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Croatia knock Serbia out

Novak Djokovic's dream of leading Serbia to a second Davis Cup title was shattered on Friday when neighbours, Croatia, twice former campions, knocked them out of this year’s competition at the semi-final stage.
Tennis News, Tennis Results, Live Tennis Scores & Interviews

Rain stalls Serbia Ladies Open

At the rain-hit Serbia Ladies Open Maria Camila Osorio Serrano eventually managed to beat Kamilla Rakhimova, 4-6 6-3 6-4, to reach the quarter-finals in Belgrade.

I just keep moving forward. I hope to get back into the Top 100 as soon as possible, taking it step by step. Ana Konjuh

This is the Colombian’s 4th WTA quarter-final appearance in just her 6th main draw showing.

In a match that lasted 2 hours 23 minutes over 2 days, Osorio Serrano was a set down to Rakhimova overnight on Wednesday, but pulled off another comeback to take the battle of 19-year-old qualifiers on Thursday night.

The weather has hit the Belgrade schedule badly, and the first quarter bracket at the top of the draw has yet to filled.

The match between Russia’s Anna Kalinskaya and Reka-Luca Jani was suspended for a third day after beginning on Wednesday and being postponed until Thursday when only 2 games got played before the rain returned.

It is hoped to complete the match, which is evenly poised at set all, on Friday. The score currently stands at 6-4 to Kalinskaya and 6-1 to Jani.

Yet to strike a ball are Viktoriya Tomova from Bulgaria and Canada’s Leylah Fernandez, who has been waiting to play since winning her opening match on Monday.

The winner of both matches will play again on Friday in their quarter-final encounter.


Paula Badosa is waiting to play her quarter-final match against Rebecca Peterson in Belgrade

Serbia Ladies Open

Meanwhile the 6 quarter-finalists already in place hope to be in action on Day 7 of the tournament, with Mutua Madrid Open semi-finalist Paula Badosa, the No 4 seed from Spain, against Sweden’s 61st-ranked Rebecca Peterson, seeded 7th; Aliaksandra Sasnovich from Belarus taking on Osorio Serrano; and Nadia Podoroska, the 5th-seeded Argentina meeting Ana Konjuh from Croatia.

Bados has reached her 3rd straight quarter-final on clay and her 4th of the 2021 season, and the 23-year-old, ranked 44th, has now compiled a 16-7 win-loss record overall this season and is 10-2 on clay, while in the past year, the Spaniard has gone 14-5 against Top 100 players.

She is still looking for that elusive first WTA tour-level title, but it seems the New York City-born Spaniard is getting closer to attaining that goal.


Ana Konjuh will take on Nadia Podoroska on Friday in the quarters

Serbia Ladies Open

Croatia’s Ana Konjuh has strung together 4 straight wins to advance from qualifying into the quarters despite clay being her least favourite surface.

On Wednesday afternoon, the 188th-ranked Konjuh upset 2nd-seeded Yulia Putintseva of Kazakhstan in straight sets and improving her win-loss record in all competitions this year to 18-9.

Returning after a two-year hiatus through injury, Konjuh began the year ranked in the 500s, and is now inside the Top 200, which is quite an achievement.

Healthy, again, she is starting to show the form that saw her become a US Open quarter-finalist as a teenager, after which she was forced to undergo surgery on right elbow.

“I just keep moving forward,” Konjuh told Tennis TourTalk earlier this week in Belgrade. “I hope to get back into the Top 100 as soon as possible, taking it step by step.”

Unhappy with the conditions, Konjuh is getting happier with her form.

“It was really muddy today [Wednesday], so the balls were really flying,” she said. “I was really going for my serves. Overall, I’m really happy. My confidence is growing.

“I mean, I’m European, so we basically grew up on clay. It’s not like I don’t have enough time on clay – I do.

“It’s just that other surfaces suit more my style. I prefer grass and hard courts, which is a little bit faster. Points on clay take longer, but I’m learning to be smarter.

“Overall, I’m happy where I’m at right now. If it continues like this, I’ll get to where I want to be.”

The WTA 250 tournament being staged in Belgrade for the first time this year has a prize money pool of €235,000.




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