Ash Barty Defends Her Title In Miami After Tearful Andreescu Retires - UBITENNIS
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Ash Barty Defends Her Title In Miami After Tearful Andreescu Retires

The world No.1 has clinched her second title of the season after another her injury-stricken opponent suffered another blow.

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Ash Barty has defended her title at the Miami Open after Andrea Andreescu was forced to retire following a fall. 

 

The world No.1 was leading the final 6-3, 4-0, in a match where she got off to a great start and never relinquished control. Much to the frustration of her Canadian rival who suffered a tumble on court during the second set and had to take a medical time out. She continued playing for another game before calling in quite in what is yet another injury setback for Andreescu who was sidelined from the entire Tour last year.

“It’s brutal. It’s never the way you ever want to finish a tennis match,” Barty said following the final.
“I feel for Bianca. She’s had a lot of injuries in her very young career and I think it’s held her back in some of the biggest moments. I Hope from here this will be the first of many battles for us. But you never like to see her injured at all and hopefully she will recover quickly.”   

After holding her serve Barty went on the attack right away and earned two breakpoints after it seemed the number eight seed got off to another slow start. She broke with an amazing forehand passing shot to take an early 2-0 lead.

After consolidating the break Andreescu started to find her game a bit and responded by holding serve and getting a break back. However, the Aussie would respond once again by breaking right back to take a 4-2 lead with a winner this time off her backhand.

Barty served out the set to put herself in a great spot to be one set away from the title.

She kept the momentum in the second set and got the early break once again as the Canadian was struggling on serve and double faulted to give her the 2-0 lead.

During the next game there was a scary moment for Andreescu after she lost her footing during an intense rally and slipped and fell. She appeared to be ok initially but then called for the trainer before resuming play.

Resuming play Barty earned two more breakpoints and managed to break once again to take a commanding 3-0 lead. At the next changeover Andreescu took a medical timeout with her foot being taped and wrapped, hoping it would be enough to stay in the match.

However, after holding serve the Canadian decided she could no longer continue and decided to retire. Resulting in Barty winning her 10th WTA title and becoming the first player to win back-to-back titles in Miami since Serena Williams. .

“It is incredible. It is the first time I have defended a title which is really exciting,” Barty commented. “I have so many good memories in Miami.’
“I’m excited, it’s going to kick start a really long season away from home for us (my team) in the best possible fashion.”

There is a silver lining for Andreescu, who is playing in just her third tournament since returning from a knee problem. She will rise to sixth in the world rankings when they are updated on Monday.

“For me, getting back on my feet wasn’t easy but I continued to believe in myself and I never gave up. So for everyone out there who’s going through a tough time, like me right now, I just wanna say keep your head up and continue to believe in yourself,” Andreescu said during the trophy ceremony. 

Barty is the sixth woman in history to defend a title in Miami.



 

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Lorenzo Sonego continues his winning streak with a victory over Barnabe Zapata Miralles in Sofia

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Lorenzo Sonego beat Barnabe Zapata Miralles 6-3 6-4 after 1 hour and 19 minutes to reach the second round at the Sofia Open. Sonego won 86% of his first serve points. 

 

Sonego broke serve in the second game at 30, but he missed a double break point in the third game. The Italian player dropped just three points in his next three service games to close out the first set 6-3.  

Sonego broke serve in the ninth game at love, as Zapata Miralles made a double fault. He made a double fault and a forehand error at 5-4, but he won four consecutive points to close out the second set on his first match point. 

Last week Sonego won his title in Metz without dropping a set. 

Sonego will face Danish Next Gen player Holger Rune in the second round. 

“I am really happy because today I was really aggressive on court. I played so well. I did my best thing today. I am really happy for that. Zapata is a big wall. He served really well, but I started so good today, with good variation. The key was my performance on serve, and to be aggressive on serve”, said Sonego. 

Lorenzo Musetti battled past Alexander Lazarov 6-7 (5-7) 7-6 (10-8) 6-2 after 2 hours and 42 minutes. 

The first set went on serve with no break points. Lazarov earned his mini-break at 4-2 to win the tie-break 7-5. Musetti saved two break points at 4-4. The Italian player wasted a set point at 5-4 on Lazarov’s serve and dropped his serve in the next game. Lazarov earned his chance to close out the match at 6-5, but he was broken at 30. Musetti went up a 4-1 lead in the tie-break, but Lazarov  won four consecutive points to take a 5-4 lead. Lazarov had the chance to close the match, but he dropped two points on serve.  Musetti sealed the tie-break on his fourth set point. 

