WTA in Melbourne: Muguruza and Barty in final, in the other two events ...

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WTA in Melbourne: Muguruza and Barty in final, in the other two events ...

On the eve of the Slam downunder, the women's Tour found itself living with a worrying series of retirements. Naomi Osaka, who had not given any warning, opted for the forfeit before the semifinal of the Gippsland Trophy against Elise Mertens, who will play the ninth final of her career rested.

After the success against Simona Halep - strongly conditioned by a shoulder problem - Ekaterina Alexandrova was not able to confirm herself against Kaia Kanepi. Forward with a laborious 6-4 7-6 (5) and to the first final in the major circuit since 2013.

There is practically only one semi-final even in the Yarra Valley Classic. To give up, after a handful of very positive tests, was Serena Williams as scheduled. The twenty-three-time Grand Slam champion - who had communicated the decision immediately after her match against Danielle Collins - spoke with some insistence about the right shoulder.

Main course of the day, therefore, Muguruza-Vondrousova. There will be no remake of the 2019 Roland Garros final. The Spanish tennis player, parallel finalist twelve months ago at Melbourne Park, with a practically perfect performance - topped off by nineteen winners and just eight unforced errors - managed to build a brutal 6-1 6-0 final in just under sixty minutes game and to reach world number one Ashleigh Barty.

The Grampians Trophy will not have a champion instead. Or at least that's what the organizers have communicated. The "500" tournament reserved for players who had not even managed to train due to the rigid-quarantine, will end with the semifinals on Sunday.

Why not a double shift after the total block on Thursday? However, during the quarter-finals the victories of Maria Sakkari - who got rid of Angelique Kerber with a clear 6-4 6-2 - of Ann Li and Jennifer Brady should be recorded.

Viktoria Azarenka instead preferred not to take the field against Anett Kontaveit.

ATP in Melbourne

The Great Ocean Road Open will be the first all-Italian final since 1988. The seventh in history, the second outside Europe, among other things also the first on hard courts.

Thanks to Stefano Travaglia and Jannik Sinner. The twenty-nine year old from the Marche region, who had started the season with the quarter-finals in Antalya, after the very tiring successes against Roberto Carballes Baena, Sam Querrey, Aleksandr Bublik and Hubert Hurkacz, also managed to overcome the fateful litmus test against Thiago Monteiro.

Realistically the least competitive of the package. Travaglia loses the first two games, yes, but he wins nine of the ten hits and from 6-3 3-1 he simply manages. Needless to say, it will be the first career final in the ATP Tour.

It will not be a first time for Jannik Sinner (former champion at the Next Gen Atp Finals and above all in Sofia a handful of months ago) back from the double commitment on Friday and with the gasoline hand worryingly close to zero.

Despite all the South Tyrolean talent, who wins the tie break of the first set thanks to the massive contribution of the service and who finds himself catapulted to the deciding set, he breaks off in the score at the start of the third with a splendid forehand recovery, cancels the four break points that puts on the plate in the following four rounds of service, but does not take advantage of a 30-0 advantage when called to serve for the match, but Sinner builds the point of 3-1 during the tie break with a backhand winning line, decisive blow both on 4-4 and on 5-4, and at the threshold of three hours of play it goes to 7-6 (4) 4-6 7-6 (4).

Daniel Evans and Felix Auger Aliassime will contend for the Gippsland Trophy (Murray River Open) title. Respectively winners over Jeremy Chardy - who had taken advantage of Stan Wawrinka's retirement - and Corentin Moutet.

The Canadian talented player will go in search of his first title in the major circuit after six consecutive defeats in the final collected between Rio (in 2019) and Cologne, obviously last year. Sinner, on an individual level he boasts 1 ATP title, out of two finals played, won in Sofia in 2020, thanks to which, at 19 years and 2 months, he became the youngest Italian tennis player to have won a tournament in the Open era.

[2] In the Grand Slam trials he reached the quarter-finals at Roland Garros in 2020, also in this case being the earliest tennis player in his country to go so far in a Major. He boasts 36th position as best ranking, reached on January 4, 2021, thanks to which he currently figures as the best placed tennis player among the Under 20s.