Elina Svitolina and Bianca Andreescu were dumped out of the Eastbourne grasscourt tournament yesterday while Gael Monfils crashed out of the men’s event.
Kazakhstan’s Elena Rybakina upset second seed Svitolina 6-4, 7-6 (7/3) to reach the quarter-finals while Andreescu, seeded third, went down 6-3, 6-3 to Anett Kontaveit of Estonia at the Wimbledon warm-up event.
Svitolina held game point to edge 5-4 ahead in the first set but Rybakina found three stunning forehand winners to snatch the crucial break and take the lead instead.
The world number 21 maintained her advantage, breaking early in the second set but missed an opportunity to take a 5-2 double-break lead and Ukraine’s Svitolina forced a tie-break.
Undaunted, Rybakina refocused and a series of emphatic serves and backhands enabled her to dominate, sealing her third match point with a service winner.
Kontaveit breezed past Canada’s Andreescu, converting six of her eight break points against the 2019 US Open champion.
But top seed Aryna Sabalenka was untroubled by any thoughts of an upset as she stormed past Alison Riske, 6-1, 6-4.
Jelena Ostapenko came from a set and a break down to beat Birmingham champion Ons Jabeur 5-7, 6-4, 6-3 and Anastasija Sevastova saw off American teenager Coco Gauff 4-6, 7-5, 6-2.
In the men’s tournament, top seed Gael Monfils lost 6-4, 5-7, 6-4 to Australia’s world number 283 Max Purcell.
Monfils came within two points of defeat at 4-5 in the second set, but a crosscourt forehand winner sparked the Frenchman into life.
From 3-5 down in the second set, Monfils won seven straight games before Purcell won five in a row to lead 5-3 in the decider and he calmly closed out the match. Purcell will next play 2011 champion Andreas Seppi, who defeated Emil Ruusuvuori of Finland 6-2, 6-3.
Yastremska cleared to play after doping ban squashed
Ukrainian tennis player Dayana Yastremska was on Tuesday cleared of doping after a failed test last November that ruled her out of the Australian Open.
The 21-year-old, ranked 29 in the world at the end of 2020, received an initial ban after testing positive for a banned anabolic agent, mesterolone metabolite, used in male infertility treatment.
She first appealed to the International tennis Federation (ITF)’s independent tribunal which upheld her ban on January 23.
Following a secondary hearing, the tribunal said on Tuesday that it “accepted Ms.
Yastremska’s account of how the mesterolone entered her system and determined that she bore no fault or negligence for the violation”.
Yastremska’s provisional suspension was lifted with immediate effect, and “she will not serve any period of ineligibility for her violation”, the ITF said. Yastremska posted on Twitter that she was “glad and relieved” to have been “cleared of any wrongdoing”.
“The Tribunal accepted that the positive test was caused by contamination,” Yastremska said in a statement.
“I’ve been through a lot during the last six months and it has been difficult to cope with all the negative comments.”
The decision is subject to
appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and the Ukrainian anti-doping agency.
Yastremska has won three WTA titles in her career, with her best Grand Slam performance a run to the fourth round at Wimbledon in 2019.
“I look forward to getting back to my passion – tennis,” she said.
“It has been taken away from me for too long, I can’t wait to get back on tour.”
Thiem retires injured from Wimbledon warmup event in Mallorca
World number five Dominic Thiem was forced to retire from his opening match at the Mallorca Open on Tuesday, raising doubts about the Austrian’s participation at Wimbledon next week. Playing in his first grasscourt event since his opening round defeat at Wimbledon two years ago, Thiem made a fast start against France’s Adrian Mannarino to take a 5-2 lead in the opening set. But in the eighth game, Thiem struck a forehand and appeared to injure his right wrist. After receiving a medical timeout, the 27-year-old decided against continuing the match.
Thiem, the reigning US Open champion, has struggled for form this season and arrived in Mallorca seeking momentum after a first-round exit at the French Open. He pulled out of next month’s Tokyo Olympics concentrate on Wimbledon and defending his Grand Slam title in New York later this year.
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