Sunday, 6 May 2018

Mertens wins Rabat - Kvitova Prague

Petra Kvitova (2) and Mihaela Buzarnescu (7) fought out the final of the 2018 Prague Open

To win, Petra would have to claim her first clay court title in three years, and it would also be her third crown for this year.

The Czech star began solidly, taking a three game lead in the opening set.

Buzarnescu struck back, breaking in the middle of a series of long games, including three straight with multi deuces.

The ninth game proved crucial for the Romanian as she converted her fourth break point for the set.  Mihaela served out the set, her fifth successive game, and took the lead 6-4.  Kvitova had dropped her first set of the tournament.

Kvitova again opened up a 3-0 advantage in set two, but this time she maintained her edge, winning several points on the Buzarnescu first serve, and all but one on her second delivery.

Kvitova broke serve twice but stumbled when at the line 5-1.  Saving six break points, Kvitova ultimately relented on the seventh, giving Buzarnescu hope.

Nevertheless, Kvitova reassembled and won the final four points of the next game to break for a third time and level at 4-6 6-2.

Petra was taken to deuce just once in the decider, and her early beak of the Romanian serve proved enough to drive her to the finish line after two hours and seventeen minutes 4-6 6-2 6-3. Just the tonic coming into Madrid and Roland Garros - for both players.

Elise Mertens (1) won the first set against Ajla Tomljanovic in the Rabat final easily 6-2.  However she found tougher resistance in set two, taken to a tie break, after missing a match point at 5-3.

The tie break was quickly 5 points to 1 in the top seeds favour and she needed the second of  two more match points to capture her third title of 2018 and her twelfth successive match win 6-2 7-6(4).

Mertens now moves to 16 in the world rankings, a career high and critical for upcoming Roland Garros seedings.

Ajla Tomljanovic, once 47 in the world (2015), hadn’t been in the top 100 since 2016, until January this year, where she moved into the nineties.

There she has remained until her efforts in Morocco this week which move her to 71 with a bullet.

Men’s Semi Finals:


Joao Sousa defeated Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-4 1-6 7-6(4)

He will play Frances Tiafoe for the title

Frances Tiafoe defeated the one remaining seed Pablo Carreno Busta (2) 6-2 6-3


Sascha Zverev (1) defeated Hyeon Chung (4) 7-5 6-2

He will play Philipp Kohlschreiber in an all German final for the title - this will keep the fans happy

Philipp Kohlschreiber (6) defeated Maximilian Marterer 6-2 6-4


Malek Jaziri defeated Laslo Djere 6-3 6-2

He will play Taro Daniel for the title

Taro Daniel defeated Jeremy Chardy 6-3 4-6 6-4

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