Jelena Ostapenko Dumps Second Seed Pliskova Out Of French Open - UBITENNIS
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Jelena Ostapenko Dumps Second Seed Pliskova Out Of French Open

The Latvian has handed the world No.4 her earliest loss at Roland Garros since 2016.



Jelena Ostapenko (@rolandgarros on Twitter)

Former French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko has caused an upset in the women’s draw after brushing aside an out of sorts Karolina Pliskova in straight sets.


The Latvian eased to a 6-4, 6-2, win over the lacklustre world No.4, who struggled with her first serve throughout the encounter. Ostapenko on the other hand was able to dictate rallies with the use of her all-or-nothing shot-making that drew mistakes from across the court. Best illustrated by her winner-error ratio of 27-9. A stark contrast to the former world No.1 who produced almost three times as many errors than winners (25-9).

“At the beginning, it was tough,” Ostapenko said during her on-court interview. “I knew before the match I had to serve well. I had to be aggressive when I can and not miss many balls, especially considering she is the No.2 (seed) and a great player.’
“I had to bring my best tennis in order to beat her.” She added.

Taking to the Philippe Chatrier Court, which had its roof on due to the weather conditions, both players struggled for consistency early on with five breaks of serves in the first seven games of the match. Nevertheless, Ostapenko was the one who had the edge over her somewhat flat opponent who also struggled during her first round match. A substandard Pliskova service game enabled her to break once again for a 4-3 lead and this time she consolidated en route to clinching the first set.

Six games away from reaching the third round of a major for only the second time since the start of 2019, Ostapenko continued to capitalize on Pliskova’s tentative hitting. Using a combination of power and slice at the start of the second frame, she broke to Czech to love to open up an early lead. Closing in on the victory Ostapenko raced to 5-2 before sealing the comprehensive victory with a serve down the centre of the court that Pliskova returned out.

23-year-old Ostapenko has had a roller-coaster run when it comes to playing at Roland Garros. Since claiming the title in 2017, she had failed to win a single match at the Grand Slam until this year.

“It’s an amazing court,” the world No.43 said about playing on Philippe Chatrier. “It’s great that we can have some fans (watching) too. Of course, it doesn’t feel like it did in the final but still I am very grateful.
“I have great memories. So maybe this atmosphere helps me play better.”

Ostapenko will next play either 29th seed Sloane Stephens or Spain’s Paula Badosa.

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Carlos Alcaraz beats Yannick Hanfmann on his debut at the China Open



This year’s Wimbledon champion Carlos Alcaraz beat Yannick Hanfmann 6-4 6-3 in 1 hour and 37 minutes on his debut at the China Open in Beijing three weeks after reaching the semifinal at the US Open. 


Alcaraz has improved his win-loss record to 59-7, leading the ATP Tour. The Spanish player leads the ATP Tour with 8 titles and 5 finals. 

Hanfmann saved eight of the eleven break points and broke twice in the first set. 

Alcaraz earned an early break in the third game to take a 2-1 lead, but Hanfmann broke straight back in the fourth game to draw level to 2-2. Alcaraz converted his fourth break point in the fifth game to take a 3-2 lead. Hanfmann pulled back on serve in the eighth game to draw level to 4-4. Alcaraz earned his third break with a forehand at 4-4 to seal the first set. 

Alcaraz broke twice in the third and ninth games to close out the second set 6-3. The two-time Grand Slam champion did not face a break point in the second set. 

Alcaraz converted five of the sixteen break points he faced. 

Alcaraz set up a second round match against Lorenzo Musetti, who beat Karen Khachanov 6-3 1-6 6-2. Khachanov won at the Zhuhai Open last week beating Yoshihito Nishioka  in the final. 

“Hopefully I have a lot of years to come here to China. Creating my chapter here in China would be great for me. To finally be able to come here to China and show my tennis in front of the Chinese people is something that I wanted a long time ago and I am really happy to do it, hopefully the first of many here”, said Alcaraz. 

Musetti converted his second break point in the second game to take a 3-0 lead. Khachanov broke back in the fifth game to draw level to 3-3. Musetti broke for the second time in the eighth game to seal the first set 6-3. 

Khachanov broke twice in the second and sixth games to close out the second set 6-1. 

Musetti broke Khachanov twice in the sixth and eighth games to seal the third set 6-2. 

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Jessica Pegula and Maria Sakkari advance to the semifinal in Tokyo



Number 2 seed Jessica Pegula cruised past Daria Kasatkina 6-1 6-0 in just 59 minutes at the Toray Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo to reach her seventh semifinal of the 2023 season.


Kasatkina earned an early break in the opening game of the match, but Pegula reeled off 12 consecutive games. The US player hit 25 winners and broke six times. She saved three break points as she served out the first set. Kasatkina was not able to convert eight game points across her first two service games. 

Pegula has scored her second win in as many matches against Kasatkina after beating her Russian opponent 7-5 6-3 in the first round in Rome 2021. 

Pegula has improved to 10-9 against top 20 rivals in 2023. 

Pegula set up a semifinal match against Maria Sakkari, who beat Caroline Garcia 6-2 6-2 in the quarter final. Sakkari claimed her second win in a week over her French rival equalling her career-best streak of seven consecutive match wins. Last week Sakkari beat Garcia 6-3 6-0 in the semifinal of the Guadalajara Open.  

Sakkari hit 15 winners to eight unforced errors and saved all six break points. 

The US player will meet her Greek rival for the ninth time in her career and for the third time this season. Sakkari leads 5-3 in her head-to-head matches against Pegula. They are 1-1 in their 2023 clashes. Pegula took the win 6-2 4-6 6-1 in the semifinal in Doha, but Sakkari turned the tables by winning the Washington semifinal 6-3 4-6 6-2. 

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Asian Games Champion Qinwen Zheng Reveals Shock Departure Of Coach Fissette



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China’s Qinwen Zheng says she feels ‘hurt’ by the decision of her former coach to end their collaboration in order to work with another player. 


The US Open quarter-finalist had been working with Belgium’s Wim Fissette in recent weeks following the departure of Pere Riba who is now the coach of Coco Gauff. Fissette has a wealth of experience in women’s tennis after working with the likes of Kim Clijsters and Naomi Osaka. However, Zheng says she is now looking for a new mentor.

“I understand his decision, but my family and I feel hurt. Right now I don’t want to talk about this person (Fissette),’ journalist Bendou Zhang quoted her as saying. 

Fissette is yet to comment on his departure. He had previously coached former world No.1 Osaka between 2019-2022 and during this period she won two of her four Grand Slam titles. The American-based Japanese player is on maternity leave from the sport and gave birth to her first child in July.

20-year-old Zheng is currently ranked 23rd in the world and won her maiden WTA title in Palermo earlier this year. She is the youngest player from her country to have reached the quarter-finals of a Grand Slam in the Open Era following her run at Flushing Medows. This year she has beaten top 10 players Ons Jabeur and Daria Kasatkina. 

Zheng’s latest career milestone is winning gold at the Asian Games on Friday. in the final, she defeated Zhu Lin 6-2, 6-4, in the blistering Hangzhou heat.

“The feeling was incredible,” Zheng said. “I’m really happy about that. That was not an easy match today and also yesterday (in semifinal against Alex Eala). All of them are good fighters.”

It is not clear who Zheng will be working with during the Asian swing. 

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