WTA

Muguruza strolls into second round in Rome as Bencic becomes first major casualty

By Sports Desk May 11, 2021

Garbine Muguruza eased into the second round of the Internazionali BNL d'Italia on Tuesday thanks to a comfortable victory over lucky loser Patricia Maria Tig, though Belinda Bencic was the biggest casualty on a rain-interrupted day.

Spaniard Muguruza was due to face Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova until the Russian withdrew due to an abdominal issue, giving Tig a reprieve and the chance of an upset.

But Muguruza won all but three games in a comprehensive 6-1 6-2 victory that required little more than an hour on court as the former world number one went to 22-6 for the season.

Conditions were not great as drizzle persisted for much of the match, but Muguruza was grateful to progress after a generally testing day.

"It was a weird day," the 12th seed said afterwards. "I woke up [and the weather was] sunny, had an opponent. Then it turned out I had another opponent and it was raining the whole match. We had a little bit of everything!

"But, Rome, it's such a familiar tournament. I played here so many times, I've had nice matches. I love this clay, the red clay. It's familiar to me. I'm just looking forward to getting as many matches as possible."

Bencic will not be joining her in the next round, as she became the highest seed to be eliminated on the day in a 6-3 6-4 defeat to Kristina Mladenovic.

The two played each other under two weeks ago in the first round of the Madrid Open, with Bencic victorious, but Mladenovic got her revenge as she capitalised on her opponent's seven double faults.

Like Tig, Sloane Stephens was also competing as a lucky loser as she came up against compatriot Madison Keys, though the outcome was no different.

Keys claimed only her second win in six meetings with Stephens but had to come from behind as she eventually clinched it 4-6 6-2 7-5 after two-and-a-half hours on court to set up a clash with 15th seed Iga Swiatek.

Elise Mertens, the 14th seed, was also dumped out of the competition, losing out 4-6 6-2 6-3 to Veronika Kudermetova, whom she had beaten in straight sets in their three WTA Tour contests before this one.

Veteran Kazakh Yaroslava Shvedova, ranked 665 in the world, awaits top seed Ashleigh Barty after the 33-year-old showed character to fight back and beat Martina Trevisan 0-6 7-6 (7-4) 7-6 (8-6), while Nadia Podoroska set up a second-round clash with Serena Williams after seeing off Laura Siegemund 2-6 7-6 (7-3) 6-1.

Related items

  • Zverev survives early scare to pass Fils into Halle Open semi-finals Zverev survives early scare to pass Fils into Halle Open semi-finals

    Alexander Zverev battled past Arthur Fils despite losing the first set to book a place in the Halle Open semi-finals.

    The German, chasing his first-ever grass-court title, needed two and a half hours to get his 6-7 (5-7) 6-3 6-4 victory.

    Neither player managed a break in the opening set, matching each other evenly before Fils finally got the edge in the tie-break to take the lead.

    Zverev soon raised his level though, and during a run of eight consecutive points, broke the Frenchman to love at 3-2 on his way to forcing a decider.

    Despite another bright start to the set by Fils, he failed to get a single break, with Zverev rallying to set up a meeting with Hubert Hurkacz in the next round.

    Data Debrief: Zverev edges ever-closer to grass title

    Zverev is 37-10 for the season, and is the first person since Roger Federer (2012-19) to reach back-to-back semi-finals at the Halle Open.

    A two-time finalist at the tournament, the German is hoping to add two more wins to his 18-7 record in Germany to finally get his hands on the trophy.

  • Defending champion Alcaraz stunned by Draper at Queen's Defending champion Alcaraz stunned by Draper at Queen's

    Jack Draper earned the biggest win of his career, upsetting defending Queen's Club champion Carlos Alcaraz in straight sets on Thursday.

    He followed up his first ATP tour title in Stuttgart with a statement win, beating the French Open winner 7-6 (7-3) 6-3.

    He did not lose a service game in a dominant display, though Alcaraz did not lose one in the opening set either, forcing a tie-break before his sloppiness allowed Draper to edge in front.

    Despite Alcaraz bringing his usual threat, Draper got a vital break to make it 4-2 in the second set, rallying to see out a third victory against top-10 opposition.

    Draper will play fifth seed Tommy Paul in the quarter-finals.

    Data Debrief: Alcaraz sees streak snapped

    Alcaraz had won eight consecutive matches coming into this meeting thanks to his victory at Roland Garros, but could not find a way past Draper.

    The British number one impressed, especially in his serves, winning 76 per cent of his service points during the one hour 39 minute contest.

     

  • Sinner rallies to reach Halle Open quarter-finals Sinner rallies to reach Halle Open quarter-finals

    Jannik Sinner survived a scare to reach the quarter-finals of the Halle Open after beating Fabian Marozsan on Thursday.

    After having to go all the way in the opening round, Sinner was once again forced into a decider but eventually came out on top 6-4 6-7 (4-7) 6-3.

    It looked like it might be an easier match for Sinner after he took the first set, but Marozsan rallied in the second. The world number one was able to force a tie-break, but he could not get the better of the Hungarian's aggressive play.

    Sinner did get a decisive break in the decider though, lunging to the net to get a vital point as he rushed into a 4-0 lead before holding out to reach the next round.

    Data Debrief: Sinner stays in the hunt

    Sinner is still chasing his first grass-court title, and looks like he will be pushed all the way to get one in Germany.

    He has improved his record for the season to 35-3 after beating Marozsan in their first ATP meeting.

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.