The evening session in Dubai on day 5 of main draw action was delayed for rain…. that pesky rain! I thought it was a 2016 thing but it’s continuing in 2017 in the most unlikely of places. Here is Caroline’s take on the rain these past few weeks.
From 1-3 down in the first set, Wozniacki won 11 of the last 13 games to fend off the challenge of young American, CiCi Bellis, 6-3 6-2. I thought this would be one match too far for Wozniacki who has now played nine matches in nine days. I take my hat off to Caroline because this is a sensational effort.
Taking a step back, there were times last year where Wozniacki looked at her lowest ebb and she looked so short on confidence. Things have turned around in rather spectacular fashion and with so few points to defend up until the US Open, it won’t be long before she’s back in the top ten. I’m happy for Caroline.
In the final match of the day, Angelique Kerber continued her strong week with a 6-3 6-2 victory over Ana Konjuh. The first set was rather subdued from both players but they picked up their games in the second set, especially Kerber who showed flashes of brilliance. It was a positive week for Konjuh and i’m excited to see what she will do from here on, particularly on grass where i’m already anticipating some big results.
Props to Kerber for this right-handed reflex volley. I liked the wry smile from Konjuh!
Elina Svitolina produced an excellent display to see off the in-form, Lauren Davis, 6-0 6-4. Svitolina dropped just seven points in the first set and always looked in control during a tighter second set. Elina’s press conference is linked below from the WTA’s Facebook page. She confirmed that she is no longer working with Justine Henin.
Lauren’s coach tried to lighten the mood after she lost the first set!
In an unlikely match-up, Anastasija Sevastova beat Wang Qiang, 6-4 7-5 in the first of the Dubai quarter-finals.
So the semi-finals are set in Dubai…
Angelique Kerber (1) v Elina Svitolina (7)
Caroline Wozniacki (10) v Anastasija Sevastova
I had some time to write a full preview for Kerber v Svitolina which is linked below.
For Wozniacki-Sevastova, i’d flip back to Caro even though i’m still concerned with how many matches she has played and the inevitable injury niggles. Sevastova has plenty of game – i’d be surprised though if she can bring it in one of the biggest matches of her career so far.
In Budapest, the quarter-finals are set with six of the seeds still in contention. Interestingly, there are six players who are into their first quarter-final of the year.
Timea Babos (1) v Oceane Dodin (7)
Julia Goerges (3) v Yanina Wickmayer (5)
Annika Beck (8) v Carina Witthoeft
Aliaksandra Sasnovich v Lucie Safarova (2)
Babos-Dodin will be a helmets-at-the-ready match-up between two huge hitters – a 50/50 match in my opinion with Dodin often peaking indoors. I’ve been pleasantly surprised by Goerges as I was still concerned by the knee sprain she picked up in Fed Cup action but it seems that wasn’t too much of an issue. Safarova plays Sasnovich for the first time in her career… good luck, Lucie!