Angelique Kerber Joins Seeds Konta And Svitolina In Early Brisbane Exits - UBITENNIS
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Angelique Kerber Joins Seeds Konta And Svitolina In Early Brisbane Exits

There were shocks galore on the opening day of the Brisbane International.

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Two-time grand slam champion Angelique Kerber has started her 2020 season with a loss after being booted out of the Brisbane International on Monday.

 

The 2016 runner-up was edged out in a tightly contested battle against home favourite Sam Stosur. Who had only ever defeated two top 20 players in her home country in her entire career before this week. Despite fighting her way back from a 1-4 deficit in the opening set, Kerber was knocked out 7-6(5), 7-6(4). Making it the first time she has failed to reach the quarter-finals of Brisbane in her sixth appearance.

“It was a great match from me and I loved playing in front of this crowd,” Stosur said during her on-court interview.

Heading into the match, Kerber boasted a 6-4 lead in their head-to-head, but lost their previous meeting last year. It is the first time Stosur has managed to get back-to-back wins over the German since 2015. Kerber was also the player she defeated to reach the final of the 2011 US Open.

“I remember bits of that match (2011 US Open) very clearly and others I have no idea what happened.” Stosur commented on their head-to-head.
“We’ve played each other ten times before. There is no real secrets between us. We know each others game. It’s a matter of who is going to execute and play their best tactics on the day.’
“Today I knew what I wanted to do. To go through that in straight sets to beat a player like Angie is very pleasing.”

Kerber wasn’t the only high-profile casualty on the first day of the event, which features six top 10 players. Sixth seed Johanna Konta struggled to find consistency in her game as she suffered a 6-2, 3-6, 6-3, loss to Wimbledon semi-finalist Barbora Strycova. Producing more than 50 unforced errors and dropping her serve six times throughout the match.

“She is such a great player and a tough opponent always. She is striking the ball very hard so I have to play my best tennis which I think I did most of the time today.” Strycova said of her British rival.
“My serve was working very well and I think that was the key.” She added.

Strycova has never lost to Konta in their three meetings. Even though she has always been the lower ranked player of the two. Her reward will be a clash with Alison Riske in the second round.

Finally, Danielle Collins stunned fourth seed Elina Svitolina 6-1, 6-1. Winning 18 out of the last 21 points played in the match which lasted only 56 minutes.

“I think mentally I was in a good zone.” Said Collins. “I came off a really great pre-season and have definitely gotten stronger and gained some mental strength. I think that worked in my favor today.”

Svitolina, who said yesterday that she was on the right path for grand slam success, is only the second top five player Collins have defeated in her career.

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Marcos Giron overcomes Jaume Munar at the Sofia Open

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Marcos Giron converted his 10th match point in a 20-minute final game to overcome Jaume Munar 6-7 (2-7) 6-1 6-4 in almost three hours at the Sofia Open. Giron claimed his seventh win in his past ten matches. 

 

The first set went on serve en route to the tie-break, where Giron edged Munar 7-2 with two mini-breaks. Munar broke twice in the second and sixth games to win the second set 6-1. 

Giron fended  off three break points in the 10th game before serving out the match in the 10th game of the decider. The US player saved all five break points he faced and converted three of his break point chances  

“The first set was close. I feel like I had chances, but he played better than me in the tie-break. I thought I did a great job resetting and adjusting in the second set, and then in the third set I was able to get the break early, but he kept holding on. I am happy to get through that, it was a battle. That might be the most match points I have ever had”, said Giron. 

Giron set up a second round match against Alex De Minaur. In their previous head-to-head match Giron beat De Minaur 7-5 7-6 (7-5). 

Bulgarian wild card Dimitar Kuzmanov came back from one set down to beat Lorenzo Musetti 6-7 (4-7) 7-6 (7-3) 6-3 after 3 hours and 5 minutes. 

Musetti went down 0-3 but he pulled the break back in the fifth game to draw level to 3-3. Musetti broke in the ninth game to take a 5-4 lead, but he dropped his serve in the tenth game. Musetti went up a 4-0 lead in the tie-break with two mini-breaks. He earned five set points at 6-1. Kuzmanov saved three set points, but Musetti converted his fourth chance to win the tie-break 7-4. 

