The quarter-final line-up at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart is set for Friday and it’s a cracker! Six of the eight seeds have made it with just one falling on Thursday against an inspired German. For a preview of the first match of the day between Angelique Kerber and Carla Suárez Navarro, click HERE. One more preview is coming after this post and then I really need to go to bed! Read on for Thursday’s Set Points, starting with the first and best match of the day…
Petra Kvitova saved three match points to defeat Monica Niculescu with a 2-6 7-6(5) 6-2 victory in the first match of the day in Stuttgart. I was able to watch the second set at work and it was an absolute treat! Niculescu was peak in the first set and the rally linked below from the first set is EVERYTHING.
It was chalk and cheese to Kvitova’s 6-0 6-0 first round win over Louisa Chirico although it was a completely different opponent. There were errors aplenty from Petra but she played the match points well. The first one was luck, the second two were classy!
Kvitova eventually wrapped up a wild (but tremendous) second set. The last point was amazing haha!
And Kvitova powered through the decider to secure a really decent win. If you missed out on the match, The Tennis Island had a neat recap.
There were some Peak Pojd Petra pictures from Jimmie48.
I know this may not be replicated among all tennis fans, but I have a lot of respect for Niculescu. She works so damn hard and does such a terrific job at unsettling her opponent, especially the big hitters… I think she’s great. There were a couple of hilarious reactions in this match including one that was picked up by WTA Reactions.
For all Niculescu fans (or those who might be intrigued!), the piece linked by René Denfeld from The Tennis Island is AWESOME.
The big upset of the day was Laura Siegemund’s 6-1 6-2 victory over the number four seed, Simona Halep. Siegemund produced some sensational stats and is playing so well right now!
Halep had an injury concern coming into the match and took a medical time-out during the second set. I was slightly baffled by her choice to play but I never think it’s fair to make judgments about players’s injuries without knowing the full story. I do hope though that she learns from the first few months of the season where she continued to play through injury/health issues with little success. In my opinion, i’d like to see her rest up and get back to full fitness.
In other results, the other three seeds in action all progressed through to the quarter-finals in straight sets; Carla Suárez Navarro dropped just four games against Anna-Lena Friedsam, Roberta Vinci ousted former Stuttgart champion, Julia Goerges, 6-3 6-4 and Agnieszka Radwanska recovered from a breadstick opening set to defeat Andrea Petkovic in three sets. The German player had a scary moment in the second set with a fall, but thankfully seemed to be OK.
And finally, Karolina Pliskova continued her dominance over Ana Ivanovic with a comfortable 6-4 6-2 victory. Pliskova had the heavy strapping on her leg again but played a good match. This match-up seems to be mental for Ivanovic, who looked tense throughout…
And what a quarter-final line-up… six seeds remain and all four quarter-final clashes look super on paper. I’m actually really taken by Laura Siegemund v Roberta Vinci which should be different, but in a really good way!
A huge thanks to Mitch for two guest posts on Moo’s Tennis Blog this week from the Australian Open. The second part covering the women’s semi-finals and final is now up HERE… it’s a super read from a passionate Kerber fan!
And finally, Irina Falconi, last week’s Bogota champion, is raising money for the Ecuador Earthquake relief of which more details can be found below… there’s a great read about her story on the WTA website which is also linked below.