Zheng Qinwen sets up final against Liudmila Samsonova in Tokyo - UBITENNIS
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Zheng Qinwen sets up final against Liudmila Samsonova in Tokyo

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China’s 19-year-old Zheng Qinwen came back from one set down to beat number 4 seed Veronika Kudemertova 5-7 6-3 7-6 (8-6) after 1 hour and 27 minutes in a hard-fought match after 3 hours and 4 minutes securing her spot at the Toray Pan Pacific in Tokyo. 

Kudemertova, who is the top 10 in the Race to this year’s WTA Finals, came back from 1-4 down to win the first set 7-5. Kudemertova  broke back in the seventh game to draw level to 4-4. Kudemertova earned her second break in the 11th game to close out the first set 6-4. The Russian player held break points in each of Zheng’s service games. 

Zheng earned a break in the fourth game to open up a 4-1 lead in the second set and held on her next service games to seal the second set 6-3.

Both players held on their next service games in the third set en route to their tie-break. Zheng earned the first mini-break with a volley winner at 3-2 and hit two service winners to open up a 5-2 lead. Zheng sealed the win on her second match point at 6-3, as Kudemertova fired a return long. 

Zheng has become the second teenager to reach a final at WTA 500 level or higher, following Coco Gauff, who advanced to the French Open at the age of 18. 

Zheng will take on Liudmila Samsonova, who beat Zhang Shuai 7-6 (7-4) 6-2 in the semifinal. Samsonova has an undefeated record of 3-0 in WTA singles finals this season. Earlier this week she beat Paula Badosa in straight sets in the second round. 

Both players traded breaks in the third and fourth games of the opening set and held their next service games en route to the tie-break. Samsonova sealed the tie-break on her first set point with her seventh set point. 

Zhang broke in the first game of the second set and earned three game points to open up a 2-0 lead. Samsonova broke straight back to draw level to 1-1. The Russian player won the final four games with two breaks to seal the second set 6-2. 

“I am feeling so happy because I am in another final in the last two months. It’s amazing. I never think it’s going to be possible, something like this, so I am incredibly happy”, said Samsonova. 

Samsonova  has reached her third WTA Tour final. She has won 17 of her last 18 matches, including two consecutive titles in Washington and Cleveland. She has lost only one match against Ajla Tomljanovic in the fourth round at the US Open after a 13-match winning streak. Zheng Qinwen beat Samsonova 6-3 6-2 in their only previous head-to-head match in Palermo lat Julu. 

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Jelena Ostapenko beats Greer Minnen to reach the second round at Eastbourne

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Number 6 seed Jelena Ostapenko beat Belgian qualifier Greet Minnen 7-6 (7-3) 6-1 after 1 hour and 29 minutes to secure a spot in the second round at the Rothesay international in Eastbourne. 

Ostapenko won the Eastbourne title in 2021 and reached the 2022 final before losing to Petra Kvitova. 

Minnen led by a break three times and served for the set at 5-4 and 6-5 but Ostapenko pulled back on serve each time. 

Ostapenko fired a backhand crosscourt winner to earn three set points at 6-3 in the tie-break. The Latvian player converted his first chance with a forehand return winner. 

Both players traded breaks in the first two games of the second set. Ostapenko earned a second break in the third game, but she took an off court medical time-out after a fall at 3-1 in the second set. 

Ostapenko recovered by winning four consecutive games with two breaks to win the second set 6-1. 

“Grass is a great surface, but sometimes it can be slippery and really tricky. So I took the medical time-out just to make sure I am fine”, said Ostapenko.  

 “I think the surface suits me really well. The first I played on grass, I was like: ‘How can we play tennis on this surface ? I don’t understand what’s happening here, but then every year was better and better”, said Ostapenko. 

British wild card Harriet Dart battled past former Wimbledon quarter finalist Marie Bouzhkova 7-5 6-7 (7-9) 6-4 after 3 hours and 29 minutes in the third-longest match on the WTA Tour this year. 

Bouzhkova broke twice in the third and fifth games to open up a 4-1 lead, but Dart won six of the next seven games with three breaks of serve to win the first set 7-5. 

Dart fought back from 1-4 down to force a tie-break with two breaks of serve in the sixth and eighth games. The British player never held a match point in the second set. Bouzhkova converted her fourth set point to seal the tie-break 9-7 after a 88-minute second set. 

After a trade of breaks at the start of the third set, Dart earned a decisive break in the third game to take a 2-1 lead. The British wild card saved a break point at 4-3 en route to the win. 

Dart was scheduled to face 2022 Wimbeldon champion Elena Rybakina, but the Kazakh player withdrew from the tournament on Monday due to a change of schedule. Dart will face wild card Sofia Kenin, who won the Australian Open title and reached the final at Roland Garros in 2020.  

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(VIDEO) What A Weekend For Italian Tennis!

Ubitennis founder Ubaldo Scanagatta looks back on this week’s action on the ATP Tour.

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Jannik Sinner – ATP Halle 2024 (foto via Twitter @atptour)

It has been a memorable Sunday for Italian tennis with the country winning two titles on the ATP Tour. 

In Halle, world No.1 Jannik Sinner claimed his first trophy on the grass with a hard-fought two-set win over Hubert Hurkacz. There was also success in the doubles tournament with top seeds Simone Bolelli and Andrea Vavassori winning the title. Meanwhile, in London, Lorenzo Musetti was unable to make it a hatrick of wins for his country after losing in the final of the Cinch Championships to Tommy Paul.  

So how much can be read into these wins and should we be expecting similar results at Wimbledon which begins a week tomorrow? 

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Jannik Sinner reaches the first grass final of his career in Halle

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Jannik Sinner overcame Zhang Zhizhen 6-4 7-6 (7-3) to reach the first final of his career on grass at the Terra Wortmann in Halle. Sinner achieved his best result on this surface when he reached the semifinal at Wimbledon in 2023. 

Sinner will face a final against his friend Hubert Hurkacz, who beat Alexander Zverev 7-6 (7-2) 6-4 in the first semifinal. The Italian player converted his only break point in the ninth game and fended off the only break point he faced at 5-6 in the second set with a forehand winner, one of his winners of the match. 

The Italian player earned an early mini-break to take a 2-0 lead. Zhang Zhizhen pulled the mini-break back. Sinner earned two mini-breaks in the fourth and eighth points to win the tie-break 7-3. Sinner won the first of the four tie-breaks he played this week.

Sinner finished the match in straight sets after clinching three consecutive three-set wins at the start of his campaign at this year’s edition of the Terra Wortmann in Halle. 

The world number 1 player won three titles on hard court at the Australian Open, Rotterdam and Miami this year. 

“It means a lot. I had four tough matches to go to the final. It was a good match today. Definitely more rallies than yesterday. And that’s definitely what I needed today. I am happy and let’s see what’s coming tomorrow”, said Sinner.  

Earlier this week Zhang Zhizhen had previously beaten Danil Medvedev in the second round and came back from 2-5 down to beat Christopher Eubanks in the quarter finals. 

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