Elina Svitolina fights back from one set down to beat Petra Kvitova in Stuttgart - UBITENNIS
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Elina Svitolina fights back from one set down to beat Petra Kvitova in Stuttgart

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Elina Svitolina fought back from one set and a 5-2 down and fended off two match points in her 6-7 (4-7) 7-5 6-2 win over defending champion Petra Kvitova after 2 hours and 37 minutes to reach the semifinals at the Porsche Grand Prix in Stuttgart. 

 

Svitolina went down a set and 5-2 in the second set and saved two match points before winning 11 of the last 13 games to stop Kvitova’s six-match winning streak. The Ukrainian player saved 13 of the 16 break points she faced. 

Kvitova still leads 7-4 in her 11 head-to-head matches, but Svitolina won her last three matches with Kvitova at the WTA Finals in 2018 and Miami and Stuttgart in 2021.

In the first set Svitolina broke back to draw level to 5-5, as Kvitova was serving for the set at 5-4. Kvitova went up a 6-3 in the tie-break and converted her second set point with her forehand. The Czech player converted her fifth break poin to open up a 3-1 lead. 

Svitolina had to face a match point on her serve at 5-2, but she held her serve forcing Kvitova to serve for the match. Svitolina earned a double break point after Kvitova made a double fault. Svitolina broke back at 5-4, as Kvitova hit an overhead long. 

Kvitova held a second match point, but she misfired long, allowing Svitolina to hold serve for 5-5. Svitolina earned a break in the next game with a passing winner. Svitolina saved a break point to win her fifth consecutive game. 

Svitolina went up a double break to race out to a 4-1 lead. Kvitova saved two match points at 5-1, but Svitolina converted her fourth match point to complete the comeback win. 

Svitolina set up a semifinal clash against Ashleigh Barty, who came back from 3-5 down in the final set to beat Karolina Pliskova 2-6 6-1 7-5. 

Barty came two points from defeat five times, as Pliskova served for the match at 5-4 in the third set but she rallied from a break down to advance to the semifinal. Barty has improved her win-loss record to 5-2 in her seven head-to-head matches against Pliskova. 

Pliskova converted both of the break points in the opening set, while Barty was not able to convert any of her three chances. 

Barty went up a double break to take a 4-1 lead in a four-deuce fifth game of the second set. The Australian player made two double faults to trail 1-2 in the third set. Pliskova went up a 5-3 lead. The Czech player saved four break points with unreturned serves, as she was serving for the match, but she was not able to reach match point. Barty won 10 of the last 12 points to take a hard-fought win in the third set. 

Pliskova converted all three break points on Barty’s serve and fended off 14 of the 19 chances she faced. 

“In a sense it was probably a match of two sets. In the first set I wasn’t able to build any pressure. Karolina was getting in and out of her serving games too quickly, and in tun was having freedom on my service games. Being able to flip that switch right from the first game of the second set was imprortant. To make it more of a physical match was what we were after, and over time we were able to get the match back on my terms as muchas we expected”, said Barty. 

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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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