Elina Svitolina battles past Yulia Putintseva to reach the 4th round - UBITENNIS
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Elina Svitolina battles past Yulia Putintseva to reach the 4th round

Elina Svitolina produced a strong finish in her straight sets win over Yulia Putintseva at the Australian Open.

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Elina Svitolina (@TennisChannel - Twitter)

The number 5 seed had a slow start but finished strong in a straight sets win over an opponent she knew well.

 

Elina Svitolina is into the 4th round of the Australian Open after beating the number 26 seed and long time friend Yulia Putintseva 6-4, and 6-0. She improved her perfect record over Putintseva to 6-0 and fired 18 winners while the native of Kazakstan hit 32 unforced errors.

A tight first set

The number 5 seed didn’t get off to the best start as she opened the match on serve and faced pressure right away from the number 26 seed as she earned a break point right away.

Putintseva would break as Svitolina hit one of her 20 unforced errors in the match to give her opponent a 1-0 lead. The Kazak would hold serve to make it 2-0 before the Ukrainian had 4 chances to break to go back on serve and she would do just that earning her first break of serve with an outstanding forehand to make it 2-2.

Once again Svitolina struggled on serve and at 3-3 she would double fault to give Putintseva another breakpoint and she would break the following point with a great passing shot for the 4-3 lead.

The break didn’t last long as the number 5 seed went back on the attack looking to get the break back to go back on serve which she did with a superb volley winner at the net to make it 4-4.

With the number 26 serving to stay in the set she found herself facing three set points which she managed to save playing some great tennis forcing the error from the Ukrainian.

Svitolina would earn a 4th breakpoint after Putintseva would double fault once again and would take the first 6-4 as the Kazak sent a return into the net.

Svitolina dominates the second set

The second set was quite the opposite of the first as the number 5 seed took the momentum from winning the first set and used it to apply pressure on the Kazak and earned more breakpoints early in the second set.

On the second breakpoint of the set the Ukrainian woud get the early break with a stunning forehand winner down the line to take a 2-0 lead. Putintseva would set up a breakpoint the following game thanks to a great passing shot but Svitolina would save it with an even better forehand winner and hold serve to go up 3-0.

The number 5 seed kept pushing and set up another breakpoint to go up a double break with a scintillating down the line winner. The Kazak would unfortunately double fault on the following point to give Svitolina a 4-0 lead.

After holding serve the Ukrainian finished strong earning three match points on her opponent serve and would win the match when she would once again double fault to take the match.

Svitolina gave her thoughts of the win in her on court interview and she was quite pleased with the win.

“I was happy to comeback in the first set and was trying to find my game back,I know Yulia for a very long time, we used to play when we were kids at U10 and U12 so I know her from a very young age and It’s always a big battle against her and she’s a big fighter so I had to really play my best and it was a good match today.

She will next face Jessica Pegula in the next round after she beat Kristina Mladenovic in straight sets 6-2 and 6-1

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Felix Auger Aliassime leads the ATP Next Gen Race to Milan

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Felix Auger Aliassime rose to the top of the ATP Next Gen Race to Milan after strong performances at Wimbledon, Cincinnati and at the uS Open. 

 

After reaching the quarter final at Wimbledon the Canadian player advanced to the last eight at the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati before losing to Stefanos Tsitsipas. It was the second time he reached the quarter final in a Masters 1000 tournament. 

At the US Open the 21-year-old Canadian player edged Roberto Bautista Agut in a five-set match before beating Frances Tiafoe to reach the semifinals. Auger Aliassime became the first Canadian player to reach the semifinals at the US Open in the tournament history and the youngest player since Juan Martin Del Potro won the tournament in 2009. 

“I am happy with the level I have been playing at times, with the results I have had. It’s a positive week. Things are moving in the right direction”, said Auger Aliassime. Carlos Alcaraz has become the fourth player to secure a spot in the Next Gen ATP Finals after Auger Aliassime, Jannik Sinner and Sebastian Korda. Alcaraz became the youngest US Open quarter finalist in the Open Era after scoring an upset third-set win over Stefanos Tsitsipas. The player coached by Juan Carlos Ferrero also won the ATP 250 title in Umag and reached the semfinals in Marbella and Winston Salem.

