The semi-finals are set in Charleston and it’s the weekend 🎉🎉🎉. Friday’s quarter-finals mostly went with ranking with the only minor upset in the first match of the day where the defending champ exited the tournament. Read on for eight stories from Charleston with a wrap-up of the quarter-finals and previews/polls for Saturday’s semi-finals.
Goerges’s best result in Charleston
Julia Goerges completed the clean sweep against this year’s Indian Wells finalists with a strong performance to beat Daria Kasatkina, 6-4 6-3. Kasatkina, who walked off the court in tears, couldn’t get her game going and was frustrated at trying to return Goerges’s serve. Take nothing away from Goerges who played a great match. There were pockets of peak Goerges as she commanded the net and dominated with crushing forehands.
Epic hug 🤗
Wonderful moment at the net. Nice to hear Julia and Dasha are really good friends!
Dasha’s next tournament
Kasatkina has pulled out of Bogota and will next play Stuttgart – can’t wait to see Dasha on red clay after a bit of a break!
Keys holds off Pera challenge
In the second quarter-final of the day, Madison Keys scored a big win against Bernarda Pera. Keys missed two match points in the second set and fought back from a break down in the decider to win, 6-2 6-7(5) 7-5. It was a solid mental effort from Keys up against a quality opponent despite the large gap in ranking between the pair. Pera let Keys back in with two double faults at the start of her service game at *4-2 in the decider.
The biggest takeway from the match for me was Pera – I really like her game! The forehand was neat and everything was pretty solid. Pera will crack the world’s top 100 in next week’s ranking and based on this form, will keep rising higher and higher.
Seven games in a row for Sevastova
Anastasija Sevastova set up a semi-final with Julia Goerges after a 6-4 6-0 win over Kristyna Pliskova. Sevastova served out the opener with back-to-back aces. Despite some questionable decision making at times, Sevastova was too crafty and solid for Kr. Pliskova who lost her serve from *40-0 in the only break of the first set. I went off for a bit at the end of the first and came back to find the match finished! Whatttt happened?!
While I was sleeping…
Kiki Bertens reached her first semi-final of the year with a 6-2 7-5 win over Alizé Cornet. Sounded like a fun one!
Petko’s message to JJ
SF previews and polls
Julia Goerges (5) vs. Anastasija Sevastova (8): I’m looking forward to this match. This could be a good one. Goerges leads the head-to-head, 4-2. Sevastova has won two of their last three matches with a recent win in Indian Wells, 6-3 6-3. Interestingly, they’ve never played on clay. If Goerges brings her QF level then Sevastova will be up against it. I’m really on the fence with this one. I would say it comes down to whether Goerges can execute her aggressive game. Anything less and I think Sevastova’s clay court craft will prevail.
Madison Keys (7) vs. Kiki Bertens (12): The pair have played just once before with Bertens winning in two tight sets in the fourth round of the French Open. I was impressed with Bertens during the IW-Miami double where she put in decent efforts against both Williams sisters. I think she’s set for another excellent clay court season. Instinct for this one is that Keys will win, buoyed by a home crowd and with the boost of confidence from her plucky win over Pera.