Sunday, 5 August 2018

Sakkari upsets V Williams in San Jose

Day Five of main draw matches in this weeks ATP and WTA Tournaments.

Semi final day in Kitzbuhel (ATP) and Los Cabos (ATP), and quarter final day in Washington (ATP & WTA) and San Jose (WTA)


Semi finals

The first semi final was between qualifier Denis Istomin and Nicolas Jarry.

In the opening set, both players had an average first serve percentage, and points won on first serve were not good, worse for Jarry.

Perhaps this contributed to the number of break points created, 6 for Jarry and 7 for Istomin.

Jarry converted once, not enough to counter Istomin who broke twice and took the set 7-5.

Set two was a contrast, with serve controlling the play.  No break chances were offered and a tie break was contested.  Istomin was outplayed and Jarry won the set 7-6(4)

Istomin retained his solid serving output into the deciding third set, again not facing a break point.  He used one of his three opportunities on the Jarry serve to break and proceed to the winners circle 7-5 6-7(4) 6-4.

He will participate in his first ATP Tour final since October 2017 when he won the Chengdu Open in China.

Istomin will play another qualifier in the Kitzbuhel final following the second semi final victory by Martin Klizan over Jaume Munar 7-6(3) 6-3

Klizan will be playing his first ATP Tour final since July 2016 when he won the German Open in Hamburg.

The all qualifier final is only the second to occur on the ATP Tour, the other happening in Sydney 2015 between Viktor Troicki and Mikhail Kukushkin.



Quarter finals

Stefanos Tsitsipas (10) defeated David Goffin (3) 6-3 6-4

Alex de Minaur was handed a walkover by Andy Murray and will play the winner of Denis Kudla and Andrey Rublev (16) in the semis

Weather stepped in once more and prevented Denis and Andrey from commencing their duel, and that will have to be resolved on Day Six.

If de Minaur doesn’t advance past the semis, he will still achieve a career high of 54, previously 68.  Beyond the semis even better. 

Sascha Zverev (1) defeated Kei Nishikori (7) 3-6 6-1 6-4, and will play Stefanos Tsitsipas (10) in the semis


Quarter finals 

Andrea Petkovic defeated Belinda Bencic (6) in a quality match lasting three sets and 140 minutes.

The third set was a thriller, the tie break a fitting climax to the match.  Petkovic set herself up for the win by taking a 5-2 lead in the breaker, but faltered over the next phase, and Bencic found herself serving at 6 points to 5 for the match.  A double fault sent that match point packing, but the Swiss player steadied to make it 7-6, and asked Petkovic to serve and save a second match point.  A stunning backhand winner eliminated that, but an equally excellent return winner from Bencic set up a third match point.

Petkovic saved it with a return winner of her own, then Bencic put a forehand into the net to give the German player her first match point at 9-8.  Petkovic served for it, and eventually Bencic again found the net, this time with an errant backhand.

Andrea Petkovic won her way into the semis for the second year in a row by defeating Belinda Bencic for the first time 6-3 2-6 7-6(8) Weather determined that this was the only completed women’s quarter final for the day.

The quarter final between Yulia Putintseva (8) and Sveta Kuznetsova was stopped with Sveta ahead 6-2 2-2

Also stopped was the quarter final between Donna Vekic (7) and Magda Linette with Donna leading 3-0

Yet to start was the quarter final between Saisai Zheng and qualifier Allie Kiick

The winners of the unfinished and unplayed quarter finals will have to play two matches on Day Six, the second a semi final.  

San Jose:

Quarter finals

Mihaela Buzarnescu (5) defeated Ajla Tomljanovic 6-1 7-5, after wasting a number of match points when serving it out at 6-5.

Elise Mertens (4) defeated Johanna Konta 7-6(4) 6-3 and will play Mihaela Buzarnescu in the semis

Danielle Collins defeated Vika Azarenka 6-7(4) 3-0 (retired)

It was sad watching Vika suffer a knee injury, be treated for it while obviously in a deal of pain, and openly crying.  Having come back to the tour after giving birth, Vika was starting to play better tennis and signs were there that she could steadily progress back towards the higher rankings.

Hopes are with Vika that the injury is not going to keep her out of tennis for a lengthy period.

But for Danielle, a semi final awaited, and her opponent would be Maria Sakkari who caused an upset, defeating wildcard Venus Williams (3) 6-4 7-6(2)

Sakkari began slowly, and was down 0-3, but once she cut down her errors, and Williams lost control of her forehand, the games flowed in the Greek direction - 5 in a row.  Sakkari served out the set 6-4.

Set two had many twists, first Williams up a break, then a run of three games for Sakkari to lead 3-2.  Not to be denied, the American replied with her triple and Venus seemed ready for a decider.  Not to be as Sakkari broke back.  Williams wasted two set points when Sakkari served at 4-5, then Maria failed to serve out the match at 6-5, having achieved a second successive break (both to love)

The tie break was one way traffic and Sakkari deserved her first win over the legend.

Los Cabos:

Semi finals

Fabio Fognini (2) defeated Cameron Norrie 6-4 6-2 and will play Juan Martin del Potro (1) in the final.  del Potro defeated Damir Dzumhur (3) 6-3 7-6(6)

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