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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World No.634 Laura Samson Reaches First WTA Quarter-Final At 16

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Laura Samon - image via itftennis.com/ photo credi: Manuel Queimadelos

Laura Samson has become the first player born in 2008 to reach the quarter-finals of a WTA event after producing a surprise win on Tuesday. 

The 16-year-old wildcard stunned second seed Katerina Siniakova 1-6, 7-5, 6-3, in the second round at the Prague Open. Her triumph occurred a day after she dropped just two games against Tara Wurth in her opening match. This week is Samson’s Tour debut after playing 10 events on the lower-level ITF circuit. 

“I’m extremely surprised,” she said during her on-court interview after beating Siniakova. “I didn’t go into it as favorite. I’m so proud of myself and I hope I will continue to play like this. As I was going into the second set I thought, ‘I have nothing to lose, I didn’t play good in the first set.’ I’m not really sure when [I thought I could win], I just believed myself in the third set.” 

Samson is the latest Czech player to break through following a sucessful junior career. Last year she won the Wimbledon girls’ doubles title and was runner-up in the French Open singles tournament in June. She is currently No.3 in the ITF junior rankings but has been ranked as high as No.1. 

Earlier this year, Samson decided to change her name on the Tour by dropping the last three letters (ova). The reason why she did so was to avoid getting confused with another player. 

“I first noticed it last year, there was a problem that I was getting strings (the) of Lyudmila Samsonova,” she told tenisovysvet.cz.

“I also talked about it with her and, for example, according to the schedule, she also sometimes thought she was playing, but it was me,” 

“I would have liked the ending -ová, but unfortunately it turned out like this.”

The teenager will next take on world No.248 Oksana Selekhmeteva with the winner of that match progressing to their first WTA semi-final.  21-year-old Selekhmeteva is a former top 10 junior player who came through two rounds of qualifying to reach the main draw. She is a two-time junior Grand Slam champion in doubles. 

There are five seeds remaining in the tournament, including top seed Linda Nosková who will play Germany’s Ella Seidel in her next match. 

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Alex De Minaur Overcomes Injury To Fulfil Olympic Dream

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ASlex de Minaur - Roland Garros 2022 (foto Roberto dell'Olivo)

Alex de Minaur says it is a ‘dream come true’ for him to represent Australia in the Olympic Games after missing the event three years ago.

The world No.6 had been in a race against time to be fit for the Olympic tennis event after suffering an agonising injury setback at Wimbledon earlier this month. At the All England Club de Minaur reached the quarter-final stage for the first time and was set to take on Novak Djokovic. However, he was forced to withdraw from the match after tearing the fibre cartilage in his hip region after suffering a ‘freak’ injury. At the time of the announcement, it was estimated that he would be sidelined from the Tour for three to six weeks. 

However, the 25-year-old appears to have recovered fairly quickly in time for Paris with the tennis tournament starting on Saturday. It will be de Minaur’s debut in the Olympics after he was forced to pull out of the Tokyo Games due to a positive COVID-19 test. 

“To finally be able to represent Australia in the Olympics is a dream come true,” he wrote on Instagram on Tuesday morning.

“I’m very passionate when I play for my country and wear the green and gold, so this is another one of those moments. 

“I’m extremely excited to lace up for Paris 2024.”

De Minaur is bidding to become the first male player from his country to win an Olympic medal in the singles event. He has already won two ATP titles this year in Alcapulco and s-Hertogenbosch. Since the start of January, he has won five out of 11 meetings against top 10 players. 

“It’s really great news – we’re actually expecting Alex to arrive in the village ahead of the official draw (on Thursday) and we know he’s been working with his rehab team quite extensively since the conclusion of Wimbledon,” Australian chef de mission Anna Meares told the Australian Associated Press (AAP).

“He’s hungry to be here, he wants to be a part of this team and we will offer as much support as we can in that process.

“He’s coming – we will wait to see that process. He still has time … injury can be a really stressful thing for an athlete and the more you rush it, the more problems you can potentially cause.

“We’re leaving it in the hands of Alex and his rehabilitation team … it will be a decision purely by them.” 

De Minaur is one of five Australian men playing in the Paris Olympics. The others are Alexei Popyrin, Matthew Ebden, John Peers and Rinky Hijikata. 

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Wrist Injury Threatening To End Holger Rune’s Olympic Dream

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Holger Rune will have a second medical opinion on Monday before deciding if he is fit enough to play at the Olympic Games, according to his team. 

The Danish world No.17 recently retired from his quarter-final match at the Hamburg Open due to a knee injury. The hope at the time was that his withdrawal would be just a precautionary measure ahead of the Olympics. However, he is also dealing with a second issue that appears to be more serious.

According to TV 2 Sport, Rune has been struggling with a wrist issue and underwent a scan on Sunday which his mother Aneke says ‘doesn’t look promising.’ Aneke is also the manager of her son’s career. Rune’s Olympic dreams now rest on the outcome of a second medical expert that he will visit tomorrow who has a better understanding of the sport. 

“Unfortunately, it does not look promising after the first medical opinion after the review of the scan of the wrist,” Aneke Rune told TV 2 Sport.

“We are waiting for two tennis-specific doctors who will give a second opinion tomorrow (Monday). Tennis wrists look different from regular wrists, so we’ll hold out hope for one more day.” 

Rune is one of three Danish players entered into the Olympic tennis event along with Caroline Wozniacki and Clara Tauson. The country has only won one medal in tennis before which was at the 1912 Games when Sofie Castenschiold won silver in the women’s indoor singles event. 

So far this season, the 21-year-old has won 27 matches on the Tour but is yet to claim a title. He reached the final of the Brisbane International and then the semi-finals of three more events. In the Grand Slams, he made it to the fourth round of the French Open and Wimbledon. 

It is not known when a final decision regarding Rune’s participation in Paris will be made.

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