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.
Victoria Azarenka Cruises Past Svitolina To Reach Australian Open Fourth Round
The former champion produced a ruthless display to book her place in the last 16.
Victoria Azarenka is through to the fourth round of the Australian Open after beating 15th seed Elina Svitolina 6-0, 6-2 in 67 minutes.
Facing a top 20 player at Melbourne Park for the first time since 2016, the world No.25 hit 17 winners and four aces in the win. Azarenka, who is one of only eight active players to have won more than 100 Grand Slam main draw matches, improving her record against Ukrainian players to 16-1.
“I thought I was really well-executing my game plan. I wanted to put as much pressure as I could on her and kind of not let her come into the match,” said Azarenka. “She’s an amazing fighter. I know if I give her a little room, she’s going to get back out there. That was my purpose today, and I think I executed that well.”
It was the number 24 seed with the better start to the match and ashe played aggressively from the word go. Earning three chances to break in the very first game and broke to take an early 1-0 lead. After consolidating the break, Azarenka was hungry for more and she got another chance to go up a double break and broke once again with a stunning forehand winner.
at 4-0, the Belorussian continued to dominate and broke Svitolina’s serve once more this time with a backhand winner down the line before serving out the first set to take it 6-0 in 25 minutes flat.
The first game of the second set was a carbon copy of the opening of the first set with Azarenka breaking once again to take a 1-0 lead and it stayed on serve until 4-2 when the number 24 seed went up a double break to lead 5-2.
The last game was a long affair with the Ukrainian starting to find her game and it went back and forth with the Belorussian looking to seal the win while Svitolina pushed back to stay alive.
It took six match points and saving three break points before Azarenka was able to serve it out and take the win. She will now face Barbora Krejickova who defeated Jelena Ostapenko 2-6, 6-4, 6-4.
“The rise of Barbora has been pretty incredible over the last year and a half, basically since COVID. She seems to kind of elevate her game more and more. She has all the good tools to play,” the two-time champion said of her next oponent.
“She can play aggressive, she can mix it up. A very dangerous player. We played once in Ostrava. It was pretty tight match and really good quality.” She added.
Naomi Osaka Overcomes Second Set Scare To Reach Last 32 At Australian Open
Naomi Osaka is into the last 32 of the Australian Open where Amanda Anisimova awaits.
Two-time champion Naomi Osaka overcame a second set scare to defeat Madison Brengle 6-0 6-4 to reach the third round of the Australian Open.
Osaka overcame a second set scare as she produced another dominant display of power to reach the last 32 against the unconventional American.
The world number 14 is looking for her fourth grand slam title in Melbourne.
Next for Osaka is Amanda Anisimova who beat a physically compromised Belinda Bencic 6-2 7-5.
It was a lightening quick start from Osaka who took the opening set in 20 minutes.
A display of power, accuracy and pace saw Brengle struggling to gain points on her service games.
The American isn’t a player who is going to hit you off the court and her shots were way too conservative against a player like Osaka who hits the ball so cleanly from the baseline.
Brengle came close but no reward as Osaka reeled off seven games in a row to take a 6-0 1-0 lead.
However Brengle eventually settled into her rhythm and to her obvious delight was ecstatic to win her first game of the match.
This relaxation allowed her to play with complete freedom as she started to use a lot of depth, angles and topspin to disrupt Osaka’s rhythm, who’s level dropped slightly.
Brengle created nine break points which Osaka saved with aggression and precison but on the tenth one, the American eventually broke to go a break up in the second set.
The American’s smile said it all as she was now in command of the second set but that didn’t last long.
That’s as Osaka used her champion’s skills to grind the break back and then went on a run of eight consecutive points to seal victory and a spot in the third round.
After the match Osaka spoke about her return game and the prospects of facing Amanda Anisimova in the next round, “I honestly want to say I returned pretty well,” Osaka admitted in her on-court interview.
“Been really working on it in the off-season. I’m trying not to [rate my level] if I compare myself to the past I will never be satisfied. I’m trying to take it one day at a time.
“I think we’re both going to take our chances. It’s very interesting to play against the younger players because I remember being a younger player myself and having nothing to lose.”
Friday’s meeting between the two players will be the first time they have faced each other.
Aryna Sabalenka Survives Sanders Scare At Australian Open
The Belarussian was made to work hard during her opening match at Melbourne Park.
World No.2 Aryna Sabalenka came back from the brink of defeat to seal her spot in the second round of the Australian Open.
