Favorites still standing strong
Today at the J&T Banka Prague Open it was quarterfinals day. All four matches took place on center court in front of a capacity crowd.
First to take center stage were two local players, Petra Kvitova, the 2nd seed, and Katerina Siniakova, the 8th seed. Prior to the match, many thought this match had the makings of an upset, but yet again Kvitova stormed through and made quick work of her opponent. With both her power and precision, she exposed the weaknesses of Siniakova’s game. Kvitova won the match 6:3 6:3 in just over an hour.
Next up was Shuai Zhang of China, the 6th seed, versus Jasmine Paolini of Italy. Just like the first match, the favorite didn’t disappoint. Zhang controlled the match right from the start with her solid baseline game. Paolini tried to find the same form which helped her defeat Kasatkina, the 3rd seed, in the first round but wasn’t able to deal with the consistent, steady game of the Chinese. In both sets Zhang built an early lead, which she would later capitalize on, winning the match in straight sets 6:4 6:3.
The 3rd match on center court featured Kristyna Pliskova of the Czech Republic, last year’s finalist, and Mihaela Buzarnescu of Romania, the 7th seed. The Romanian wasn’t the clear favorite here, but right from the start she let everyone know that today there would only be one winner, and it would be her. She took the first 3 games of the match in an impressive style and didn’t allow Pliskova a chance to dig herself out of an early difficult situation. Buzarnescu won this very one-sided match 6:2 6:3. Tomorrow Buzarnescu will have a very busy day. She will be celebrating her 30th birthday, as well as playing in both the singles semi final and the doubles final. Partnering with Lidziya Morozava of Belarus in the doubles title match, she will face Kveta Peschke of Czech Republic and Nicole Melichar of the USA, the 3rd seeded team.
In the last match of the day Camila Giorgi of Italy beat Samantha Stosur of Australia in an impressive style. Throughout the tournament Giorgi has been looking stronger and stronger and will be a force to be reckoned with in the semifinal against Buzarnescu.
Semifinal matches will be played tomorrow starting at 11:00am; entry is free of charge.