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.

ATP and WTA Kremlin Cup tournaments cancelled

The ATP and WTA jointly announced on Friday that the 2020 Kremlin Cup tournaments in Moscow have been cancelled by a mandate from health officials in the Russian capital, where there has been a surge in coronavirus infections.
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Tianjin | Watson wins first round as Dart defeated

Britain’s Heather Watson got herself through to the second round of the Tianjin Open in China with a 6-4 7-6(3) win over Kateryna Bondarenko of the Ukraine on Monday.

Bondarenko is making her return to the tour after the birth of her second child, while Watson is one of two Brits in the Tianjin main draw,

Watson has been searching for some consistent form and dropped down a couple of times to lower tier events to put together some wins and regain her confidence.

In the lead-up to the US Open, she won the Vancouver ITF event, and has been in qualifying in Wuhan and Beijing.

Although the experienced Bondarenko has had the measure of Watson twice before, Watson won the last time they met in Nurnberg last year.

The woman from Guernsey came into this encounter with greater sharpness than the Ukrainian, who made her return in Tashkent and has yet to find her stride again.

Bondarenko has been ranked as high as No 29 in the world but lost in Tashkent with just 4 games on the board, encouraging Watson to impose herself early on in their encounter.

Watson’s serve was the more consistent and she won 68% of the points on her first deliveries, while notching up 4 double faults compared to the Ukrainian’s extravagant 10.

The margins were tight all round and it was Watson, who is currently ranked 125 in the world, that held the edge in most categories and came through in an hour and 45 minutes.

The British No 2 will now play 2nd seed Wang Qiang from China, who defeated qualifier Arina Rodionova from Australia, 6-3 6-4
On Tuesday, Harriet Dart lost to Kurumi Nara from Japan, 3-6 6-1 6-3, in a match of fluctuating fortunes.

Although Dart, ranked 133, got a fair bit of court time in Tashkent, she has yet to advance past the first round of a tour-level event since reaching the third round of Wimbledon.

She too has dropped down to the ITF level for a couple of tournaments since Wimbledon, and is searching for back to back main draw wins.

Nara has slipped down the rankings and is currently No 159 in the world.

She came into the Tianjin main draw with 3 solid matches under her belt via the qualifying, breezing through all of them in straight sets, but has yet to pick up two straight wins at Tour level.

The Japanese struck the ball well and used her great movement to good effect, and her normally weak serve fired at 65% on her first deliveries, of which she won 58% of the points.

While Dart saved 58% of the break points she faced and took the opening set, her service percentages were way down in the match overall and that, in the end, proved to be the pivotal difference.

Despite the rankings, Nara has the more experience, and came from behind to win the match in just under 2 hours 15 minutes.
Watson & Dart will play in the doubles together on Wednesday.



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