The semi-finals for the Internazionali BNL d’Italia are set and two of the top three seeds are present! There was one absolute gem in the line-up of quarter-finals with Muguruza-Bacsinszky producing some high quality tennis. For a full preview of the first of the Rome semi-finals between Muguruza and Keys, click HERE. Read on for Friday’s Set Points from the quarter-finals in Rome.
I had a much longer lunch break today compared to usual, largely thanks to the fantastic first quarter-final between Garbiñe Muguruza and Timea Bacsinszky! It may have been over in straight sets, but don’t read too much into the scoreline because this was a wonderful match. Muguruza won the first set, 7-5 on one of many gruelling rallies.
The rallies were just magnificent with plenty of variety and so many points played up at the net. You’ll be hard pushed to find anything better this entire tournament than the point linked below.
This match deserved a third set but Muguruza was in fine form, closing out the match, 7-5 6-2 in one hour and 57 minutes. I’ve got my eye on both Muguruza and Bacsinszky in the French Open draw. This was a hugeee win for Muguruza, but I feel Bacsinszky has had an ideal clay court season with plenty of matches and she now has over a week to rest and finalise her preparations for Roland Garros.
Timea sounded like she was on form in press. I’ve said this many times but I think she’s awesome!
And here’s another super piece by René Denfeld, this time for Women’s Tennis Blog, on Bacsinszky prior to her third round match.
Muguruza will play Madison Keys in a big-hitting semi-final. Keys secured her second win in just over a week over Barbora Strycova, Keys won, 6-3 6-3 in Madrid but needed three sets in Rome today, overcoming a major second set blip to come through, 6-4 4-6 6-3. Keys steadied herself well in the third set with Strycova not doing enough in the decider and giving Keys the opportunity to dictate with her forehand.
For a full preview of Muguruza-Keys, click HERE.
The only player to reach the quarter-finals of Madrid and Rome has gone one better in Italy to reach the last four. Irina-Camelia Begu battled through a tight second set against Misaki Doi to prevail, 6-2 7-6(3). Begu failed to convert on break points at both 4-4 and 5-5 in the second set, but forced the tiebreak and eventually sealed the win. By virtue of two brilliant weeks, Begu will be seeded at the French Open.
Begu will play Serena Williams in the semi-finals after the world number one produced a sensational performance to enact revenge on Svetlana Kuznetsova (who won their last match in Miami), coming through in flying colours, 6-2 6-0 in just 51 (!) minutes. Kuznetsova didn’t play a bad match at all, particularly in the first set, but Serena was just too good in every department.
Serena and Irina will be playing each other for the first time on the WTA tour. The Romanian player has been in excellent form these past two weeks and could make this a competitive match if she brings her A-game. However, it’s hard to look past Serena after her performance against Kuznetsova.
Here’s Agnieszka Radwanska explaining why she chose not to play Rome… not sure if my opinion will be supported by everyone but I think this is really smart scheduling.
And finally, just to let you know that I will have some photos from Wimbledon this year. I was unsuccessful in my tennis club’s ballot butttt my brother got lucky! He happened to get a pair of tickets for No.2 court on my birthday. Already praying for no rain :-D.