Diamond Games in Antwerp: Pliskova wins the all-Czech quarter final against Safarova - UBITENNIS
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Diamond Games in Antwerp: Pliskova wins the all-Czech quarter final against Safarova

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TENNIS DIAMOND GAMES IN ANTWERP – Czech rising star Karolina Pliskova won the derby with her compatriot Lucie Safarova in straight sets with 7-6 (7-5) 6-3 to become the first player to get through to the semifinals of the Diamond Games in Antwerp, a WTA Premier Tournament. Diego Sanpaolo

 

Czech rising star Karolina Pliskova won the derby with her compatriot Lucie Safarova in straight sets with 7-6 (7-5) 6-3 to become the first player to get through to the semifinals of the Diamond Games in Antwerp, a WTA Premier Tournament. Pliskova converted on her only break point and saved four break points she faced.

It is always difficult to play against someone from your country. I felt that whoever won the first set today would win the second set. She was better in the first set and served better than me. She had more break points and served better than me. At the end of the first set I played two good games and I think that it made the difference, especially in the second set”, said Pliskova

The young Czech player will take on Spain’s Carla Suarez Navarro who beat 2010 Roland Garros champion Francesca Schiavone 6-3 6-2. The score does not reflect the real level of the match as the first eleven games were hard-fought and went at deuce. The first set was very tight and lasted 1 hour and 5 minutes. Schiavone raced to 3-0 and got five points for a 4-0 lead before Suarez Navarro reeled off seven consecutive games and 12 of the next 14 games before clinching the win on her third match point to qualify for her first Premier-level semifinal.

Schiavone, who has won her first match against a top-10 player since 2012 beating Angelique Kerber 6-1 6-1 on Thursday, keep up with Suarez Navarro in the first set but she converted on one of her 11 break point chances.

Francesca played a very good match. She played really aggressive at the beginning. After being down I am really happy I was able to win the match in straight sets”

Pliskova won their previous head-to-head match in the quarter finals at Sydney with 4-6 6-4 6-0.

Andrea Petkovic qualified for her 21st WTA semifinal with a 7-6 6-0 over last year’s Australian Open finalist Dominika Cibulkova. In tomorrow’s semifinal Petkovic will face Czech player Barbora Zahlavova Strycova who beat German Mona Barthel 6-2 6-2. The German player celebrated her return to the top-10 in the WTA Ranking. It’s her best ranking since 2012. Starting from next week Petkovic will spend her 27th week in the top-10. She had her best season in 2011 when she reached the quarter final in three Grand Slams at the Australian Open, at the Roland Garros and at the US Open. She reached the semifinals last year at the Roland Garros. Earlier this week she saved eight match points before battling past Alison Van Uytvank with 6-7 7-6 6-2.

WTA

Fiona Ferro beats Camila Giorgi to set up final against Anett Kontaveit

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France’s Fiona Ferro came back from one set down to beat Italy’s Camila Giorgi 2-6 6-2 7-5 reaching her first final of the season at the Ladies Open in Palermo. Ferro sets up a final against Anett Kontaveit, who beat top seed Petra Martic 6-2 6-4. 

 

Giorgi broke twice in a row to open up a 4-0 lead and saved three break points before holding serve for 5-0. Ferro pulled one break back, when Giorgi was serving for the first set. Giorgi sealed the opening set 6-2 with her third break in the eighth game. 

Ferro earned an early break in the first game of the second set and held her serve after saving two break points to open up a 2-0 lead. Ferro went up a double break in the fifth game to race out to a 4-1 lead, but Giorgi got one break back for 2-4. Ferro broke again in the seventh game and served out the second set 6-2. 

Giorgi dropped her serve in the third game of the second set and saved a break point in the fifth game. Giorgi broke back in the 10th game, as Ferro was serving for the match at 5-4. Ferro broke serve in the 11th game and served out the win on her second match point. 

Giorgi was aiming to become the first Italian player to reach the final in Palermo since Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci battled for the title in 2013. Ferro is unbeaten in all her four post-lockdown matches on the WTA Tour.

