Kim Clijsters' first appearance at the Indian Wells Open in a decade did not last long, the two-time champion eliminated in the opening round.

Clijsters remains winless since coming out of retirement on the WTA Tour, falling 6-1 2-6 6-2 to Katerina Siniakova on Thursday. 

A four-time grand slam champion, the 38-year-old Clijsters has lost all five of her singles matches since her return last year. 

"I think overall, there's definitely moments where I'm feeling really good out there, and there's moments where I feel too inconsistent," Clijsters – a winner at Indian Wells in 2003 and 2005 – told reporters.

"That's part of this process in general, it's not going to be a smooth ride, and that's what I'm going to try to improve every time I'm out there."

World number 53 Siniakova converted six of nine break points on Clijsters' serve and moved on to face 10th seed Angelique Kerber at the WTA Premier 1000 event.

 

GOLUBIC HOLDS OFF VONDROUSOVA

The day's only duel between top-50 players saw world number 46 Viktorija Golubic outlast 37th-ranked Marketa Vondrousova 6-1 4-6 6-3. 

Both players struggled with their own service games, combining for three aces and 17 double faults, but it was the Swiss who managed to convert on eight of 14 break-point chances and come out on top. 

It was Golubic's first win against a player in the top 50 since joining those ranks herself in July; she had been 0-3 against them since then. 

 

GARCIA RALLIES PAST FLIPKENS, RISKE GETS RARE INDIAN WELLS WIN

Caroline Garcia fought back to defeat Kirsten Flipkens 5-7 6-4 6-0 in a match that took two hours, nine minutes to complete, firing seven aces and winning 71.2 per cent of points on her first serve. 

The Frenchwoman, who had been upset by qualifiers at her two previous tournaments in Ostrava and Chicago, meets 15th seed Coco Gauff in the second round. 

Alison Riske celebrated a victory for just the second time in seven trips to Indian Wells, cruising past qualifier Liang En-shuo 6-2 6-2 to set up a second-round matchup against 16th seed and former US Open champion Bianca Andreescu. 

Alexander Zverev followed up his stunning win over Novak Djokovic by storming to Olympic gold in the men's singles final.

A thumping 6-3 6-1 victory against Russian Olympic Committee's Karen Khachanov was the perfect way for world number five Zverev to land the biggest title of his career.

He won 10 of the last 11 games of his semi-final against world number one Djokovic and carried that form into Sunday's title match, brushing aside the threat across the net.

It makes him Germany's first men's singles champion at the Olympics. Steffi Graf won the women's title as part of a calendar Golden Slam in 1988, and four years later Boris Becker and Michael Stich teamed up to take doubles gold.

For the man who won the ATP Finals in 2018 and reached last year's US Open title match, this marked a step forward in a career many expect will eventually feature grand slam titles.

He secured a swift break in the first set against Khachanov, who was outstanding in the semi-finals against Pablo Carreno Busta but could not impose his game in the gold-medal match.

Another break followed and the set was gone in 43 minutes.

The second set rushed by in a mere 36 minutes, with Zverev against striking early and never looking back.

He created two break points in the second game of that set, and although Khachanov saved them, a third soon followed and the Russian netted on the forehand.

The momentum was all one way and there was never a moment when Khachanov, ranked 25th by the ATP, looked as though he might pose some danger. 

Zverev gave himself a first match point when he punched away a backhand volley, and the glory belonged to the German when Khachanov slapped a forehand into the net on the next point.


BENCIC DENIED GOLDEN DOUBLE

Belinda Bencic was the surprise champion in the women's singles and the Swiss had a chance to land a second gold medal on Sunday when she and Swiss partner Viktorija Golubic lined up in the doubles final.

It was not to be for Bencic and Golubic, however, as they were soundly beaten by the prolific Czech pair of Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova.

A 7-5 6-1 win for the reigning French Open champions meant Bencic and Golubic were left with the silver medal.

But there was little in the way of regret for the Swiss pair, with Bencic showing off both her gold and silver medals after the match, saying: "We are overjoyed. We will fly back on Monday with other medallists. It's a great feeling to know people are waiting and they acknowledge the medals we won for our country.

"The week here was incredibly beautiful. We experienced so many emotions, and it's great to go back and share all of these emotions with everyone at home.

"It's not just about the medals or the titles, it's about the memories you create that will last forever. To share this with Viki is unbelievable.

"The whole week I never felt like I was in a normal tournament or playing alone. She was alongside me the entire way. I always tell her we won this gold medal together as well. When we will be 80 years old and have a coffee, we will talk about this moment and I cannot wait for that."

Karolina Pliskova stormed in her first Wimbledon semi-final with an emphatic straight-sets defeat of Viktorija Golubic.

Pliskova had never been beyond the fourth round at the All England Club before this week, but the eighth seed marched into the last four with a 6-2 6-2 victory on Tuesday.

The Czech dominated the unseeded Golubic, playing her first grand slam quarter-final, to secure a meeting with Aryna Sabalenka or Ons Jabeur at SW19.

