Naomi Osaka Passes Begu Test To Reach Last Four At Gippsland Trophy - UBITENNIS
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Naomi Osaka Passes Begu Test To Reach Last Four At Gippsland Trophy

Naomi Osaka is now 14 matches unbeaten after making the semi-finals of the Gippsland Trophy,

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Naomi Osaka (@AustralianOpen - Twitter)

World number three Naomi Osaka, survived a tough first set from Irina-Camelia Begu to move into the Gippsland Trophy semi-finals.

 

The second seed was in a tough battle with her Romanian opponent as she conceded the break in the third set.

Although Osaka immediately broke back, she was still put under immediate pressure by Begu as she managed to create two break points in the ninth game.

Having saved them, Osaka punished Begu to take the opening set 7-5 in 45 minutes.

Then the US Open champion took control of the contest and surged into higher gears to win the last five games as she sealed her place in the last four.

After the match, Osaka praised her Romanian opponent who she never had played before, “My opponent today, she was really tricky for me,” Osaka said in her own-court interview.

“I’ve never played her before, so just to be able to not have to play that 10-point tiebreaker, for me, I’m really relieved.”

It’s now 14 wins in a row for the three time grand slam champion who looks momentum towards her first round Australian Open match Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.

Before Osaka plays the first grand slam of the year, the Japanese star will now play Elise Mertens in the semi-finals tomorrow.

The Belgian defeated Elina Svitolina 6-3 5-7 10-6 in a two hour battle on Margaret Court Arena.

After having five match points saved by her Ukrainian opponent, Mertens showed good mental fortitude to book her place in tomorrow’s semi-final.

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Reigning Champion Simona Halep Pulls Out Of Wimbledon

The Romanian says she is ‘down and upset’ about missing the major.

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There will be a new Wimbledon champion in the women’s draw this year after Simona Halep formally withdrew due to injury.

 

The former world No.1 was in London training with her team but has been forced to pull out of the grass-court major after failing to fully recover from a calf injury. An issue which also sidelined her from the French Open. It is the first time the Romanian has missed Wimbledon since making her Grand Slam debut at the tournament back in 2010.

“It is with great sadness that I’m announcing my withdrawal from The Championships as my calf injury has not fully recovered,” the 29-year-old said in a statement.
“I gave it everything I had in order to be ready to play Wimbledon and after having such special memories from two years ago, I was excited and honoured to step back on these beautiful courts as defending champion.
“Unfortunately, my body didn’t cooperate and I’ll have to save that feeling for next year.”

Halep first sustained the injury back in May when she was playing Angelique Kerber in the first round of the Italian Open. After undergoing an MRI, it was confirmed that the multiple Grand Slam winner had a tear in her left calf.

“I can honestly say that I’m really down and upset about having to take this decision. This period has been difficult but to miss the last two majors has made it even more challenging mentally and physically,” she said.
“We will see what the future holds but I’m hoping it will make me a stronger person and athlete.”

As a result of the withdrawal, Russia’s Ekaterina Alexandrova has moved into the seedings at 32nd. She has only won one match in four previous appearances at the Championships.

Halep has won 22 WTA titles during her career and has won more than $37.5M in prize money.

The Wimbledon Championships will get underway on Monday.

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Lorenzo Sonego reaches the semifinal in Eastbourne

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Third seed Lorenzo Sonego beat Alexander Bublik 6-1 7-5 in 79 minutes to reach the semifinal at the Viking International in Eastbourne. Sonego claimed his 17th tour-level match win of the year. 

 

Sonego broke twice in  the second and sixth games to win the first set 6-1. The Italian player won 65 % of his first service points  in the opening set. 

The 2021 Sardegna Open champion went up a break in the third game of the second game, but he missed two double break points at 4-2. He saved a break-back point at 4-3 before dropping his serve at 5-4. Sonego broke serve from 0-30 down to win the second set 7-5. 

Sonego has improved to 3-0 in his head-to-head matches against Bublik. 

“I am full of energy because I like playing here. My serve is good for grass court and I like playing in Eastbourne. There are a lot of Italian fans, and it is good for me. Sasha is an amazing player”, said Sonego. 

Sonego will face Max Purcell, who beat Italian veteran Andreas Seppi 6-4 1-4 6-4 after 1 hour and 58 minutes. Seppi had won his previous head-to-head against Purcell in Kitzbuhel in three sets. 

Purcell bounced back from losing the second set, winning 82 % of his first service points. 

Purcell went up a break twice in the first set to take a 3-2 lead, but Seppi broke back both times to draw level to 4-4. Purcell broke for the third time in the ninth game to claim the first set 6-4. Seppi broke twice to take a 4-0 lead, but wasted two set points in the sixth game. Seppi broke serve in the fifth game to take a 3-2 lead, but Purcell broke straight back to draw level to 3-3. Purcell earned three match points at 5-4 and converted his second chance on Seppi’s serve. 

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Danil Medvedev reaches the third grass-court semifinal of his career in Mallorca

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Top seed Danil Medvedev beat Casper Ruud 7-5 6-1 at the Mallorca Championships to reach the third grass-court semifinal of his career without dropping a set. Medvedev had prevously reached two semifinals in Eastbourne in 2017 and at Queen’s in 2019. 

 

Medvedev hit 8 aces and won 87 % of his first service points. He did not face a break points and dropped one point behind his first serve. 

Medvedev broke serve in the 11th game to win the first set 7-5. The Russian player went up a break in the first game. Ruud broke straight back in the second game. Medvedev broke three times in a row to win nine of the last ten games. He closed out the match with a drop shot and a volley to reach the semifinal after 1 hour and 17 minutes. 

“I feel like it was a funny match. Maybe it was not the highest level, but I am really happy to win and be in the semifinals here. I am looking forward to tomorrow. I don’t think grass is his best surface, but in the first set he was playing top level and I could not get any break points. As soon as he started serving a bit worse and making some errors, I tried to use it as fast as I could. It was important to win the first set and not not in a tie-break”, said Medvedev.

Medvedev will face Pablo Carreno Busta, who fended off all three break points he faced in his 6-4 6-4 win over Jordan Thompson. Medvedev leads 2-1 in his three head-to-head matches against Carreno Busta.   

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