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HomeSportsAlexandrova won the Russian derby in the 's-Hertogenbosch final! Ekaterina defended...

Alexandrova won the Russian derby in the ‘s-Hertogenbosch final! Ekaterina defended the title

Date: June 19, 2024 Time: 00:39:45

On Sunday, June 18, the final match of the WTA-250 grass tournament was played in Hertogenbosch (Netherlands). The participants in the decisive matchup were Russian tennis players Veronika Kudermetova and Ekaterina Alexandrova, who had the first and fourth seeded numbers, respectively. Kudermetova beat racket number 144 in the world Viktoria Grunchakova from Slovakia in the semifinals – 6:3, 6:2, – and Alexandrova turned out to be stronger than Belarusian Alexandra Sasnovich – 6:1, 7:6 (7:1) .

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For both athletes, this final was the first in the 2023 season. Kudermetova for the first time in her career reached the decisive match on grass. Before that, she Veronica reached the final of the WTA tournaments five times, but she won only one of them – on the green field of Charleston in April 2021. Then Danka Kovinic from Montenegro was defeated-6: 4, 6:2. Aleksandrova is more successful in this regard. For Catherine, as for her rival, this final was also the sixth, but she already had three titles. She and she won one of them right in Hertogenbosch. It was a year ago, so Alexandrova had to defend the title. It is noteworthy that in the semifinals last year she confidently defeated Kudermetova (6: 3, 6: 1), and in the final she beat Arina Sobolenko no less convincingly, hanging her “shuttle” in the second set (7 :5, 6:0).

That semifinal in ‘s-Hertogenbosch 2022 was already the third face-to-face confrontation between the current finalists. Prior to this, the athletes’ paths crossed twice in 2019, with both meetings, in Nuremberg and Wuhan, going to Kudermetova. As you can see, it was difficult to determine the favorite of the match. 2016 Olympic doubles champion Elena Vesnina couldn’t name a tennis player she thinks has a better chance of winning, but she did identify factors that should be key.

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“Being in the final is a very good result. Especially the first tournament on grass for both girls. Alexandrova already won in Hertogenbosch. It will be a difficult match for both girls. It is always difficult to play against your compatriots. But it’s already a big week for the girls. The grass cover is peculiar, so you have to get used to it. It’s great that the girls were able to immediately reach the final. The strongest at the moment will win, the one who is better prepared physically and psychologically, and also better copes with nerves, ”Vesnina said in an interview with Championship.

What did the finalists say before the game?

Alexandrova finished her semifinals against Kudermetova and she did not yet know that Veronika would be her rival. “Playing here again in the final is an incredible feeling. Coming back here a year later, playing well… It gives confidence and it’s nice in general. And I really enjoy spending time here. Therefore, I did everything possible to stay here longer, ”the WTA press service quotes Catherine.

Kudermetova, for her part, shared her opinion of the compatriot. “She plays very aggressively, especially on grass, and it’s not easy. But the final is like a separate tournament. I will try to concentrate and give my best game, ”the WTA press service quotes Veronica.

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The match started almost an hour and a half later than planned: the rain that fell in Hertogenbosch, but then stopped, was to blame. At the beginning of the first set, the rivals each took a game on serve, and in the third game Kudermetova managed to take someone else’s serve, from the second break point. Despite this, Aleksandrova was able to respond with a reverse break after Veronika committed two double faults, even at break point – 2:2. In the fifth game, Kudermetova again made a break, after which she brought her throw to zero and recorded an advantage – 4: 2. And in the seventh game at 30:15 with Alexandrova’s serve, the game was stopped due to rain.

The pause lasted almost an hour. Alexandrova led the postponed seventh game to victory, as she recovered a break point, and in the ninth game she saved set point on serve, but this did not help her. Kudermetova, with a score of 5: 4, appeared in the game, and from the first attempt she coped with the task, giving her opponent only one move in this game.

In the second set, Kudermetova could have made a break in the first game, but she missed her chance. But in the fifth game, Veronika won a triple break point and converted it on the second attempt – 3:2 with a break. Alexandrova was not embarrassed by this, and in the stubborn sixth game (she four times she went “exactly”) she was able to make a reverse break (from the second break point)-3: 3. In the ninth game, already with a score of 4: 4, Kudermetova twice reached a break point (that is, a hidden match point), but she missed both opportunities. After that, the match again had to be interrupted due to rain, this time with the score 5:4 in favor of Alexandrova. The second break was short, less than 15 minutes. The breather benefited Ekaterina, who took someone else’s serve and won the game – 6:4.

In the third set, the opponents for the moment acted confidently on the serve, except that in the second game Alexandrova had a break point, but did not use it – 1: 1. In the tenth game, Kudermetova almost lost everything in the field, but managed to get away from the match point: 5:5. In the 11th game, on the contrary, Ekaterina, serving, won back a hidden match point. And in the 12th game, Veronika played two more match points (in the latter case, Alexandrova hit deep below the baseline, the judges were silent, but Kudermetova took a replay and proved her opponent was wrong in length), and then turned the game into a tiebreaker with an ace, which decided the fate of the title.

As a result, Alexandrova’s nerves turned out to be stronger. Having served twice with a score of 4:3, Ekaterina won a triple match point – 6:3. Kudermetova was forced to take the next draw but missed. As a result, Alexandrova won a decisive victory – 4: 6, 6: 4, 7: 6 (7: 3) in 2 hours and 56 minutes of playing time.

This is how Aleksandrova defended her title in Hertogenbosch. This is her first title in the 2023 season and her fourth in her career. Ekaterina, who started the week with the 26th racket in the world, will move up to the 22nd row. Kudermetova also missed the chance to become Russia’s first racket. If she wins the final, Veronika would return to the top 10 in the world ranking and would become the first racket in Russia, ahead of Daria Kasatkina, who would drop from 11th to 12th place. And then, Kudermetova will play only in one place: it will not be 14th. , but 13.

In the week of June 19-25, two WTA grass tournaments will take place: the “500” in Berlin and the “250-nick” in Birmingham, tennis players will continue to prepare for Wimbledon. Of the Russians in the German capital, in addition to Kudermetova and Alexandrova, Daria Kasatkina, Lyudmila Samsonova, Anna Blinkova and Varvara Gracheva will perform, and Anastasia Potapova will perform in Great Britain. Follow all the events in the “Championship”.

* This website provides news content gathered from various internet sources. It is crucial to understand that we are not responsible for the accuracy, completeness, or reliability of the information presented Read More

Puck Henry
Puck Henry
Puck Henry is an editor for ePrimefeed covering all types of news.
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