Set Points, Montreal Day 5: Kucova keeps on winning, Keys up next

Set Points

I love a good fairytale run and there have been so many on the WTA tour this year in 2016. The one that stands out for me so far…

Samantha Crawford reaching the semi-finals of Brisbane

Monica Puig reaching the final of Sydney

Zhang Shuai and Jo Konta reaching the latter stages of the Australian Open

Jelena Ostapenko reaching the final of Doha

Laura Siegemund reaching the final of Stuttgart

Louisa Chirico reaching the semi-finals of Madrid

Kiki Bertens reaching the semi-finals of the French Open

Elena Vesnina reaching the semi-finals of Wimbledon

And now add to that list Kristina Kucova, who reached the semi-finals of Montreal. While Kucova’s results have been respectable this year, this run has taken everyone by surprise! Kucova came through qualifying, including a 6-0 6-4 second round qualifying win over Christina McHale, and her form has continued to impress with victories over Yanina Wickmayer, Carla Suárez Navarro, Eugenie Bouchard and Jo Konta. Kucova advanced past Konta, 6-4 6-3 in the fourth and final quarter-final.

 

Kucova will play Madison Keys in the semi-finals who continues to impress with her consistency on tour this year. Her quarter-final match was anything but though as she was a part of a wacky WTA scoreline, defeating Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, 7-6(3) 1-6 6-0 in one hour and 40 minutes.

Kucova will play Keys in the second of the semi-finals on Saturday at not before 6pm local time. Kucova is obviously not to be be discounted but I think i’d go for Keys in three sets.

The first singles winner of the day was Simona Halep who rallied from dropping the opener to dish out two breadstick sets against a rapidly fading, Svetlana Kuznetsova, 3-6 6-1 6-1.

Halep’s changeover chat with coach, Darren Cahill in between the second and third sets was a fascinating listen. Kudos to the WTA for uploading a video. Darren is brilliant, i’d love him to be my coach in life.

Halep’s having a fantastic week as she is into the semi-finals of doubles with Monica Niculescu after they defeated the pair of Kristina Mladenovic and Caroline Garcia, 6-4 3-6 10-8. Halep-Niculescu will play Andreja Klepac and Katarina Srebotnik in the semis.

I was all excited for Kerber-Kasatkina but it turned out to be a damp squib! Kerber was super solid, buoyed by her fabulous forehand, while Kasatkina committed a stream of unforced errors as she was broken in seven of her eight service games. Kerber prevailed rather comfortably, 6-2 6-2 in just an hour of play.

A full match preview for Kerber-Halep can be found HERE.

 

Here’s an awesome shot by Pavs from her third round match against Agnieszka Radwanska on Thursday.

Something had to give for Magdalena Rybarikova after struggling for much of the year with injuries. All the best to Magda, can’t wait to see her on a tennis court again soon!

Really enjoyed this piece with Christina McHale for The Players’ Tribune.

And finally, not long to go until the US Open and I am EXCITED! The new Grandstand court looks great. I’ll be at Flushing Meadows for the first three days of the tournament 🙂

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2 thoughts on “Set Points, Montreal Day 5: Kucova keeps on winning, Keys up next

  1. Simona plays like this and I really wish she was part of the Olympics. Anyway, it’s her choice and that’s what she is comfortable with. If Keys meets Simona in the final it will be a tough choice for me, but this time she will be playing someone she beat at Wimbledon. We’ll see what happens. But, on hard courts with a confident Simona, Keys will have her hands full.

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  2. The final is a complete toss for me, total 50/50 could go either way. If Keys plays like she did today, she will win in straight sets. Lets see if she can do it. I think most people would give Halep the mental edge in this one; but I will be interesting in seeing how Keys does mentally. Halep has been moody and she was lucky in my opinion – that Kerber (who always plays too much – and has definitely shown the signs of that all tournament), was showing her fatigue. I definitely think of the two finalist Keys has shown the best form by far.

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