Saturday, 24 June 2017

Safarova outlasts Gavrilova

Some excellent quarter finals played throughout Europe - others a little disappointing.
The highlight, no doubt was the Birmingham three hour battle between Lucie Safarova and Daria Gavrilova.

Safarova saved match points against Cibulkova just to survive the first round and again was under pressure from Gavrilova, down a set and match points in a third set decider.

In a blinder of a match Gavrilova grabbed the opening set in a tie breaker, only to be taken apart early in set two, broken twice.  Gavrilova managed to gather one of the breaks back but Safarova broke again and fully deserved to win the set and level the match.

The decider went with serve until the sixth game where Gavrilova broke, and held the advantage until 5-3.  On the Safarova serve two match points were saved and eventually the game was saved for the Czech player.

Serving for the match Gavrilova wasted another match point and was further exasperated when Safarova broke back for 5-5.
A tie break was appropriately the decider and Gavrilova was in control and had two serves at 5 points to 4 to win the match.  Safarova had other ideas and won both of the points off the Aussie serve, then the first point on hers to take the match and earn a semi final appointment with her Czech compatriot Petra Kvitova.

Kvitova played exemplary tennis to oust fifth seed Kiki Mladenovic.  Only back from injury a short time, the grass is looking wonderful for the seventh seed and remarkably Petra is a big chance of not just winning Birmingham, but snatching a third Wimbledon title.

The other semi will feature sixth seed Garbine Muguruza against unseeded Ash Barty.
Both won their quarter finals following retirements through injury from their opponents.
Muguruza had just levelled her match with Coco Vandeweghe 4-6 6-4, but during the second set Coco fell, hurting her ankle, and she couldn't continue in the decider.

Muguruza was impressive nonetheless, 22 winners against 11 unforced errors.

Barty was dominant in the first seven games of her match with Camilla Giorgi, but the Italian was forced to withdraw due to injury at 2-5.

In Halle top seed Federer will play unseeded Karen Khackanov in one semi, while the home country will be represented in the other semi by fourth seed Alexander Zverev.  Zverev's opponent will be Richard Gasquet.

Queens Club semis:

Gilles Muller v Marin Cilic (4)
Grigor Dimitrov (6) v Feliciano Lopez 

Lopez has included Wawrinka and Berdych in his victories to reach the semis. 

Mallorca semis:

Julia Goerges v Catherine Bellis
Caroline Garcia (3) v Anastasija Sevastova (2)

First semi final for teenager Bellis in a WTA tournament.

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