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Martic advances, Vondrousova falls in Palermo

Amid slip-ups over coronavirus protocols, the two top seeds at the WTA Palermo Ladies Open met with mixed fortunes on Tuesday, as top seed Petra Martic advanced in straight sets but 2nd-seeded Marketa Vondrousova fell at the hands of a qualifier.

Vekić strikes first ball back in Palermo

Donna Vekić goes down in history as the first player to win a tour-level match in the post-shutdown era when, 5 months after the last WTA tournament took place, the Palermo Open re-started the WTA Tour on Monday on the Italian island of Sicily, while the pandemic that...

It’s a welcome return with an uncertain future

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The Lion is the UTS2 king

Alexander ‘The Lion’ Zverev needed Sudden Death to beat Felix ‘The Panther’ Auger-Aliassime and become king of the Ultimate Tennis Showdown jungle on Sunday.

WTA Tour resumes in Palermo

The 31st Ladies Open Palermo kicks off in Sicily on Monday, marking the resumption of the WTA Tour after five months suspension because of the coronavirus pandemic and the exhibition events that have peppered the calendar since March wrapped up at the weekend.

The British Bulldogs just edge it

As the organiser of the Battle of the Brits Team event, Jamie Murray couldn’t have been more delighted that, after a week’s highly competitive play, the final outcome of the event wasn’t settled until the last match.

New York Empire win World TeamTennis 2020

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Boulter gets her Progress campaign under way

More disappointment for the £30,000 Progress Tour Women’s Championship on the first day of play at the NTC in Roehampton, as Katie Swan added her name to the list of injured players.

I want to be back playing how I was, but the reality is I am going to be a bit rusty, and I have to keep focused and keep battling away until I find my rhythm. Katie Boulter

Swan, the British number six, was forced to retire in her opening Elena Baltacha Group match with hip injury to join Heather Watson and Harriet Dart on the injured list when leading 6-4 1-4.

Swan, at 254 the highest ranked player in the event, only recently returned from the US and was competing for the first time since March.

She received medical attention twice during the second set and was visibly upset as she left the court.

Katie Boulter, ranked 374 in the world, is now clear favourite for the £6000 winner’s cheque after opening her challenge in the Anne Keothavong Group with a straightforward 6-1 6-4 win over Alice Gillan.

“It was tough conditions but I found a way to win and that is what counts,” she told BBC Sport.

“It was really nice to be back out there,” Boulter said after playing her first competitive match for 19 weeks.
“It’s been a mix of emotions. I want to be back playing how I was, but the reality is I am going to be a bit rusty, and I have to keep focused and keep battling away until I find my rhythm.”

The event – in which players call their own lines and collect balls under coronavirus restrictions – consists of two four-player pools before a semi-final knock-out stage.

The other match in the Baltacha Group saw Freya Christie fight back in a deciding set to beat Maia Lumsden 6-3 2-6 6-3 while Jodie-Anna Burrage posted a 6-2 6-3 win over Emily Arbuthnott in Group Keothavong.

“I’ve played 12 singles matches in 13 days” Burrage said following her victory. “I was feeling it in my legs this morning, but my body is holding up fine.”

Burrage and Christie, who are also partnering up for the doubles, have been competing at the St Georges Hill event in Weybridge prior to this week, arrived at the NTC after contesting the SGH Tennis Series final last Sunday which Burrage claimed.

“Honestly it’s been so good, the last two weeks,” said Burrage. “It’s been pretty full-on, but I put in the hard work during lockdown, and now it’s paying off on court.”

Meanwhile in Division 1 Amelia Bissett beat Esther Adeshina 6-1 6-1 and Sasha Hill defeated Nell Miller 6-4 4-6 6-3 in the Annabel Croft Group while Erin Richardson romped through her opener in the Sam Smith Group, to secure a 6-2 6-1 win over Danielle Daley as did Olivia Nichols in her 6-3 6-1 defeat of Victoria Allen.



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