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BARTY REACHES STUTTGART SEMIS

Posted By Jack Langdon  
24/04/2021
12:00 PM

Ash Barty’s compelling record against fellow WTA top 10 players has again extended courtesy of a 2-6, 6-1, 7-5 victory over Karolina Pliskova in the quarter finals of the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart.

“It (playing Top 10 players) forces you to bring your best to try and compete every single time you’re on the court,” Barty said. 

The match up featured plenty of powerful hitting exchanges, and with the victory Barty extended her winning streak against top 10 opposition to eight.

Pliskova had a chance to serve for the match, but that is when her form began to oscillate.

"I had plenty of opportunities in that third set on Kaja's service games, so I just wanted to press again and really make her earn that last game,” Barty said.

Barty will play fourth seed, Elina Svitolina of Ukraine in the semi-finals, who was down a set and 2-5, before staging an impressive comeback winning 11 of the last 13 games to overcome Petra Kvitova 6-7(4), 7-5, 6-2.

The other semi-final will be between Simona Halep and Aryna Sabalenka. The Belarussian, defeated Anett Kontaveit 7-5 4-6 6-1, while for Halep on the other hand it was a much straight forward match, ousting Ekaterina Alexandrova 6-1, 6-4.

I have played Sabalenka many times and I know what to expect, actually. She’s hitting very strong, she’s very powerful.” Halep said.

At the WTA 250 Istanbul Open, top seed Elise Mertens advanced to the semi-finals with a 6-4 6-4 win over Katerina Siniakova. She will now take on the inform Russian Veronika Kudermetova who fought from a set down to get past Romania's Ana Bogdan.

The other semi final will feature impressive Ukrainian teen Marta Kostyuk, who won a tight 3 set match over Croatia's Ana Konjuh and Romania's Sorana Cirstea, who won the first set against Fiona Ferro, before her french opponent retired with injury.

On the ATP tour, the King of Clay Rafael Nadal sped past Brit Cam Norrie 6-1, 6-4 to book his 13th semi final appearance at the Barcelona Open.

“I played well at the beginning, especially in the first set. I think I did a lot of things well. Then I stopped myself a little bit. That's something that cannot happen, especially tomorrow [in the semi-finals],” Nadal said in an on-court interview. 

The Spaniard will face fellow countryman Pablo Carreno Busta who survived a thriller against Diego Schwartzman 6-3, 3-6, 7-5.

Tomorrow I have [the] toughest match on this surface that you can play," said Carreno Busta.

Monte Carlo’s champion Stefanos Tsitsipas continued his magnificent winning streak accounting for Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime 6-3, 6-3.

"It feels good to be able to play the way I am. I really hope the winning streak continues," he said.

Tsitsipas will face Jannik Sinner for a spot in the final. 19-year-old Sinner became the youngest semi-finalist in Barcelona since Nadal in 2005, overcoming Monte Carlo runner-up Andrey Rublev 6-2, 7-6 (6).

It was difficult to finish it off. I had three break points at 5-5 (in the second set), which I could not convert, but I'm pleased to win in the end," Sinner said.

At the Serbia Open, there will be a rematch of the Australian Open semi-finals with Novak Djokovic and Aslan Karatsev facing off once again.

Djokovic made light work of fellow Serb Miomir Kecmanovic with a 6-1, 6-3 win.

"I think personally I'm feeling very well on court, moving well, hitting the ball well and, of course, enjoying the home court advantage," Djokovic said.

Karatsev also had a fairly straight forward win getting the breaks of serve he needed at the crucial times, to end the terrific run of Italian qualifier Gianluca Mager 6-3, 6-4.

This is just the Russians second tour-level tournament on clay.

The other semi-final will be between 2nd seed Matteo Berrettini and lucky loser Taro Daniel.

Daniel defeated Federico Delbonis 4-6, 6-1, 7-5 and Berrettini overcame Filip Krajinović 6-4, 6-4.

On the ITF tour, Aussie Olivia Gadecki and partner Sada Nahimana notched a 7-5, 7-5 win over Ylena In-Albon and partner Shiho Akita to advance to the W15 Antayla Doubles Final, while for Sydneysider Seone Mendez it was a tough day with rain interruptions in Portugal at the W25 ITF tournament. She will have to come back Saturday to complete her singles quarter final trailing 6-3, 1-0, while her doubles semi final was moved indoors where the Aussie and partner Lea Boskovic went down 10-4 in the match tie break.

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