Danielle Collins shocked Garbine Muguruza 7-5 2-6 6-4 in a pulsating late-night encounter at the 2020 French Open.
The American, 26, performed well in the first set, dropped her intensity in the second set and then pounced when the Spaniard faltered in the decider.
Collins will face Ons Jabeur in the last 16. The entertaining Tunisian earned an upset of her own when she beat Aryna Sabalenka 7-6(7) 2-6 6-3.
Collins wins first-set hitting contest
The first set was very close-fought. After Muguruza secured an early break, Collins broke back to level the score at 2-2. Then for the rest of the set, both players put on an exhibition of power-hitting.
They matched each other up to 5-5. Then the American held to love to give herself a chance to swing freely against the Spaniard’s serve. She seized it with some huge strikes to wrestle the set away from Muguruza.
Although the World No.15 lost the set, she had every reason to feel puzzled about the outcome. She had a better winners to unforced errors ratio than Collins (14-8 versus 15-16) and she won most of her service games more easily than the American.
In essence, the World No.57 won the opening set courtesy of her ability to save break points with her powerful serve. Because of this, Muguruza only managed to convert one of her eight chances.
Muguruza storms back
To her immense credit, Muguruza remained completely calm and never let the destination of the first set bother her.
The Spaniard stepped out and produced a near-flawless display in the second set. She cracked 11 winners and made just four unforced errors as she broke Collins in the first and fifth games and claimed the set 6-2 in just 33 minutes.
Collins pounces as Muguruza falls away
Muguruza maintained her momentum at the start of the decider. She broke Collins in the opening game for the third consecutive set. Then she staved off two break points during a battling hold that made it 2-0.
In game three, the Spaniard hit two excellent winners to go 0-30 up on the American’s serve. Then Collins made an unforced error on break point.
Muguruza offered the World No.57 a glimmer of hope when she made some sloppy errors to hand her a break. Buoyed by this, the American began to compete more effectively, and the following three tight games were all eventually won by the server to make it 4-3 to the Spaniard.
Then Muguruza faltered again. She served poorly and Collins broke her again to level the score. And the American followed it with a hold to love to pile pressure on the Spaniard.
Surprisingly, the 2016 champion crumbled. She hit two double faults during her worst service game of the match to hand victory to the American.
Kvitova survives but Ostapenko departs
Petra Kvitova fought back from 5-1 down in the opening set to beat Leylah Fernandez 7-5 6-3 and book her place in the fourth round at Roland Garros for the first time since 2015.
The Czech, 30, made a host of unforced errors in the first six games. Meanwhile, the teenage Canadian, who won the junior French Open title last year, started very brightly.
Unfortunately for the 18-year-old, Kvitova drew on all her experience to storm back and take the first set. Then she won the second set relatively easily. The Czech will now face Zhang Shuai in the last 16. The Chinese player beat French wildcard 7-6(2) 7-5.
By contrast, Jelena Ostapenko turned in the kind of performance viewers have become accustomed to during her slide down the rankings.
The Latvian, 23, made 10 double faults and 43 unforced errors during 82 painful minutes on court. Accordingly, she lost 6-4 6-3 to main draw debutant Paula Badosa, who played well throughout.
It was a remarkable win for the Spaniard, 22, who had already achieved her best result at a Grand Slam by reaching the third round. She will now take on another surprise package in the last 16 in the shape of Laura Siegemund. The German upset 13th seed Petra Martic 6-7(5) 6-3 6-0.
Kenin hurries through
Sofia Kenin charged into the last 16 of the French Open courtesy of a 6-2 6-0 victory over Irina Bara that took her just 72 minutes to achieve.
The American, 21, required three sets to win in rounds one and two. But she had no such trouble this time. She sealed a fourth meeting with Fiona Ferro, one of nine unseeded players in the last 16.
The Frenchwoman, 23, is enjoying comfortably the best year of her career so far. And she added another highlight when she overcame Patricia Maria Tig 7-6(7) 4-6 6-0.
Ash Barty Eases Into Madrid Final
Number 1 seed Ashleigh Barty beat Paula Badosa 6-4 6-3 to reach her fourth final of the 2021 season at the Madrid Mutua Open after winning three titles at the Yarra Valley Classic, Miami and Stuttgart.
The first set went on serve in the first nine games. Barty earned two break points in the 10th game with a lob and loose forehands from Badosa. Badosa saved two set points with winners, but Barty converted her third chance after a double fault from Badosa to close out the first set 6-4.
After an early trade of breaks, Barty earned her second break after a double fault from Badosa in the fourth game to open up a 3-1 lead. The Aussie star saved three break points in the fifth game and held serve for 4-1 with a dropshot. Barty dropped just two more points on serve to close out the second set 6-3.
Barty has extended her red clay winning streak to 16 consecutive matches and her win-loss record to 25-3 this season.
Barty has clinched her 16th consecutive win on red clay. The Australian player avenged her recent defeat against Badosa in the quarter finals in Charleston.