Ferro beat an Italian opponent for the second evening in a row one day after her win over Sara Errani. 

“I would have never won those matches two years ago. I used to focus on my opponent when she was playing aggressive, and I did not find solutions. Today I am very happy to be through because I managed to focus more on my game and not on my emotions”, said Ferro.

“I have no regrets. I felt in good shape and I tried to play my own game. The break in the third set made the difference”, said Giorgi.

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ATP

Anett Kontaveit beats Petra Martic to reach the final in Palermo

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World number 22 Anett Kontaveit from Estonia upset number 1 seed Petra Martic 6-2 6-4 to reach the final at the Ladies Open in Palermo. 

 

Martic has scored her third win in her seven matches against top 20 players after beating Belinda Bencic and Elina Svitolina. 

Kontaveit avenged her defeat against Martic in their only previous match played in Dubai last February before the lockdown. 

Kontaveit had to fight to hold her serve in the first game of the opening set at deuce and took control of the match by breaking in the fourth game to open up a 4-1 lead. 

Martic won only 56% on her first serve in the opening set. Kontaveit came back from 0-30 down to hold serve in the seventh game before breaking for the second time in the eighth game to win the first set 6-2. 

Martic earned an early break in the first game of the second set at deuce, but Kontaveit broke straight back to draw level to 1-1. The Estonian player saved a break point before holding serve to take a 2-1 lead. Kontaveit saved five of the six break points she faced. Kontaveit broke for the second time in the fourth game to open up a 4-1 lead. Martic held serve at 2-5 down before breaking serve at 15 in the ninth game to claw her way back to 4-5. The Croatian player received a medical time-out before Kontaveit for the third time in the tenth game at love to close out the second set 6-4. 

Kontaveit will chase her second title in tomorrow’s final three years after winning in S’Hertogenbosch in 2017.

“I felt like I played a very good match today. I was quite aggressive, consistent, and I served especially well in the first set. It got a bit close in the end, but I played a good game at 5-4 and I am happy to be in the final”, said Kontaveit. 

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WTA

Camila Giorgi battles past Dayana Yastremska in late-night clash in Palermo

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Italy’s Camila Giorgi battled past number 7 seed Dayana Yastremska 4-6 7-6 (7-5) 6-3 after 2 hours and 52 minutes to secure her spot in the semifinal at the Ladies Open in Palermo. 

 

Giorgi fended off two match points in the second set before completing her come-back in a late-night epic clash which ended at nearly 1.30 a.m. local time. Giorgi set up a semifinal against French player Fiona Ferro, who beat another Italian player Sara Errani.

Both players traded breaks in the first and fourth games of the opening set to draw level to 3-3. Giorgi saved three break points in the seventh game, but Yastremska converted her fourth chance with a service return to take a 4-3 lead. 

Yastremska served for the first set at 5-4, but Giorgi earned a break point, when the Ukrainian player made a double fault. Giorgi missed two groundstrokes and Yastremska earned a set point. Giorgi fended off four set points, but she was not able to reach a break point. Yastremska hit an ace to earn he fifth set point and converted it after Giorgi sent a forehand wide. 

The second set started with two trades of break en route to 3-3. Yastremska broke serve, as Giorgi sent a forehand wide on the third break point. Yastremska earned her first match point with an ace at 5-4. She earned a second opportunity with a forehand winner. Giorgi saved them with her powerful returns before breaking serve to draw level to 5-5. The Italian player raced out to a 4-0 lead in the tie-break and hit a backhand winner down the line to pull away to 6-3. Yastremska saved the first two set points, but Giorgi sealed the second set on her third opportunity. 

In the third set Yastremska earned two break points at 3-2, but Giorgi held serve to draw level to 3-3. Giorgi broke serve in the seventh game to take a 4-3 and held serve in the eighth game for 5-3. Giorgi earned a match point, when Yastremska netted a groundstroke, and converted it, when her return forced a wide error. 

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