Sakkari posts first win over Kasatkina to make Berlin semis

No.2 seed Maria Sakkari took revenge on No.6 seed Daria Kasatkina within the bett1open quarterfinals, triumphing 6-0, 6-3 in simply 72 mins.

Sakkari had no longer overwhelmed Kasatkina in 4 earlier encounters, together with a 3-6, 6-3, 6-1 loss in the second one spherical of Madrid final month. However, the pair had by no means performed on grass sooner than, and the 26-year-old used the slick floor to her merit to toughen her competitive technique.

Seeking to take keep watch over of each and every rally once imaginable, Sakkari used to be fast to sense any alternative to complete issues together with her forehand or on the internet. Consequently, she tallied 27 winners to just seven for Kasatkina, whilst additionally maintaining her unforced error rely right down to 16 in comparison to Kasatkina’s 11.

Appropriately, the outcome places the Greek into her first profession semifinal on grass. It may be her fourth Hologic WTA Tour semifinal of 2022 and primary since her run to the Indian Wells ultimate in March. 

Match control: Fourteen of Sakkari’s winners got here right through a near-flawless opening set. She stored either one of the damage issues she confronted and averted Kasatkina from even attaining recreation level to carry any of her provider video games.

The No.12-ranked Kasatkina belatedly discovered her personal competitive forehand in the second one set, and two times battled to degree the rating from a damage down. But with the set poised at 3-3, Sakkari held company. Finding her greatest returns when she wanted them, Sakkari got here via 4 deuces to damage once more for 4-3.

It used to be a equivalent tale as Kasatkina served to stick within the fit. The Roland Garros semifinalist’s supply faltered once more, with two double faults on this recreation bringing her overall to 5. The final of the ones introduced up a 3rd fit level for Sakkari, transformed as a deep go back elicited a forehand error from Kasatkina.

In Sakkari’s phrases: “The first set used to be with regards to absolute best. I used to be very disciplined with my shot variety, with my recreation on the whole. I at all times struggled to play towards her, clearly, however lately I used to be very decisive. I had made up my thoughts what to do and I simply went for it.

“Grass courtroom suits my recreation — after all, as a result of I advanced my serve, however I’m an excellent mover and that performs an enormous function in this floor.”

Berlin: Sakkari posts 1st win vs. Kasatkina, makes 1st SF on grass

2022 Berlin

Bencic awaits: In the semifinals, Sakkari will tackle No.8 seed Belinda Bencic, who overcame Veronika Kudermetova 3-6, 6-3, 6-3 after 2 hours and quarter-hour of play.

Sakkari gained her handiest earlier skilled assembly towards Bencic in 3 units, which got here at the indoor laborious courts of St. Petersburg in 2020.

Bencic, final yr’s bett1open runner-up, misplaced to Kudermetova simply final week within the ‘s-Hertogenbosch quarterfinals. But Bencic avenged that defeat on Friday to assert a slim 5-4 lead in her head-to-head with Kudermetova.

Last yr’s Olympic champion Bencic transformed six of her 11 damage issues to carry off Kudermetova, regardless of hitting seven double faults. Bencic additionally withstood six aces from Kudermetova.

After splitting the primary two units, Bencic managed the decider as much as 5-2, however she didn’t convert two fit issues on her serve in that recreation. Kudermetova held two recreation issues at 5-3 to drag inside one damage, however Bencic in the end prevailed on her fourth fit level to seal victory.

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