WTA

Badosa and Garcia out of Pan Pacific Open, Raducanu wins in Korea

By Sports Desk September 21, 2022

The top two seeds were eliminated in the second round of the Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo as Paula Badosa and Caroline Garcia both crashed out on Wednesday.

Badosa was defeated in just 78 minutes by Zheng Qinwen, with the number one seed going down 6-3 6-2.

It was 19-year-old Zheng's first completed win against a top 10 opponent in her career, and she said afterwards: "Even though the score was like this, there were a lot of emotions for me in this match and I'm very proud of myself. It's not a surprise. I always knew I had the level, I just had to make it."

Second seed Garcia hit 27 aces in her match against Zhang Shuai, the most in a single WTA-level contest since Kristyna Pliskova against Monica Puig in Luxembourg 2019 (28), but it was not enough as she lost two tie-breaks to lose 4-6 7-6 (7-5) 7-6 (7-5).

Number three seed Garbine Muguruza had more success as she beat Greek opponent Despina Papamichail 6-4 6-2, while Claire Liu also eased to a win against Elise Mertens 6-4 6-1, and will play Zheng in the quarter-finals.

Eighth seed Elena Rybakina suffered a first-round exit as she lost to Liudmila Samsonova 6-2 6-4, who will play Xinyu next.

The seeds fared better over at the Korea Open, with Emma Raducanu sealing a first-round win against Moyuka Uchijima 6-2 6-4, while Magda Linette also eased past Arianne Hartono, 6-2 7-5, though fifth-seed Varvara Gracheva was knocked out by Anna Blinkova 6-4 7-6 (7-1).

In the second round, third seed Ekaterina Alexandrova is through after beating Han Na-lae 6-1 6-3, as is Lin Zhu of China following her straightforward 6-1 6-3 victory against India's Ankita Raina.

There were also wins for Tatjana Maria against Kimberly Birrell, and 17-year-old Andorran Victoria Jimenez Kasintseva against eighth seed Rebecca Marino.

Related items

  • Sinner snaps Alcaraz's win streak, books Miami Open final against Medvedev Sinner snaps Alcaraz's win streak, books Miami Open final against Medvedev

    Jannik Sinner is through to the Miami Open decider after eliminating world number one Carlos Alcaraz 6-7 (4-7) 6-4 6-2 in Friday's semi-final.

    Sinner, 21, has enjoyed a terrific start to 2023. Since the beginning of the Australian Open, the Italian has only lost three matches – to Stefanos Tsitsipas, Daniil Medvedev and Alcaraz.

    He avenged his defeat to Tsitsipas with a straight sets win at the Rotterdam Open, and he has now got one back on Alcaraz after their three-hour war of attrition.

    Both players created exactly 12 break point opportunities, and Sinner's 26 unforced errors were only one less than Alcaraz's 27, but the Spanish 19-year-old committed an uncharacteristic nine double faults. The loss snapped Alcaraz's 10-match winning streak.

    The victory gives Sinner his second appearance in the Miami Open final after losing the 2021 edition to Hubert Hurkacz, and he now joins Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic as the only players to ever reach the final here twice before turning 22.

    Sinner will get a chance to avenge his only other loss this year in the final after Daniil Medvedev booked his spot with a 7-6 (7-5) 3-6 6-3 victory over Russian compatriot Karen Khachanov.

    Incredibly, Khachanov lost despite hitting 53 winners and only 11 unforced errors, and he ended up edging the total point count 93-88, but he could only convert two of his six break point opportunities, while Medvedev converted two out of four.

    The win means Medvedev is the first player since Roger Federer in 2019 to reach the final of both the Indian Wells Open and the Miami Open in the same season, and he is the first since Federer in 2006 to reach five ATP finals before the clay court season begins.

  • Kvitova defeats Cirstea to join Rybakina in the Miami Open final Kvitova defeats Cirstea to join Rybakina in the Miami Open final

    Petra Kvitova is through to her 41st WTA singles final after defeating Sorana Cirstea 7-5 6-4 in Friday's Miami Open semi-final.

