Bertens stuns Kerber at WTA Finals in Singapore

26 October, 2018, 06:28 | Author: George Williams
  • Naomi Osaka of Japan returns a shot to Sloane Stephens of the United States during their women's singles match at the WTA tennis tournament in Singapore on Monday Oct. 22 2018

On Monday (22 October), facing the current US Open champion and overwhelming crowd favourite Naomi Osaka in the round-robin stage of the season-ending tournament at the Singapore Indoor Stadium, the 25-year-old American stayed patient, waiting for her less experienced opponent to make errors and picking the right time to launch her own winners.

It was only the sixth time this year Osaka has played in a three-set match but the unforced errors returned in a one-sided final set.

"I had my chances in the second set but she played some unbelievable tennis to win that one, and it felt like there was only one or two points in the decider", Wimbledon champion Kerber said in a post-match interview.

In the second round in the red group Sloane Stephens will play against Kiki, Bertens and Angelique Kerber will meet Naomi Osaka.

Earlier, Kerber had a chance to serve it out against Osaka in the second set, but triumphed the hard way in a 6-4, 5-7, 6-4 victory in 2 hours, 30 minutes.

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But Osaka is not one to back down and the 21-year-old Japanese broke straight back to level the contest at 4-4, thanks to some sublime stroke-making aided by a couple of double-faults from her opponent.

"It was two or three points that decided the match, I think it was a really good match", Kerber told British broadcaster BT Sport.

Stephens was growing in confidence as Osaka battled her emotional demons and the American fittingly sealed the opener on her third set point, when the world number four sent another backhand into the net. But she redeemed herself by breaking straight back to level the match.

"Well, before the match the plan was to try to play aggressive where I can but not rush too much".

"But definitely can relate on being exhausted and needing to regroup and play - you know, I think she took the next week off".

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After trading early breaks, the match settled down as the pair enjoyed more success on serve.

However, Osaka fought back to earn two break points and levelled the match at 5-5 with a brilliant forehand victor.

The world number nine missed out on qualifying for the tournament, which pits the top eight women's players against each other in a unique format for tennis.

The game got off to a sluggish start with both players struggling to hold serve and few winners being struck before Stephens made her move, aggressively rattling Osaka with deep groundstrokes and pinpointing the lines.

"Then I called him (Sluiter).in the first set".

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They added that it is unclear in what condition the remains were found. Authorities are conducting a criminal investigation, Craig said.

"We played a really tough and competitive match so its always an honor to share the court with somebody that good", Stephens added.

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