Musetti missed six break points in three return games in the second set. The Italian Next Gen player saved two break points at 5-5. Kuzmanov rallied from 0-2 down to win the tie-break 7-3. Kuzmanov won 12 points from 2-2 in the third set to cruise through to a 6-3 lead. 

John Millman beat Mikael Ymer 6-2 6-4 in their first head-to-head match. Both players traded breaks in the second and third games of the opening set. Millman broke serve at love in the sixth and eighth games to win the first set 6-2. The second set started with three consecutive breaks, as Ymer took a 2-1 lead. Millman came back from 2-4 down by winning four consecutive games to close out the second set 6-4. “At this level every match is a bit of a battle, but I was really happy with how I played here in my first match. Getting used to the conditions is so important and right from the start I thought I set a really good level”, said Millman.

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Brandon Nakashima rallies from one set down to beat Fabio Fognini in San Diego

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US Next Gen player Brandon Nakashima came back from one set down to beat former world number 9 Fabio Fognini 6-7 (5-7) 6-1 7-5 at the San Diego Open. Nakashima set up a second round match against Andrey Rublev. 

 

Nakashima won 80% of his first serve points, including hit eight aces, and won 63% of second serves. 

Fognini went up a 2-0 lead with a break, but Nakashima broke back in the fourth game to draw level to 2-2. Fognini saved a break point in the sixth game to draw level to 3-3 and two match points n the 10th game but Nakashima broke serve at 15 in the 12h game to close out the third set 7-5. 

“I did not think I played bad in the first set. He just played a bit better at and that’s all it takes against a player like that, but luckily I was able to regroup quickly, get a break in the first game of the second set and tried to ride the momentum from there”, said Nakashima. 

Aslan Karatsev won 84% of his first set points and did not face a break point in his 6-1 7-5 win over Federico Delbonis. Karatsev broke twice in the second and sixth games to close out the first set 6-1. Both players traded breaks in the fifth and sixth games. Karatsev earned his second break in the 11th game on the fourth deuce to win the second set 7-5. Karatsev is bidding for his second ATP Tour level title after winning in Dubai last March. The Russian player will face either Metz Moselle Open champion Hubert Hurkacz or Australian qualifier Alex Bolt.

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International Tennis Hall Of Fame To Mark Emma Raducanu’s US Open Win

The teenager has donated some of her clothing to the ITHF collection.

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2021 US Open Women's Singles Champion Emma Raducanu at the 2021 US Open, Saturday, Sep. 11, 2021 in Flushing, NY. (Darren Carroll/USTA)

The outfit worn by Emma Raducanu during her historic run at the US Open has a new home after the tennis star agreed to donate it to the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport.

 

Raducanu stunned the tennis world in New York by becoming the first qualifier in history to win a Grand Slam title. The 18-year-old defeated two top 20 players en route to the title and didn’t drop a set in 10 matches played. She is the first British woman to win a major since Virginia Wade in 1977 and the first in history to win a Grand Slam on what was only her second main draw appearance.

To celebrate Raducanu’s rapid rise in the sport, her Nike Heritage classic style V-neck red tank top with contrast trims and a blue skirt with red pleats will be put on display in the Tennis Hall of Fame’s museum in Rhode Island.

“A legendary run: preserved,” the Tennis Hall of Fame tweeted.
“Thank you, @EmmaRaducanu, for donating your memorable #USOpen outfit to the ITHF collection!”

Raducanu is currently at a ranking high of 22nd in the world which is more than 300 places higher than the position she was in at the start of the year. She is currently on a search for a new coach after parting ways with Andrew Richardson. Raducanu says she wants to collaborate with somebody who has more experience of the WTA Tour.

In the wake of her US Open success, there have been suggestions that the rising star could be among the favourites to win the Australian Open which will take place in January. Coincidentally next year will mark the 50th anniversary of the last time a British woman won the tournament. However, Raducanu has dismissed such suggestions.

“If I’m seeded, then I’m seeded, but favourite? I think one tournament, you can’t really say I’m a favourite. I’m still so new to everything.” She said during a recent LTA event celebrating British winners of the US Open.
“I just feel like I’m learning and absorbing all the knowledge that I’m gaining like a sponge and soaking it all in.
“That’s what I really want to do. I’m not focused on results, I’m focused on how much I can learn because that’s what’s really going to drive me forward.”

Raducanu has pulled out of this week’s Chicago Fall Tennis Classic but she is expected to return to action next week in Indian Wells.

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