Caroline Garcia Stuns Pliskova As Seeds Tumble At US Open - UBITENNIS
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Caroline Garcia Stuns Pliskova As Seeds Tumble At US Open

Caroline Garcia produced a brilliant display to knock out top seed Karolina Pliskova 6-1 7-6(2) at the 2020 US Open.

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Caroline Garcia produced a brilliant display to knock out top seed Karolina Pliskova 6-1 7-6(2) at the 2020 US Open.

 

The Frenchwoman, 26, is one of the most talented players on the WTA tour. She can beat virtually anyone when she is at her best because she can hit winners from anywhere on the court.

Unquestionably, today was one of Garcia’s best days. She hit 30 winners and only dropped serve once as she outclassed one of the best players in the world.

“I’m very happy with my match today,” Garcia said in her on-court interview. “I had to play a good match because she’s a top player. Even though it wasn’t a great day for her, she gave everything.”

She continued, “I knew I had to go for it and believe and be very aggressive and that’s what I did very well, especially in the first set. The second set was tighter but I stayed calm and got over the line.”

Garcia makes spectacular start

Caroline Garcia made a fantastic start to the match. She held serve in style. Then she unfurled three superb forehand winners to earn an immediate break.

Unsurprisingly, the Frenchwoman could not sustain that level for long. She struggled a bit in her next service game but fought off a couple of break points and secured an important hold.

Even though she was already 3-0 in front, Garcia continued to attack. She unleashed two glorious winners – one backhand and one forehand – en route to an emphatic second break.

Over the course of the next three games, Pliskova worked her way into the contest. She held serve for the first time and pushed the Frenchwoman all the way in both of her service games. However, it was not enough to alter the outcome as Garcia wrapped up the set 6-1.

Pliskova fights back but it is not enough

Karolina Pliskova (@tribundergi on Twitter)

Pliskova made the worst possible start to the second set. She made three double faults in the opening game to gift Garcia an early break.

The Frenchwoman then consolidated her advantage by holding serve. During the game, the Czech revealed her frustration. When Garcia dealt brilliantly with an excellent return and then hit a superb passing shot winner past her seconds later, Pliskova angrily slammed her racket into the court.

That release of emotion seemed to have a positive effect on the Czech. She looked sharper in her next two service games and hit a few high-class winners. Despite this improvement, the Frenchwoman forged a 4-2 lead.

At this stage, Pliskova knew she had to raise her game. She produced a superb three-point sequence to break Garcia and level the score at 4-4. She won the first point with a fantastic lob, the second with a huge forehand and the third with a powerful return.

Next, the Czech held to love to put pressure on Garcia. Then she earned two break points on the Frenchwoman’s serve.

However, just when it looked like the match was about to go into a decider, there was another plot twist. Pliskova wasted the first break point with a wild forehand. Then Garcia saved the second with a big serve and huge forehand.

Suddenly, the opportunity for the Czech to level the match had gone. And when the set went to a tie-break, the Frenchwoman rose to the occasion.

Garcia set the tone immediately by crunching a forehand winner. Then she won five points in a row from 2-2 to seize the tie-break. At the moment of victory, she let out a cry of delight. And the Frenchwoman will now play 28th seed Jennifer Brady in the third round.

Rybakina, Vondrousova and Riske crash out

Marketa Vondrousova (@OfficialSFreak on Twitter)

Elena Rybakina, 21, is the 11th seed and one of the brightest prospects on the WTA tour. But she endured a chastening experience on court six as she was emphatically beaten 7-5 6-1 by experienced American Shelby Rogers. The victor’s reward will be last-32 clash with either Dayana Yastremska or Madison Brengle.

Marketa Vondrousova has had a tough time recently. She returned to tennis in January after six months out following surgery on her left wrist and struggled to find form. Then the tour was shut down for six months and she had to start again.

The Czech played in a few exhibition tournaments in June and July and managed to win a few matches. Then she returned to competitive action and lost in the first round at Palermo Ladies Open and the Western & Southern Open.

When you consider all of this, it should come as no surprise to anyone that the 12th seed lost to a dangerous player like Aliaksandra Sasnovich. The Belarussian stunned Petra Kvitova at Wimbledon and she is capable of high-class tennis. However, the thing that will disappoint Vondrousova most is the scoreline: 6-1 6-2. Sasnovich will face Yulia Putintseva in round three. The Kazakhstani beat Vera Lapko 6-3 6-3.

In another big shock, 13th seed Alison Riske was hammered 6-0 6-3 by World No.128 Ann Li. It is comfortably the most significant win of the young American’s career so far, and her reward will be a third-round meeting with three-time Grand Slam champion Angelique Kerber.

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Samsonova Battles Past Bencic To Win Maiden Title In Berlin, Gets Wimbledon Wild Card

The Russian qualifier has stunned the tournament with a run that also seen her defeat Madison Keys and Victoria Azarenka.

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image via https://twitter.com/bett1open

Liudmila Samsonova is the 2021 Bett1 Open champion after pulling off another upset by beating number five seed Belinda Bencic 1-6, 6-1, 6-2 in front of a capacity crowd on Steffi Graff Stadion under hot and humid conditions.

 

The 22-year-old underdog caps off what has been a fairytale run in Germany for the qualifier. Prior to the tournament Samsonova had never beaten a top 20 player in her career or reached a Tour final. Against Bencic she hit 28 winners to 15 unforced errors and won 66% of her service points.

” I was so nervous today even before the match and during the first set so after the first set I took a toilet break and told myself to play a more aggressive game and it worked,” Samsonova said following her triumph.

