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Musetti continues his Roman run

At four-all in the second set the lights went out during the Italian Open which could have disrupted the concentration of Italy’s emerging starlet, the 18-year-old Lorenzo Musetti, who was on his way to eliminating another top player from the Rome Masters listings.

ATP and WTA Kremlin Cup tournaments cancelled

The ATP and WTA jointly announced on Friday that the 2020 Kremlin Cup tournaments in Moscow have been cancelled by a mandate from health officials in the Russian capital, where there has been a surge in coronavirus infections.

Osaka withdraws from Paris, fans reduced

Japan’s Naomi Osaka has withdrawn from the upcoming French Open with a hamstring injury, while the FFT is reducing the number of fans that will be allowed to attend Roland Garros due to the worsening coronavirus situation in the country.

On the day of the Bagel 

Bagels are pretty rare in pro tennis but in Rome on Thursday, Johanna Konta and Victoria Azarenka scored three between them - Konta taking one against clay-court specialist Irina-Camelia Begu, 6-0 6-4, while just five days after losing the US Open final, Azarenka...

Battling mental health issues to return to the court

In a short film released this week, the LTA follows 38-year-old tennis player Steven McCann from North London, as he shares his inspirational story of battling addiction to reignite his love and passion for the sport. The feature brings to life Steven’s journey to...

Fans to return in Paris

No one at the beginning of this Covid year could have predicted that we here at Tennis Threads would be writing the French Open in September, just a couple of weeks after the US Open had concluded!

Fed Cup rebrands as the Billie Jean King Cup

Tying in with the 50th Anniversary of the Fed Cup, the women’s team competition has been re-named the Billie Jean King Cup by the ITF, it was announced at a virtual press conference on Thursday.

Halep and Plíšková start Rome campaigns

Top seed Simona Halep overcame an early scare as she was broken 5 times by local wildcard Jasime Paolini in her opening match of the Internazionali BNL d’Italia, but moved into the second round smoothly enough, 6-3 6-4, on Wednesday, while No 2 seed Karolina Plíšková...

Rafa and Novak back in action

The two players who have won the most Masters1000 titles between them were in action at the Rome stop for the first time having received byes in their opening matches.

Kerber falls as Muguruza kicks on in Rome

Falling victim to the quick transition from the slick fast hard courts of the US Open to the continental clay of Rome, No 15 seed Angelique Kerber was upset by Katerina Siniakova on Tuesday in straight sets, while Garbiñe Muguruza claimed the battle of Grand Slam...
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Birmingham | Ostapenko power and aggression downs Konta

Former French Open champion, Jelena Ostapenko, used not only her powerful serve, but her fierce forehand to bludgeon her way past Jo Konta in their second-round clash at the Nature Valley Classic in Birmingham.

I came into the match without any expectations, but I tried to play my game and be more aggressive. And I think that helped me to win today -- to be more aggressive, so I didn’t really give her time to play her game.” Jelena Ostapeno

Showing the sort of play which won her grand slam title, the Latvian kept the British No.1 on her backfoot throughout the contest to bring to an end Konta’s current run of excellent results 6-3 6-4.

Speaking after her loss, Konta said: “I knew going into the match that there was going to be every possibility that she was going to be playing like this and I was expecting it because there is no reason why she can’t play freely, and, when she does, she plays very well.

“I still thought I did quite a lot of good things out there, I just didn’t get an opportunity to do too much more .”

Ostapenko, who has struggled with injuries this season, commented: “It was a good match from my side. I had nothing to lose because Jo is in great form right now and she made the semis at Roland Garros. She is a very good player on grass. So, I came into the match without any expectations, but I tried to play my game and be more aggressive. And I think that helped me to win today — to be more aggressive, so I didn’t really give her time to play her game.”

Meanwhile the current Roland Garros champion, Australia’s Ashleigh Barty, made her first foray onto the grass following her French Open victory and looked extremely comfortable on the surface as she took out last week’s Nottingham finalist, Donna Vekic 6-3 6-4 in her opening match.

The Croat started the more positively but the Aussie, now ranked world No.2, was quick to respond and take control despite a slight wobble when serving for her second-round place and a meeting with Jennifer Brady, a 6-3 6-3 winner over Lesia Tsurenko.

“It was the perfect first test for me. I knew that I had to be sharp and I had to be ready. Otherwise it wouldn’t even be a contest,” Barty said on court after her 71-minute triumph.

“It was nice and clean today out here. Donna’s obviously had phenomenal grass-court seasons in the past, and I’m sure she’ll be one to look for at Wimbledon.

“Obviously it’s a little bit different (to Roland Garros) but I love playing here, I love playing on the grass, and Birmingham for me I have such good memories from this beautiful court.

“I was just really excited to come back out and kind of dust off the cobwebs a little bit.”

Venus Williams, making her Birmingham debut, also progressed to round two as the 39-year-old eased past Aliaksandra Sasnovich 6-3 6-4.

The intriguing match between the Pliskova twins ended with Kristyna taking out her sister, the world No.3, Karolina, 6-2 3-6 -6(7) to progress into the quarter-finals.

 






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