Friday, 26 August 2016

Aga v Petra in New Haven semi

The last tour events before the US Open are being contested by the ladies in New Haven, Connecticut and the men in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

New Haven promised a top class event, with the eight seeds currently ranked in the top twenty, numbers one through four all top 10 players.
However, before the tournament commenced, injury and illness forced the withdrawal of six players, including seeds Keys, Konta, Kuznetsova and Cincinnati winner Pliskova.

Still, Aga Radwanska and Petra Kvitova remained and both won their way through to the semi finals where they will play each other.  Aga won her quarter final in straight sets against Kirsten Flipkens, who took advantage of replacing an ill Barbora Strycova in the draw by reaching the final eight.
Petra impressed with her equally swift dismissal of dangerous Russian Ekaterina Makarova in their quarter final.

If Aga wins New Haven and the US Open she can take the world number one ranking, provided Angie Kerber exits Flushing Meadows sufficiently early.  More on those possible machinations in the US Open preview.later.

The second semi final features Elina Svitolina who took out Makarova's doubles partner Elena Vesnina, and Sweden's Johanna Larsson, whose quarter final victim was second seed Roberta Vinci.  Again these matches were two set affairs.

Winston-Salem attracted no top ten ATP players, but world number 15 Richard Gasquet was kind enough to grace the tournament with his presence, and he was awarded the number one seeding as a thank you.

Unfortunately for Gasquet he won't be winning the tournament as he was knocked out in the quarter final by unseeded Aussie John Millman who, with his straight sets victory has reached his first ATP tour semi final.
The hurdle to Millman's hopes of a final appearance is 16th seed Pablo Carreno Busta, who, after defeating third seed Pablo Cuevas in the third round, accounted for Andrey Kuznetsov in the quarters.

9th seed Viktor Troicki will meet 2nd seed Roberto Bautista Agut in the other semi final.  Troicki overcame sixth seed American Sam Querrey in round three before eliminating 15th seed Fernando Verdasco in a quarter final.  Verdasco had previously disappointed locals by dispensing with another American, fourth seed Steve Johnson.

Bautista Agut dropped the opening set in both his first and second matches of the tournament but managed to survive.  His quarter final was much easier going and opponent Yen-Hsun Lu left Winston-Salem shortly after the start of the match which ended 6-4 6-0.

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