Mixed Fortunes For Grand Slam Champions Ash Barty And Simona Halep In Adelaide - UBITENNIS
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Mixed Fortunes For Grand Slam Champions Ash Barty And Simona Halep In Adelaide

The Barty Army was given a reason to celebrate on Thursday, but Romanian fans were left disappointed.

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Ash Barty (image via twitter.com/AdelaideTennis)

Top seed Ash Barty continued her quest for a maiden WTA title on home soil with a comprehensive win in the quarter-finasls of the Adelaide International.

 

The world No.1 dropped only six games during her 6-3, 6-3, win over Czech Republic’s Markéta Vondroušová. Who was playing in her first tournament since June due to a wrist injury. Barty managed to find a way to dismantle her opponent’s serve as the match progressed. Breaking once in the opening set and a further three times in the second. Extending her perfect head-to-head record against Vondroušová to 4-0.

“It was really nice to see Marketa back out here. She’s had an injury right after the French Open. She’s a really nice girl.” Barty said in tribute to her rival.
“I know our matches are always played in the right way. They are always tough.” She added.

The encounter was a rematch of last year’s French Open final. Where the 23-year-old Australian also prevailed in straight sets to clinch her maiden grand slam title. In their latest clash, Barty produced 20 winners alongside 19 unforced errors.

Despite the victory, the home favourite believes there is still room for improvement. Last week she lost her opening match at the Brisbane International, but has managed to turn her fortunes around in Adelaide. Prior to Vondrousova, she also drowned Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in three sets.

“I think it’s (my form) getting better and better.” She said. “There were times in the match where I wanted to be a bit tighter and clinical, but all in all it’s good to be back here generating opportunities for myself (on the court).”

Awaiting Barty in the last four will be Danielle Collins, who stunned the tour 12 months ago with a run to the Australian Open semifinals on her debut. The American was in ruthless form as she crushed fourth seed Belinda Bencic 6-3, 6-1. Recording her second win over a top 10 player this season after Elina Svitolina last week.

“Danielle is an exceptional ball striker. She has the ability to take the match out of your hands very quickly.” Barty previewed.
“She’s very aggressive off the first return and first strike so I have to put my running shoes on and might sure I bring some variety (to the match) tomorrow.”

There was disappointment for Simona Halep in her quarter-final match. The reigning Wimbledon champion failed to tame Belarussian star Aryan Sabalenka as she tumbled out of the draw 6-4, 6-2. Throughout the match Halep struggled with her own serve. Winning only 55% of points compared to Sabalenka’s tally of 59%.

“I knew she’ll fight until the end — it doesn’t matter what the score. When the score was 5-Love, I kind of expected that she’ll try to do everything she can to come back in the match,” wtatennis.com quoted Sabalenka as saying.
“I wasn’t really disappointed after that two games. That helped me to stay in the match and to not lose my mind. I’m happy with this win, especially against big fighters like Simona and the great players. [It] feels good.”

Halep now heads into the Australian Open playing just two competitive singles matches this month.

Meanwhile, conqueror Sabalenka has booked a showdown with Dayana Yastremska on Friday. Yastremska defeated Donna Vekic 6-4, 6-3.

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Andrey Rublev moves past Ilya Ivashka to reach the quarter finals in St. Petersburg

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Andrey Rublev overcame Ilya Ivashka 6-4 6-4 after 1 hour and 39 minutes to advance to the quarter finals for the third time in his career in St. Petersburg Open. 

 

Rublev fended off all seven break points and earned two breaks in the seventh game of the first set and in the third game of the second set. The Moscow native player fired 10 aces and won 84 % of his first service points. 

The eight-time titlist is aiming to win his third career title on home soil after his previous titles in Moscow 2019 and St. Petersburg 2020. 

