Ashleigh Barty and Dayana Yastremska reach the final in Adelaide - UBITENNIS
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Ashleigh Barty and Dayana Yastremska reach the final in Adelaide

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Top seed Ashleigh Barty rallied from a set down to beat Danielle Collins 3-6 6-1 7-6 (7-5) after 1 hour and 55 minutes advancing to the final of the WTA Premier Tournament in Adelaide.

 

Barty has qualified fo a final in the second week of the year for the third consecutive year after losing in two consecutive editions of the Sydney tournament to Angelique Kerber in 2018 and to Petra Kvitova in 2019.

Collins got an early break in the fourth game to take a 3-0 lead. Barty earned a chance to break back when she held a 0-40 lead on Collins’ serve in the seventh game, but Collins won five consecutive points to hold on her serve.

Barty broke serve twice to race out to a 5-0 lead. Collins saved two break points to hold her serve at deuce avoiding a bagel. Barty sealed a one-sided second set at 15 in the seventh game.

Both players traded breaks in the seventh and eighth games of the third set, which did not feature a deuce game. Barty hit a return winner to take a 4-3 lead. Collins broke straight back in the next game. They held their service games setting up a tie-break. Collins saved the first match point with a return winner, but Barty sealed the win on her second match point with a slice.

“It was my first taste this year of some adrenaline late in matches. That is what we are after, to try and practice those things as best we can. I felt like I did what I wanted to do well tonight and got over the line”,said Barty.

Yastremska beats Sabalenka in straight sets 

Barty set up a final against Ukrainian teenager Dayana Yastremska, who beat Aryna Sabalenka 6-4 7-6 (7-4) after 1 hour and 44 minutes. Yastremska has reached her fourth WTA final and her first at WTA Premier level in Adelaide. Yastremska beat Sabalenka for the third time in her three head-to-head matches.

Yastremska dropped her serve once, converted two of her eight break point chances and hit 25 winners to 30 unforced errors.

Sabalenka fended off three break point chances in the third game of the opening set before Yastremska earned her first break in the fifth game after a backhand error from Sabalenka. The 19-year-old Ukrainian player consolidated the break with a forehand crosscourt winner. She rallied from 0-30 down in the 10th game to serve out the opening set with an ace after 37 minutes. Yastremska won the first set without facing a break point and won nine winners to nine unforced errors.

Yastremska earned an early break at the start of the second set with a return down the line winner in the first game, and consolidated it with a cross-court backhand. Sabalenka saved a break point, as she was serving at 1-3, before pulling the break back in the next game after a double fault from Yastremska. Both players held their next service games to set up a tie-break. Yastremska raced out to a 4-1 lead with a forehand winner and sealed the win with a service winner on her third match point to book her spot in the biggest final of her career.

Yastremska won three titles in her career, including two in 2019 on two different surfaces at International level in Hong Kong, Thailand Open and Strasbourg. She started the new season with her new coach Sascha Bajin, who previously worked with Seran Williams, Caroline Wozniacki and Naomi Osaka.

“It’s nice. I am very happy. Especially at the beginning of the year I think it brings me some confidence before the Grand Slam. In the second set when I was 3-1 up, I felt a little bit my legs were heavy, and I felt like I got a little bit tired. I lost my focus and then, after Sasha came on court, I got some energy, and I really tried to do what he told me. I think I just fought. That’s it”,said Yastremska.

WTA

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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