Friday’s St. Petersburg Ladies Trophy quarterfinals featured record seven Russian players and the sole Romanian in the final eight didn’t manage to progress further, so we’re having four players from the host country in the semis. Interestingly, all the four today’s quarterfinals were first career meetings.
Wildcard Margarita Gasparyan upset top seed Ekaterina Alexandrova 6-2 7-5 to reach her first WTA 500 semifinal. Last year’s St. Petersburg semifinalist Alexandrova saved just one out of seven break points she faced and posted a 48% first-serve percentage.
Wildcard Vera Zvonareva dispatched qualifier Anastasia Gasanova 6-3 6-1 in one hour and 22 minutes.
Earlier this week, Zvonareva won the longest match in tournament history in her three-hour, ten-minute second-round win over Fiona Ferro, while both Gasanova’s previous matches lasted over three hours (she saved match points in her second-round upset over fifth seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova).
Fourth seed Svetlana Kuznetsova faced the only non-Russian player in the 2021 St. Petersburg quarterfinals. The veteran reached her 74th career WTA semifinal with a come-from-behind 6-7(5) 6-3 6-3 victory over Romania’s Jaqueline Cristian, who was looking for first Tour-level Top 50 win.
Eighth seed Daria Kasatkina faced a tough challenge in second seed Veronika Kudermetova, rallying to beat the compatriot 1-6 6-1 6-2 in the last quarterfinal.
For the first time in the St. Petersburg Ladies Trophy history, we’ll have a Russian champion.
This was the first time ever that Russia had seven representatives in the quarterfinals of a tournament. As ESPN reports, the last time seven players from one country reached the last eight at a tour-level event was when the United States had seven players in the quarterfinals of Oakland 1993.