Sara Sorribes Tormo Beats Bouchard To Win Maiden Title In Guadalajara - UBITENNIS
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Sara Sorribes Tormo Beats Bouchard To Win Maiden Title In Guadalajara

The Spaniard and number four seed won her first career title beating the Canadian in two tough sets.

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Sara Sorribes Tormo - Guadalajara 2021 (foto Facebook AbiertoZapopan2021)

Sara Sorribes Tormo is the champion of the 2021 Abierto Zapopan in Guadalajara, Mexico after beating Eugenie Bouchard in straight sets 6-2, 7-5. She broke the world number 144 six times in the match while the Canadian hit 39 unforced errors.

 

“from the first point with my serve, I think I just try to stay there at the beginning because she was hitting so strong I just try to hold my serve and to make her think, I’m really happy with the way I played and happy to win,” Tormo told reporters following her win.

It was Bouchard who got off to the fast start after holding the opening service game of the match putting some early pressure on the Spaniard and earned an early break point but the world number 71 would have no trouble saving and holding serve.

The very next game the Spaniard had a look a three break points on the world number 144 serve and it was third time the charm as she broke forcing the error from her opponent to take an early 2-1 lead.

The Las Vegas resident responded immediately winning three straight points and earning three break points but it was the Spaniard turn to save all three playing some great tennis and managed to hold serve.

Once again at 3-2 the world number 71 faced two more break points but there was a lack of finish from the Canadian as Sorribes Tormo was able to hold her service game.

The Spaniard had a chance to go up a double break after serving an untimely double fault and was broken as she would send a return long and smashed her racket in frustration.

The world number 71 would serve out the first set to take it 6-2 and was one set away from the title.

The second set was a much more tighter affair with both players holding their opening service games before the Spaniard once again earned more break points and broke to take an early 2-1 lead.

The next game Bouchard had a chance to break back to go back on serve but again was denied by the world number 71. At 3-2 the Canadian had another chance and this time she made good breaking the Spaniard with a stunning forehand winner to make it 3-3.

After holding serve the Westmount native went on the offensive and earned three break points to take her first lead of the match and she did just that and broke to take a 5-3 lead and serve for the second set.

While attempting to serve for it Bouchard found herself facing more break points from the Spaniard’s aggressive game style and she would be broken once more.

Tormo took that momentum and earned three more break points the following game and would break to take a 6-5 lead and serve for the match. She would serve it out in style winning the set, the match, and the title.

After the match Bouchard gave her thoughts on the loss and she was disappointed she couldn’t get the win tonight.

“She get’s a lot of balls back so I didn’t figure out the right balance of being patient and aggressive, I felt when I was aggressive I was missing too many balls and I didn’t quite figure it out today,” she said.

She continued on to say “it seemed she didn’t give up, she gets a lot of balls back and that’s her game.”

Bouchard told Ubitennis how she plans to take this good result and use it for the rest of the season.

“It was such a tough week to come here from being in France and coming here like the day before playing so it shows me I can do it mentally, physically, I was able to win four matches and be close in the fifth so that just gives me confidence for sure”

She also spoke of what happened when she was up 5-3 in the second set and managed to lose four games in a row to lose the match.

“That was super frustrating, I felt like I was playing 12 and under tennis at some point and she was out grinding me and I shouldn’t have lost four games in a row like that in the end sometimes I didn’t know what to do.”

After the win Sorribes Tormo also spoke of the what was going through her head at that crucial turning point of the match.

“I just try to accept, accept that she was playing good, that she was playing better than me, and just try to be focus on what I had to do, what I have been doing the whole week and the whole match, just stay there and try to change the score”.

Both players will be making the short trip to play in the Abierto GNP Seguros in Monterey.

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Kim Clijsters Still Capable Of Top-Level Wins, Says Former world No.1 Murray

Murray gives his verdict on Clijsters’ current form and if she can return to the top of the game.

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Image via WTA Insider on Twitter

Andy Murray believes it is only a matter of time before Belgium’s Kim Clijsters is able to return to her winning ways on the Tour.

 

The 38-year-old is currently in the process of her latest comeback which has been hampered by both injury and the COVID-19 pandemic. Since returning to the Tour at the 2020 Dubai Tennis Championships, Clijsters has only played in five tournaments and is yet to win a match. Her most recent defeat was at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells where she was ousted 6-3, 5-7, 6-3, by Hsieh Su-Wei.

It was in Indian Wells where Clijsters held a hitting session with Murray who says he was impressed by her level of play. Speaking to reporters in Antwerp where he is playing in the European Open this week, the three-time Grand Slam champion believes she is heading in the right direction.

“She still hits the ball fantastic. I think the decision-making and things like that will come with more matches,” atptour.com quoted Murray as saying. “I think physically she can get stronger. I think that was probably one of her biggest strengths when she was at the top of the game and as successful as she was.
“With more time, more matches, more time on the practice court, physically she’ll keep getting better. It’s not easy after such a long time out of the game, but I’m sure she can still win matches at the highest level, judging on how she’s handled herself so well.”

Following her most recent match, Clijsters said she is progressing well on the Tour given her lack of match play in recent times. She has only played two matches this year. The other took place in Chicago where she lost to Keterina Siniakova in three sets.

