WTA week preview

24.09.2021    Просмотры: 726
Источник: Пресс-служба ФТК
Courtney Walsh

The second leg of Kazakhstan’s festival of elite tennis starts on Saturday with qualifying for the inaugural WTA 250 Astana Open in Nur-Sultan featuring a talented draw of players.

Promising local Tatyana Nikolenko will have the honor of featuring in the first qualifying match for the highest-tier women’s tournament held in Kazakhstan when play begins on Saturday morning.

The beauty of the Astana Open is that by running the ATP and WTA events in successive weeks, there is an overlap that will allow patrons to watch quality tennis from both sexes.

As well as the opening round of women’s qualifying, the men’s singles and doubles semifinals will be held on Saturday in Nur-Sultan. There is a lot for local fans to look forward to, with five women from Kazakhstan attempting to qualify for the main draw beginning on Monday. The draw for the first women’s Astana Open will be held on Saturday afternoon at 2pm, with vacancies left for the qualifiers.

Nikolenko, who won a round in qualifying in the Wimbledon girls singles in July, will play the fifth-seeded Natalia Vikhlyantseva in a match that begins at 10am on Court 1.
Monica Niculescu, who has won three WTA Tour titles, is seeded eighth in qualifying and has been in reasonable form in recent months, qualifying for Wimbledon and coming within one match of doing the same at the US Open.

She plays English veteran Emily Webley-Smith in an opening round clash that also begins at 10am on Court 2. The top seed in the women’s qualifying draw is Lucia Bronzetti. She has made steady progress in the rankings and has featured in five finals on the ITF Tour in 2021, winning two titles. The Italian plays Russian wildcard entrant Yana Sizikova in a match scheduled for Saturday evening.

Players who have produced good results in either grand slams or on the WTA Tour attempting to qualify include England’s Katie Boulter, Ukrainian Lesia Tsurenko and Serbian Aleksandra Krunic.

Boulter, who has won three matches at grand slam level, is the second seed in qualifying and will play Kazakhstan wildcard Dana Baidaulet on Saturday night on Center Court.
Tsurenko, who reached the quarterfinals of the US Open in 2018, has been ranked as high as 23. She plays Indian Rutuja Bhosale. Krunic, who reached the last 16 at the US Open in 2014, is looking to rebound towards the top 100 and will play Russian Daria Mishina.

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