Muguruza downs Konta to face Azarenka

On a day of attrition and compassion in Rome, Friday’s play at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia saw Johanna Konta fall to Garbiñe Muguruza, Victoria Azarenka comfort an injured Daria Kasatkina after a nasty tumble, and top seeds Simona Halep and Karolina Plíšková...

Nadal not obsessed with records

The two tournament favourites draw closer to settling this year’s Rome Masters 1000 title as they successfully reached the last eight on opposing sides of the draw with the second seeded Rafa Nadal seemingly having the easier passage so far.

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Japan’s Naomi Osaka has withdrawn from the upcoming French Open with a hamstring injury, while the FFT is reducing the number of fans that will be allowed to attend Roland Garros due to the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...
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Manchester | Taylor, Broady and Murray march on

Brits Gabriella Taylor, Naomi Broady and Samantha Murray all progressed to the second round at the LTA’s Manchester Trophy on Wednesday despite testing weather conditions at The Northern Tennis Club.

She played pretty well in the first set and she’s a tough opponent to play on grass, she did really well last year, Gabriella Taylor

Southampton’s Taylor battled back from a set down to triumph over world No.187 Viktoriya Tomova in one hour 59 minutes on Court 3. The wildcard failed to win a game in the first set, falling 6-0 in 21 minutes but found her rhythm in the second, breaking twice to take the set 6-4. A loose service game in the third game of the decider gave the Bulgarian an early advantage but the world No.365 broke back for 5-5 and then edged the tiebreak to claim a 0-6 6-4 7-6(4) victory.
“She played pretty well in the first set and she’s a tough opponent to play on grass, she did really well last year,” said Taylor. “After the first set I thought ‘keep going, keep at it’ and I got through. I played a lot better tennis and I’m happy with my level,” said Taylor.
Taylor’s opponent in the next round will be countrywoman Broady who upset No.4 seed Lin Zhu 6-3 6-3 in 68 minutes in the first match on Centre Court. Manchester’s Broady used her serve to great effect throughout the match, racing to a 3-0 lead in the first set on her way to claiming the opener in 27 minutes before securing another early break in the second. Broady was leading 3-1 when Zhu recovered the break but the world No.392 recovered quickly, claiming the last three games of the match to record a straight sets victory.
“I served really well especially in the first set. I was hitting a lot of aces which helped me out a lot,” said Broady. “She’s ranked a lot higher than me so I knew at some point she was going to get going and start pushing me and she started to do that in the second set. I just tried to keep my cool, know that I was still a set ahead, concentrate on my tactics and not feel too much pressure from the score.”
Stockport’s Murray also recorded a two-set victory, overcoming Asia Muhammad, a player ranked 249 places above her, 6-3 7-6(1) on an indoor hard court in one hour 25 minutes. Murray, who advanced through qualifying, broke her opponent in the second game of the match and was never headed, breaking again in the ninth game to take the first set. The second set was a much closer affair with some clinical serving helping Murray to clinch the match in the tiebreak.
“I think I played a really good match. I was really solid from the start to the finish and I served well throughout,” said Murray. “She has a big serve so it was just about getting a few good returns in to get the break. I wasn’t able to do that in the second set but I played a strong tiebreak.”
There was first round disappointment for Britain’s Alicia Barnett, who lost to No.7 seed Marie Bouzkova 6-3 6-1, Emily Webley-Smith, who also only managed to win four games in her 6-1 6-3 defeat to Katherine Sebov, and Katy Dunne, who was forced to retire with an adductor injury at 1-2 down in her match against No.8 seed Whitney Osuigwe.



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