Musetti earned two breaks and held his next service games to win the third set 6-2. 

Ilya Ivashka upset Grigor Dimitrov 6-3 7-6 (7-3) after 1 hour and 52 minutes to reach the quarter finals. Ivashka saved all seven break points he faced. Dimitrov saved two match points in the second set forcing the match to the tie-break. Ivashka earned two mini-breaks to take a 7-3 lead. 

Ivashka will face either Sonego or Rune in the quarter final. 

“It was a very tough match and I am very happy that I got the victory at the end. It is very hard to play against Grigor, especially at his home”, said Ivashka.  

Fernando Vedasco edged past Nikoloz Basilashvili 7-6 (7-1) 7-5 to set up a second round match against Alexander Vukic. 

Jan Lennard Struff came back from a set down to beat Dusan Lajovic 4-6 6-3 6-2. 

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Playing Clay Events After Wimbledon Was A Mistake, Says Diego Schwartzman

The former French Open semi-finalist is seeking to win his first title since March 2021 at the Tel Aviv Open this week.

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Diego Schwartzman (Roberto Dell'Olivo)

Diego Schwartzman will likely reevaluate his schedule for next year after admitting that part of his plans for this summer backfired. 

 

The world No.17 enters into the final quarter of the season with 31 wins against 22 losses on the Tour but is yet to win a title. Although he did reach back-to-back finals back in February in Argentina and Brazil. He has won two out of eight matches against top 10 opposition, defeating Stefanos Tsitsipas at the ATP Cup and Felix Auger-Aliassime in Barcelona. 

Reflecting on his performance, Schwartzman admits that his decision to return to European clay after playing at Wimbledon was a mistake. He lost his second match in Gstaad to Pablo Carreno Busta and then his first in Hamburg to Emil Ruusuvori. 

“It’s difficult to play at the same level every tournament, I’ve made a bad decision playing clay tournaments after Wimbledon, I didn’t have time to rest,” he said during his pre-tournament press conference at the Tel Aviv Open. “I paid the price and had some bad losses. But I started to feel much better in USA hard court season, lost to Stefanos Tsitsipas who reached the final in Cincinnati and to Frances Tiafoe at the US Open. Now I am feeling very good, I really love playing indoor tournaments.”

The 30-year-old has headed straight to Tel Aviv from the Laver Cup where Roger Federer played the last match of his career. Despite Schwartzman’s Team World winning the title for the first time, his only contribution to the tie saw him lose 6-1, 6-2, to Tsitsipas. 

Retirement was very much the topic of conversation during the Laver Cup with others such as Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic questioned by reporters about their plans in the sport. As for Schwartzman, he stayed coy about how much longer he would continue playing after saying in the past he might stop at the age of 33. 

“33 — is a good age to retire, isn’t it? South Americans are in different situations compared to European players. We travel too much, and sometimes we are not coming back home for 2-3 months, while Europeans can fly home every week. It’s tough,” he said. 
“As for Roger — he’s a special player, I think he is just the greatest in our sport.”

The Argentine is seeded third this week in Israel and will begin his campaign against Arthur Rinderknech who defeated qualifier Marius Copil in his opening match. 

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Botic Van de Zandschulp beats Joao Sousa to reach the second round in Tel Aviv

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Botic Van de Zandschulp cruised past Joao Sousa 6-2 6-3 to reach the second round at the Tel Aviv Watergen Open. Van de Zandschulp won 83% of his first serve points and hit 28 winners to Sousa’s six. 

 

The Dutchman will face Liam Broady, who Serbian wild-card Hamad Medjedovic 7-5 6-3. 

Tomas Martin Etchevery edged past 2021 Australian Open semifinalist Aslan Karatsev 6-2 6-7 (0-7) 6-4  scoring the biggest win of his career. 

Arthur Rinderknech came back from one set down to beat Romanian qualifier Marius Copil 6-7 (5-7) 6-4 6-3. Rinderknech set up a second round against third seed Diego Schwartzman. 

Emil Ruusuvuori broke serve five times in his 6-3 6-2 win over J.J Wolf. 

Sebastian Korda beat Turkish qualifier Cem Ilkel 6-4 6-4 setting up a second round match against Maxime Cressy. Novak Djokovic is the top seed of the Tel Aviv tournament, which returns for the first time since 2021.

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