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Serena eager for rematch against Osaka

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By Editorial Team

Serena Williams made light work of Dayana Yastremska 6-2, 6-1 today and has been able to cruise through the draw with little opposition. Now the temperature turns up for Serena as she faces top seeded Simona Halep in the round of 16 after she defeated her older sister Venus in straight sets today.

This R16 match well give onlookers a glimpse into the psyche of Serena after last year’s US Open outburst that ultimately resulted in her losing the final match. Serena will have to play well while also keeping her emotions in check, but history shows that Simona has not been a challenge with eight wins and only one loss against the Romanian.

The past success and confidence should push Serena onto the next heavyweight match-up with Naomi Osaka in the semifinals assuming both players are able to surpass big tests along the way. Naomi must get past a streaky Madison Keys and 13 seed Sevastova in tomorrow’s competition.

Fans across the globe are expecting to see a rematch to see if Serena can put an end to the two match losing streak against the young and talented Osaka. Expect a ton of fireworks in the top half of the draw as the 2019 Australian Open moves into the second week. In addition to another AO title, Serena seeks her 24th grand slam win to make tennis history. Its safe to say that a lot is riding on the next few days for Serena.

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Pro Tour

Monfils wins Rotterdam title

BT Media Group

By Editorial Team

Gael Monfils pulled out a gutsy performance against a peak performing Stan Wawrinka with steady play from the baseline and a big high percentage service game.

Gael has definitely taken note from being off almost half the 2018 season with multiple injuries. With a wrist injury that forced him to play a one-handed backhand, Gael kept up his spirits and continued to “just have fun” on the court.

After doing it his way in Rotterdam with a new coaching staff, fans can expect more great results from the Frenchman in the coming months heading into the US hardcourt season.

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Pro Tour

Monfils set for ABN AMRO World Tennis Title

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By Editorial Team

Gael Monfils has stormed his way back from a slow start in Melbourne to reach the semifinal round at the Sofia Open and now the finals of the ATP Master 500 ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam where he must now face Stan Wawrinka to secure his first title since January 2018.

Gael showed plenty of fight against the younger Daniil Medvedev while coming back from being down a set to eventually pull out the upset win 6-4 in the third set. Gael’s first serve percentage exceeded 80%, and he also won 73% of his 2nd serve points. To say say that the serve made a difference for Monfils is an understatement.

With a booming and consistent serve Gael will definitely have a chance against a resurging Stan “The Man.” Gael must be able to get on the offensive early on in the match to keep Stan on his heels. As momentum shifts he will also need to remain mentally engaged, fight to the end and allow Stan to make the errors down the stretch.

The finals can be seen on the Tennis Channel at 6:30am PST.

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Baptiste captures $25K Florida title

BT Media Group

By Editorial Team

Hailey Baptiste was able to win her first $25K title this weekend in Plantation, Florida after rising through the qualifying rounds. Hailey’s game took off tremendously last year as she went deep in a few $60K and $80K events as a qualifier. With impressive results (including straight beat-downs on top ranked junior Caty McNally), her ranking has skyrocketed into the top 300.

Hailey did not experience the highs of the ITF World Junior circuit, but she was able to excel in doubles at the 2018 US Open Juniors where she reached the finals with partner Dalayna Hewitt.

Her former junior counterpart, Cori Gauff, received a wildcard this week in the Midland $100K event where she plays fellow American and teenage wildcard Ashley Kratzer (top 200 ranked) in the first round. Plus, Cori is scheduled to play the $25K in Surprise, AZ in early February where she received the main draw junior exemption (JE).

Expect to see more of Hailey on the WTA Pro circuit as she blows up draws sheets, whether main draw or qualifying. With a limited number of US based ITF events it is imperative that she continue to push forward in every tournament to accumulate points within the newly developed ITF World Tennis Tour.

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