PAP/EPA/Lorenzo Hernandez/Pictured: Magda Linette
Magda Linette and Warwaragraczewa had an amazing battle at the WTA 250 Championship in Austin. The highest-ranked Polish tennis player unexpectedly left the tournament.
Magda Linette (WTA 21) was seeded No. 1 for the second consecutive tournament. In Merida, she was eliminated in the quarterfinals after losing to Rebecca Petersson of Sweden. On Tuesday, a Polish woman in Austin unexpectedly lost in the first round. She lost after 3:6, 6:4, 4:6 to Varvara Graczewa (WTA 88). In the first and third sets of the marathon, this year’s Australian Open semi-finalist missed the break advantage.
In the second match, there was a struggle for dominance. Gracheva saved three break points, but on the fourth she put the ball into the net. After a powerful opening, Linette showed a very negative face. The Moscow team took advantage of this and made up for losing the break in the fifth game with a backhand kick.
Graceva increased her pace and her attacks became more and more dangerous. Lynette allowed her opponent to take the lead and she wasn’t very good at rallies. In the seventh game, the serve returned and spoiled the forehand. Gracheva changed direction and tempo very well, was careful and served accurate balls. I followed suit and got another break. In the ninth match, the Polish girl missed a deep forehand and it was over in the first set.
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Opening the second half, Graczewa resolutely re-applied with a forehand curling into the net. Lynette was more patient in court and made better decisions. She controlled her shots better, and played more aggressively. In the sixth game, she survived the difficult test of defending two break points.
The Polish woman remained calm and maintained her breakthrough advantage until the very end. She could again take the opponent’s pass, but at 5: 3 she missed the first ball. There was no question of returning. Gracewa, pushed on defense, had less time to respond and committed more errors. In the tenth game, she pushed a backhand into the net and that meant the end of the set.
There was a lot of volatility in the third set. Graczewa got it off to a worse start, punching her butt in the exchanges. I attacked from unprepared positions and made mistakes. In the third set opener, she re-applied with a forehand. Later, Lynette shows an even worse face. After her backflip, the score was 2-2 on the board.
At 3:3, Lynette misses her chance to crash. The ending was very emotional. In the eighth game, the Polish player blocked four break points, three of them in great style (a shot, a win and an automatic serve), but in the fifth game she missed a backhand kick. Serving for the 0-40 win, Gracchio led in to balance. However, Linnett made up for the loss with an impressive backhand break. After a while, she couldn’t stand the tension. She threw a backhand and Grazio advanced further.
In the two-hour, 29-minute match, Linnet served seven aces, four of them in the first set. The Polish women used only four of the 14 break points. Gracheva converted six out of 12 break-even opportunities. She was credited with 27 finishes on 34 unforced errors. Linnett has 16 straight wins and 26 errors. Gracheva won with four more points (106-102).
ATX is openAustin (United States)
WTA 250, hard court, prize pool 259.3k. dollar
Tuesday 28 February
First round of singles:
Warwaragraczewa – Magda Linette (Poland, 1) 6:3, 4:6, 6:4
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