Paula Badosa Stuns Ash Barty in Charleston - UBITENNIS
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Paula Badosa Stuns Ash Barty in Charleston

The 23-year-old has recorded the biggest win on her career to date.

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Paula Badosa (image via https://twitter.com/paulabadosa)

Spain’s Paula Badosa has beaten world No.1 Ash Barty 6-4, 6-3, at the Volvo Car Open in Charleston.

The world No.71 fired 7 aces with 19 winners while the top seed hit 24 unforced errors in a match where she didn’t look like herself. The win is is by far the biggest of Badosa’s career so far and she was ecstatic in her on court interview after the match. Prior to this week she had never defeated a top 20 player on the Tour.

“I can’t believe it, I still can’t believe I just beat number one in the world, I was quite nervous but I think I served very well,” said Badosa. “I think that was the key of the match and it was a tough match but I was there until the last moment and I could win.”

After holding serve in the first game of the match Barty had an early chance to break but the Spaniard would dig in and save both before holding serve. At 2-2 it was the world No.71 with a chance to break and she would earn the first break of the match with a stunning backhand winner.

The world number one had a chance to go back on serve but the Barcelona native hung in and held serve to consolidate the break. The next game the Aussie was struggling on serve and she would double fault to give her Spanish opponent another chance to break.

She would break to take a 5-2 lead but when she was serving for the first set she got tight and the Aussie earned three break points to get one of the breaks back. The world number 71 managed to save all three but the Brisbane native earned a fourth winning a great point with a volley winner and would break to make it 5-3.

At 5-4 the Aussie was pushing hard to go back on serve and once again had three chances to break but the Spaniard saved all three playing some great tennis and would serve out the set with a smash.

Badosa rode the momentum into the second set and earned two breakpoints right away in the first game and broke to take a 1-0 lead. The break wouldn’t last as the world number one would break right back the very next game to level the set at one.

Barty then saved two breakpoints at 2-2 to hold serve and then went on the offensive earning two breakpoints of her very own but the Spaniard saved them both.

At 3-3 the world number would serve a double fault to give her Spanish opponent three chances to break and she would get the break to take a 4-3 lead.

Badosa saved a breakpoint while serving to consolidate the break and would earn two matchpoints on her opponents serve. She won the match after Barty hit an unforced error.

In her post match press conference Badosa spoke about how she was able to overcome all the adversity she faced in the match.

” I’m quite happy because I was quite intense with the returns, I knew I had to be intense because she serves very good, she changes a lot the serve, she mixed a lot so I knew I had to be very focused on my returns and than in my serve I think I served very well which was the key of the match because I had a lot of breakpoints down but then I could do a good serve so I’m quite happy about that and I think I was intense the first balls against her the first two-three balls and I think that was very important.”

She will next face Veronika Kudermetova in the semifinals on Saturday who defeated former US Open champion Sloane Stephens 6-3, 6-4.

“It’s going to be a very tough match, a little bit different than today, they (both Kudermetova and Stephens) play more from the baseline. Ash mixes a lot the game so it will be different, very tough and both of them are amazing players”

Barty did take the opportunity after the match to speak to the press. She addressed if she felt fatigue played a factor in the match after a tough three set win against Shelby Rodgers.

“It’s probably been a collective of the last three weeks of playing a lot of matches which is always a good problem to have but without a doubt, I had to adjust with the way I wanted to approach the match and I tried to be super aggressive and all in all it was probably taking a few too many risks but it’s been an exceptional three weeks out of our trip and we can take nothing from the positives from it,” she said.

In other matches at the tournament, 12th seed Ons Jabeur of Tunisia beat Coco Gauff in straight sets 6-3, 6-3, and Danka Kovinic continued her amazing run by beating the number 11 seed Yulia Putintseva 6-7, 7-5, 6-1.