It was world No.12 Bencic who got off to a fast start by holding serve comfortably and than the following game setting up the first break chance with a return forehand winner before the Russian would double fault twice in a row to give the early break. At 3-0 the Swiss found herself again at double breakpoint and managed to seal the it en route to taking the first set in just 28 minutes.

However, the second set was the total opposite with underdog Samsonova holding serve and breaking the very next game with a powerful forehand winner. Like Bencic in the first set, she turned her lead into a double break and served out the second set.

The Russian carried the momentum into the third and deciding set earning a chance to break in the first game and the world No.12 would double fault to give the break. At 4-2 the world No.106 had a chance to go up a double break but Bencic managed to save it and hold serve before going on the offensive. The Swiss had two chances of her own to go back on serve but the Russian saved all three breakpoints she faced.

At 5-3 the Samsonova had two chances to seal the match and the title on her opponents serve. Bencic saved the first one but the world number 106 would seal the win on the second.

In her post match press conference Samsonova explained how once she levelled the match was able to close it out.

” I was trying to keep my game going and try to be aggressive on my first shot and my serve and on the return and that is what I was focusing on”.

The young Russian now has her sights sets on Wimbledon as she awarded a main draw wild card after the match.

“They just told me that I’m going to have the wildcard for the main draw, so I’m so happy,” she said.

Samsonova is the 10th first-time WTA champion this season.

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Victoria Azarenka, Aryna Sabalenka To Team Up For Olympic Bid

The two players say their main focus is on playing singles but a ‘great opportunity’ has presented itself.

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image via https://twitter.com/bett1open

The two highest ranked WTA players from Belarus are being considered as strong contenders to win an Olympic medal later this year after they recently confirmed plans to join forces.

 

Victoria Azarenka and Aryna Sabalenka are set to play in the women’s doubles tournament despite only playing together five times before on the WTA Tour. The duo has illustrated their potential at the Bett1 Open in Berlin, where they clinched the title on Sunday. In the final the pair upset top seeds Nicole Melichar and Demi Schuurs 4-6, 7-5, 10-7, to claim their first ever trophy together.

We both brought a different level, mindset than a few years ago. It was important to play together to feel each other’s game, see what we can try, apply what works, what we can work on. Our priority is singles but it’s a great opportunity at the Olympics to team up,” WTA Insider quoted Azarenka as saying following the final on Sunday.

Whilst they are both best known for their singles game, they have also had previous success in the doubles. Sabalenka won the 2019 US Open and 2021 Australian Open alongside Elise Mertens, as well as three Premier titles.

“We’ll play at the Olympics. To win a title, it gives us a lot of confidence and we feel each other better and players will know that we are playing good with each other and it’s more confidence for us and more pressure for other players,” the world No.4 commented.

Azarenka has already enjoyed success at the Olympics in her career. In 2012 she defeated Russia’s Maria Kirilenko in straight sets to win a bronze medal. During the same year she won gold in the mixed doubles alongside Max Mirnyi. Making her the only Belarusian tennis player in history to have won multiple Olympic medals.

This year’s Tokyo Olympic tennis tournament will be held at the Ariake Tennis Park and will get underway on July 24th.

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Victoria Azarenka Survives Three-Set Battle With Pegula In Berlin

Azarenka is one of two seeded players left in the draw along with Belinda Bencic.

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Victoria Azarenka is into the semifinals of the Bett1 Open after outlasting America’s Jessica Pegula 6-2, 5-7, 6-4.

 

The two-time Australian Open champion won 70% of her first service points and broke Pegula six times en route to the victory. It is only the second time Azarenka has reached the last four of a WTA tournament this season after the Doha Open back in March. This week she is bidding to reach her first Tour final on the grass since 2010 and win her first title on the surface at the age of 31.

“I’m really happy that I made it out, I played really well at the beginning of the match,” said Azarenka. “In the second set she played some good shots and I felt like I slowed down but I was glad I was able to turn it around”.

The number seven seed got off to a great start earning three chances to break in the opening game of the match and getting the early break. At 4-2 she earned the double break when the American produced a poor service game and double faulted on breakpoint. Enabling Azarenka to take the opener in just 26 minutes.

The beginning of the second set was identical to the first with the world No.16 earning three more breakpoints and breaking to take an early lead. However, Pegula fought back to earn three chances to break but Azarenka saved all three and held serve. The set stayed on serve until 4-3 when the American had another chance to break. This time a poor service game from the Belorussian gave up the break of serve.

At 6-5 with Azarenka serving to stay in the middle set Pegula found herself at set point and clinched the set after the world number 16 hit another unforced error.

Into the decider and again just like the first two sets it was the 31 year old who broke in the opening service game of the set but the world number 26 responded by breaking right back the very next game and the next two games followed suit with two breaks of serve.

At 3-3 the Azarenka had three more breakpoints and got the break once again but this time the break was enough for her to serve out the match. After the match Azarenka spoke about losing the momentum in the second set and how she was able to get it back and push through.

” I paid too much attention on the things that I didn’t take opportunities and matches on grass can go fast with one or two breaks and it’s more difficult and hopefully I can stop putting myself into too much trouble”. She said.

Azarenka will next face Russian qualifier Liudmila Samsonova who stunned Madison Keys in three sets – 7-6, 2-6, 7-6.

Elsewhere, Alize Cornet also continued her amazing run by beating the number six seed Garbine Muguruza 4-6, 6-3, 7-6, and Belinda Bencic booked her spot in the final four beating another Russian Ekaterina Alexandrova 6-4, 4-6, 7-6.

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