The two-time Grand Slam semi-finalist struggled with her consistency throughout her 5-7, 6-3, 6-2, win over wild card Storm Saunders, who is yet to win a Grand Slam main draw match in her career. At one stage Sabalenka looked to be on the verge of suffering a third consecutive Tour defeat after trailing by a set and a break to the underdog before staging an emphatic fight back. Doing so with the help of her rival who started to unravel as the match progressed.
“She played well, she’s a tough opponent and I’m happy I won today,” Sabalenka said of Sanders during her on-court interview.
Sabalenka’s roller-coaster victory is best illustrated by the match statistics. Dealing with inconsistencies in her serve, she produced a total of 12 double faults and won 43% of her second service points. Furthermore, she hit a total of 29 winners against 37 unforced errors en route to the victory.
Playing a top 10 player for only the second time in her career, 27-year-old Sanders started the match in clinical fashion as she produced a level of tennis which exceeded that of her current ranking. Three consecutive times she managed to dismantle the Sabalenka serve to open up a swift 4-1 lead. However, the second seed briefly managed to find her footing in the match to claw her way back and level the set at 5-5. Not to be disheartened, Sanders continued pressing her opponent who faltered at the worst possible moment. Granting the underdog another break before she closed out the set.
On the verge of suffering an upset, Sabalenka’s woes continued in the second set when she got broken once again three games in. Trailing 5-7, 1-3, she managed to turn her fortunes around with the help of a six-game winning streak. Exposing the inexperienced her opponent has of playing on the biggest stages of the game. Serving to level up, she triumphed on her third set point with the help of a serve down the center of the court which Sanders returned out.
Into her stride, Sabalenka charged towards the finish line by winning a further four games in the decider before Sanders managed to register another game of her own. Serving for the win, a blistering serve down the center of the court secured the victory.
“I was already (mentally) in the locker room. Maybe that was the key because I stopped thinking too much and started playing tennis. I tried to put the ball (on the court) as much as I could and I think I did it well. That’s why I came back (in the match),” Sabalenka commented on how she turned the match around.
“Now I will recover and then tomorrow I will speak with my team about my next opponent.”
Sabalenka will play China’s Wang Xinyu in the next round. She could claim the world No.1 ranking in Melbourne if one of two scenarios occur over the coming days. She reaches the final and Ash Barty loses before the quarter-finals or Barty reaches the Quarter-finals and Sabalenka goes on to win the title.
Australian Open Daily Preview: Opportunities Abound in the Bottom Halves of the Draws
Australian Open: Italy’s Matteo Berrettini edges past talented Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz in five sets
Home hope Ash Barty stays on course to win the Australian Open
Gael Monfils advances to Australian Open fourth round without dropping a set
Pablo Carreno Busta reaches the fourth round at the Australian Open for the third time in his career
Novak Djokovic To Be Deported From Australia After Court Appeal Fails
Novak Djokovic ‘Trying’ To Get To The Australian Open, Says Lajovic
Novak Djokovic To Play Australian Open
REPORT: Novak Djokovic Denied Entry Into Australia After Visa Mix-Up
‘An Error Of Judgement’ – Novak Djokovic Admits He Broke Covid-19 Rules To Attend Photoshoot
US Open, Steve Flink: “Djokovic’s loss had more to do with fatigue than pressure”
US Open, Steve Flink on the Murray-Tsitsipas Controversy
(VIDEO) Dominic Thiem, Juan Martin Del Potro Gathering Momentum In Comeback Bids
Steve Flink On Wimbledon: “Bautista Agut would be a tough semifinal test for Djokovic”
Wimbledon, Flink: “Djokovic Will Beat Zverev in the Final”
Focus1 day ago
‘Disappointed’ Murray Aims For Improvement In Results After Second Round Australian Open Exit
Hot Topics2 days ago
Australian Open Visa Fiasco Was Preventable, Says Two-Time Champion Azarenka
ATP2 days ago
French Player Tests Positive For COVID-19 Hours After Australian Open Defeat
ATP3 days ago
Grigor Dimitrov downs Jiri Lehecka to begin Australian Open campaign
Focus22 hours ago
Italian Journalist rates Camila Giorgi, Matteo Berrettini, Jannik Sinner and Lorenzo Sonego’s Australian Open hopes
ATP3 days ago
Frances Tiafoe scrapes through in five, faces Taylor Fritz next at the Australian Open
Latest news3 days ago
Kaia Kanepi upsets Angelique Kerber to reach the second round at the Australian Open
ATP1 day ago
Felix Auger-Aliassime Survives Australian Open Marathon