium since winning the doubles title 12 months ago. Her first major title of any sort. Since then, she has added the French Open singles title to her resume.

“It was a bizarre. We (my team) walked out here to practice the other day and a few memories came flooding back.” Said Barty.
“We’re just pleased that we managed to solve this riddle today and stay alive in the tournament.” She added.

Barty will play either Lauren Davis or Johanna Larsson next.

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Stefanos Tsitsipas: “I will miss Wimbledon and I can’t wait to 2021”

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Stefanos Tsitsipas said that the Wimbledon cancellation news was just an April fool after organizers of the famous British tournament called off their Grand Slam event due to the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic and public health concerns.

 

Tsitsipas made his debut at Wimbledon in 2017 and reached the fourth round in 2018. He lost to Stefano Travaglia in the opening round at Wimbledon last year, but he bounced back winning the ATP Finals in London.

This year Tsitsipas won the Marseille title for the second consecutive year and lost the Dubai final against Novak Djokovic in Dubai. He lost to Milos Raonic in the third round at the Australian Open. At the inaugural edition of the ATP Cup in Australia he beat Alexander Zverev and lost to Denis Shapovalov and Nick Kyrgios.

Tsitsipas was the first Greek player to break into the top 5 and the first player from his country to reach a Grand Slam semifinal at the Australian Open in 2019. Last year he scored the biggest win of his career against Novak Djokovic in Shanghai and won three titles in Marseille and Estoril. He finished runner-up to Roger Federer in Dubai and to Dominic Thiem in Beijing.

“I went to bed thinking this was all a bad April fools joke but I woke up today to find that Wimbledon is actually cancelled. I will miss this special event and I can’t wait to 2021. Stay home. Stay sane”, wrote Tsitsipas in a Twitter post.

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Roger Federer: “We experience difficult times, we arise from it strengthened”

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Twenty-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer has confirmed that he is planning to play in Halle in 2021 after the historic German grass tournament was cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The ATP has extended the suspension of the tour until 13th July. Federer was expected to play in Halle, a tournament where he won ten times and reached 13 finals. He made his debut in Halle in 2000 during his career.

 

“We experience difficult times, however, we will arise from it strengthened. Already today I am glad and excited about my return to Halle next year. Stay healthy”, said Federer in a statement released on the Halle tournament website.

 Federer also won eight Wimbledon titles, which was also called off for the first time since 1945 due to public health concerns due to the coronavirus outbreak.

 

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Angelique Kerber: “I am heavy-hearted about the cancellation of the grass season”

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Former Wimbledon champion Angelique Kerber has posted her thought on the Wimbledon cancellation.

 

“The thought of playing at Wimbledon has always been the biggest source of my motivation. It goes without saying that I I am heavy hearted that the cancellation of the grass court season also means that I won’t be able to play in front of my home crowd in sport unites, in good and bad times. Once this has passed, it may even help us appreciate our everydayday routines and the beauty of our sport even more than before. Thanks to everyone who is working 24/7 to get us through this uncertain time”.

The German player of Polish origin won three Grand Slam titles at the Australian Open and at the US Open in 2016 and at Wimbledon in 2018. She won the Olympic singles silver medal in Rio de Janeiro 2016 losing in the final to Monica Puig.

Kerber lost to Samantha Stosur in the first round in Brisbane. Kerber beat Wang Qiang in straight sets in the first round before retiring from her second round match against Ukraine’s Dayana Yastremska due to a left harmstring injury, after the German player was down a set and a break.

At the Australian Open Kerber beat Elisabetta Cocciaretto, Priscilla Hon, Camila Giorgi before losing to Anastasya Pavlyuchenkova. She is currently ranked world number 21 in the WTA Ranking.

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