TENNIS

Andreescu advances, Pliskova overthrows Kanepi in Berlin opener

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Bianca Andreescu of Canada won a match at the bett1open in Berlin for the first time in her career, edging Katerina Siniakova of the Czech Republic 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 to reach the second round of the WTA 500 turf-court event .

Andreescu had won just one match on grass at tour level in her career before Monday’s first round, but the 2019 US Open champion was able to double her grass-court win tally with a triumph of 2 hours and 16 minutes. on Siniakova.

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The pair combined for 13 breaks on the day, with two toppling sets leading to the decider. Siniakova captured the first break of the third set after a five-point game to lead 2-0, but Andreescu fought back as the pair settled into a tightly contested clash.

After a short rainy spell in game four, the pair traded breaks again before Andreescu took the lead definitively, breaking for 5-4 behind a searing forehand return of serve. Andreescu knocked out two consecutive volley winners to successfully serve out the match in the next game.

More from Berlin: Jabeur eager for success on grass

Another Czech awaits Andreescu in the second round, when she faces former world No. 1 Karolina Pliskova. Andreescu and Pliskova shared their two previous encounters, both of which were on hard court in 2019.

Czech return: Pliskova kicked off her grass-court season with a win, as the Czech Republic’s No. 4 seed beat the dangerous floater Kaia Kanepi of Estonia 6-7(5), 6-0, 6-0.

Pliskova, a Wimbledon runner-up last year, improved to 4-0 against Kanepi with the win in 1 hour and 43 minutes as she tries to turn around a difficult season. Pliskova missed the first two months of this year with a hand injury and is just 7-8 since returning in March.

Meanwhile, Kanepi, the oldest player on the pitch at 37, is known to be an upset specialist. The former world No. 15 has won 15 Top 10 victories in her career, including at the two Grand Slams this year.

Indeed, the match was on upset alert early. Kanepi went 0 for 7 on break points in the first frame, but she still took a set lead in the tiebreak by forcing an error from Pliskova with a big comeback on her first set point.

Highlights: Pliskova defeats. Kanepi

After that, however, Pliskova’s game fell into place while Kanepi’s winning tally plummeted. With solid passing and great serves at her disposal, Pliskova slammed 11 winners just five unforced errors while sweeping the second set without dropping a game.

It was more or less the same for Pliskova in the final set, and she landed the last 12 in a row to slash two bagels in a row. Pliskova finished the match with 44 winners, including 17 aces, and she was never beaten all day.

Of course, it’s nice to be back on the grass. I feel a bit confident, even though I haven’t had a lot of games this year and wasn’t really playing my best tennis, but I feel like the grass can be my surface.

– Karolina Pliskova

Continuation of day 1: Recent Roland Garros semi-finalist Daria Kasatkina also started the week with a win, as the No.6 seed ousted Anhelina Kalinina 5-7, 6-3, 6-1 in 2 hours and 17 minutes. Kasatkina have won 10 of their last 12 matches.

Highlights: Saville bat. Teichmann

Qualifier Daria Saville also qualified on Monday, beating Jil Teichmann 6-7(2), 7-5, 6-2. Former world No. 20 Saville has been hampered by injuries for the past few years but has reached two quarter-finals this year and is on course to return to the Top 100.

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