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Tennis Roundup: Osaka withdraws from WTA finals with shoulder injury

Last updated on: October 29, 2019 10:29 IST

Osaka withdraws from WTA finals with shoulder injury

Naomi Osaka

IMAGE: Osaka's place in the tournament will now be taken by alternate Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands. Photograph: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

Naomi Osaka has withdrawn from the WTA Finals in Shenzhen due to an injury to her right shoulder, tournament organisers said on Tuesday.

The Japanese world number three was due to face Australia's Ash Barty later in the day and her place in the tournament will now be taken by alternate Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands.

"I'm disappointed to have to withdraw from the Finals,” Osaka said. "It has been a great event in Shenzhen, and it's the biggest WTA event of the year. This is not how I wanted to end this tournament or my season."

"I look forward to getting healthy and hope to be back here in Shenzhen next year."

Osaka won her first match of the tournament against Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic 7-6(1), 4-6, 6-4 on Sunday.

Paris Masters: Cilic, Raonic make winning starts

Marin Cilic

IMAGE: Marin Cilic set up a second round meeting with three-time Grand Slam champion Stan Wawrinka. Photograph: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

Marin Cilic and Milos Raonic booked their spots in the Paris Masters second round on Monday, while Roger Federer pulled out of the tournament with next month's ATP Finals on the horizon.

 

Cilic eased past Hubert Hurkacz of Poland 7-6(5), 6-4 to set up a second round meeting with three-time Grand Slam champion Stan Wawrinka.

The 2014 US Open champion dictated the contest with power and precision as he won 86% of his first-serve points to seal his third consecutive victory over Hurkacz in less than two years.

Big-serving Canadian Raonic capitalised on fast court conditions to outclass Britain's Cameron Norrie 6-3, 6-2 in just over an hour at the AccorHotels Arena.

A back injury has limited Raonic to three matches since the Rogers Cup in August, but the 2014 Paris runner-up was back to full strength as he struck 14 aces in a masterful display.

Raonic will next face newly-crowned Vienna Open champion Dominic Thiem.

World number three Federer pulled out of the tournament as he fine tunes his schedule heading into the season-ending ATP Finals.

The 38-year-old Swiss lifted a record-extending 10th Swiss Indoors championship title in his hometown of Basel on Sunday and has decided not to play back-to-back weeks at this stage of the season.

"I am extremely disappointed to have to pull out of the Paris Masters," Federer said in a statement.

"I have to pace myself since I want to play as long as possible on the ATP Tour. I am sorry for my French fans who I will see next year at Roland Garros."

Federer, Novak Djokovic, Rafa Nadal, Daniil Medvedev, Thiem and Stefanos Tsitsipas have booked their places for next month's ATP Finals, with the Paris Masters set to determine who clinches the final two spots for the London tournament.

Italian Andreas Seppi has replaced Federer as a lucky loser in the Paris main draw and will meet Moldova's Radu Albot in the second round.

WTA Finals: Svitolina, Halep grind through

Ukraine's Elina Svitolina celebrates winning her match against Czech Republic's Karolina Pliskova.

IMAGE: Ukraine's Elina Svitolina celebrates winning her match against Czech Republic's Karolina Pliskova. Photograph: Aly Song/Reuters

Elina Svitolina made a winning start to her WTA Finals defence in Shenzhen on Monday when the Ukrainian defeated Karolina Pliskova in straight sets while Wimbledon champion Simona Halep saved a match point to beat Bianca Andreescu.

Svitolina secured a 7-6 (12), 6-4 win over the former world number one to top the standings in the Purple Group in the round robin phase of the competition, with Halep joining her following her victory over Andreescu.

"I was just trying to be ready for her big serves and then try to take on the second serves, I just tried to move very quickly and react quick," Svitolina said at the Shenzhen Bay Sports Center.

"The surface is a little bit slow so I had a little bit more time and I think it benefited a little bit my returns. I was just trying to focus on what I had to do and in the end I delivered."

Svitolina conceded a break on her own serve in the opening game and was trailing but, after picking up three straight games to restore parity, she then ground her opponent down in the tiebreaker and clinched the first set.

The second set was almost as keenly fought, with Svitolina picking up the opening two games as she maintained her momentum.

Pliskova, however, won three straight games to ensure matters were back on serve before Svitolina claimed another break in the seventh when her opponent sent her attempt long from behind the baseline.

That gave the eighth seed the platform to secure her fourth straight win over Pliskova.

Later in the evening, Halep showed all her fighting qualities to come back from a set down to claim a 3-6, 7-6(6), 6-3 win over US Open champion Andreescu, saving a match point in the process.

Andreesca had her older opponent on the ropes throughout the first set, including forcing Halep to fight back from 0-40 down to save her own serve in the fifth game, before winning the last four games to take the lead.

Both players struggled to hold serve throughout the second set and Halep saved a match point in her final service game before forcing a tiebreaker.

Halep prevailed to send the match into a deciding set which featured five breaks of serve before the Romanian closed out the match after two hours and 34 minutes.

"It was a very tough match," said Halep. "I knew that she's a great player and that she's playing until the end, without giving up so I had to fight.

"I didn't play so much since Wimbledon so I’m a little bit dead but I have time tomorrow to recover and I'm happy I could win finally a match at the WTA Finals."

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