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 🙂