Daria Kasatkina stops Clara Tauson's winning streak in St. Petersburg - UBITENNIS
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Daria Kasatkina stops Clara Tauson’s winning streak in St. Petersburg

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Number 8 seed Daria Kasatkina battled past Danish qualifier Clara Tauson 6-4 7-6 (7-0) after 1 hour and 51 minutes in a match featuring 11 breaks of serve at the St. Petersburg Ladies Trophy. 

 

The first set started with four breaks in the first five games. Kasatikina broke twice in the third and fifth games in a row to race out to a 5-1. Tauson clawed her way back to 4-5 with a break in the eighth game, but Kasatkina served out the first set at 30 in the 10th game. 

Kasatkina earned a break in the third game of the second set to take a 2-1 lead. Tauson broke straight back and won eight of the next nine points to build a 3-2 lead. Kasatkina won three consecutive games to go up 5-3. Tauson converted her third break-back in the 10th game to draw level to 5-5, as Kasatkina was serving for the match. Tauson hit a drop-shot into the net to face a break point in the 11th game. Kasatkina hit a forehand to break serve for 6-5. Serving for the match for the second time, Kasatkina was broken with a double fault sending the second set into a tie-break. Kasatkina raced out to a 7-0 in the tie-break setting up a round of 16 match against Aliaksandra Sasnovich. 

Kasatkina stopped Tauson’s winning streak of 13 consecutive matches. The Danish teenager won her first maiden WTA title in Lyon breaking the top 100 of the WTA Ranking for the first time in her career and qualified for the main draw in St. Petersburg. 

Kasatkina lost to Aryna Sabalenka at the Australian Open and clinched her first title since 2018 at the Phillip Island Trophy during the Australian hard-court swing. 

“Clara was playing super aggressive, and I know that’s why she won in Lyon, because probably she likes to play indoors a lot. She is going to be very dangerous on the hardcourts and indoors especially”, said Kasatkina. 

Kamilla Rakhimova scpred her second WTA-level main draw win with a 6-1 6-7 (2-7) 6-2 win over WTA debutante Daria Mishina to set up an all-Russian Round of 16 match against Veronika Kudemertova.

Wang Xinyu battled past Viktoriya Tomova 6-1 5-7 7-5. Wang built up a 5-2 lead in the third set, but she missed four match points on Tomova’s serve at 5-3. The Chinese player converted her fifth match point to clinch her first WTA main draw win since Tianjin 2019. Wang set up a round of 16 match against Svetlana Kuznetsova. 

Katerina Siniakova served 78 % of her first serve points and broke five times to cruise past Kirsten Flipkens 6-1 6-2. 

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Marin Cilic wins his first title since Queen’s 2018

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Marin Cilic claimed the 19th ATP Tour title of his career and his first since Queen’s 2018 with a 7-6 (7-2) 6-3 win over Felix Auger Aliassime  after 1 hour and 50 minutes in the final of the Mercedes Cup in Stuttgart. 

 

Cilic won 100% of his first-serve points in three of his five matches and did not drop a set this week. 

The Croatian star is not 3-3 in grass court finals and 19-14 in his overall title matches. 

Both Cilic and Auger Aliassime saved three break points in their first service games. Cilic converted his ninth break point to take a 6-5 lead in the 11th game. Cilic was not able to serve out the first set, but he cruised through the tie-break 7-2, when Auger Aliassime hit a forehand long. 

The second set went on serve in the first seven games. Auger Aliassime won 64% of his first-service points, while Cilic claimed 90% of his second serve points. Cilic earned the only break of the second set in the eighth game to seal the second set 6-3. 

Cilic will play at Queen’s next week. 

“It was a very important win. I played two semifinals and did not win a title since 2018, also on grass at Queen’s. Winning here brings out joy for me, good confidence and a good feeling. Experience plays a big part, especially on grass. The conditions can be difficult, the court plays quite quick. I felt this was a good chance for me to give it my all, keep my intensity. Even though  some games were up and others down, that was a big part of my victory today”, said Cilic. 

Auger Aliassime has dropped to 0-8 in his eight ATP Tour Finals. “Today I am not facing a final. I am facing Marin Cilic. It is two different things. There has been times when I have not played my best then I felt I was not playing well, but this time around, I felt like it was close, but overall I think he was a better player overall”, said Auger Aliassime. 

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Felix Auger Aliassime sets up Stuttgart final against Marin Cilic

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Felix Auger Aliassime beat Sam Querrey 6-4 7-5 in 80 minutes to advance to the eighth ATP Tour Final of his career at the Mercedes Cup in Stuttgart without dropping a set this week. 

 

Auger Aliassime did not face a break point and hit seven aces. The Canadian Next Gen converted his first break point in the ninth game to claim the first set 6-4. 

The 20-year-old Canadian rising star won 89% of his first service points before earning a break point at 6-5 to seal the win. He lost to Matteo Berrettini in the 2019 final in Stuttgart. 

Auger Aliassime will face 2014 US Open champion Marin Cilic, who won the first set 6-3 before Jurij  Rodionov, before the Austrian wild card was forced to withdraw from the match at 0-1 due to an injury problem at the start of the second set. 

“I am feeling really good and very excited to be in the final after quite a period that I didn’t reach a final. I think this was very positive week. I have played good tennis, served very well. Considering it is a shorter season, with one week less. It was great to play this week. Losing to Roger Federer gave me more time to prepare for the week. I have not enjoyed being at a tournament so much in a long period of time, because it is the first time my son, my wife and I are together at one tournament. The set up in Stuttgart is really nice. There is a lot of grass and open space aroung the hotel for my sonto play and it is so much fun having them around”, said Cilic. Cilic leads 2-0 in his head-to-head matches against Auger Aliassime. They will play their first match on grass. 

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Barbora Krejcikova reaches both singles and doubles final at Roland Garros

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Barbora Krejcikova has qualified for the singles and doubles finals at Roland Garros this weekend, as she and Katerina Siniakova claimed a 6-1 6-2 win over Magda Linette and Bernarda Pera. 

 

Krejcikova has the chance to become the first player to win both the women’s singles and doubles titles at Roland Garros since Mary Pierce claimed both tournaments in 2000. Serena Williams is the most recently player to win both the singles and doubles titles at any Grand Slam tournament, at Wimbledon 2016.

The Czech team will take on Bethanie Mattek Sands froand last year’s Roland Garros singles champion Iga Swiatek, who beat Irina Camelia Begu and Nadia Podoroska 6-3 6-4. Swiatek reached the quarter final this year in the singles tournament. Krejcikova and Siniakova have qualified for both Grand Slam women’s doubles finals this season. They lost to Elise Mertens and Aryna Sabalenka at the 2021 Australian Open last February. 

Krejcikova and Siniakova are bidding to win their second Roland Garros women’s doubles title. 

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