French Open Champion Ash Barty Reacts To Tournament Date Change - UBITENNIS
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French Open Champion Ash Barty Reacts To Tournament Date Change

The 23-year-old Australian says she is unfazed about when the tournament will be taking place.

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World No.1 Ash Barty has vowed to defend her title at the French Open whenever it takes place amid the recent fallout concerning the grand slam.

 

Earlier this week the French Tennis Federation (FFT) confirmed the tournament will be delayed until the last week of September due to the Covid-19 pandemic. It will now take place a week after the US Open and is currently set to clash with the Laver Cup. Players and even some tennis officials have criticised the FTT for a lack of communication regarding their plans.

Speaking out about the situation, reigning champion Barty said that she is yet to speak with tournament director Guy Forget. It had been previously reported that the men’s champion, Rafael Nadal, was personally contacted about the date change. Nevertheless, the Australian said she hopes that she will have the chance to defend her title later this year.

“I haven’t spoken to Guy Forget but I’m happy to play the tournament whenever it is scheduled,” Barty told the Australian Associated Press.
“I hope I get the chance to defend my title in September – any opportunity to compete is something I’ll grab with both hands.
“There are more important things going on in the world right now, though, and I will do whatever helps keep us all safe and healthy.”

It was at Roland Garros, where the 23-year-old won her first and so far only grand slam title. Last year she dropped only two sets in eight matches en route to the title. Becoming the first player from her country to win the tournament since Margaret Court back in 1973.

Barty will remain at the top of the WTA rankings for the next three months after they have been frozen by the governing body. In a joint-decision, the WTA and ATP have suspended all tournaments until June 7th due to the pandemic. Urging the world of tennis to unite in what was an indirect swipe at the FFT and their decision about the French Open.

“Now is not a time to act unilaterally, but in unison. All decisions related to the impact of the coronavirus require appropriate consultation and review with the stakeholders in the game, a view that is shared by ATP, WTA, ITF, AELTC, Tennis Australia, and USTA.” The statement said.

So far this year, Barty has won 11 out of 14 matches played on the tour. Winning the Adelaide International back in January. Five out of her 11 wins were over top 20 players.

Should there be no further delay to the tour calendar, then next women’s events set to take place are in Nottingham and ‘s-Hertogenbosch on grass.

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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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