Tennis News

From around the world

Zverev Books Raonic Clash In Melbourne

  • Posted: Jan 19, 2019

Zverev Books Raonic Clash In Melbourne

Fourth seed to meet Raonic for quarter-final spot

In his third straight Australian Open third round appearance, Alexander Zverev advanced to the Round of 16 for the first time on Saturday.

The Nitto ATP Finals champion, who fell in five sets to Rafael Nadal (2017) and Hyeon Chung (2018) at the same stage over the past two years, needed one hour and 52 minutes to beat Alex Bolt 6-3, 6-3, 6-2. Zverev hit 29 winners, including 14 aces, to overcome Bolt, who was appearing in the third round of a Grand Slam for the first time.

Zverev started well, earning three service breaks to move into a one-set lead after 34 minutes. In a tighter second set, the World No. 4 took advantage of multiple forehand errors from his opponent to gain the only break of the set and take control of the match.

In the third set, Zverev won five straight games from 0-1 to edge closer to victory, which he earned on his first match point as Bolt failed to return a 193km/h body serve.

Tennis Radio

Zverev will meet Milos Raonic for a place in the quarter-finals. The 21-year-old is tied at 1-1 with Raonic in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series.

The Canadian No. 1 reached the Australian Open fourth round for the sixth time after just over two hours, landing 51 winners to beat Pierre-Hugues Herbert 6-4, 6-4, 7-6(6). The 16th seed has impressed in his opening three rounds, beating Nick Kyrgios, Stan Wawrinka and Herbert to reach the fourth round.

In 2016, Raonic came within a set of reaching the championship match in Melbourne. The Canadian led Andy Murray by two sets to one before eventually falling to a five-set defeat after four hours and three minutes.

Source link

Halep beats Venus Williams and will face Serena next

  • Posted: Jan 19, 2019
Australian Open 2019
Venue: Melbourne Park Dates: 14-27 January
Coverage: Daily live commentaries on the BBC Sport website, listen to Tennis Breakfast daily from 07:00 GMT on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra and watch highlights on BBC TV and online.

Top seed Simona Halep set up a highly anticipated Australian Open last-16 tie against Serena Williams by beating the American’s older sister Venus.

The 27-year-old Romanian eased to a 6-2 6-3 victory, winning in straight sets for the first time at this year’s tournament in Melbourne.

Seven-time champion Williams, 37, reached the last 16 by thrashing 18-year-old Ukrainian Dayana Yastremska.

“It’s going to be a bigger challenge but I’m ready to face it,” said Halep.

The Romanian says she has “nothing to lose” against the 23-time Grand Slam champion, who is aiming to match Australian Margaret Court’s all-time record of major triumphs.

Williams has won eight of their nine previous matches, with their last meeting coming at the US Open in 2016.

Since then, Halep has won her first Grand Slam title, having triumphed at last year’s French Open.

  • Williams comforts teenager after victory
  • Djokovic’s dark mood over lights overshadows win
  • Osaka and Svitolina fight back to win

Halep puts herself among the contenders

Halep, who lost to Caroline Wozniacki in last year’s final, said she came into the first Grand Slam of the year with “no expectations” after a difficult past five months.

She arrived in Melbourne having not won since August, a five-match losing streak punctured by an absence with a back injury, while she also split with her long-time coach Darren Cahill in November.

After needing her fighting qualities to beat Estonian veteran Kaia Kanepi and young American Sofia Kenin in the opening two rounds, Halep moved up a level against seven-time major winner Williams, 38.

“It was a great match – my best match here this year,” Halep said.

“It is always a big challenge to play against the Williams sisters so I was super motivated.”

Halep could not take any of three break points in Williams’ first two service games, yet was finally rewarded in the fifth game to lead 3-2.

After surviving four break points in the next game, Halep took control of the opener as Williams appeared to wane physically in a set containing some lengthy rallies.

The points became shorter at the start of the second, allowing Williams to stick with Halep as they stayed on serve to 3-3.

But when Williams failed to land a first serve in the seventh game, Halep pounced.

Two break points – added to the five she created in the first set – arrived and she upped the pace to force Williams into sending a weak backhand into the net on the first.

Serving to stay in the match, Williams produced two double faults to hand Halep two match points – but the Romanian only needed one and sealed victory with a stunning forehand down the line.

  • Live scores, schedule and results
  • Follow the Australian Open on BBC TV, radio and online
  • Alerts: Get tennis news sent to your phone

Source link