A battle between two recent WTA finalists, Maria Sharapova and Magdalena Rybarikova, was one of the highlights in Moscow on Tuesday. Moscow has never been one for big crowds – it was great to see the stands packed! It didn’t pan out as the crowd would have liked as Rybarikova maintained her excellent form from Linz, and for most of the year, to win in two tight sets, 7-6(3) 6-4.
Less than two days after the Hong Kong final, the finalists went 1-1 in Moscow. Daria Kasatkina held on in a rollercoaster first set before rolling through the second to beat Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, 7-6(2) 6-1.
Daria Gavrilova went on a mega detour, missing five match points in the second set, but ultimately winning in three sets against Kristyna Pliskova, 6-4 6-7(5) 6-1. After a close-to-Midnight finish in Moscow, Dasha plays at not before 14:30pm local time – that’s brutal!
You can’t make this stuff up… when Gavrilova was serving for the match, a cat strolled onto court 😂😂😂
In other matches from Moscow, Julia Goerges, Irina-Camelia Begu, Vera Lapko and Natalia Vikhlyantseva all won through to the second round. Lapko’s straight sets win over Maryna Zanevska was the first WTA main draw win of her career.
Tuesday’s Schedule in Luxembourg ended with a trio of Germans…
Andrea Petkovic has had her fair share of heartbreaking three set losses over the past few years. Today was not one of those days as she saved three match points to edge Petra Martic in a fab first rounder, 6-1 3-6 7-6(5).
Petkovic had looked the more likely to win it in the decider, bolder and more consistent, going up 5-3 in the decider. However, Martic mounted a comeback and broke twice, the second time at 5-5 after a frenetic five deuce game. Petkovic lost her way with a stream of unforced errors, yet she kept battling. When serving for the match, Martic served pretty well, but Petkovic returned better. The German player was both brave and bold down match points to force the tiebreak, which she won seven points to five.
Martic had previously led the head-to-head, 3-0 with all three of her wins coming from a set down. She was a set away from making that four! A lovely embrace at the end after such a dramatic and well fought match. One to remember from this year!
Petko’s tweet after the match 😂🤗
Petko in press.
In her first match since the US Open, Sabine Lisicki came from breaks down in both sets to beat the Linz semi-finalist, Mihaela Buzarnescu, 7-6(3) 7-6(4). Buzarnescu served for the first set at *5-4 with Lisicki breaking back with a peak passing shot winner. It was nice to see that smile at the end of the match ☺️.
Peak Puig… Monica Puig played one of her best matches of the year to knock out the number one seed, Angelique Kerber, 6-3 6-4. I didn’t think that Kerber played a bad match – the issue was her failure on break point opportunities, which stood at 0 out of 8. Puig’s level, surprisingly, never really dipped and she served well too. 40 winners to 23 unforced errors is a great return 👏.
Winners on day 2 of main draw action in Luxembourg also included Kiki Bertens, Johanna Larsson, Pauline Parmentier, Heather Watson, Alison Van Uytvanck, Evgeniya Rodina and Naomi Broady.
A bit more news on Rebecca Marino who will make her return to tennis at the weekend. All the best to Rebecca 🙂
And finally, i’m really excited for the WTA Finals in Singapore (starting on Sunday) and have written profiles for the eight finalists.