After getting off to a slow start in the first set against Karolina Pliskova, Iga Swiatek advances easily to the semifinals.
Australian Open winner Aryna Sabalenka wins in three hard-fought sets against her friend Paula Badosa.
The No. 3 seeded Ons Jabeur pulls out her A-game against Beatriz Haddad Maia.
Anastasia Potapova is the last unseeded player left in the tournament after beating Caroline Garcia.
Excellent quartet: Aryna Sabalenka, Anastasia Potapova, Ons Jabeur and Iga Swiatek are the four top players that will be bidding on Saturday to secure themselves a berth in the final of the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix. They all prevailed in the Porsche Arena on Friday after, in some cases, hard-fought quarterfinals.
The spectators in the virtually sold-out Porsche Arena on Friday watched exciting and top notch quarterfinal matches. Three of the four matches on Centre Court were only decided in the third set and lasted longer than two hours. It underlines once more just how strong the field is at the long-established event in Stuttgart.
The meeting between Aryna Sabalenka and Paula Badosa in the first match of the day turned out to be the expected high-class and tight affair. Good friends they may be but there was to be no giving of presents. Though she lost the first set, the Australian Open champion kept the upper hand when winning 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 in two hours 30 minutes. “It was a totally crazy match,” said Aryna Sabalenka. “Paula was playing unbelievable tennis the whole time. Somehow, I was able to turn around the match. I’m super happy with the win.” After reaching the final in each of her two appearances in the Porsche Arena, the world No. 2 is once again aiming high saying, “Of course I would like to finally win the tournament this year. I however have to stay focussed and mustn’t think too much about the Porsche you get for winning.”
Anastasia Potapova is and remains the tournament’s giant killer. After knocking-out Coco Gauff out of the tournament on Thursday, the 22-year-old continued her winning ways in the quarterfinal against the No. 4 seed Caroline Garcia. In a relatively even match, the Frenchwoman, the winner of the 2022 WTA Finals, only found her normal form in the first set and was eventually defeated 4-6, 6-3, 6-3. “I didn’t actually play my best tennis today,” said the victor. “Luckily I found a way to read her game better in the third set. I’m happy that it and my good footwork was enough for the win.”
Ons Jabeur was in a hurry in the third quarterfinal. Right from the word go, the Tunisian was wide awake against Brazil’s Beatriz Haddad Maia. There was never any doubt as to the final outcome. The world No. 4 clinched the 6-3, 6-0 win after just 68 minutes with an ace: “My coach will have nothing to say anything about my performance today,” said the 2022 Wimbledon and US Open runner-up. “I can’t play a match any better than that. I had my A-game, especially in the second set and kept making the right decisions.”
At the end of quarterfinals day, the world No. 1 Iga Swiatek again showed just why she is a class act. Though the Pole lost the first set against Karolina Pliskova, the 2018 Stuttgart winner, she improved from game to game to eventually ran a deserved 4-6, 6-1, 6-2 winner. It means the 21-year-old is yet to lose a match in the Porsche Arena and is still in with an excellent chance of defending her title. “She started very well and I on the other hand got off to a slow start,” said the three-time Grand Slam champion. “I’m glad I gradually found my rhythm and was very satisfied with the second set.”
Semifinals on Saturday promise world class tennis
Four players are still in the mix to win the main prize at the 46th Porsche Tennis Grand Prix – a Porsche Taycan Turbo S Sport Turismo. The first semifinal at 2 o’clock will be between the giant-killer Anastasia Potapova and the No. 2 seed Aryna Sabalenka. Scheduled for not before 4 o’clock, the day’s second match will pit the defending champion Iga Swiatek against the No. 3 seed Ons Jabeur.
The doubles matches will take place before and after the singles encounters – at mid-day, Alexa Guarachi (Chile) and Erin Routliffe (New Zealand) will take on last year’s winners Desirae Krawczyk (USA) and Demi Schuurs (Netherlands). The day’s action will come to an end when Veronika Kudermetova and Anastasia Potapova face Nicole Melichar-Martinez (USA) and Giuliana Olmos (Mexico).
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