Can Serena at less than full health dominate the WTA circuit?

By July 09, 2019
Leighton Levy

Leighton Levy is a journalist with 28 years’ experience covering crime, entertainment, and sports. He joined the staff at SportsMax.TV as a content editor two years ago and is enjoying the experience of developing sports content and new ideas. At SportsMax.tv he is pursuing his true passion - sports.

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    Benoit Paire recorded just his second victory over fellow Frenchman Richard Gasquet to progress at the Moselle Open on Wednesday.

    Gasquet held a 7-1 career record going into the match against his compatriot but failed to capitalise on winning the first set against Paire, who relied on his excellent service game to rally for a 3-6 6-3 6-4 triumph.

    Next up will be another countryman in Gregoire Barrere, a 3-6 7-6 (8-6) 6-2 winner over Antoine Hoang, while Gilles Simon remains on track for glory on home soil - for a fourth time - after seeing off Marius Copil in straight sets.

    Ugo Humbert could not provide another French success, losing in three sets to Yannick Maden.

    In the late game, Fernando Verdasco went down in a three-set tussle with Filip Krajinovic, the Spanish fifth seed knocked out after one hour and 51 minutes on court.

    At the St Petersburg Open, Mikhail Kukushkin prevailed in a clash between two former champions.

    Kukushkin, the sixth seed who lifted the title back in 2010, overcame 2017 champion Damir Dzumhur 7-6 (7-2) 6-2 to seal his place in the quarter-finals.

    He is joined by Egor Gerasimov, the qualifier causing an upset as he downed seventh-seeded Frenchman Adrian Mannarino in straight sets, winning 6-3 6-1 in just over an hour.

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  • Bouzkova sees off stricken Svitolina, Alexandrova powers on in Korea Bouzkova sees off stricken Svitolina, Alexandrova powers on in Korea

    Top seed Elina Svitolina retired at 4-6 3-4 down to Marie Bouzkova, who progressed to the quarter-finals of the Guangzhou Open at the expense of the world number three.

    Svitolina became Bouzkova's third top-10 victim this season, following wins over Simona Halep and Sloane Stephens at the Rogers Cup.

    "Of course it was a really tough match, even if [Svitolina] wasn't 100 per cent," Bouzkova said afterwards. "She was fighting really hard, as much as she could, as much as her body allowed her to.

    "It was mentally a tricky match for me, because I knew in the end she's not feeling her best. I tried to stay there, stay aggressive, and not give her any easy points."

    Zhang Shuai, a two-time winner in this tournament on home soil, overcame Andrea Petkovic 7-5 6-4 and will take on Switzerland's Viktorija Golubic, who stunned fifth seed Katerina Siniakova 4-6 7-5 6-0.

    Sofia Kenin is the highest seed left in the draw following a 6-4 6-2 triumph over wildcard Katarina Zavatska. Kenin's next opponent will be Jasmine Paolini, the Italian qualifier who bested Zheng Saisai 7-5 3-6 7-5 in a marathon encounter.

    Veteran 2011 US Open champion Samantha Stosur also went the distance and prevailed 6-4 1-6 7-6 (7-5) against Bernarda Pera.

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    The contest rattled along at a considerable pace, lasting only one hour and 32 minutes, with the decisive moment coming when Alexandrova claimed the third break point on offer having reduced the Pliskova serve to 0-40, before going on to close out the decider.

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    Magda Linette continued her own impressive hard-court form by seeing off Anastasia Potapova 7-5 7-6 (7-4) and will take on Kirsten Flipkens – an authoritative 6-3 7-5 winner against seventh seed Margarita Gasparyan.

    On a day of comeback wins, Wang Yafan overcame Ysaline Bonaventure 4-6 6-3 6-0.

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