Barthel and Strycova through to the semifinal
After five hours of play, we now know the first semifinalists. Barbora Strycova, the tournament's third-seeded player, will play Mona Barthel of Germany.
First to take center stage was the German. She faced Camila Giorgi of Italy. This match didn't have a clear favorite; both players had shown great form in the first rounds of the tournament. Giorgi defeated Karolina Pliskova in straight sets and Barthel served 14 aces in her win over Oceane Dodin of France.
The first set was a real contest. Both players managed to get a break at the start of the match. Camila Giorgi was in charge of most of the rallies, which either ended with a winner or unforced error from her side.
What stood out was a high quality of serving on both sides. The first set was decided in a tie-breaker, in which Barthel won 7-0.
The second set, just like the first, concluded in a tie-breaker, although Giorgi was in charge of the set and even led 5:2, including two breaks of serve, but wasn't able to serve it out both times she served for the set. She managed to dictate the play in the deciding game and had three set points at 6:3. Unfortunately for her, she lost the next five points and then the match 6:7 6:7.
The next match on center court featured two local players; Barbora Strycova and Katerina Siniakova. Just like the first match, this one also didn't have a clear favorite. Entering this match they had played each other twice each winning one. Last time they meet was right here at the J&T Banka Prague Open two years ago, and Siniakova was victorious.
The first set was completely controlled by Strycova right from the start. Her younger opponent fought hard, but she managed to win just three games.
The second set was a much closer contest. Both players showed strong all court tennis. Volleys and drop shots were the key to success in many of the rallies. Siniakova served for the set at 5:4 but was broken. She got another chance to serve it out at 6:5 and this time she didn't miss.
The outcome of this match had to be decided in the final set. Strycova once again proved that she is a master of third sets. She, as she was in the first set, was in charge of most points and dropped just three games on the way to victory. The final score of this match was 6:3 5:7 6:3
Semifinals will be played tomorrow from 11:00AM. Entrance is free of charge.