The first winner on quarter-finals day in Charleston was Daria Kasatkina who produced one of the best performances of her season so far to defeat Irina-Camelia Begu for the third time in 2017, 6-4 6-1. Kasatkina is into her first semi-final of 2017 and played a very positive match. Taking on board the words of her coach, Kasatkina kept Begu on the move and was aggressive for most of the match – her heavy forehand was on song and lethal on this surface! I’m thrilled to see Kasatkina’s confidence on the rise.
I’ve enjoyed catching up with the Tennis Channel interviews this week. Click on the link in the tweet for the full interview… Dasha and Sloane are great together! 😂😂😂
Interesting to hear from Kasatkina about trying to be more aggressive. I wrote in my last post about her coach always saying in their changeover chats about being too passive.
Laura Siegemund continued her fabulous week with a 6-2 6-4 victory over Anastasija Sevastova. Aside from a passive spell at the start of the second set when Sevastova went up 3-0 with a double break, Siegemund was all over this match. The German player was aggressive, decisive and dynamic, hitting more devilishly good drop shots. Siegemund finished the match with a gorgeous pass – she was generally given a helping hand at the end by Sevastova who played a listless final game.
Laura jumping for joy!
Kasatkina and Siegemund will play each other in the first of the semi-finals and that’s an enticing match! Kasatkina leads the head-to-head, 3-0 and won their last match in St. Petersburg in 2016. Siegemund is at her dynamic best on the clay and i’m intrigued to see whether her energy and intensity will cause Kasatkina to go into her shell. I think that Kasatkina will be more consistent than Sevastova. There’s a lot on the line for Dasha as she’s never made a WTA final before but she’s been building confidence match-by-match. Going for Dasha in 3.
Earlier in the week Shelby Rogers scored a double breadstick comeback win over Madison Keys. On Friday, she was on the receiving end of one as Mirjana Lucic Baroni came back to win, 6-7(7) 6-1 6-1. Rogers had nicked the closest of opening sets you could imagine – there were few patterns in play with both players absolutely belting their returns. Both players saved set points in the first set tiebreak with smashing returns but it was Rogers who found some peak tennis to take it. Lucic-Baroni showed terrific staying power to come back in the second and third sets and reach her third semi-final of 2017.
Heads up for a super interview with Lucic-Baroni on The Body Serve podcast.
And well done Shelby on a great week!
In the final quarter-final of the day, Jelena Ostapenko hit 40 winners (!) to beat Caroline Wozniacki, 6-2 6-4 and claim her first top 20 win since Birmingham last year.
Peak Ostapenko is fun.
Sooo… the second of the semi-finals will be experience against youth as Mirjana Lucic-Baroni takes on Jelena Ostapenko. The pair have similar games though and Ostapenko won their only previous match in Auckland earlier this year, 6-2 7-6(3). I haven’t seen a great deal of Ostapenko this week which is probably why i’m leaning towards Lucic-Baroni. The Croatian player is exuding confidence on the court and to come back from such a tough first set loss against Rogers was very impressive. Peak Ostapenko is a thing and her confidence is clearly rising, but Lucic-Baroni is one hell of a fighter. This one will likely come down to who gets the first strike in and who serves better.