Barty lets Coco through, Pliskova to meet Martic

On a wet and dreary Friday at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome, World No 1 Ash Barty retired from her quarter-final match against Coco Gauff, waving on the American teenager into the semis after leading by a set, while Karolina Pliskova survived 3 match...

Nadal avenges Madrid loss

Up to the quarter-final stage of the Rome Masters, Rafa Nadal could be said to have had a fairly torrid time and when he faced Alexander Zverev for a place in the last four, many expected the German, last week’s Madrid Masters winner, to maintain his winning form over...

Pliskova to meet Ostapenko in Rome quarters

Karolina Pliskova is the sole seed in the lower half of the draw and takes on Jelena Ostapenko, the 2017 French Open champion, in the quarter-finals of the Internazionali BNL d’Italia, while Petra Martic and Jessica Pegula will contest the last quarter on Friday.

Barty cruises, Gauff stuns Sabalenka and Svitolina swats Muguruza

World No 1 Ash Barty remains on track to add the Rome title to her expanding collection but must overcome Coco Gauff in the quarter-finals, who upset Aryna Sabalenka, the Madrid champion, at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia on Thursday, while Elina Svitolina took out...

Nadal one point from defeat

Rafa Nadal’s invincibility on clay is being tested more regularly than you would expect and makes his forthcoming challenge at Roland Garros in a few weeks’ time, the more intriguing.

Jo Konta and Venus Williams enter Nottingham

British No 1 Johanna Konta and 10-time Grand Slam champion Venus Williams will headline this year’s Nottingham Open field, the first of the returning LTA summer grass court events.

Osaka leads march of seeds out of Rome

On a day of major upsets at the Internazionali BNL d'Italia, the underdogs prevailed, seeing off seeds Naomi Osaka, Simona Halep, Sofia Kenin, Serena Williams, Petra Kvitova, and Maria Sakkari in a procession of upsets at the Foro Italico in Rome.

Nadal back on track

Rafa Nadal, playing his first match at the Foro Italico following his quarter-final loss to Alexander Zverev at last week’s Madrid Masters, declared himself happy with his performance in overcoming Jannik Sinner in straight sets, but not so with the scheduling by the...

Konta follows Bencic and Mertens out of Rome

Seeds started to tumble at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome, with Belinda Bencic and Elise Mertens followed out of the draw by Jo Konta, while Garbiñe Muguruza and Angelique Kerber were among those to win through on Tuesday.

Kvitova, Brady, Swiatek and Sakkari open Rome accounts

The Internazionali BNL d’Italia got under way at the Foro Italico in Rome on Monday, with some of the seeds in action and coming through unscathed, although Petra Kvitova had to come from a set down against Magda Linette to advance, while Jennifer Brady won in...
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Watson to face Dart as Boulter bows out of Monterrey

Three Brits lined up for the Abierto GNP Seguros in Monterrey, Mexico, with Heather Watson and Katie Boulter direct entries and Harriet Dart in qualifying over the weekend so what were the chances two of them would meet in the main draw of 32?

Winning the US Open was the result of a lifetime of hard work. It was such an incredible experience, and one that I’m working to hopefully have again soon. Before the US Open, I was away from the game for 11 months with a serious foot injury and only started competing again at Wimbledon that July. That time away from the sport and the intense work it took to recover made the victory even more special. Sloane Stephens

Well, former Monterrey champion Heather Watson, back in action after a tough start to the year Down Under, faces Dart as a Lucky Loser in her opener on Tuesday.

Dart upset qualifying No 4 seed Sara Errani from Italy, 6-0 6-2, on Saturday, but went down to Spain’s Maria Camila Osorio Serrano, 6-4 7-5, on Sunday.

Then, when Watson’s opponent Danka Kovonic from Montenegro withdrew from the event, Dart was drawn in the lucky loser slot replacing her.

It has been a while since Watson faced her Fed Cup team-mate, but she leads their head-to-head 1-0.

Unfortunate to be part of the hard lockdown crew, Watson came away with just one win in Australia after just one in the season opener in Abu Dhabi.

Meanwhile, Boulter’s singles campaign faltered in a straight sets defeat at the hands of Slovakia’s Anna Karolina Schmiedlova.

Boulter reached a career-high world ranking of 82 in February 2019 but has since dropped to 318 as she suffered with stress fracture in her back, which forced her off the WTA Tour for much of the year.

The 24-year-old was beaten 6-4 6-0 on Monday by the Spanish World No 111, who is ranked 207 places higher.

Boulter broke first to go 3-2 up in the first set, only for Schmiedlova to immediately break back and win all but one of the games thereafter.

In other Monday results, Canada’s teenage prodigy Leylah Fernandez took care of American wild card Coco Vandeweghe, 6-3 6-2, while her next opponent, Viktoria Kuzmova from Slovakia, got past another American, Caroline Dolehide, 6-3 6-1.

Italy’s Jasmine Paolini upset the No 9 seed Nao Hibino from Japan after a long tussle, 3-6 6-2 6-3, and takes on Schmiedlova in round 2.

Elsewhere, Ann Li, the 8th seed from the US, defeated Arantxa Ru of the Netherlands, 6-3 7-5, to play Slovenia’s Tamara Zidansek next, who stopped Mexican wild card, Renta Zarazua’s progress, 7-6(8) 6-3, in another tight affair.

American Lauren Davis was a 1-6 6-2 6-3 winner of a topsy-turvy encounter with Egyptian qualifier Mayar Sherif.

Sloane Stephens is the top seed at the Abierto GNP Seguros in Monterrey, Mexico

© Matt King/Getty Images

Top seeds Sloane Stephens and Nadia Podoroska go into action on Tuesday when the American takes on Lucky Loser Kristina Kucova from Slovakia, with the winner facing Fernandez in the second round, while the Argentine plays Russian qualifier Anna Kalinskaya.

Stephens has had a challenging run of matches over the first two months of the year and, at 27, currently sits at No. 48 in the WTA’s world rankings.

She made her first big splash in 2017 when she won the US Open, her first Grand Slam singles title.

“Winning the US Open was the result of a lifetime of hard work,” Stephens told Andy Frye on “It was such an incredible experience, and one that I’m working to hopefully have again soon.

“Before the US Open, I was away from the game for 11 months with a serious foot injury and only started competing again at Wimbledon that July.

“That time away from the sport and the intense work it took to recover made the victory even more special.”

Off the court, Stephens stays busy, not only training and travelling but in her work running the Sloane Stephens Foundation, an organisation that provides tennis equipment and training to school children, primarily in Compton, California.

Her foundation has helped more than 4,000 kids take up tennis and other athletic pursuits and, outside her foundation work, Stephens is also an active investor with a keen interest in wellness and nutrition.

She has recently taken on a role as an investor partner with Quantum Energy Squares, where she is a strategic investor and member of their Athlete Advisory Board.

“I hope to help the brand expand nationwide and educate consumers about balanced energy options for their busy lives,” she told Frye.

“I discovered the bars in 2019, and was an avid consumer before becoming an investor.

“That is a really important part of my decision making process when it comes to any new partnership.

“Not only does Quantum have a sports dietician and food scientist on board, but they also have a pastry chef to make sure the products actually taste great.

“Once I built a relationship with the team and learned all of the science that goes into the bars, I knew I wanted to become more involved.”



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