Rublev set up a quarter final clash against either Sebastian Korda or Botic Van de Zandschulp.Karen Khachanov knocked out Adrian Mannarino 6-3 6-3 after 1 hour and 25 minutes. Khachanov will take on 2014 US Open champion Marin Cilic, who eased past Albert Ramos Vinolas 6-2 6-3 after 1 hour and 23 minutes. Cilic leads 1-0 against Khachanov in their only previous head-to-head match in Cincinnati in 2018.

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Matteo Berrettini rallies from one set down to beat Nikoloz Basilashvili in Vienna

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This year’s Wimbledon finalist Matteo Berrettini came back from one set down to beat Nikoloz Basilashvlili 6-7 (5-7 ) 6-3 6-2 after 2 hours and 5 minutes reaching the quarter final at the Erste Bank in Vienna. 

 

Berrettini saved all three break points he faced and hit 22 aces, including two on the last two points of the match. 

Number 3 seed Berrettini had won three of his previous head-to-head matches against Indian Wells finalist Basilashvili, but they met for the first time on in indoor court. Berrettini had beaten Basilashvili in Winston Salem 2018, Halle 2019 and Rome 2021. 

Both players went on serve in the first set. Berrettini saved the only break point in the second game. Basilashvili earned a mini-break to take a 3-1 lead. Berrettini pulled back on serve to draw level to 3-3. Basilashvili earned another mini-break on the 10th point to earn two set points at 6-4 and converted his second chance to win the tie-break 7-5. 

Berrettini saved a break point to hold serve at deuce in the first game of the second set. The Italian player earned a break in the second game to open up a 3-0 lead and held his next service games before closing out the second set with a double break in the ninth game. 

Berrettini went up a 3-0 lead with a break in the second game of the decider. The Queen’s tournament champion faced a break point in the seventh game after a double fault, but he saved it with an ace. He served out the third set 6-3 with his 22nd ace. Berrettini set up a quarter final match against Spanish Next Gen player Carlos Alcaraz, who beat Andy Murray 6-3 6-4.

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Denis Shapovalov Battles Back To Reach The Quarterfinals In St Petersburg

The Canadian got off to a slow start in his first match but was able to recover nicely for a big three-set win.

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Denis Shapovalov (CAN) Credit: AELTC/Edward Whitaker

Second seed Denis Shapovalov needed to go the distance at the St Petersburg Open to beat his Spanish opponent Pablo Andujar 2-6, 6-3, 6-0 in one hour and 49 minutes.

 

The Toronto native didn’t have the best start to the match but was able to recover and pull off a comeback to take the win. Serving a total of 11 aces to reach the quarterfinals.

” It’s very tough to play Pablo (Andujar) first round of a tournament, he’s a great player and it was a tough start to the match,” said Shapovalov. “I didn’t feel so great but I just told myself to keep going because obviously there is still a lot of tennis to be played and I wanted to turn it around in the second set and I did a really good job.”

It was the Spaniard who got off to a better start, earning a breakpoint in the first game of the match before grabbing the early break and he was able to consolidate it. At 2-0, Andujar had two chances to go up a double break but the Canadian saved both and it stayed on serve until 4-2 when the world number 92 was able to earn another breakpoint. This time converted for the double break lead and served out the first set.

The second set stayed on serve until 2-1 when Shapovalov broke to love and that one break of serve was enough for him to serve it out and send the match into a decider.

The Canadian continued pushing as his level improved. In the first game of the final set, he broke the Spaniard with a perfectly timed cross-court winner to take an early 1-0 lead. After consolidating the break he was hungry for more and broke Andujar’s serve once again to go up a double break. Shapovalov closed the match out with a bagel set.

During his on-court interview, Shapovalov was asked how happy he was back to be in St Peterburg and he mentioned the amazing memories he had playing in the event last year.

” It always feels great to be back and I remember last year playing Andrey (Rublev) in the semifinals. I was one set up and I lost this match but I am happy to be here due to the fact I always get great support from the fans here”. He said.

Shapovalov will face Jan-Lennard Struff in the quarterfinals after the German upset seventh seed Alexander Bublik in straight sets (6-4, 6-3).

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