Sakkari ousts top seed Swiatek; Kontaveit dismisses home hope Kvitova to set Ostrava final

Maria Sakkari of Greece broke a string of semifinal losses and moved into her first WTA singles remaining in over two years, knocking out No.1 seed Iga Swiatek of Poland, 6-4, 7-5, within the J&T Banka Ostrava Open semifinals on Saturday.

No.4 seed Sakkari had misplaced her final 9 WTA semifinals, relationship again to Might 2019, when she gained her lone title thus far on the clay courts of Rabat. In the meantime, Swiatek had by no means misplaced a tour-level semifinal and was 2-0 in that specific spherical in 2021.

However Sakkari was decided to upend these bellwethers, and he or she did so with a 1-hour and 51-minute victory excessive seed. By reaching the ultimate, Sakkari outpaces her exhibiting in final yr’s inaugural Ostrava occasion, the place she fell within the semifinals to Victoria Azarenka.

Quick details: Sakkari is now 2-0 in opposition to Swiatek of their two conferences. Of their lone earlier assembly, Sakkari was liable for ending Swiatek’s 2020 Roland Garros title protection, defeating the Pole in straight units within the quarterfinals earlier this season.

At the moment ranked at a career-high World No.12, Sakkari now has collected seven wins over Prime 10 opposition this season following her newest victory over World No.6 Swiatek. Sitting at No.6 on the Porsche Race to the WTA Finals Leaderboard, Sakkari is edging nearer to a doable Prime 10 debut someday this season.

Sakkari gained a sturdy 77 p.c of factors on her first serve within the affair, and completed the match with 22 winners to Swiatek’s 19. Sakkari was solely damaged as soon as as she constructed a lead and held on by means of a carefully contested second set.

Key performs: The die was forged within the very first recreation of the match, the place Sakkari slammed a forehand winner to acquire the decisive lone break of the primary set. Sakkari by no means confronted a break level in that set, sweeping to the one-set lead by hitting 13 winners to Swiatek’s 9.

Sakkari confronted adversity in two prolonged service video games within the early levels of the second set, and needed to fend off her first break level of the day earlier than holding for 2-2. However after pulling herself out of that hazard, the Greek drew errors from Swiatek to maneuver forward by a break at 3-2.

Swiatek lastly broke the Sakkari serve afterward, charging into the forecourt for a putaway to degree the set at 4-4. However at 5-5, Sakkari once more put Swiatek’s serve beneath stress, and he or she transformed her third break level of that recreation with a forehand winner down the road to steer 6-5. Sakkari polished off the win on her first match level within the following recreation.

Subsequent up: Sakkari is now one win away from her second profession WTA singles title. To get that crown, she must beat the winner of Saturday’s second semifinal: Anett Kontaveit of Estonia.

Kontaveit dispatches crowd favourite Kvitova

Kontaveit made positive neither of the highest two seeds made it into the ultimate, because the Estonian dismissed No.2 seed and residential hope Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic, 6-0, 6-4.

Kvitova introduced a 5-2 head-to-head lead into their newest conflict, however Kontaveit turned that file on its head, breezing to victory in simply an hour and 11 minutes. It’s Kontaveit’s third Prime 10 win of the yr, together with victories over Sofia Kenin in Stuttgart and Bianca Andreescu in Eastbourne.

World No.30 Kontaveit is into her fourth remaining of 2021: she gained her second profession title in Cleveland, completed as runner-up to Jelena Ostapenko in Eastbourne, and shared the Grampians Trophy finalist outcome with Ann Li after that remaining was not performed on account of a scheduling delay. All informed, Kontaveit has now gained her final 5 tour-level semifinals.

Extra to observe….

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