Linette Celebrating Victories On And Off Court

Magda Linette (photo: @magdalinette/Instagram)

WASHINGTON, August 27, 2021 (by Michael Dickens)

Things are looking up for Poland’s Magda Linette, both on and off the court. She’s found reason to celebrate her wins on the WTA Tour and in her personal life.

First, on the court, the 51st-ranked Linette, seeded No. 6 at this week’s WTA 250 Tennis in the Land outdoor hard court tournament in Cleveland, Ohio, upset No. 1 seed Daria Kasatkina of Russia, 6-1, 6-2, in 63 minutes to advance to Friday’s semifinal round. It’s the second time this season that Linette has reached the last four of a WTA 250 event after reaching the semifinals on clay at Strasbourg in May.

“I promised myself yesterday that I would just decide to be positive today no matter what happened,” Linette, the Polish No. 2, said during an on-court interview after her win, which leveled her 2021 win-loss record at 13-13. “I stuck with my main goal. … I was ready and patient. I’m glad I was able to step back and take my time.”

The 29-year-old native of Poznan hit 30 winners to just 12 unforced errors and outpointed the No. 27 Kasatkina 57-32 during their Thursday tussle. Next, she will face unseeded, 74th-ranked Irina-Camelia Begu of Romania, who defeated No. 99 Aliaksandra Sasnovich of Belarus, 6-2, 6-4. After her win against Kasatkina, Linette learned she was drawn to face World No. 23 American teenager Coco Gauff, who is seeded 21st, in the first round of next week’s US Open.

“It gives me a lot of confidence [going into the US Open],” Linette said of her win against Kasatkina in Cleveland. Earlier this week, she beat qualifier Elina Bektas of the United States and lucky loser Linda Fruhvirtova of the Czech Republic. Each of her victories have been in straight sets. “I’m really happy I have played some good matches this week,” she said.

Meanwhile, Linette has been a winner off the court, too. Last week, during the Western & Southern Open in Mason, Ohio, she received her college diploma from Indiana University East’s School of Business and Economics. Over the past five years, Linette has completed her Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration while competing on tour.

“I honestly cannot believe that I managed to get my degree while competing on tour,” Linettte wrote on her Instagram. She’s one of 14 players who have received diplomas from the WTA’s educational partner. “Thank you to the faculty for being helpful and everybody in my team that helped me during that journey.”


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A day of quarterfinal upsets in Winston-Salem

Emil Ruusuvuori of Finland and Ilya Ivashka of Belarus will square off in Friday’s semifinal round of the Winston-Salem Open, an ATP 250 outdoor hard court event at the Wake Forest Tennis Complex in Winston-Salem, N.C., with a first ATP Tour hard-court final on the line to the winner.

On Thursday, the No. 76 Ruusuvuori beat former World No. 7 Richard Gasquet of France, now ranked 82nd, 7-6 (5), 6-1, to reach his third tour-level semifinal. Earlier, Ivashka eliminated top seed and 2016 Winston-Salem champion Pablo Carreño Busta of Spain, 7-6 (2), 6-3. The 12th-ranked Carreño Busta was the third straight seed Ivaskha has beaten during this US Open tune-up event. He previously took out No. 6 seed Marin Cilic of Croatia and No. 9 seed Jan-Lennard Struff of Germany.

“I thought that first set was a very high level,” the 22-year-old Ruusuvuori said, quoted by the ATP Tour website. “He’s a great player. He’s been playing on tour almost more years than I have in my life. The break back [in the first set] was key. Obviously, we saw that everything wasn’t quite there physically with him so that’s a pity.”

Later, No. 90 Mikael Ymer of Sweden, upset No. 13 seed Frances Tiafoe of the United States, 6-7 (2), 6-2, 6-3, to reach his first tour-level semifinal. He will face No. 15 seed Carlos Alcaraz of Spain, who defeated No. 65 Marcos Giron of the United States 7-6(2), 6-2.

WTA adds three new indoor hard court tournaments

On Thursday, the WTA Tour announced three new indoor hard court tournaments have been added to its 2021 calendar. Each will take place in the fall:

• Kazakhstan will host the Astana Open, a WTA 250, in the nation’s capital city Nur-Sultan the week of September 27.

• The Transylvania Open, a WTA 250, in Clu-Napoca, Romania, the week of October 25.

• A new WTA 125 event in Columbus, Ohio, the week of September 20.

The WTA also announced that the Hana Bank Korea Open in Seoul will not take place in its scheduled week of September 20 and hopes to operate later in the year.

Also, the WTA Finals is currently still under review with “an announcement surrounding the ate and location forthcoming in the new few weeks,” according to the WTA website.

Final round of US Open qualifying Friday

Thinking outside the box in Cleveland

Ever wonder about what goes into the design behind chair umpires chairs? Check out this video from Tennis In The Land, the WTA 250 event taking place along the Flats in Cleveland, Ohio, that’s garnering as much attention for it art, architecture and design as it is for the results.

USTA honors Women’s Equality Day

NikeCourt 2021 US Open Collection reveal

One thing about watching the US Open qualifying draw tournament on TV this week has been getting a hint of what to expect next week from Nike, which typically unleashes a new collection of tennis fashion each year at the US Open.

One thing’s certain: This year Nike Court is drawing plenty of inspiration from American and French color-block designs and patterns: binary blue, dark grey heather, university red, gorge green and gold medalist.

Nadal promoting his brand even if he can’t play

Longtime Cal coach Peter Wright retires

Uniqlo Ambassadors: When Roger met Shingo and Gordon

What they’re writing

Matthew Futterman of the New York Times on “Serena and Her Fellow Tennis Greats Are Limping Toward the Exits.”

“Quotable …”

“It was a good match for me from the beginning. I was very focused, trying to make Kristina work. I think the first two games were very high level, then I broke her at 2-1 and everything was pretty much easier for me. I was playing much better, more relaxed. I’m very happy with my performance.”

– World No. 6 Elina Svitolina of Ukraine, top seed at the WTA 250 Chicago Women’s Open on her 55-minute 6-1, 6-0 quarterfinal victory over No. 57 Kristina Mladenovic of France.

What they’re sharing on social media

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova / Happy ending for Pavs

Hubert Hurkacz / Can’t complain about my ride to the US Open


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