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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Anett Kontaveit beats Elisabetta Cocciaretto to reach the semifinal at the Palermo Ladies Open

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Number 4 seed and world number 22 Anett Kontaveit ended Italian teenager Elisabetta Cocciaretto 6-1 4-6 6-1 to reach the semifinals at the 31st edition of the Ladies Open in Palermo. Kontaveit broke serve seven times and hit five aces. 

 

Kontaveit, who reached the Australian Open quarter final, broke twice and saved two break points in the second game to race out to a 4-0 lead. Cocciaretto got her first game on the scoreboard in the sixth game to avoid the bagel before Kontaveit served out the first set in the next game. 

Cocciaretto earned an early break in the second game to open up a 3-0 lead. Cocciaretto earned three game points for 5-2 in the seventh game, but Kontaveit broke back in a marathon seventh game. The second set ended with four consecutive breaks, as Cocciaretto claimed the second set 6-4. 

Kontaveit broke three times to cruise through to a 6-1 win in the third set after 1 hour and 54 minutes. The Estonian player set up a semifinal clash against Martic in a re-match of last February’s quarter final in Dubai. 

“It was really tough tonight. She played great and she had the home crowd definitely behind her. I am really happy with how I fought in the third set and that I managed to turn it around in the end”, said Kontaveit. 

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Petra Martic secures her spot in the semifinal in Palermo after hard-fought win over Aliaksandra Sasnovich

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Top seed and world number 15 Petra Martic from Croatia secured her spot in the semifinal at the 31st edition of the Ladies Open in Palermo after a 7-6 (7-5) 7-6 (7-3) win over former world number 30 Aliaksandra Sasnovich from Belarus. Martic produced 54 winners to 23 unforced errors. 

 

Martic fought back from a break down in the opening set and secured a hard-fought win on her fourth match points, as she served for the match twice in the second tie-break. 

The first set went on serve in the first eight games before Sasnovich broke serve in the ninth game to take a 5-4 lead. Martic broke straight back in the 10th game to draw level to 5-5. The Croatian player fended off three break points at 5-5 and did not convert her first set point in Sasnovich’s service game. 

Martic led 5-3 in the tie-break, but Sasnovich won the next two points to draw level to 5-5. Martic hit a forehand that forced a Sasnovich error and an unreturned serve to close out the tie-break after 75 minutes. 

Martic broke twice in the first and fifth games to build up a 4-1 lead in the second set. Sasnovich pulled one of the two breaks back in the sixth game. Sasnovich trailed 40-15 at 5-4 on Martic’s serve, but she saved both match points. The Belarusian player later fended off another match point after deuce to draw level to 5-5. Martic broke again in the 11th game to take a 6-5 lead, but Sasnovich broke straight back at 15 to force the second set to the second tie-break. Martic won five of the final six points to win the tie-break 7-3 reaching her second semifinal of the season after Dubai. 

“Overall, it was a great fight. I knew she was not going to give up until the match was over, and that’s what she proved once again. I think today was better than yesterday. There was some things that I was happy with, some things that I am not really happy with, but I am really just happy that I managed to win this match in two sets. I had two tough matches and my body’s holding up well. I have no major issues, just maybe soreness that I am sure we all have in the first tournament back. It feels nice to be reminded of how it feels to be that kind of tired, but all in all, I am happy. I had some good weeks of practice and it’s paying off”, said Martic. 

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Dayana Yastremska reaches quarter finals in Palermo

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Number 7 seed Dayana Yastremska cruised past Oceane Dodin 6-2 6-4 after 1 hour and 17 minutes. The young Ukrainian player fired 11 aces and converted three of the four break points in the opening set. 

 

Yastremska saved a break point in the opening game before breaking twice in the second and sixth games to race out to a 5-1 lead. Dodin got a break back, as Yastremska was serving for the set. Yastremska sealed the first set in the eighth game, as Dodin made a double fault. 

Both players traded breaks early in the second set and stayed neck and neck until the 10th game. Dodin saved a match point in the 10th game, but Yastremska secured the second match point with a backhand return to seal the second set 6-4. 

Yastremska hit 39 winners to just 7 unforced errors. 

Earlier this year Yastremska upset 2020 Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin in Doha. Dodin reached two consecutive quarter finals in St. Petersburg and Lyon. 

“I am very happy to be in a quarter final after so long of playing no tournaments. It was a good match, starting pretty late. All day, I had to be very focused to stay in a good way with the mind”, said Yastremska.   

Yastremska set up a quarter final match against Italy’s Camila Giorgi, who came back from one set down to beat Slovenian 19-year-old Kaja Juvan. 

Yastremska beat Giorgi 6-3 6-3 in their only previous clash at Wimbledon in 2019. Giorgi joins her compatriots Sara Errani and 19-year-old Elisabetta Cocciaretto in the quarter finals. 

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