More frustration for Bencic in Luxembourg

By Sports Desk September 17, 2021

Top seed Belinda Bencic crashed out of the Luxembourg Open with a straight-sets defeat to Liudmila Samsonova.

Bencic, the Olympic champion, had designs on winning her first WTA title of 2021 having lost in the final in Adelaide and Berlin during the calendar year.

However, there was more frustration for the Swiss, beaten in the quarter-finals of the US Open by champion Emma Raducanu, as she was swept aside 6-1 6-4 by Samsonova.

It is the second-best win of Samsonova's career by ranking, the Russian having defeated Kiki Bertens, then world number 11, back in March in Miami.

She will face Jelena Ostapenko for a place in the final after the former French Open champion saw off Alize Cornet 7-6 (8-6) 6-2.

Marketa Vondrousova twice trailed by a break in the first set against Elise Mertens but battled back to see off the second seed 7-5 6-2. She now faces a semi-final with Clara Tauson, the teenager having breezed past Maria Bouzkova 6-3 6-2 as she seeks her third title of the year.

At the Zavarovalnica Sava Portoroz, Kaja Juvan will face Alison Riske after the Slovenian won two matches on Friday. Jasmine Paolini will meet Yulia Putintseva in the other last-four clash.

 

Related items

  • Australian Open: Victorian Premier casts fresh doubt over Djokovic's participation Australian Open: Victorian Premier casts fresh doubt over Djokovic's participation

    Novak Djokovic's participation at the Australian Open has been cast in doubt once again as Victorian premier Daniel Andrews indicated the state that hosts the event will not welcome those who are not fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

    Australian minister for immigration Alex Hawke revealed last week Djokovic, who has won a record nine titles at Melbourne Park, could only take part in January's tournament if he has received both jabs.

    But the 20-time grand slam winner, who has declined to reveal his vaccination status, was given hope of competing after prime minister Scott Morrison said there would be exemptions should the state of Victoria – which includes Melbourne – agree.

    However, responding to those comments on Wednesday, Andrews made clear his government would not apply for any sort of dispensation as it would not be fair on the other players and spectators who are fully vaccinated.

    "The federal government manages the border and to the extent that anything the federal government says on this is clear, because their position has gone 180 from what the immigration minister said," Andrews said.

    "What I'm making equally clear on behalf of every vaccinated Victorian who is doing the right thing... the only fair thing to do is to be very clear with every Victorian, my government will not be applying for an exemption for any unvaccinated player."

    Recent reports suggested that over a third of professional players on the ATP Tour remain unvaccinated ahead of the 2022 Australian Open, which runs for two weeks from January 17.

    Andrews added: "I'm not going to ask and actually require people sitting in the grandstand, people working at the event, to be vaccinated while players aren't.

    "So we're not going to be applying for an exemption, so the issue is basically resolved."

    Andrews also stated the same approach will be taken when Formula One returns to Melbourne in April next year.

    Speaking last week, world number one Djokovic – who beat Daniil Medvedev earlier this year to win his latest Australian Open crown – told Serbian newspaper Blic: "Things being as they are, I still don't know if I will go to Melbourne.

    "I will not reveal my status whether I have been vaccinated or not, it is a private matter and an inappropriate inquiry.

    "Of course I want to go, Australia is my most successful grand slam tournament. I want to compete, I love this sport and I am still motivated.

    "I am following the situation regarding the Australian Open... I believe there will be a lot of restrictions just like this year, but I doubt there will be too many changes."

  • Tsitsipas battles past Dimitrov, Zverev fights back in Vienna Tsitsipas battles past Dimitrov, Zverev fights back in Vienna

    Stefanos Tsitsipas survived a minor scare in the first round of the Vienna Open before ultimately going on to beat Grigor Dimitrov in straight sets.

    It was neck-and-neck for much of the first set, with neither player losing serve, but Dimitrov appeared to have the upper hand when he got to 6-3 in the tiebreak.

