WTA Stars React To Victories As Australian Open Preparations Heat Up - UBITENNIS
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WTA Stars React To Victories As Australian Open Preparations Heat Up

Ash Barty, Naomi Osaka and Iga Swiatek reacted to their first matches of the season.



Ash Barty (@TennisAustralia - Twitter)

Some of the WTA’s top stars were among today’s winners in Melbourne as the preparations for the Australian Open intensify.

The world’s top WTA players were in action today as they looked to book their place in the last 16 of either the Gippsland Trophy or the Yarra Valley Classic.

Barty Party Returns In Australia

World number one Ash Barty was among those in action as she competed on the WTA Tour for the first time since last February. Due to the restrictions in Australia, Barty was unable to travel to the tour’s international events since the Pandemic. However that unaffected her today as she cruised past Romanian Ana Bogdan 6-3 6-3.

After the match, the world number one talked about winning more grand slams in 2021, “I’d be extremely fortunate to be in the position to be in another slam final,” Barty told Reem Abulleil.

“That’s what we work for, why we do all the work through the preseason, eat all our green beans, do all the right things to try and get to that point where we have an opportunity to win big titles.”

Ash Barty’s preparations for an Australian Open title bid will continue on Wednesday against 16th seed Marie Bouzkova at the Yarra Valley Classic.

Osaka Continues Hot Streak

Naomi Osaka extended her winning streak to 12 matches by defeating Alize Cornet 6-2 6-2 on Tuesday. On Wednesday, Osaka will face Katie Boulter who stunned American teenager Coco Gauff.

After her match Osaka acknowledged that she needs to start doing better at smaller tournaments, “I go into each tournament just trying to do the best that I can,” Osaka said in her press conference.

“I know that I have a really weird career in the way that I don’t really do that great at small tournaments, so I’m hoping to like fix that. I want to do well at every tournament that I play.”

Swiatek Rises To New Expectations

Iga Swiatek will have to deal with new expectations in 2021 after winning her first grand slam at Roland Garros last year.

The 19 year-old started her season by winning 11 of the last 12 games against good friend Kaja Juvan after a slow start by winning 2-6 6-2 6-1.

After the match Swiatek admitted it took time to get used to a different kind of pressure, “I wouldn’t say I was nervous but I just felt stressed in a different way,” the pole told WTA Insider.

“I felt it in my body because I felt really slow and heavy at the beginning. I didn’t know I was stressed before the match, but it wasn’t the first match that I felt that way. I’m looking forward to my next round and I’m kind of more peaceful. I hope it’s going to stay that way tomorrow.”

Swiatek will play 9th seed Ekaterina Alexandrova in her third round clash.

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Jelena Ostapenko beats Greer Minnen to reach the second round at Eastbourne



Number 6 seed Jelena Ostapenko beat Belgian qualifier Greet Minnen 7-6 (7-3) 6-1 after 1 hour and 29 minutes to secure a spot in the second round at the Rothesay international in Eastbourne. 

Ostapenko won the Eastbourne title in 2021 and reached the 2022 final before losing to Petra Kvitova. 

Minnen led by a break three times and served for the set at 5-4 and 6-5 but Ostapenko pulled back on serve each time. 

Ostapenko fired a backhand crosscourt winner to earn three set points at 6-3 in the tie-break. The Latvian player converted his first chance with a forehand return winner. 

Both players traded breaks in the first two games of the second set. Ostapenko earned a second break in the third game, but she took an off court medical time-out after a fall at 3-1 in the second set. 

Ostapenko recovered by winning four consecutive games with two breaks to win the second set 6-1. 

“Grass is a great surface, but sometimes it can be slippery and really tricky. So I took the medical time-out just to make sure I am fine”, said Ostapenko.  

 “I think the surface suits me really well. The first I played on grass, I was like: ‘How can we play tennis on this surface ? I don’t understand what’s happening here, but then every year was better and better”, said Ostapenko. 

British wild card Harriet Dart battled past former Wimbledon quarter finalist Marie Bouzhkova 7-5 6-7 (7-9) 6-4 after 3 hours and 29 minutes in the third-longest match on the WTA Tour this year. 

Bouzhkova broke twice in the third and fifth games to open up a 4-1 lead, but Dart won six of the next seven games with three breaks of serve to win the first set 7-5. 

Dart fought back from 1-4 down to force a tie-break with two breaks of serve in the sixth and eighth games. The British player never held a match point in the second set. Bouzhkova converted her fourth set point to seal the tie-break 9-7 after a 88-minute second set. 

After a trade of breaks at the start of the third set, Dart earned a decisive break in the third game to take a 2-1 lead. The British wild card saved a break point at 4-3 en route to the win. 

Dart was scheduled to face 2022 Wimbeldon champion Elena Rybakina, but the Kazakh player withdrew from the tournament on Monday due to a change of schedule. Dart will face wild card Sofia Kenin, who won the Australian Open title and reached the final at Roland Garros in 2020.  

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(VIDEO) What A Weekend For Italian Tennis!

Ubitennis founder Ubaldo Scanagatta looks back on this week’s action on the ATP Tour.



Jannik Sinner – ATP Halle 2024 (foto via Twitter @atptour)

It has been a memorable Sunday for Italian tennis with the country winning two titles on the ATP Tour. 

In Halle, world No.1 Jannik Sinner claimed his first trophy on the grass with a hard-fought two-set win over Hubert Hurkacz. There was also success in the doubles tournament with top seeds Simone Bolelli and Andrea Vavassori winning the title. Meanwhile, in London, Lorenzo Musetti was unable to make it a hatrick of wins for his country after losing in the final of the Cinch Championships to Tommy Paul.  

So how much can be read into these wins and should we be expecting similar results at Wimbledon which begins a week tomorrow? 

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Jannik Sinner reaches the first grass final of his career in Halle



Jannik Sinner overcame Zhang Zhizhen 6-4 7-6 (7-3) to reach the first final of his career on grass at the Terra Wortmann in Halle. Sinner achieved his best result on this surface when he reached the semifinal at Wimbledon in 2023. 

Sinner will face a final against his friend Hubert Hurkacz, who beat Alexander Zverev 7-6 (7-2) 6-4 in the first semifinal. The Italian player converted his only break point in the ninth game and fended off the only break point he faced at 5-6 in the second set with a forehand winner, one of his winners of the match. 

The Italian player earned an early mini-break to take a 2-0 lead. Zhang Zhizhen pulled the mini-break back. Sinner earned two mini-breaks in the fourth and eighth points to win the tie-break 7-3. Sinner won the first of the four tie-breaks he played this week.

Sinner finished the match in straight sets after clinching three consecutive three-set wins at the start of his campaign at this year’s edition of the Terra Wortmann in Halle. 

The world number 1 player won three titles on hard court at the Australian Open, Rotterdam and Miami this year. 

“It means a lot. I had four tough matches to go to the final. It was a good match today. Definitely more rallies than yesterday. And that’s definitely what I needed today. I am happy and let’s see what’s coming tomorrow”, said Sinner.  

Earlier this week Zhang Zhizhen had previously beaten Danil Medvedev in the second round and came back from 2-5 down to beat Christopher Eubanks in the quarter finals. 

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