Pliskova, eyeing a maiden major title at the age of 29, produced an exemplary display with rain crashing down on the roof of No.1 Court and has only failed to hold serve three times in her five matches en route to the last four.

Golubic showed great fight to hold in the fourth game, demonstrating her majestic single-handed backhand to save a break point and following that up with a glorious forehand winner.

Pliskova's serve was proving to be a potent weapon once again and she was a break up at 4-2 following an overhead smash that clipped the net cord before dropping in.

The former world number one was in command, hardly putting a foot wrong as she took the opening set in 32 minutes, with Golubic drilling a forehand long following a double fault.

Pliskova held to love in a flash in the opening game of the second set and showcased deft footwork, power and precision to win a thrilling rally before her 66-ranked opponent overcooked a backhand to go 2-0 down.

A rasping return from world number 13 raised the roof when she showed a potent combination of anticipation, agility and skill to race forward and steer away a magnificent cross-court backhand winner.

Golubic got on the board at 3-1 and had three break points in a lengthy game before Pliskova's serve got her out of trouble to move into a 5-2 lead and the Swiss was on her way out after failing to hold in the next game.

 

Data slam: Pliskova serving up strong challenge

Pliskova's venomous serve has always been a dangerous weapon and she produced another exhibition, serving eight aces.

She has not dropped a set in the tournament and Golubic was unable to secure a break. Pliskova only lost six points behind her first serve, laying the foundations for a commanding win.

 

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS

Pliskova – 28/19
Golubic – 10/16

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS

Pliskova – 8/3
Golubic – 0/3

BREAK POINTS WON

Pliskova– 4/10
Golubic – 0/3

Camila Giorgi extended her strong run at the Viking International in Eastbourne as she dumped out top seed Aryna Sabalenka on Thursday.

The Italian had already beaten defending champion Karolina Pliskova en route to the last eight and pulled off another upset as she claimed a 7-6 (7-5) 0-6 6-4 win over Sabalenka.

Giorgi's bid for the third WTA Tour title of her career will now continue with a semi-final against Anett Kontaveit on Friday.

The Estonian also needed three sets to book her place, bouncing back from losing the opener to beat Viktorija Golubic 2-6 7-6 (7-2) 7-5.

Daria Kasatkina was unable to build on her win over fourth seed Iga Swiatek in the last round as she missed out on a spot in the semi-finals.

The Russian took the first set against Jelena Ostapenko but failed to build on that success as the Latvian ran out a 1-6 7-5 6-2 winner.

In the final match of the day, Anastasija Sevastova was beaten by Elena Rybakina, who had earned her place in the quarters by beating second seed Elina Svitolina the day before.

World number 61 Sevastova, who eliminated Coco Gauff, won the first set 6-2, but Rybakina fought back to claim the next two 7-6 (9-7) 7-6 (7-5).

Rainy conditions ensured there was no play at this week's other WTA event held in Bad Homburg, Germany, though one player was able to secure passage to the semi-finals.

Sara Sorribes Tormo claimed her place in the next round after Victoria Azarenka, her scheduled opponent, pulled out due to injury.

Viktorija Golubic won the L'Open 35 de Saint-Malo on Sunday after a straight-sets win over Jasmine Paolini.

A finalist in Lyon and Monterrey in March, the world number 84 claimed a second career WTA125K singles title after a 6-1 6-3 triumph in 67 minutes.

Golubic held her nerve at the key moments in a close contest, landing 75 per cent of first serves and saving five of six break points.

Paolini threatened to make more of a contest in the second set after finally breaking, but the Italian dropped serve with her very next game and saw momentum slip away.

It was Golubic's first title since defeating Jennifer Brady at this level at Indian Wells two years ago.

Canadian teenager Leylah Fernandez celebrated her maiden WTA Tour title after winning the Monterrey Open in straight sets.

Fernandez broke through with a comfortable 6-1 6-4 victory over qualifier Viktorija Golubic on Sunday.

Featuring in her second WTA final after losing last year's Mexican Open in Acapulco, the 18-year-old Fernandez ensured she got her hands on the trophy this time.

Fernandez did not drop a set throughout the WTA International tournament, easing past her Swiss opponent in one-and-a-half hours.

Leylah Fernandez and Viktorija Golubic will go head-to-head in the Monterrey Open after progressing on Saturday.

Canadian teenager Fernandez reached her second career WTA Tour singles final thanks to a 7-5 7-5 win over seventh seed Sara Sorribes Tormo.

The 18-year-old Fernandez – whose first final came via last year's Mexican Open in Acapulco, where she lost – converted six of nine break points and hit 35 winners.

Standing in Fernandez's way is Switzerland player Golubic.

Golubic upstaged eighth seed Ann Li 6-2 6-4 to become the first qualifier to advance to the Monterrey Open final in the tournament's history.

The 28-year-old Golubic also reached the Lyon Open final two weeks ago – beaten by Clara Tauson.

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