Seeds tumble in San José but Kasatkina survives

Four players advanced to the quarter-finals at the Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic on Wednesday, but only one seed, Daria Kasatkina, seeded 4, who overcame Caroline Garcia in a clash of former Top 10 players, while Zhang Shuai took out Madison Keys, the 3rd seed,...

Olympic dreams fulfilled…

After Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova & Andrey Rublev won the Mixed Doubles at Tokyo 2020 by the narrowest of margins, the Olympic Tennis Event came to a close on Day 9.

Montréal suffers pull-outs

The US Open Series provides the tune-up for the US Open and the second tournament, the National Bank Open in Montréal, the first WTA 1000 event of the summer hard-court swing through North American, takes place next week with disappointing news that Naomi Osaka, Sofia...

Americans progress as Tomjlanovic saves match points in San José

The first round of matches at the Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic were completed on Tuesday with three Americans advancing at the expense of two others, and an Australian coming back from match points down to defeat yet another.

Raducanu falls to Zhang in San José

It was not quite the fairytale return for Emma Raducanu at the Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic in San José on Monday, but a valuable experience nevertheless when veteran Zhang Shusi rolled past her 6-3 6-2.

Raducanu set to play San José WTA 500

As the dust settles on the Olympic Tennis Event and many of those involved take a breather, attention turns to the hard courts of north American where the WTA Tour heads towards the US Open, starting with the Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic hosted on the campus at San...

Lepchenko wins Charleston WTA125

In an all-American final, No 4 seed Varvara Lepchenko won her first WTA 125 title at the LTP Women's Open in Charleston with a 7-6(4), 4-6, 6-4 triumph over Jamie Loeb on Sunday. 

Schmiedlova wins inaugural Belgrade Open

Anna Karolina Schmiedlova lifted the inaugural Belgrade Ladies Open trophy with a straight-sets victory over second seed Arantxa Rus in the final of the WTA 125 event on Sunday.

Zverev is the new Olympic Champion

Alexander ‘Sascha’ Zverev has emulated incomparable compatriot Steffi Graf and struck Olympic gold, declaring: “There is nothing better than this.”

Krejcikova & Siniakova take Gold at Tokyo 2020

Top seeds Barbora Krejcikova & Katerina Siniakova became the first Czech players to win Gold at the Olympic Tennis Event after defeating Switzerland's Belinda Bencic & Viktorija Golubic 7-5 6-1 in the women's doubles final on Sunday at the Ariake Tennis Park...
Tennis News, Tennis Results, Live Tennis Scores & Interviews

Muguruza, Azarenka and Kerber take wins in Berlin

Garbiñe Muguruza, Victoria Azarenka and Angelique Kerber were among the winners in the first round of the bett1open in Berlin on Tuesday, with all three former Grand Slam champions coming through in straight sets.

Very pleased. You never know how it’s going to go in the first match, especially on grass after two years, so I’m very excited to win in two sets against Sorana. We’ve played many times, and it’s always difficult. I guess I was feeling my serve today, and on this surface, it’s super important. Garbiñe Muguruza

Muguruza, the No 6 seed from Spain, saved both of the break points she faced in a 6-3 6-2 win over Romania’s Sorana Cirstea to set up a second-round meeting with Elena Rybakina from Kazakstan, who was a 2-6 6-3 6-4 winner against America’s Shelby Rogers.

Azarenka, the 7th-seed from Belarus, had to break back twice in the second set on her way to a 6-4 7-6(2) win over Andrea Petkovic, with another experienced German waiting for her in the second round after Kerber swept past qualifier Misaki Doi from Japan, 6-2 6-1.

Both Muguruza and Kerber are former World No 1 players and Wimbledon champions, and their class showed on the grass of the Rott-Weiss Tennis Club where the German, playing on home soil, defeated the Japanese qualifier with considerable ease.

“It was a really solid match,” Kerber said, in her post-match press conference. “It’s never easy to play a first match on grass courts, especially against a lefty as well.

“So I’m really happy about my performance and how I started the grass-court season.”

Kerber has improved her win-loss record against Doi to 6-0 but, at the 2016 Australian Open, the German saved a match point against before going all the way to her first Grand Slam title.