    Kvitova, 33, already has 29 singles titles under her belt, including eight at the WTA 1000 level. Despite showing she can still compete with the best – making the final at the 2019 Dubai Championships, the 2020 Qatar Open and the 2022 Cincinnati Open, her last WTA 1000 victory came at the 2018 Madrid Open.

    Against Romania's Cirstea – who came into the contest with nine wins from her past 10 matches – Czech veteran Kvitova was put on the back foot early as her serve was broken to go 5-2 down.

    But she saved two set points, and used that momentum to ignite a run of seven consecutive games, taking the first set and the early break in the second as a result.

    Kvitova did not allow Cirstea to produce a single break point opportunity in the second set, winning 75 per cent (21-of-28) of her total service points to slam the door shut.

    With the win, Kvitova joined Chris Evert and Serena Williams as the only women to ever reach the Miami Open final after turning 33 years old, booking her place against the hottest talent on the tour – Elena Rybakina – in the decider.

    Rybakina has won her past 13 matches, and is looking to become the fifth woman to ever complete the Sunshine Double after eliminating both world number one Iga Swiatek and world number two Aryna Sabalenka to lift the Indian Wells Open title.

     

  • Philadelphia Union v Sporting Kansas City: Preview and prediction Philadelphia Union v Sporting Kansas City: Preview and prediction

    Jim Curtin has promised supporters they will see the Philadelphia Union of old in Saturday's showdown with Sporting Kansas City at Subaru Park.

    The Union finished top of the Eastern Conference last season en route to losing the MLS Cup final to Los Angeles FC, but they have made a sluggish start to the 2023 campaign.

    Philly have lost three of their opening five matches, including back-to-back defeats against a struggling CF Montreal side and Orlando City in their past two outings.

    But with winless Sporting up next this weekend, Curtin is hoping to see a response from his players.

    "I think the group will have a good response against Kansas City," Curtin said ahead of Union's first home match against Sporting since the MLS is Back quarter-finals in 2020.

    "Win, lose or draw we want to put on a good display to our fans and show that we are still a very good team that had a bad outing last game.

    "We have players returning and have had a couple of days with them, so we should be pretty much full strength going into the Kansas match."

    Sporting have themselves made a slower-than-expected start to the season, having taken just two points from their first five games.

    Like Philadelphia, they enter the game on the back of successive defeats, but experienced head coach Peter Vermes knows how quickly things can change.

    "It's easy to think negative things, saying what players can't do, but it's amazing how fast a team can turn that, then you ask 'well how did they do that?'," he said.

    "A lot of it is to do with plugging away, keep fighting. I've said it before: we've got a good group here and we'll get there."

    PLAYERS TO WATCH

    Philadelphia Union – Andre Blake

    Philadelphia's defeats to Montreal and Orlando came in the absence of Blake, whom Curtin this week described as "the best goalkeeper that our league has".

     

    Joe Bendik conceded five goals across those two matches, but Curtin is hopeful Blake will be back between the sticks on Saturday.

    Sporting Kansas City – Erik Thommy

    Two goals scored in five games is a hugely underwhelming return for Sporting, even more so when you consider they have had 76 shots this term – only Philadelphia have had as many.

    Thommy has been heavily involved in an attacking sense, but he has yet to score this campaign and that quite simply has to change if Sporting are to turn things around.

     

    MATCH PREDICTION – PHILADELPHIA WIN

    Philadelphia have clearly lacked the consistency of last season so far in 2023, having lost two MLS games in a row for the first time since September 2021.

    The defeat to Orlando last weekend brought an end to the Union's 13-match winning streak on home soil, which was the second-longest run of any side in league history.

    But Sporting have really struggled so far, with this only the second time they have gone winless in their first five games, and this seems a good chance for Philly to kick-start their season.

    OPTA WIN PROBABILITY

    Philadelphia Union - 62.1 per cent

    Sporting KC - 14.8 per cent

    Draw - 23.1 per cent

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.