“I think for me the most important thing is that, what I talked with my coach and my trainer about, my fitness coach, was physically being able to get through these matches without big concerns. That was the main goal,” Clisjters said following her loss to Su-Wei.
“I came close, but still have a good feeling about, you know I’ve made progression and I think that’s the most important thing.”

Clijsters has won 41 WTA titles during her career with the last of those occurring a decade ago at the 2011 Australian Open. She has held the world No.1 spot for 20 weeks and has earned more than $24.5M in prize money.

It is unclear as to what tournament Clijsters will be playing next.

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Aryna Sabalenka Believes Experience Is The Key To Grand Slam Glory

The world No.2 reflects on her year so far as she aims to end the season on a high.

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Aryna Sabalenka returns a shot during a Women's Doubles quarterfinal match at the 2021 US Open, Tuesday, Sep. 7, 2021 in Flushing, NY. (Darren Carroll/USTA)

This year has been full of mixed emotions for Aryna Sabalenka when it comes to playing in the four most prestigious tournaments of the sport.

 

In the Grand Slams the world No.2 achieved the best performances of her career to date by reaching the semi-finals at both Wimbledon and the US Open. A breakout run for the Belarussian who had never gone beyond the fourth round of a major until this season. She was denied a place in her maiden final by Karolina Pliskova and Leylah Fernandez with both of those matches being three-set encounters.

Whilst Sabalenka has a lot to be proud of when it comes to these results, does she have any regrets as well?

“I would go back to my semifinal matches at the US Open and Wimbledon. I would have tried to do everything differently – maybe I would have been less nervous,” she told reporters during her pre-tournament press conference at the Kremlin Cup. “The game was very nervous, and I would have returned to these matches to worry less.”

The 23-year-old believes her experiences will place her on a strong footing going into future Grand Slam events. In recent years she has also turned to the help of a sports psychologist but says it doesn’t fully prepare her for the real thing.

“I have been working with a psychologist for a very long time. In fact, if you look at me 4 years ago and now, I have improved my psychological condition,” she said.
“It seems to me that no psychologist will prepare me for these situations (in Grand Slams). You need to go through it yourself, feel it, get nervous, understand this situation for yourself.’
“I’m more than sure that the next semifinal at the Slam I won’t be so nervous. I will act more confidently, I won’t make the stupid errors that I made in important moments in the last semi-final. It’s a matter of experience, you need to go through it. I don’t think a psychologist will be able to prepare for this.”

So far this season Sabalenka has contested three Tour finals, winning titles in Abu Dhabi and Madrid. Overall, she has won 43 matches on the WTA Tour which is the third highest tally after Barbora Krejcikova (44) and Ons Jabeur (48). She is also currently at a ranking high of second in the world and has defeated three top 10 players – Krejcikova, Ash Barty and Simona Halep.

However, Sabalenka believes there is still room for her to improve further. She is currently coached by Anton Dubrov who previously worked as her hitting partner for 18 months.

“I think I played very consistently this year, but, of course, it is possible to be more consistent. I have to keep working on myself, be more consistent. I think I’m moving in the right direction, I just need to keep working on myself.” She states.

This week’s Kremlin Cup will be the first tournament Sabalenka has played since the US Open. She was forced to miss Indian Wells after testing positive for COVID-19 which left her bed bound for four days. Whilst admitting she is yet to reach her full fitness since being ill, Sabalenka is not letting that get in her way.

“I’m not in my best shape, but I know that I need the upcoming matches in the Kremlin Cup, because I haven’t played for almost a month. Maybe I haven’t returned to 100% of my physical form, but psychologically I am at my maximum and ready to win no matter what.” She concludes.

Sabalenka is the top seed in Moscow and will begin her campaign against Australia’s Ajla Tomljanovic.

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Anhelina Kalinina beats Daria Kasatkina at the Kremlin Cup in Moscow

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Anhelina Kalinina eased past Daria Kasatkina 6-2 6-3 after 1 hour and 23 minutes at the Kremlin Cup in Moscow. 

 

Kalinina, who reached the final in Budapest this year, hit 24  winners to 18 unforced errors. She scored her second top 30 win this year after beating Angelique Kerber in the first round at this year’s edition of the French Open. 

The match between Kalinina and Kasatkina featured 12 breaks of serve. Kalinina went up a 3-0 lead with a double break in the second set. Kasatkina pulled one break back in the fourth game and saved four break points to hold serve in the fifth game for 2-3 in the longest game of the match. 

Kalinina saved two match points in the sixth game before breaking serve in the seventh game to open up a 5-2 lead. She was not able to serve out the match after two double faults, but she sealed the second set with a drive volley. 

Anna Kalinskaya rallied from 3-5 down in the first set to beat Dayana Yastremska 7-6 (7-5) 6-4. Yastremska started the tie-break with six consecutive unforced errors, but she saved five set points, but she sent a return outside the court. Kalinskaya set up a second round match against Maria Sakkari. 

Lesla Tsurenko beat 18-year-old Chinese player Zheng Qinwen 6-4 6-3. Bernarda Pera beat Aleksandra Krunic 7-6 (7-3) 6-3. Pera converted her sixth point to close out the first set.  Pera will face Anastasya Pavlyuchenkova. 

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