Garbine Muguruza sets up second round match against Aryna Sabalenka in Doha - UBITENNIS
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Garbine Muguruza sets up second round match against Aryna Sabalenka in Doha

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Former finalists Garbine Muguruza, Jelena Ostapenko and Angelique Kerber won their opening matches at the Qatar Total Open in Doha on Monday. 

 

Jelena Ostapenko, who reached the final in Doha in 2016, cruised past Kiki Bertens 6-0 6-2 in the opening round. Bertens made her come-back after undergoing Achilles tendon surgery following her match against Martina Trevisan at Roland Garros. 

Ostapenko hit 26 winners to 19 unforced errors. 

Ostapenko clinched her 21st career win over a top 20 opponent. The Latvian player broke three times to take a bagel win in the opening set and built up a 5-1 lead in the second set. Bertens converted her first break point in the seventh game, as Ostapenko was serving out the match. Ostapenko closed out the match 6-2 with a crosscourt backhand winner after 53 minutes. 

Twice Grand Slam champion and 2018 Doha finalist Garbine Muguruza beat Veronika Kudemertova 6-2 7-6 (7-4) after 1 hour and 45 minutes in her sixth appearance in Doha. 

Muguruza earned a double break in the first and seventh games to win the first set 6-2. The Spanish player went up a set and a break in the fifth game to take a 3-2 lead in the second set. Kudemertova broke back at 15 in the 10th game, as Muguruza was serving out the match. Muguruza converted her second break point in the 11th game to earn the second chance to serve out the match for the second time, but Kudemertova broke straight back in the 12th game to force the second set to the tie-break. Muguruza came back from 3-4 down in the tie-break by winning four consecutive points to clinch the tie-break 7-4.

“Veronika was a very tough opponent. I am just happy with this win. We played a year ago, and I remember it was a tough match. I am happy to have closed it in two sets”, said Muguruza. 

Muguruza set up a blockbuster second round clash against this year’s Abu Dhabi champion Aryna Sabalenka from Belarus.

Estonia’s Anett Kontaveit eased past 2021 Australian Open finalist Jennifer Brady 6-1 6-2. Kontaveit broke four times and never faced a break point. The Estonian player hit 17 winners to just 9 unforced errors. 

Kontaveit will take on three-time Grand Slam champion and 2014 Doha champion Angelique Kerber, who fought back from 1-4 down to beat Turkish wildcard Cagla Buyukakcay 6-4 6-2. Buyukakcay opened up a 4-0 lead with a double break, but Kerber reeled off six consecutve games with three breaks to win the win the first set 6-4. The second set started with a trade of breaks at the start of the second set. Kerber broke twice in the third and fifth games en route to winning the second set 6-2. 

Two-time Doha champion Victoria Azarenka knocked out Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-2 6-3 after 1 hour and 42 minutes. Azarenka went up a 3-0 lead with a double break in the opening set. Kuznetsova pulled back one break in the fourth game, but Azarenka broke for the third times to take the first set 6-2. Azarenka converted three of the four break points in the first set.

Azarenka got a break in the first break in the fifth game of the second set to take a 3-2 lead. She fended off five break points in a marathon sixth game for 4-2. Azarenka missed three match points when she was serving for the match at 5-2, but she converted her six match point to break Kuznetsva’s serve in the ninth game.

Azarenka has improved her head-to-head record against Kuznetsova to 6-4. They met for the first time since the 2016 Miami Open final won by Azarenka.

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Andrey Rublev moves past Ilya Ivashka to reach the quarter finals in St. Petersburg

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Andrey Rublev overcame Ilya Ivashka 6-4 6-4 after 1 hour and 39 minutes to advance to the quarter finals for the third time in his career in St. Petersburg Open. 

 

Rublev fended off all seven break points and earned two breaks in the seventh game of the first set and in the third game of the second set. The Moscow native player fired 10 aces and won 84 % of his first service points. 

The eight-time titlist is aiming to win his third career title on home soil after his previous titles in Moscow 2019 and St. Petersburg 2020. 

