WTA

Halep's Stuttgart frustration rolls on as Sabalenka tees up Barty showdown

By Sports Desk April 24, 2021

Ash Barty will meet Aryna Sabalenka in the Stuttgart Open final after Simona Halep's quest to win the tournament for the first time fell short.

World number three Halep had claimed straight-set wins over Ekaterina Alexandrova and Marketa Vondrousova en route to the semi-finals, but met her match in the form of Belarusian Sabalenka, who triumphed 6-3 6-2.

A nine-time singles champion, Sabalenka made it into a 14th career final without conceding a single break, as she managed to keep Romanian Halep at arm's length.

Standing between Sabalenka and a 10th singles title is world number one Barty who, on her 25th birthday, came from behind to defeat Elina Svitolina 4-6 7-6 (7-5) 6-2.

Making her tournament debut in Stuttgart, Barty had overcome Laura Siegemund and Karolina Pliskova, but found herself at 5-4 down in the second set, with Svitolina serving for the match.

The fourth seed failed to take her chance, with Barty breaking and subsequently biting back in the tie-break, before carrying the momentum into the decider to claim a third straight win over Svitolina.

Top seed Elise Mertens made it to her second Istanbul Open as she saw off her doubles partner and birthday girl Veronika Kudermetova 6-1 6-4.

It means Mertens will be playing in two finals on Sunday, as she pairs up with Kudermetova again in the doubles showdown against Nao Hibino and Makoto Ninomiya.

Mertens' win ended Charleston champion Kudermetova's nine-match winning streak, and set up a final against the unseeded Sorana Cirstea, who defeated Marta Kostyuk 6-4 6-4.

Related items

  • Keys eliminated as three seeds exit Silicon Valley Classic Keys eliminated as three seeds exit Silicon Valley Classic

    World number 26 Madison Keys was one of three seeded players to be eliminated in the second round of the Silicon Valley Classic in San Jose on Wednesday.

    The American third seed was beaten by China's Zhang Shuai 7-5 7-6 (7-5) in one hour and 39 minutes.

    Keys sent down 7-1 aces but Zhang, ranked 51st in the world, was excellent on return, converting four of her 11 break points.

    Fourth seed Daria Kasatkina was also in danger after losing the first set but rallied to win 3-6 7-5 6-3 over France's Caroline Garcia.

    "It was a tough match. From my point of view, I think the level of the game was very good, and I'm really happy that I was able to turn the match in the second set," Kasatkina said in the on-court interview.

    Ninth seed Alison Riske was emphatically beaten by Croatian Ana Konjuh 6-1 6-4 in one hour and 13 minutes, while sixth seed Petra Martic bowed out to Poland's Magda Linette 7-5 7-6 (7-5).

  • Nadal outlasts Sock in three-hour Citi Open epic as seeds fall Nadal outlasts Sock in three-hour Citi Open epic as seeds fall

    World number three Rafael Nadal outlasted Jack Sock in a three-hour epic to progress through to the third round at the Citi Open in Washington D.C. on Wednesday.

    The 20-time Grand Slam winner needed a third-set tiebreaker to beat American wildcard Sock 6-2 4-6 7-6 (7-1).

    Sock, who is currently ranked 192nd in the world, stormed back into the match with an early break in the second set after the Spaniard cruised in the first.

    In a three-hour-and-a-four-minute match which saw only five breaks, Nadal got the edge winning more on his second serve, while he produced some vintage winners too.

    Nadal goes through to the third round where he will face 14th seed Lloyd Harris, who progresses after a walkover with Tennys Sandgren retiring mid-match.

    Third seed and world number 18 Alex De Minaur was bundled out by world number 81 Steve Johnson 6-7 (5-7) 6-4 6-2.

    Fourth seed Grigor Dimitrov also was dumped out with a 6-2 7-6 (7-4) defeat to Belarussian world number 65 Ilya Ivashka.

    Sixth seed Dan Evans went out in straight sets to 20-year-old American Brandon Nakashima 7-6 (7-1) 6-0 while 10th seed Taylor Fritz also bowed out to Denis Kudla 6-4 6-2.

    Former winner Kei Nishikori knocked off ninth seed Alexander Bublik 6-2 7-5, while 13th seed Benoit Paire lost in three sets to Mackenzie McDonald.

    Fifth seed Jannik Sinner got through in straight sets against Emil Ruusuvuori, along with eighth seed Reilly Opelka and 11th seed John Millman.

  • Seeds Collins and Putintseva ease to wins at Silicon Valley Classic Seeds Collins and Putintseva ease to wins at Silicon Valley Classic

    Danielle Collins eased past Shelby Rogers 6-4 6-3 to book her spot in the second round at the Silicon Valley Classic on Tuesday.

    World number 36 Collins proved too strong for American compatriot Rogers, winning in one hour and 25 minutes.

    Collins will meet another American in the second round, with Sloane Stephens up next.

    Former U.S. Open winner Stephens beat Caty McNally 6-4 6-2 earlier in the day.

    Yulia Putintseva, meanwhile, eased her way into the second round with a 7-5 6-3 win over Croatian Donna Vekic.

    Putintseva will face Australian Ajla Tomljanovic in the second round after she fought back to overcome Amanda Anisimova 1-6 7-5 7-5.

    France's Kristina Mladenovic won 6-4 6-4 over Han Na-Lae, while American Claire Liu won in three sets against Dayana Yastremska.

    Mladenovic will face top seed Elise Mertens, while Liu meets second seed Elena Rybakina.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.