“It was important for me to get that early break back in the second set and keep my nose in front, almost force her to come up with something that was going to be a really high level to be at a high level to be able to get back into the match. I have learnt a lot about clay, without a doubt. I promise you, I am still counting down to the grass court season. It’s one of the my favourite times of the year. I think the memories and the learnings now that we are getting from the red clay has been really cool, to be able to challenge myself in different ways”, said Barty.
Ash Barty Battles Past Petra Kvitova In Madrid
Ash Barty is into the semi-finals of Madrid for the first time after defeating Petra Kvitova.
The world number one needed three sets and just under two hours to beat the three time Madrid champion.
Ashleigh Barty is into the semi finals of the Mutua Madrid Open after beating the number nine seed and three time champion Petra Kvitova in three sets 6-1, 3-6, 6-3 in a match that lasted just under two hours.
The world number one hit 15 winners, served six aces while her Czech opponent his 44 unforced errors in the loss. It was the Aussie who got off to the best possible start holding her opening service game and earning three chances to break in the following service game.
“I started off particularly well, Petra (Kvitova) struggled to find the court a little bit and gave me some cheap points, In the second she served particularly well and I feel like she made a lot more first serves so it was important for me to try and manufacture a break early in the third just to break some momentum and try to find my way back in”
She would break the number nine seed with a sublime return winner to take an early 2-0 lead before the Czech tried to get back into the set earning a break chance of her very own the next game but it was immediately saved with a big serve and Barty held serve.
The world number one continued to dominate the first set earning two more chances to go up a double break which she would convert and would serve out the set in 25 minutes.
The second set is where the Czech number nine seed bounced back and after holding the opening service game broke to take an early lead before the Aussie tried to get the break back but was denied and Kvitova saved three breakpoints.
She would serve out the second set to force a third and deciding set and once again that’s where the number one responded earning the first break of the third set.
The number nine seed had a chance to back on serve but the Aussie would save the break opportunity with a gutsy second serve ace but the resilient Czech stayed in the match and got the break back to go back on serve at 3-2.
Unfortunately for her the Aussie pushed hard once again for the crucial break in the match and would convert on her third attempt and that break was enough for her to serve out the match.
She will next face Paula Bodosa who earlier in the day became the first Spanish women to reach the semifinals at the Madrid Open after upsetting the number eight seed Belinda Bencic and she told Ubitennis what the experience will be like playing in a stadium with fans who will be cheering against her.
“It doesn’t bother me, I’ve played matches in Australia where I’ve had them on my side but it’s a different element, it’s exciting to be able to play in front of a crowd, were grateful this week that we got people to be able to enjoy it with us and enjoy the matches and she’s had an exceptional week, having played her a couple of weeks ago there were things from that match that I learned and we try and take those into account tomorrow as best we can and go out there and try to execute”
Ash Barty Explains How Rise In Tennis Has Affected Her Life
The world No.1 outlines how tennis has impacted her as a person following her latest win in Madrid.
With prize money earnings exceeding more than $18 million Ash Barty says she still sticks to the same ‘10 or 15’ t-shirts over the past five years and rotates between them.
The former French Open champion is currently the highest ranked player in women’s tennis and has won 11 WTA titles so far in his career. Including two this year in Miami and Melbourne. However, the Australian has insisted her rise in the sport hasn’t changed her as a person. Instead she describes it as more of a learning experience.
“I’ve been very fortunate to have many experiences over the last two or three years in my growth and development as a tennis player,” she said following her third round win at the Madrid Open.
“My experiences as a tennis player haven’t changed me as a person. They’ve certainly helped me grow and develop and become a better person, but they certainly haven’t changed any of my true values or anything that I live by. Whether it’s 1 or 100, as a person I couldn’t care less how the tennis works out.”
Despite her success, the Australian stresses that she is no different to everybody else. Last season Barty missed a major of the Tour due to travelling concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Since returning to action in February, she has won 22 out of 25 matches played and is currently on a 14-match winning streak when it comes to playing on the red clay.
“I’m not a massive person to go out shopping,” she admits. “I’m a jeans and T-shirt kind of girl. I’ve had the same 10 or 15 T-shirts for five years. I rotate through. Sometimes I’ll go out on a limb and get a different colour that’s not gray, black or white.”
Taking to the court in Madrid this week, the Jaguar logo is placed in the centre of Barty’s dress. She has been endorsed by the company since late 2018 and even drives their F-Pace SUV back in Australia. Although she has recently gained a Porsche after winning the Stuttgart Open in Germany. Is there a temptation to change car brands in the future?
“I don’t know. I love my Jag, that’s all I’m going to say,” she commented. “It was obviously a very cool gift. The tournament in Stuttgart has been doing it for a long time. Porsche has been a great sponsor for them. But I love my Jag.”
On the court in Madrid Barty faces a potentially tricky encounter in the quarter-finals against Petra Kvitova who has already won the tournament on three previous occasions which is more than any other female player. She has won four out of their five most recent meetings on the Tour but still trails their head-to-head 4-5.
“I love to play Petra. She brings out the best in me,” Barty stated. “I just said to Tyz (coach Craig Tyzzer) that we’re going to be counting in Roman numerals the amount of times we’ve played. It’s another challenge, another test. She’s won this tournament multiple times, loves the conditions here. It’s a fresh challenge for me.”
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