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IBI21: WTA Tuesday Recap

This content was published 1 year ago. It may refer to a past edition of the Internazionali BNL d’Italia.

Rain slowed down the second day of WTA main draw at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia, but it did not spoil the plenty emotions and great tennis took place on the courts of the Foro Italico. But it was not a day to remember for the local players, though, as neither Martina Trevisan, nor Elisabetta Cocciaretto managed to capitalize on the chances they had.

Trevisan, especially, had a very bitter pill to swallow: after a super start to her match against Yaroslava Shvedova, last year’s Roland Garros quarterfinalist found herself 6-0 5-3 up, but suddenly she started feeling tight. The Kazakh improved her game and by using her dropshots she destabilized the Italian who was forced to a third set after tiebreak loss. The scenario replicated again in the third set, with Trevisan failing to close it out once again on 5-3. On the deciding tiebreak, the Italian managed to save four consecutive match points, but on the fifth she sent a forehand long to surrender 0-6 7-6(4) 7-6(6).

A tiebreak was not to go in favour of Cocciaretto either. The 20 year-old had 3 set points against Caroline Garcia, but the Frenchwoman saved each of those before taking her first chance on 9-8. The second set went relatively easy in favour of the world number 56 who closed 7-6(8) 6-2.

Another dramatic match featured two great friends in the remake of 2017 US Open final: Sloane Stephens and Madison Keys. The two engaged on a two-and-half-hour fight that was only resolved 7-5 in the decider for Keys. Three sets were also needed for Veronika Kudermetova to avenge Istanbul loss from a couple weeks ago to Elise Mertens. The newly crowned world number one in doubles struggled to contain the power of the Russian, who slowly started to find more accuracy in her shots and eventually took the victory 4-6 6-2 6-3.

Three sets and a comeback from one set down were needed for Roland Garros semifinalist Nadia Podoroska. The Argentine needed to find her rhythm against crafty Laura Siegemund, but after turning the momentum around in the second set tiebreak, she managed to keep it until the end of the match. Her 2-6 7-6(3) 6-1 victory gave her the chance to play against Serena Williams in the second round. Something that she admitted being “exciting” as the American had been “one of my idols growing up”.

It was much easier in the remaining matches of the day, which included a few surprises: lucky loser Kristina Mladenovic flipped the score from last week to take down 10th seed Belinda Bencic 6-3 6-4; Bernanrda Pera claimed the qualifier battle with Tamara Zidansek, while Garbine Muguruza left only three games to Romanian Patricia Maria Tig. Barbora Krejcikova did even better with a smooth 6-2 6-0 victory over Saisai Zheng.

Rain interrupted Ajla Tomljanovic while comfortable leading against Marketa Vondousova, but once play resumed a few hours later, the match followed the same direction and the Australian closed it 6-4 6-2. Another match was stopped by the afternoon rain, but Alize Cornet and Angelique Kerber had only played one game then. Upon resuming, the match witnessed a very focused German, finding great solutions with the forehand down-the-line, while the French qualifier struggled a little physically, but nonetheless used her all-round game wisely. Up 6-2 4-0, Kerber suffered the comeback of Cornet, who seemed ready to force the match to a late night. However, her steam disappeared once the score was back to tie and Kerber could easily give the final push to take the win 6-2 7-5 and get the chance to play Simona Halep in the second round.

On the final match of the day, Jelena Ostapenko found one of the most impressive performances of the season to dismantle the opposition of 2019 finalist Johanna Konta. With 24 winners to only 14 unforced errors, the 2017 Roland Garros winner earned a spot in the second round against Tomljanovic with an impressive 6-3 6-1 score.

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