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Liudmila Samsonova sets up semifinal against Jelena Ostapenko in Luxembourg

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Liudmila Samsonova upset this year’s Olympic champion Belinda Bencic 6-1 6-4 with three breaks of serve to reach her third semifinal of the season at the Luxembourg Open. 

 

Samsonova broke twice in the second and sixth games to win the first set 6-1. The Russian player claimed the second set 6-1 with a break in the third game and sealed the win on her first match point. 

Samsonova beat Bencic for the second time this season after beating the Swiss player in the final of the WTA grass tournament in Berlin. 

Bencic dropped serve three times in her first tournament since reaching the quarter finals at the US Open where she lost to eventual champion Emma Raducanu. 

Samsonova will face 2019 Luxemburg Open champion Jelena Ostapenko, who edged past Alizé Cornet 7-6 (8-6) 6-2. Ostapenko improved her winning streak to 8-0. Ostapenko went down a break twice in the first set. Cornet earned a chance to serve for the set at 5-4, but Ostapenko did not face any set point. Ostapenko saved the first set point in the tie-break before earning the mini-break to win the tie-break 8-6. Ostapenko broke twice in the third and seventh games to win the second set 6-2. 

Marketa Vondrousova completed the semifinal line-up with a 7-5 6-2 win over number 2 seed Elise Mertens after 1 hour and 37 minutes. Mertens broke serve in the eighth game to take a 5-3 lead. Vondrousova won four consecutive games with two breaks to take a 7-5 lead. The Czech player broke twice in a row in the third and fifth games to win the second set 6-2. 

Clara Tauson broke twice in each set to beat Marie Bouzkova 6-3 6-2. 

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Venus Williams Explains Met Gala Photo With Maria Sharapova

The former world No.1 says she and her sister Serena have ‘respect and love’ for Sharapova.

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Venus Williams, Maria Sharapova and Serena Williams at the 20201 Met Gala (image via Instagram)

Seven-time Grand Slam champion Venus Williams says there are no hard feelings between her, her sister Serena and Maria Sharapova after the trio took a photo together at the Met Gala.

 

The former world No.1s was seen smiling and laughing together at the New York fundraising event with both of the Williams sisters uploading a photo of them all on their Instagram story. Prompting surprise from some fans considering the at times icy rivalry between Serena and Sharapova that dates back to the 2004 Wimbledon Championships.

In her 2017 autobiography, Unstoppable: My Life So Far, Sharapova mentioned Serena’s name more than 100 times. She says the American hated her for beating her at Wimbledon that year and that the two were ‘not friends.’

“What I heard when I came in to the locker room was Serena Williams bawling,” Sharapova wrote.
“Guttural sobs. I got out as quickly as I could, but she knew I was there.
“I think Serena hated me for being the skinny kid who beat her, against all odds … I think she hated me for seeing her at her lowest moment.
“But mostly I think she hated me for hearing her cry. She’s never forgiven me for it.”

Responding to the claims, Serena hit back at the book in 2018 by describing it as ‘hearsay’ and said she never had any ‘negative feelings’ towards Sharapova. The two clashed on the Tour no fewer than 22 times with Serena winning 20 of those meetings.

“So I don’t have any negative feelings towards her, which again, was a little disappointing to see in that hearsay book,” Williams commented back in 2018. “So I have always, you know, and especially having a daughter, like, I feel like negativity is taught. One of the things I always say, I feel like women, especially, should bring each other up.”

Three years later and it now seems that all parties have put their disagreements behind them. At the Met Gala they were seen getting on pretty well. Besides posing for a photo together, they were also seen together in the bathroom at the event. A photo taken by pop star Anitta and rapper Saweetie which showed them in the background.

Speaking about the event for the first time, 41-year-old Williams said she wishes Sharapova was still playing before adding that they still ‘respect and love’ each other.

“First of all, Serena and I were talking about Maria the day before,” the 41-year-old explained on Instagram.
“We were like, ‘Damn, I wish Maria was still playing.’
“And we saw her, and we both told her separately, ‘Oh my gosh, we were just talking about you yesterday, we wish you were still on tour.’
“We were so happy to see each other. There was hugs, there was laughing, there were stories, and there was a photo.
“So the backstory is that even though us players compete really hard of the court for years, we still respect and love each other, and love Maria
.”

Williams, Serena and Sharapova have won a total of 35 Grand Slam singles titles between them.

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