Paolini upsets Putintseva to meet Riske in Portoroz final

Unseeded Italian Jasmine Paolini continued her dream week at the Zavarovalnica Sava Portoroz on Saturday, beating 2nd-seeded Yulia Putintseva from Kazakstan, 1-6 6-3 6-4, to reach her first WTA final where she will face No 3 seed Alison Riske from USA for the title.

Ostapenko to meet Tauson in Luxembourg final

Defending champion Jelena Ostapenko from Latvia, the No 3 seed at the BGL BNP Paribas Luxembourg Open, overcame a late but spirited second set challenge from 7th-seeded Russian Liudmila Samsonova to set up a trophy match against Denmark’s Clara Tauson, who needed 3...

Bencic and Mertens toppled in Luxembourg

Belinda Bencic’s hopes of gaining more points in the Porsche Race to the WTA Finals were dashed at the BGL BNP Paribas Luxembourg Open on Friday when the top-seeded Swiss was beaten by Russia’s Liudmilla Samsonova, the No 7 seed, 6-1 6-4, in an hour and 13 minutes.

Putintseva pushes on in Portoroz

At the Zavarovalnica Sava Portoroz tournament in Slovenia, 4th seed Sorana Cirstea, a recent Emma Raducanu conquest, was beaten 6-4 4-6 6-1 by Italy’s Jasmine Paolini in their last 8 meeting.

WTA Roundup: Bencic eyes spot in Guadalajara

Two WTA 250 tournaments are taking place this week, in Luxembourg where Belinda Bencic leads the field indoors on hard courts, and at Portoroz where top seed Petra Martic fell at the first hurdle.

Great to be back

Emma Raducanu, the first qualifier to win a Grand Slam, has declared: "It's a great feeling to be back home.”

Halep marries Toni Iuruc in Constanta

Simona Halep has married her long-time boyfriend in a small civil ceremony in her hometown of Constanta on the Black Sea on Wednesday.

Tyzzer admits decision may have impacted Barty loss at US Open

It seems a decision made by coach Craig Tyzzer could have contributed to Ash Barty’s early departure from the US Open last week, although fatigue was also a factor after the Aussie won the title in Cincinnati ahead of Flushing Meadows.

France to open BJK Cup in Prague

The ITF has announced the schedule for the Billie Jean King Cup by BNP Paribas Finals 2021 to be held at the O2 Arena in Prague from 1-6 November.

And so it begins…

Who reading this, even those who may not have affection for or affiliation with the game of tennis, could have failed to be mesmerised by the recent Raducanu journey, which concluded with her becoming the first ever qualifier to win one of the game’s primary sporting...
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Roundup of the UK Pro League

Imperious Emily Appleton continued her sparkling start to the 2021 UK Pro League after storming through to the Week 2 semi-finals without dropping a set.

Week 1 winner Appleton has been in red-hot form since the tournament got underway this month and extended her formidable record in Loughborough.

Appleton, who toppled Beth Grey in straight sets in the Week 1 final, beat Eliz Maloney 6-2 6-3 on Friday to cap another stunning week and mark herself out as the player to beat heading into the weekend.

The 21-year-old prodigy had already beaten Freya Christie, Olivia Nicholls, Annali Olivelle and Kimberly Mpukusa in the round robin format and will now meet Alice Gillan in a tantalising Saturday semi-final.

Gillan finished second in Pool B after picking up four wins in five matches and beat Tanysha Dissanayake in a super tie-break on Friday.

Only Grey could beat Gillan – in a super tie-break ‘buster’ on Thursday – and it was the Merseyside star who finished at the summit of the pool after five strong days in Loughborough.

But she was unable to emulate Appleton and complete an unbeaten pool stage as she suffered a surprise 7-5 4-6 5-10 defeat against Danielle Daley on Friday.

The experienced Grey, 25, will now meet Maloney in Saturday’s semi-finals after the talented Hertfordshire player finished second – behind Appleton – in Pool A.

The Premier League of British tennis, the innovative UK Pro League brings together the country’s top professional players and runs across nine separate weeks from March to November.

The season-long competition involves players competing in a round robin format in eight individual qualifying weeks, with the weekend play-offs then giving them the chance to accumulate ranking points to seal qualification for November’s Finals Week.

Valuable points are up for grabs all season and one player who looks well-placed to add to his tally is Anton Matusevich, who enjoyed an unbeaten week in Pool A of the men’s draw.

The 19-year-old, who finished third in Week 1, followed up his wins against Billy Harris, George Houghton, Dan Cox and Alexis Canter – who withdrew after round two – with another victory against Julian Cash on Friday.

Cash was unable to hit the jackpot as Matusevich completed a round robin clean sweep and booked a last four clash against Sean Hodkin on Saturday.

Hodkin, 22, finished second in Pool B on nine points after picking up three wins from his five group matches.

And it was Mark Whitehouse who topped that group after an impressive five days from the Surrey star, racking up ten points in the pool to book a semi-final date against Cox.

Whitehouse, who competed in last year’s UK Pro Classic, beat Harry Wendelken in straight sets on Friday and will be relishing a last four duel against the evergreen Cox.

The 30-year-old, who reached the first round of Wimbledon in 2011 and 2014, has hailed the unique UK Pro League format for revitalising his career and finished second in Pool A after another solid week.

Cox beat Mason Recci – who replaced Canter after his round two withdrawal – in straight sets on Friday to finish the pool on 11 points, losing only to Matusevich who beat him 6-2 6-2 on Tuesday.

With all eight semi-finalists confirmed, the stage is set for a thrilling weekend of action as the star-studded Week 2 line-up continue to duke it out for valuable ranking points in Loughborough.

With a prize fund of around £500k and Broadcast live on BT Sport, the UK Pro League is the only place where the British player group come together to compete across the full year.

Beth Grey




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