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Sports Shorts: Kvitova beaten by Vekic in St Petersburg quarters

Last updated on: February 02, 2019 21:45 IST

Summary of sports events and persons who made news on Saturday

World number 30 Vekic took full advantage of the 42 unforced errors committed by Kvitova, the defending champion to prevail in 83 minutes

IMAGE: World number 30 Vekic took full advantage of the 42 unforced errors committed by Kvitova, the defending champion to prevail in 83 minutes. Photograph: Twitter

Donna Vekic stunned Australian Open runner-up Petra Kvitova 6-4, 6-1 in the quarter-finals of the St Petersburg Ladies Trophy on Friday to claim the biggest victory of her career.

World number 30 Vekic took full advantage of the 42 unforced errors committed by the Czech top seed and defending champion to prevail in 83 minutes.

Vekic next faces the winner of the all-Russian clash between third seed Daria Kasatkina and wildcard Vera Zvonareva in the semi-finals.

 

Second-ranked Kvitova, who was beaten by Japan's Naomi Osaka in the Australian Open final last week, had her service broken for a second time in the opening set as Vekic went ahead 5-4 before claiming the early advantage in the contest.

Kvitova took the first game of the second set but Croatia's Vekic raised her level a few notches, reeling off six games in a row to seal her third victory over a top-five player.

Earlier, fourth seed Aryna Sabalenka celebrated her first week in the world's top 10 with a comfortable win, defeating Russian qualifier Ekaterina Alexandrova 6-3, 6-4.

Up next for the world number 10 from Belarus is Kiki Bertens, who battled past Russia's Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-2, 3-6, 6-0.

Indian women draw 1-1 with Ireland

Dragflicker Gurjit Kaur scored in the first half to put the Indian women's hockey team ahead before World cup silver medallists Ireland fought back to draw 1-1 in the opening friendly match in Murcia, Spain.

After levelling the four-match series with hosts Spain, India put up a determined performance in the first match.

The visitors will end their 10-day tour of Spain with the second and final friendly match against Ireland on Sunday.

India got off to a good start as they made a first breakthrough in the fourth minute when they created a PC opportunity. But the chance went amiss with good defending shown by the Irish.

In the second quarter though, India made up for the lost opportunity when they were awarded a PC for an infringement by an Irish defender.

Gurjit, India's dragflicker, made no mistake in putting the ball past the Irish goalkeeper Emma Buckley in the 18th minute.

India's 1-0 lead put the Irish on the backfoot. While India defended the lead well with a disciplined structure, the Irish pushed for an elusive goal.

It was only in the 45th minute when Ireland struck a field goal through Sarah Hawkshaw that levelled the score to 1-1.

While the final quarter saw both teams play at par with each other, India remained resolute in their defence.

India's goalkeeper Savita made a brilliant attempt to deny Ireland a goal off a PC minutes before the final hooter ending the match in a stalemate.

Divya achieves WGM norm, snatches top spot

Indian lass Divya Deshmukh posted two wins Saturday to snatch sole lead with seven points after the ninth round in the Velammal-AICF Women International Grand Master round-robin chess tournament in Chennai.

The Nagpur girl also achieved her maiden International Master norm and WGM norm in one go, while Chennai's P Michelle Catherina (6.5) secured a nine-game WGM norm.

Michelle Catherina and Osmak Iuilja (Ukraine) share the second spot at 6.5 points.

Divya Deshmukh posted wins over WGM Olga Babiy of Ukraine and Mongolia's Uuriintuya Uurtsaikh, while Michelle Catherina achieved her WGM norm with a draw against compatriot Aakanksha Hagawane.

Divya, who needed a draw to achieve her norm, beat Olga Babiy in a hard fought game that lasted four hours and twenty minutes after 92 moves.

Results: Round 9 (Indians unless specified): Chandreyee Hajra (2) lost to Osmak Iulija (Ukr) 6.5, Michelle Catherina (6.5) drew with Aakanksha Hagawane (5), Divya Deshmukh (7) bt Olga Babiy (Ukr) 5, Saloni Sapale (4) drew with Uuriintuya Uurtsaikh (Mongolia) 3.5, Munguntuul Batkhuyag (Mongolia) 6 drew with Nakhbayeva Guliskhan (Kaz) 4, V Varshini (2.5) drew with Franco Valencia Angela (Col) 2.

Round 8: Osmak Iulija 5.5 bt Varshini (2), Franco Valencia Angela 1.5 lost to Munguntuul Batkhuyag 5.5, Nakhbayeva Guliskhan 3.5 lost to Saloni Sapale (3.5), Uuriintuya Uurtsaikh 3 lost to Divya Deshmukh (6), Olga Babiy 5 lost to Michelle Catherina (6), Aakanksha Hagawane (4.5) drew with Chandreyee Hajra (2.0)

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