NEW

LTA Chief warns of community indoor tennis centres closures

The LTA has warned that at least a third of Community Indoor Tennis Centres (CITCs) could still face closure, despite the recent Government announcement of a £100m investment in public leisure facilities.

Bertens undergoes Achilles tendon surgery

World No 9 Kiki Bertens announced last week that she will miss the start of the 2021 season, including the Australian Open, and has undergone surgery on her troublesome Achilles.

Another Mom to be

Former World No 12 Yanina Wickmayer took to social media this week to announce that she and her husband, Jérôme Vanderzijl, are expecting their first child, soon to be joining the growing group of mothers on tour.

Pospisil takes out compatriot in Vienna

Four matches Wednesday completed the first round of the Erste Bank Open, an ATP 500 tier event being contested in Vienna prior to the Paris Masters 1000 next week, which, in view of the latest restrictions imposed in France, could well be cancelled.

Coco climbs the rankings

Following the WTA’s last Premier event of the year in Ostrava, Coco Gauff is rewarded for battling through qualifying with an 8-place jump in the Rankings published tis week, while champion Aryna Sabalenka and finalist Victoria Azaranka are among the other risers.

In Vienna Thiem and Djokovic struggle and Evans progresses.

Defending champion Dominic Thiem seeded two at the Erste Bank Open, an ATP Tier 500 event, found himself struggling at first when he faced Vitaly Sachko of the Ukraine in his opening round in Vienna.

Ricci Bitti takes on 3rd ASOIF term as President

Former ITF President Francesco Ricci Bitti is set to be re-elected for a third and final term as President of the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations (ASOIF) after being confirmed as unopposed for the role.

Melbourne lockdown easing

The good news is that after 3 months of strict lockdown due to a surge in coronavirus, Melbourne is reopening on Wednesday, paving the way for the easing of restrictions and, hopefully, the return of spectators to sport.

Mixed fortunes on opening day in Vienna, Shapovalov beaten by wildcard

In what is being described as the strongest field ever to be gathered for an ATP 500 event, Denis Shapovalov, the eighth seed from Canada, crashed out of the Erste Bank Open in Vienna, to the Austrian wildcard Jurij Rodionov in straight sets for the biggest win of his...

Sabalenka ousts Azarenka and wins Ostrava double

Aryna Sabalenka completed a remarkable transformation at the J&T Banka Ostrava Open on Sunday when she won both the singles and doubles titles, comprehensively out-striking compatriot Victoria Azarenka in the first all-Belarusian WTA Tour final in history.
Tennis News, Tennis Results, Live Tennis Scores & Interviews

Svitolina and Rybakina into Strasbourg quarters

Elina Svitolina, the second seed, shook off a spirited challenge from Magda Linette in her opening match at the Internationaux de Strasbourg, while No 5 seed Elena Rybakina fended off a second-set comeback by former champion Alizé Cornet to clinch a straight-set victory.

It's not easy to come from another tournament with different balls, different conditions. I was trying just to fight and in the end I was lucky I finished in two sets. Elina Svitolina

Svitolina faced a set point in the second set before quelling Linette’s challenge in the tiebreak, eking out a tight opener and coming from a double break down in the second before progressing to the quarter-finals, 7-6(0) 7-5, after an hour and 58 minutes.

The Ukrainian struggled with both a surging opponent and her own fluctuating level and was two points away from losing the first set before facing set point as Linette served for the second, but each time Svitolina found some of her sharpest tennis to deny the Polish No 1 at the business end of both sets.

“It definitely was not easy,” said Svitolina afterwards. “She was fighting back, she was trying to produce a good level; I was up and down.

“It’s not easy to come from another tournament with different balls, different conditions. I was trying just to fight and in the end I was lucky I finished in two sets.”

Svitolina was the sharper out of the blocks, constructing points smartly and executing efficiently to take a 3-1 lead with a finely crafted drop-shot-lob-forehand triple combination providing a particular early highlight.

Linette, ranked 36, battled her way slowly but surely back into the set, using her backhand to garneri a series of smoothly struck winners.

The 28-year-old also proved rock-solid in coming out on top of a number of lengthy tussles, and looked to be the stronger player, rattling off winner after winner and hitting her spots on serve with ease.

On the ropes serving at 5-6, 15-30, Svitolina raised her level, reasserting her authority off the ground and at net, to force the tiebreak, where she was razor-sharp as Linette fell away, coughing up 5 unforced errors and a 4th double-fault en route to an unfortunate whitewash as the No 2 seed reeled off the final 10 points of the set.

Linette shook off the disappointment, who capitalised on an error strewn service game from Svitolina and later conjured up a series of magnificent drop-shots to capture the double break for 4-1.

Svitolina’s tenacity, however, is her hallmark and she slowly began chipping away at Linette’s lead, hanging on through a series of tight games, and varying her strategy as she probed Linette’s weaknesses.

Serving for the set at 5-4, Linette squandered a set point by netting a forehand as the momentum finally shifted towards Svitolina, who wasted no time to hammer a forehand winner down the line to break back, and then stormed through the last two games to set up a quarter-final showdown against Jil Teichmann.

The unseeded Swiss came through a tight affair against Russia’s Anastasia Pavlyuchekova, 7-6(3) 7-5.


Elena Rybakina withstood a strong second set fightback from local favourite Alize Cornet

© Photo by WTA/Jimmie48

Rybakina fights off Cornet

Fifth-seeded Elena Rybakina fought off France’s Alizé Cornet, the 2013 champion, 6-3 7-6(8) after an hour and 49-minutes.

“I was just focusing on every point, because it’s not the first time I’m actually up [in the score],” Rybakina told the press, after the match. “Last tournament in Rome, I was up, for example, and my concentration went down.

“I just knew that I had to focus on every point. It doesn’t matter, the score, just work every point and try to do my best.”

The Kazakh held match points at 5-3 and 5-4 in the second set before Cornet charged back to hold 3 set points of her own.

Rybakina clawed her way back from 2-5 down in the breaker to take the straight-set victory.

“[Cornet] played really good from 4-2,” said Rybakina. “She was defending every point, she was fighting until the end, so it was not easy, of course.”

The 21-year old improved her head-to-head record against Cornet, the World No 52, to 2-0.

In the quarters, Rybakina faces former Top 25 player Zhang Shuai of China, who saw off French teenager Clara Burel, 6-3 7-6)8).

“I have to think about the tactics, and focus on my serve,” said Rybakina, looking forward to the next round. “Today, in the beginning of the match, it was good, the serve, but then I dropped a bit, doing many double faults in the second set.

“So I’ll focus on serve, and we’ll see how it goes.”





Previous

Next

Leave a Reply

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