Rublev set up a quarter final clash against either Sebastian Korda or Botic Van de Zandschulp.Karen Khachanov knocked out Adrian Mannarino 6-3 6-3 after 1 hour and 25 minutes. Khachanov will take on 2014 US Open champion Marin Cilic, who eased past Albert Ramos Vinolas 6-2 6-3 after 1 hour and 23 minutes. Cilic leads 1-0 against Khachanov in their only previous head-to-head match in Cincinnati in 2018.

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Matteo Berrettini rallies from one set down to beat Nikoloz Basilashvili in Vienna

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This year’s Wimbledon finalist Matteo Berrettini came back from one set down to beat Nikoloz Basilashvlili 6-7 (5-7 ) 6-3 6-2 after 2 hours and 5 minutes reaching the quarter final at the Erste Bank in Vienna. 

 

Berrettini saved all three break points he faced and hit 22 aces, including two on the last two points of the match. 

Number 3 seed Berrettini had won three of his previous head-to-head matches against Indian Wells finalist Basilashvili, but they met for the first time on in indoor court. Berrettini had beaten Basilashvili in Winston Salem 2018, Halle 2019 and Rome 2021. 

Both players went on serve in the first set. Berrettini saved the only break point in the second game. Basilashvili earned a mini-break to take a 3-1 lead. Berrettini pulled back on serve to draw level to 3-3. Basilashvili earned another mini-break on the 10th point to earn two set points at 6-4 and converted his second chance to win the tie-break 7-5. 

Berrettini saved a break point to hold serve at deuce in the first game of the second set. The Italian player earned a break in the second game to open up a 3-0 lead and held his next service games before closing out the second set with a double break in the ninth game. 

Berrettini went up a 3-0 lead with a break in the second game of the decider. The Queen’s tournament champion faced a break point in the seventh game after a double fault, but he saved it with an ace. He served out the third set 6-3 with his 22nd ace. Berrettini set up a quarter final match against Spanish Next Gen player Carlos Alcaraz, who beat Andy Murray 6-3 6-4.

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Denis Shapovalov Battles Back To Reach The Quarterfinals In St Petersburg

The Canadian got off to a slow start in his first match but was able to recover nicely for a big three-set win.

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Denis Shapovalov (CAN) Credit: AELTC/Edward Whitaker

Second seed Denis Shapovalov needed to go the distance at the St Petersburg Open to beat his Spanish opponent Pablo Andujar 2-6, 6-3, 6-0 in one hour and 49 minutes.

 

The Toronto native didn’t have the best start to the match but was able to recover and pull off a comeback to take the win. Serving a total of 11 aces to reach the quarterfinals.

” It’s very tough to play Pablo (Andujar) first round of a tournament, he’s a great player and it was a tough start to the match,” said Shapovalov. “I didn’t feel so great but I just told myself to keep going because obviously there is still a lot of tennis to be played and I wanted to turn it around in the second set and I did a really good job.”

It was the Spaniard who got off to a better start, earning a breakpoint in the first game of the match before grabbing the early break and he was able to consolidate it. At 2-0, Andujar had two chances to go up a double break but the Canadian saved both and it stayed on serve until 4-2 when the world number 92 was able to earn another breakpoint. This time converted for the double break lead and served out the first set.

The second set stayed on serve until 2-1 when Shapovalov broke to love and that one break of serve was enough for him to serve it out and send the match into a decider.

The Canadian continued pushing as his level improved. In the first game of the final set, he broke the Spaniard with a perfectly timed cross-court winner to take an early 1-0 lead. After consolidating the break he was hungry for more and broke Andujar’s serve once again to go up a double break. Shapovalov closed the match out with a bagel set.

During his on-court interview, Shapovalov was asked how happy he was back to be in St Peterburg and he mentioned the amazing memories he had playing in the event last year.

” It always feels great to be back and I remember last year playing Andrey (Rublev) in the semifinals. I was one set up and I lost this match but I am happy to be here due to the fact I always get great support from the fans here”. He said.

Shapovalov will face Jan-Lennard Struff in the quarterfinals after the German upset seventh seed Alexander Bublik in straight sets (6-4, 6-3).

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