Coco Vandeweghe on Friday knocked world No. 1 Simona Halep out of the Stuttgart Grand Prix with a commanding 6-4, 6-1 win in 74 minutes, even though she was not even aware of the score for large parts of the match.
No. 16 Vandeweghe says this is her least-favorite surface, but she has still reached the first clay semi-final of her WTA career.
She yesterday was to face French sixth seed Carolina Garcia, who constructed a third straight fightback over third seed Elina Svitolina 6-7 (4/7), 6-4, 6-2.
“At one point in the first set, I wasn’t even sure of the score,” Vandeweghe said. “Maybe that’s the secret.”
She held her nerve to break early in the second set, added an insurance break for a 5-1 lead and closed out the upset on her second match point a game later, when Halep went long with a return.
“Clay is still not my favorite surface, it’s certainly not my No. 1,” she added.
However, with a Porsche 718 Boxster going to the winner along with prize money, Vandeweghe says she has plenty of motivation to win a first title on the alien surface.
“I’m one step closer — maybe if I keep it up I can win a new toy to take home to California,” she said.
“It was like a flash and I don’t really know what happened during the match,” Halep said. “She served really well and it was really tough to break her.”
Garcia has made a habit of rallying to beat Svitolina, duplicating comebacks she completed last autumn in Beijing and at the season-ending WTA finals in Singapore.
The 2 hour, 15 minute struggle featured nine aces from Svitolina and 10 from Garcia, who earned her first win of the season over a top 10 player.
Yesterday’s second semi-final was to be contested between Estonia’s Anett Kontaveit and fifth seed Karolina Pliskova.
Kontaveit needed almost three hours to beat Russia’s Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 7-5, 6-7 (6/8), 6-4, while Pliskova came from break points down in the final game to beat Roland Garros champion Jelena Ostapenko, 5-7, 7-5, 6-4.
AFP, ISTANBUL, Turkey
World No. 2 and top seed Caroline Wozniacki was on Friday forced to retire from her Istanbul Cup quarter-final against Pauline Parmentier of France after suffering an abdominal injury.
Australian Open champion Wozniacki had already received an on-court medical timeout before Parmentier leveled the match at a set apiece.
The Dane opted not to continue with the match poised at 4-6, 6-3.
“I saw she had some problems in the second set with the serve. She was not serving full speed. It’s tough when you see your opponent not doing well,” Parmentier told wtatennis.com. “Even though we are opponents on the court, we want everyone to be fine, so it’s not easy.”
Unseeded Parmentier will face seventh seed Irina-Camelia Begu of Romania, who saw off Donna Vekic of Croatia 3-6, 7-6 (7/1), 6-1.
In yesterday’s other semi-final, Polona Hercog of Slovenia was to face Greece’s Maria Sakkari.
Chen Jifang hits the gym for at least two hours every day and has the physique to prove it. At nearly 70, she is being held up as a shining example as China orders its vast population to get fit and lose the bulge. The grandmother from Shanghai has become a minor celebrity in in the past few months after her newfound and unlikely love for working out made national headlines. After becoming a gym regular in December 2018, Chen lost 14kg in three months, and now sports the kind of flat stomach and toned muscles that people decades younger aspire to. She
’SO CONSISTENT’: The victory gave the world No. 1 and world No. 2 a 21-1 win-loss record and their fourth title of the season after successes in Brisbane, Dubai and Doha Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic on Sunday cruised to their fourth women’s doubles title of the season at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome in their first tournament back since the suspension of the WTA Tour due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The top seeds took just 63 minutes to complete a comprehensive 6-2, 6-2 victory over unseeded German-Romanian duo Anna-Lena Friedsam and Raluca Olaru at the Foro Italico. It was the Taiwanese-Czech pairing’s first outing since they won the Qatar Open in February. “After five months, you don’t know what to expect,” Strycova told the WTA Web site.
‘GREAT EVENING‘: In the women’s singles in Rome, Simona Halep and Karolina Pliskova advanced, while Rafael Nadal swept into the quarters in the men’s singles Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic on Friday had to dig deep to advance to the semi-finals of the women’s doubles at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome. The top seeds, who did not drop a game in their opening match on the clay courts at the Foro Italico, battled to a 7-6 (7/5), 6-4 victory over sixth seeds Veronika Kudermetova and Katerina Siniakova in 1 hour, 39 minutes. The reigning Wimbledon champions saved nine of 11 break points and converted three of eight, winning 56 percent of points on their second serve and sending down two aces
ANOTHER SCANDAL: Searches focused on several riders, including Dayer Quintana, a source said, while the two being held were reportedly a doctor and physiotherapist French police on Monday detained two people as part of an investigation into suspected doping in the Arkea-Samsic team at this year’s Tour de France, prosecutors announced. The probe is the first significant one in several years for the repeatedly scandal-hit tour, which on Sunday wrapped up in Paris with a victory for 21-year-old Tadej Pogacar, who became the youngest winner in more than a century. Prosecutor Dominique Laurens in Marseille said in a statement that an investigation was being carried out into a “small part” of France-based Arkea-Samsic, without specifying who had been placed in custody. Laurens added that the two