“[That] was the match which I turned around and was able to win my first Grand Slam, so of course you will have this match always in your mind,” Kerber said. “But every match starts from zero, so I was more focused on the match today, playing against her on grass-court.

“She played good matches in the qualies, so it’s never easy to play against someone who played a few matches already.”

This time around, 2018 Wimbledon champion Kerber was in complete control, hitting 23 winners to just 10 unforced errors, and saving all 3 of the break points she faced, as she eased to a 60-minute victory.

Kerber reeled off the first 7 points of the match en route to finding herself up a double-break at 3-0, ending that run with a divine rally backhand winner.

She saved a break point and gritted out a tough hold for 4-0 before Doi got on the scoreboard, courtesy of an overhead winner for 4-1 and, at 5-1, the Japanese saved 2 set points with a forehand winner and a winning drop-shot before holding serve, but Kerber was not to be denied, and confidently served out the opening set to love.

A break in the first game of the second kicked off a similar run for Kerber as she again leapt to a 4-1, double-break lead and while she needed to save 2 break points in the next game, she got out of that jam before breaking Doi for a third time in the set to close out the win.

Kerber will now take on another former World No 1 and multiple-Grand Slam champion in the second round: Victoria Azarenka, who defeated another German, Andrea Petkovic, earlier on Tuesday.

Angelique Kerber swept past Misaki Doi and will play Victoria Azarenka in the second round

© Boris Streubel/Getty Images

Later in the day, Muguruza joined her in the second round after easing past Cirstea in an hour 9-minutes.

“Very pleased,” Muguruza said on court, after her win. “You never know how it’s going to go in the first match, especially on grass after two years, so I’m very excited to win in two sets against Sorana.

“We’ve played many times, and it’s always difficult.”

Muguruza struck 15 winners to Cirstea’s 12, and converted 6 of her 14 break points to end a two-match losing streak as she improved her stellar season win-loss record to 24-8.

Cirstea came undone with 35 unforced errors in the match, but despite the loss, the Romanian is still having a resurgent 2021, having won her first WTA singles title in nearly 13 years in Istanbul, and reaching the round of 16 at Roland Garros last week.

Muguruza won all of her 14 first-service points in the opening set, in which she took control by winning a critical 3-3 game, which went to deuce 7 times before the Spaniard converted her 4th break point of the game, and she then broke for a second time at 5-3 to clinch the one-set lead.

“I guess I was feeling my serve today, and on this surface, it’s super important,” said Muguruza, who cruised to a 4-0 lead in the second set as well before she double-faulted on break point of the next game, dropping serve for the first time.

The last 5 games of the clash went against serve as Cirstea opened up on returns, but Muguruza wrapped up the win with a backhand winner down the line.

Meanwhile Azarenka triumphed in a throwback rivalry over wildcard Andrea Petkovic, saving 3 set points in the second set in a match that was narrowly contested to the end, with the Belarusian needing to overturn a 3-5 deficit in the second set to progress.

“I was sometimes dropping my level a bit with not being aggressive enough,” said Azarenka afterwards. “I was getting too frustrated in some moments when I had opportunities and didn’t take them, so I want to learn from that for my next round.

“I think I was putting myself into too much of a dangerous situation when I could have been more disciplined.”

Azarenka found herself embroiled in a succession of high-octane baseline exchanges with Petkovic, who kept her intensity high throughout the match and struck 26 winners to 36 unforced errors.

Afterwards, she spoke about the quick transition from clay to grass having certain benefits.

“It’s a really good way of getting right into the matches,” said Azarenka. “To find the rhythm in more difficult situations, it’s maybe better than practicing for a longer time. Matches always show where your level is at.”

Elsewhere, a stellar 3-setter saw Russia’s Veronika Kudermetova overcome Czech No 8 seed Muchova 7-6(5) 5-7 6-2 in 2 hours 27 minutes, while compatriot qualifier Liudmila Samsonova scored her second Top 50 win of the year with a 6-4 7-6(6) win over another Czech, Marketa Vondrousova.

Victoria Azarenka had a tougher passage but prevailed in straight sets over wild-card Andrea Petkovic in Berlin

© Boris Streubel/Getty Images



Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.