Who is Ekaterina Alexandrova knocking out reigning champ Liudmila Samsonova at Japan Open?

Ekaterina Alexandrova entered the Asian leg of the 2023 hard-court season on the back of a third-round exit at the US Open. She proceeded to take part in the Toray Pan Pacific Open. The professional women’s tournament is an outdoor hard court event that is taking place at the Ariake Coliseum in Tokyo, Japan.

In 2022, Liudmila Samsonova lifted the crown. She entered this year’s event as the seventh seed. After a breezy first round victory, she progressed to the round-of-16 where she faced Ekaterina. An easy encounter was on the cards, as Liudmila may have thought, but Ekaterina had other ideas.

Who is Ekaterina Alexandrova?

Ekaterina Alexandrova is a 28-year-old professional women’s tennis player from Chelyabinsk, Russia. She resides in Prague, having moved there with her family to utilise the better tennis services at hand when compared with Russia.

She debuted in 2016 and entered the top 100 the next year, with tour titles to her name. However, it was in 2018 that she had a breakthrough season, when she reached the final of a WTA tournament in Austria. She then proceeded to impress in tour-level tournaments and became the Russian No. 1 women’s player.

Ekaterina Alexandrova achieved her career high ranking of world no. 16 in 2023 and has produced quality results in major tournaments such as her fourth-round result at the 2023 Wimbledon and her third-round Australian Open exit in the same year.

She has won four WTA singles titles, three WTA 125 titles and seven singles titles on the ITF circuit.  In 2022, she also peaked at No. 58 in the WTA doubles rankings.

Entering the Toray Pan Pacific Open, Ekaterina Alexandrova was one of the many Russians competing in the tournament and produced a solid, hard-worked three-set win in her first round before she faced world no. 22 and defending champion Liudmila Samsonova.

Ekaterina Alexandrova beats Liudmila Samsonova

Wednesday night in Tokyo witnessed an all-Russian encounter between an upcoming star and her relatively seasoned opponent.

Producing a stellar performance, Ekaterina Alexandrova did not allow her higher-seeded opponent to dictate terms. She broke Liudmila in a crucial game in the first set and then held her service game with aplomb to seal the set in her favour.

The second set proved much smoother for the 28-year-old, as she broke her opponent multiple times before converting her match point efficiently to win the match 6-4, 6-2.

The win means there will be a new champion in Tokyo, and with top seeds like Swiatek and Sakkari competing, Ekaterina has proved to doubters that she has all the qualities to topple even the strongest opponent on the tennis court.

Will Ekaterina Alexandrova manage to reproduce her second-round magic and reach the latter stages of the tournament? Let us know your thoughts on this in the comments section below.


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