Halep hoists Italian Open trophy after Plíšková retires in final

Top-seeded Simona Halep accomplished her ambition of winning her first Italian Open title on Monday, when 2019 champion Karolína Plíšková retired midway through the final with a left thigh injury.

Novak Marches On

Serbian world number one Novak Djokovic has collected his 36th Masters 1000 title and can now reflect in the knowledge that he has surpassed his rivals at that particular level of competition and set a new record.

Djokovic and Schwartzman with plenty to play for

Novak Djokovic likes records and he is on the verge of winning his 36th Masters 1000 title if he is successful in the final of the Italian Open at the Foro Italica today, to edge him one ahead of Rada Nadal.

Top seeds Halep and Plíšková to meet in Rome Final

For the first time since 2016, the top two seeds in a WTA tournament will contest the final of of the Internazionali BNL d’Italia after both Simona Halep and Karolina Plíšková came through their respective semi-finals with wins over Garbiñe Muguruza and Marketa...

Nadal stunned by Schwartzman

Diego Schwartzman pulled off the biggest upsets of the Rome Masters when he toppled the nine-time champion Rafa Nadal in the quarterfinals, a feat he achieved in straight sets!

Plíšková passes Mertens test as Vondrousova swats Svitolina

No 2 seed Karolina Plíšková took another step toward her Rome title defence on Saturday after correcting a mid-match wobble to defeat No 11 seed Elise Mertens in the Internazionali BNL d’Italia quarter-finals; while 12th seed Marketa Vondrousova upset two-time winner...

Muguruza stops Azarenka to meet Halep in Rome semis

Garbiñe Muguruza stopped Victoria Azarenka’s outstanding run of 14 wins in the quarter-finals at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia, coming from a set and a break down to reach her third semi-final in Rome where she will meet Simona Halep, who advanced into the last 4...

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.
Tennis News, Tennis Results, Live Tennis Scores & Interviews

Melbourne | Watson and Dart join the British exodus

Both Heather Watson and Harriet Dart were eliminated from the Australian Open and with them any interest from a British point of view came to an end.

As the match went on, she played better and was more aggressive. I am just not happy with my performance at all Heather Watson

Watson and Dart both suffered disappointing second-round exits to follow fellow the previous day’s losses of fellow Brits Johanna Konta, Katie Boulter, Dan Evans, Kyle Edmund and Cameron Norrie.

For the British No 2 Watson, ranked 75, the defeat was more disappointing as she had a week earlier, defeated Elise Mertens, the world No. 17, in her run to the Hobart final, while Dart, a qualifier and still finding her feet at the top level, put up a credible and plucky performance against last year’s finalist and former world No.1 Simona Halep.

Watson, in view of her Hobart success, was full of confidence which was evident in her battle to get past Kristyna Pliskova in what were extremely windy conditions in the opening round yesterday.

That form was not evident during her second round match as she was quickly shown the exit door by the Belgian 16th seed after just 56-minutes, 6-3 6-0.

Watson was as disappointed in her performance as were all her supporters.

“I felt my level wasn’t there today,” she said. “My movement. I was a millimetre or a second too slow to everything. I was letting her dictate.

“As the match went on, she played better and was more aggressive. I am just not happy with my performance at all.”

But despite her loss she leaves Melbourne relatively happy.

“I remember last year this time I would have be happy to win a single match!

“The fact I have played so many here in Australia, feeling good, in good spirits. I wish I didn’t lose the way I lost. I wish at least I got closer in the score. It happens. Now I will go home.”

Simona Halep shakes Harriet Dart's hand after their second round encounter

Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Dart opened the evening proceedings on Rod Laver Arena against the Romanian No.1, Halep and may have been concerned that the last time she walked out on that court she faced Maria Sharapova and went down without winning a game.

This time she avoided that humiliation but from the opening moments it was evident that Halep had the superior fire power and accuracy to make light work of the British qualifier but after settling down she showed all concerned that she wasn’t there to make up the numbers.

Trailing 6-2 5-1, Dart lost her inhibitions and fought back, saving a match point, and came close to levelling. Halep then regrouped and despite losing a couple more match points eventually closed it out 6-2 6-4.

Thanks to her three victories in qualifying and one in the main draw, Dart’s ranking is now expected to rise from 173 to 141, and her next outing could well be in Britain’s Fed Cup play-off against Slovakia in two weeks’ time.

Speaking on court, Wimbledon champion Halep said: “It was a little bit dangerous. I lost the focus a little bit, but she started to play very well. I’m happy I went through it.

“It’s tough to play against someone you have not played before. She doesn’t have that much power, but she is very smart on court, and I had to step in more. I think I played too far back today.”

Dart, wo no doubt will have benefited from the experience, said: “It was always going to be a difficult match. In the last 20 minutes I upped my level, and I will be taking those positives for the rest of the year.”



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