After the high-powered, flashy environs of Indian Wells and Miami, the women’s tour has set up shop this week in the decidedly lower-key southern environs of Charleston, South Carolina, home of the Volvo Car Open. The quarterfinals are complete, and we have our semifinalists for the first women’s clay court event of the spring season.
In the first quarterfinal match at the Family Circle Cup Stadium, fifth seed Julia Goerges of Germany defeated third seed and defending champion Daria Kasatkina 6-4, 6-3.
Georges noted she has improved from match to match in the tournament, which is what all pro players want to see as they get deeper into the draw. In the post-match on-court chat she noted:
I’m pretty happy about my performance today. I think it was another improvement from my first, second to third match, and I’m just very glad about it.
Goerges was clearly aided by her service game, with no double faults to Kasatkina’s three, and nine aces to one for the Russian.
Germans have been doing well at this event. The tournament website noted that 2018 is “the fifth consecutive year a German player has made the semifinals here, following runs by Andrea Petkovic (2014), Angelique Kerber (2015 and 2016) and Laura Siegemund last year.”
The second quarter of the day matched seventh seed American Madison Keys and the American-Croatian Bernarda Pera, The 2017 US Open finalist Keys had to go three sets to reach the semis, defeating Pera 6-2, 6-7 (5), 7-5. There was some nice athleticism and shot-making skill on display, too — check out this point:
Wow, @bernarda_pera! Just WOW! #VolvoCarOpen pic.twitter.com/b0rggLxDSS
— WTA (@WTA) April 6, 2018
Keys had and lost a pair of match points in the second set and was in trouble in the third. This is where coaches come in handy for support!
After having match points in Set 2 and down a break in the decider, coach @LDavenport76 tells #Keys, “Show me how much you want it!” Advice refocused Keys to close out match. #VolvoCarOpen ???? pic.twitter.com/HRd5eYjN9q
— Volvo Car Open (@VolvoCarOpen) April 6, 2018
The third quarterfinal match was between eighth seed Anastasija Sevastova and unseeded Kristyna Pliskova, and as the score might indicate, it wasn’t much of a match after all, with Sevastova prevailing 6-4, 6-0 in just under an hour. Maybe she had an early dinner reservation?
The fourth and final quarterfinal was an evening match between Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands and France’s Alize Cornet. Bertens, seeded 12th, slipped by #14 seed Cornet 6-2, 7-5. The key to the Bertens win was her ability to break Cornet’s serve seven times. Cornet also had 33 unforced errors. When you make that many unforced errors and add on problems with holding serve, that’s the recipe for a quarterfinal loss.
This is a guest post by Brinke Guthrie, who will continue to contribute throughout the Volvo Car Open.