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Jannik Sinner beats Jan Lennard Struff to reach the semifinal in Halle

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Jannik Sinner battled past Jan Lennard Struff 6-2 6-7 (1-7) 7-6 (7-3) to reach his second tour-leve semifinal on grass at the Terra Wortmann Open in Halle. Struff hit 18 aces and saved 16 of the 18 aces he faced, including all 11 in the second and third sets. 

Sinner has scored his third consecutive three-set win at this tournament after beating Tallon Griekspoor and Fabian Maroszan in the first two rounds. 

Sinner broke twice to win the opening set 6-2 in 30 minutes. The Italian player won 67% of his second serve points in the first set. 

Sinner saved a break point in the fourth game of the second set. Struff fended it off with an ace and three more chances two games later as the set headed towards towards a tie-break. 

Struff earned the first mini-break to race out to a 4-0 lead in the tie-break. The German 34-year-old player made a serve and volley at 5-1 to earn a set point. He converted it as Sinner made a backhand error. 

Struff created his first break, when Sinner made two double faults at 2-2 after two hours. 

Sinner earned two break points in the ninth game of the third set, but Struff saved them with his serve and forced Sinner twice to serve to stay in the match. The set was decided by a second tie-break. Struff played his 10th consecutive tie-break in the 2024 season. Earlier this week won a 12-10 final-set tie-break against Luciano Darderi in the opening round before beating Stefanos Tsitsipas in straight sets in the next round on 

Sinner opened up a 3-0 lead in the tie-break. The 2024 Australian Open champions earned four match points in the second tie-break and converted his second chance, as Struff netted a backhand. Sinner won his third head-to-head match against Struff in 2024. 

Earlier at this tournament Sinner came back from a set down to beat Tallon Griekspoor 6-7 (8-10) 6-3 6-2 before beating Hungary’s Fabian Maroszan 6-4 6-7 (4-7) 6-3. 

“It was a very tough match. I had chances in the second set, had chances in the third set, but I could not use them. It was 0-40 in the third set. I jus try to accept these kind of challenges. It has been very tough, also mentally. I am very pleased to be in the next round. I played a lot today, I played a lot yesterday, two and a half hours on grass. It’s a long time”, said Sinner. 

Alexander Zverev rallied past Arthur Fils 6-7 (5-7) 6-3 6-4 in two hours and 30 minutes to reach the semifinal at the Terra Wortmann in Halle. The two-time Halle finalist is aiming to win his first grass title.

Zverev becomes the first player since Roger Federer to reach back-to-back semifinals in Halle. 

The first set went on serve en route to the tie-break. Fils earned his first mini-break to take a 2-0 lead in the tie-break. Zverev pulled back on serve, but Fils got a second mini-break to win the tie-break 7-5. 

Zverev raised his level in the second set breaking Fils at 3-2 with a streak of eight winning consecutive points.  

Zverev sealed the third set 6-4 with a break in the seventh game winning 83% of his first serve points. Fils saved two match points in the ninth game, as he was serving to stay in the match. Zverev served out the win at love in the 10th game. The German player was not broken in the entire match. 

Zverev now leads 2-0 in his two head-to-head matches against Fils. 

Zverev lost to Carlos Alcaraz in five sets in the final of Roland Garros. 

“After the French Open, I was hoping on grass I would a lot quicker and not play for two and a half, three hours every single match, but I am continuing what I always do”, said Zverev. 

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Coco Gauff beats Ekaterina Alexandrova to reach the quarter final in Berlin

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Coco Gauff saved three set points in the first set to beat Ekaterina Alexandrova 7-6 (8-6) 6-2 after 1 hour and 20 minutes in the ecotrans Ladies Open in Berlin. 

Alexandrova came back from 2-4 down in the first set to force a tie-break. Alexandrova went up a 6-3 lead in the tie-break as Gauff made her first double fault of the opening set. Gauff saved the three set points after a double fault, a backhand wide and a missed backhand return from Alexandrova. Gauff sealed the first set after Alexandrova made another double fault. 

