Herbert & Mahut claim second Roland Garros doubles title

France claimed the Men’s Doubles title on Saturday when Pierre-Hughes Herbert & Nicolas Mahut defeated Alexander Bublik & Andrey Golubev from Kazakstan, 4-6 7-6(1) 6-4, to become the first all-French team to win twice at the clay-court major since World War...

Krejcikova bags French Open title

It was nip and tuck but, at the last, it was unseeded Czech Barbora Krejcikova who hoisted the French Open trophy aloft after a 3-set victory over Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, the No 31 seed, in the final at Roland Garros on Saturday.

Konta steps into her third straight Nottingham final

British No.1 Johanna Konta has reached her third consecutive final at the LTA’s Viking Open Nottingham after defeating Serbia’s Nina Stojanovic 6-2 6-7(2) 7-5 in two-hours and 53-minutes.

Swiatek and Krejcikova to meet in Paris Doubles Final

Iga Swiatek may have lost her singles crown at Roland Garros but she has her eyes firmly set on taking home the French Open doubles title with her partner, Bethanie Mattek-Sands, but the pair will have to navigate past Barbora Krejcikova & Katerina Siniakova, who...

Nadal is brought down in classic

Two classic semi-finals and a change of heart by the French pandemic authorities, a boisterous crowd and excellent weather all helped to ensure that the French Open, the second grand slam of the season, reached its Sunday climax with the appropriate fanfare

Sue Barker awarded CBE

Sue Barker has been awarded a CBE in the 2021 Queen's Birthday Honours for services to sport, broadcasting and charity.

Konta through to third straight Nottingham semi-final

Johanna Konta is safely through to her third consecutive Viking Open Nottingham semi-final after defeating eighth seed Alison Van Uytvanck 6-3 7-6(6), having reached the final in her last two visits to the Nottingham Tennis Centre in 2017 and 2018.

Evans loses in last eight.

In the Viking Nottingham Open Challeneger event, the top seed from Birmingham Dan Evans was pipped to the post in his quarterfinal against No.6 seed Denis Kudla falling 6-4 1-6 6-4 after two=hours and two-minutes.

Salisbury & Krawczyk win French Mixed Doubles title

Britain’s Joe Salisbury teamed up with American Desirae Krawczyk to win the French Open mixed doubles title on Thursday at Roland Garros, marking his second Grand Slam triumph.

Krejcikova outlasts Sakkari to reach Paris final

Barbora Krejcikova held her nerve to see off a match point and a controversial line call to advance to the French Open final after upsetting Maria Sakkari, the No 17 seed from Greece, 7-5 4-6 9-7, in a 3 hour 18 marathon semi-final battle.
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Barty to meet Sabalenka in Madrid final

The Mutua Madrid Open women’s final is much-anticipated, pitching Ash Barty and Aryna Sabalenka for their second consecutive trophy match as the two hottest clay court players on the WTA Tour at the moment.

There are so many different variables in tennis - that's the challenge, just trying to bring your best regardless of those conditions. Regardless of who you're playing, what surface, whether it's windy, cold, rainy, whatever it is, trying to adapt to that as best you can. Ash Barty

Barty has cemented her spot at the top with an astonishing array of statistics as she rides several winning streaks, including16 matches won on red clay, dating back to Rome 2019, winning 10 against Top 10 opponents, dating back to the 2019 WTA Finals and 10 against Top 20 opponents, all in 2021.

She has also made 5 appearances in finals, dating back to Beijing 2019, where she lost the title match to Naomi Osaka.

Not long after a convincing straight-sets win against Paula Badosa in the semi-finals, Barty spoke of her growing confidence.

“Without a doubt, you grow with each match that you play, every opportunity you get to try something new or try and rectify a few mistakes that you made in previous matches,” Barty said on Thursday in press. “That’s all learning.

“I think the confidence comes from the practice and the preparation. Then the match is the opportunity to go out there and hone your craft.

“I think with more matches that you play, it’s always a different opponent, different conditions.

“There are so many different variables in tennis – that’s the challenge, just trying to bring your best regardless of those conditions. Regardless of who you’re playing, what surface, whether it’s windy, cold, rainy, whatever it is, trying to adapt to that as best you can.

“I feel like we’ve had a really good balance of that this year.”

Barty also owns a 25-3 record this season, including 11-1 in three-set matches, and has won 10 of her past 12 finals dating back to 2018, including a tour-leading 3 trophies this year, the last being at Stuttgart against Sabalenka, which she won 3-6 6-0 6-3.

The Australian is the tour’s foremost problem-solver, and digging into the numbers underlines that her adaptability is a key component, meeting a broad range of challenges in matches and finding answers every time.

Ash Barty has consolidated her World No 1 status with impressive results in 2021

© Oscar Del Pozo/AFP via Getty Images

Barty has served particularly well this week in the warmer conditions of Madrid, which is something she will rely on, on Saturday, against Sabalenka, who overpowered Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in just over an hour to reach the final.

The Belarusian has yet to drop a set in Madrid and, not surprisingly, like Barty, is feeling good about her prospects.

“I just focused on my game, focused on the things, which I have to do on the court,” Sabalenka said in press after her semi-final win. “I’m not really focusing on the score or something else.

“Like all my focus is in the point, in the moment. That’s was working quite well so far.”

After collecting a 9th win in her past 10 matches on clay, Sabalenka was still reserved.

“I think my game has improved a lot on the clay court,” Sabalenka said. “For sure, it’s given me some confidence, but there’s still so many things to work on.

“Some games, I didn’t feel my serve. Some games, something wasn’t working.

“It’s always part of the process. But I’m really happy that from the side, it looks like everything is going my way.”

Aryna Sabalenka has not dropped a set in Madrid and will need all her firepower to get past Ash Barty in the Madrid final on Saturday

© Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Coming into her Madrid semi-final against Pavlyuchenkova, she felt a sense of calm, which is the difference between turning matches that could be losses into wins.

She has been dominant in each of her wins with a steely eyed focus, dropping just 18 games in her 5 matches.

Her longest match, against Daria Kasatkina in the second round, took just 79 minutes, while the rest took barely an hour.

Sabalenka fired 21 winners to just 11 unforced errors as she stormed past Pavlyuchenkova, pushing her to new heights in the singles rankings and a 23-6 record in 2021.

On the hard courts during the winter, the Belarusian put together a 15-match winning streak on her preferred surface, and is now showing it on the clay at altitude in Madrid, while Barty leads their head-to-heads 4-3.

“When I’m here in Madrid and I’m playing my best and I see fans watching, there is nothing to be worried about and to be sad about,” Sabalenka said. “This week I’m definitely a happy person. Hopefully I just keep going like this.”

Notching up a spot in her 3rd final of the year, the Belarusian will want to add to her season-opening win in Abu Dhabi and, in a rematch of the Stuttgart final, will face her vanquisher in what should prove an eventful and exciting championship match on Saturday evening.



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