    Tsitsipas recovered emphatically, however, the top seed reeling off five successive points to win the set and he went on to book his spot in the second round thanks to a 7-6 (8-6) 6-4 victory. He will face Frances Tiafoe next.

    "Grigor is a tough competitor and the level of tennis was really high today. We both competed at our highest [level]," Tsitsipas said afterwards.

    "That was great tennis that was being played during the entire match and I got really close to my [best] offence and showed incredible attitude [in] the last game, which was the one that was the most crucial of the match."

    Alexander Zverev, seeded second, was also made to work in his first-round clash with Filip Krajinovic.

    While he blew the Serbian away in the first set, he found himself 5-2 down in the second as Krajinovic looked set to level the match, but Zverev scrapped his way back and then served to love to win 6-2 7-5. Alex de Minaur awaits the German.

    Casper Ruud and Felix Auger-Aliassime, seeded fourth and sixth respectively, were two other high-ranking players who also secured progression, boosting their ATP Finals qualification hopes.

    Ruud was pushed hard by Lloyd Harris but eventually outfought the South African in his 7-5 7-6 (7-2) win, while Auger-Alisassime made fairly light work of Ricardas Berankis 6-3 6-2.

    Indian Wells champion Cameron Norrie, who is also in with a shot of reaching the ATP Finals, beat Marton Fucsovics 7-6 (7-4) 6-1 to set up a meeting with Auger-Aliassime – the British number one is 11th in the FedEx ATP Race to Turin rankings, one above his next opponent.

    At the St Petersburg Open, fifth-seed Taylor Fritz was the highest-ranked player in action and he needed a little over an hour to beat Emil Ruusuvuori 6-1 6-4.

    Pablo Andujar defeated Federico Delbonis to set up a meeting with second seed Denis Shapovalov, while Ilya Ivashka beat Laslo Djere for the right to tussle with tournament favourite Andrey Rublev next.

  • Raducanu records first WTA Tour victory after downing Hercog in Cluj Raducanu records first WTA Tour victory after downing Hercog in Cluj

    Emma Raducanu collected her first WTA Tour victory as she defeated Polona Hercog at the Transylvania Open in Romania.

    Raducanu, who was the surprise US Open champion in September after not dropping a set throughout the tournament, appeared at just her fourth tour-level tournament and came to Cluj as third favourite.

    The 18-year-old had lost opening-round matches at previous events in Nottingham, San Diego and Indian Wells.

    However, world number 23 Raducanu finally recorded her first victory as she overcame a first-set scare to triumph over Hercog 4-6 7-5 6-1.

    In the opening match of Tuesday's fixtures, sixth seed Marta Kostyuk cruised past Bernard Pera 6-3 6-4 to secure her last-16 berth.

    Irina-Camelia Begu, ranked one behind Kostyuk for the tournament, did not enjoy similar fortunes as Romanian compatriot Irina Bara triumphed 7-6 (7-2) 0-6 6-4.

    Jaqueline Cristian survived a marathon slog against Kaja Juvan as she came from a set down to win 3-6 7-6 (10-8) 7-6 (7-3) and book a second-round meeting with Ajla Tomljanovic.

    Number one seed Simona Halep – who departed at the quarter-final stage of the Kremlin Cup last week – plays her first game on home turf on Wednesday against Elena-Gabriele Rusa and could meet Raducanu in the semi-final stages.

    Meanwhile, Liudmila Samsonova, the third favourite at the Courmayeur Open, cruised past Stephanie Wagner 6-3 6-0 while seventh seed Jasmine Paolini comfortably dispatched Martina Di Giuseppe 6-4 6-1.

    Shuai Zhang, who is the third seed in Italy, also enjoyed a routine victory as she eased past Jessica Pieri 6-1 6-3 after fourth favourite Petra Martic crashed out 3-6 4-6 to Saisai Zheng.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.