Gauff dropped just four points on serve in the second set and broke twice, first at love at 1-1 and then at 15 in the seventh game. 

Pegula holds a 2-1 lead against Siniakova, but the Czech player won their only previous head-to-head match 6-3 5-7 6-4 on grass in Bad Homburg in 2021. 

Gauff avenged her defeat against Alexandrova, who beat her US rival 6-4 6-0 in the Round of 16 in Berlin in 2023.

Gauff, who lost to Ons Jabeur in the semifinal in Berlin in 2022, advanced the quarter final of this tournament for the second time in her career. Gauff will renew her rivalry against Jabeur in the semifinal at this year’s edition of the German grass tournament. Jabeur beat Linda Noskova 6-7 (5-7) 6-3 6-4. 

“When you are down in those points in tie-breaks, I just tell myself just to get one, and then one point turns into two. I was just hoping she would not ace me on one of those points. I was just hoping I could get a ball in the court”, said Gauff.  

Gauff was joined in the quarter finals by her doubles partner Jessica Pegula, who beat Donna Vekic 6-4 7-5 to reach her fifth quarter final of the 2024 season. 

Pegula set up a match against Katerina Siniakova, who beat number 6 seed Zheng Qinwen 6-4 6-4 to clinch her 10th win against a top-ten player. Siniakova has reached her fourth quarter final on grass after Birmingham in 2015 and Bad Homburg in 2021 and 2023. Last year she won the Bad Homburg beating Lucia Bronzetti in the final. 

Siniakova earned her first break in the opening game to win the first set 6-4. Zheng broke at love in the second game to take a 2-0 lead. Siniakova won four consecutive games to take a 4-2 lead with two breaks. Zheng pulled back on serve in the eighth game to draw level to 4-4. Siniakova broke for the third time at 15 in the ninth game and sealed the win on her first match point. 

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Jan Lennard Struff upsets Stefanos Tsitsipas to set up quarter final with Jannik Sinner in Halle

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Jan Lennard Struff upset Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-4 6-4 after 67 minutes with one break in each set at the Terra Wortmann Open in Halle. 

Struff dropped just five points behind his first serve and hit 22 winners to just 5 unforced errors one day after saving a match point to beat Italy’s Luciano Darderi. Struff avenged last month’s defeat against Tsitsipas in Rome. Struff is now tied at 4-4 in his head-to-head matches against Tsitsipas. 

Struff did not face any break points. The German player earned his first break in the fifth game of the first set and held serve at deuce to open up a 4-2 lead. He held his final two service games at love to close out the first set 6-4. 

Struff earned another break in the fifth game of the second set and sealed the win on his first match point in the 10th game. 

Struff won his first tour-level this year at the ATP 250 tournament in Munich last April. 

“I was very happy. Yesterday was a tough match. I was sick before and today in the morning. I felt good. I had good connection with the ball straight away and came in very well. I was serving pretty good, playing aggressive style. I am very pleased with the way I played”, said Struff. 

Struff has reached the quarter final for the first time in his eleven appearances at the grass ATP 500 tournament in Halle. 

Struff set up a quarter final clash against Jannik Sinner, who beat his German rival in his previous two head-to-head matches in Indian Wells and Monte-Carlo this year. 

Marcos Giron came back from one set down to beat Matteo Berrettini 3-6 6-4 6-3 becoming the first player outside the top 50 to beat the Italian player on grass since world number 53 Gilles Simon at 2018 Wimbledon. 

Berrettini earned an early break at love in the second game and held his next service games to win the first set 6-3. 

Both players went on serve until the 10th game when Giron converted his second break point to seal the second set 6-4. Berrettini did not convert two break points in the first game of the third set. Giron converted his second break point in the sixth game to take a 4-2 lead and served out the win on his first match point. 

“Berrettini is unbelievable on grass, with every tournament he plays on grass he practically makes the final or wins it”, said Giron.  

Giron set up a quarter final match against Hubert Hurkacz. 

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