Took a break from roundups having been under the weather the past few days, but I still have been watching some tennis from Birmingham! Players like Ashleigh Barty and Catherine Bellis are already on my Wimbledon floater list, but anyway let’s get on to the tennis where it was finals day in Birmingham and Mallorca…
Petra Kvitova won her 20th WTA title just in her second tournament since her comeback, turning the tables on Ashleigh Barty with a 4-6 6-3 6-2 win. Watched bits and pieces of the match and it seemed like it was another Peak Petra display, hitting 35 winners and smashing 13 aces. Wouldn’t be surprised if Kvitova wins Eastbourne and Wimbledon now!
Over in Mallorca, Anastasija Sevastova took her first WTA title since 2010 over Julia Goerges, 6-4, 3-6, 6-3. Watched the first set and Goerges was playing her all-out aggressive game again, occasionally reaping the rewards. Sevastova was smart and tried to dictate play when possible, especially with her forehand. Goerges took the second with a lone break but Sevastova stayed firm and solid to serve out the match in the decider. The trophies look… pretty weird!
Day 1 action in Eastbourne also started with a couple of first round matches underway amidst the qualifying matches. Carla Suarez Navarro was first up on Centre Court and she notched a surprisingly comfortable victory over the former champion Ekaterina Makarova, 6-3 6-1. Carla hit an astounding 90% of first serves into play! Next up for the Spaniard will be Roland Garros champion Jelena Ostapenko.
Monica Niculescu prevailed in a topsy-turvy win over Mirjana Lucic-Baroni, 6-4 5-7 7-5. Monica was leading 6-4 4-1 and completely crumbled after that, it was probably due to lack of confidence as the Romanian hasn’t won a match since Indian Wells. Lucic-Baroni started to play better but was missing shots at the crucial moments; leading 5-3 40-30, the Croatian missed her opportunity which allowed Niculescu to fightback and win the last four games. Lucic-Baroni seemed hindered by leg and shoulder injuries at the end of the set, hopefully she’ll be ready for Wimbledon.
Highlights of the match are linked below.
Other winners included Alison Riske, Lara Arruabarrena. Mona Barthel, Elise Mertens and Heather Watson. I watched Watson-Tsurenko in the latter stages of the match and it was a messy one with the crowds supporting the Brit but yet she was unable to finish off the points after constructing the points really well. However, Tsurenko just couldn’t take advantage and Watson won before the match hit the 3-hour mark.
There will be a couple of second round matches underway too, with Karolina Pliskova and Dominika Cibulkova headlining the action. French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko taking on Carla Suarez Navarro is another one to watch!
Featured picture is from Moo’s Tennis Blog 🙂