Rouen | Garcia to face Stephens, as Kalinina meets Linette in Last 4

The inaugural Open Capfinances Rouen Métropole, the WTA 250 indoor clay court tournament in France, will crown its first champion on Sunday, but, before then, there are semi-final matches to clear, featuring home favourite Caroline Garcia against 2018 French Open runner-up Sloane Stephens, and Anhelina Kalinina facing Magda Linette.

Garcia, the No 2 seed, defeated Elena-Gabriela Ruse, a Romanian qualifier, 6-3 6-4, on Friday evening after 89 minutes of play at the Kindarena in Rouen, to reach her first semi-final of the year.

Her next opponent, American Sloane Stephens, the No 6 seed and 2017 US Open champion, stormed past Yuan Yue, the 4th seed from China, 6-2 6-2, to make her first semi-final appearance in 11 months, her last coming at Rabat in 2023.

Poland’s Magda Linette took down Dutchwoman Arantxa Rus, 7-6(9) 6-1, after a 2 hour 8 minute tussle and will face Anhelina Kalinina for a spot in the final.

The Ukrainian had a tough start to the new season, but is now regaining her mojo, having turned a corner after reaching the semi-final in Austin and the round of 16 in Miami.


No 3 seed Anhelina Kalinina held off No 5 seed Mirra Andreeva on Friday, booking a spot in the Open Capfinances Rouen Métropole semi-finals.

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The No 3 seed held off 5th-seeded Mirra Andreeva, the 16-year old prodigy from Russia, 6-4 7-5, on Friday, to book her spot in the Last 4, her second semi-final appearance of the year.

Kalinina, who is a former Rome Open finalist, battled through a series of breaks on both sides, after Andreeva took the early advantage and consolidated her lead to go up 2-0 before the Ukrainian held and they embarked on an erratic streak with consecutive breaks from them both.

It was the young Russian who faced the most difficulties, though, conceding 4 breaks in a row in the opener, while securing just 3 breaks of her own, which allowed Kalinina to pocket the tight first set.

Despite Andreeva’s 83% first serve percentage, the court conditions did not seem to favour her, as she only won 38% of her service points, while Kalinina, on the other hand, had a respectable 65% first serve percentage, but struggled to capitalise, winning only 46% of her service points.

The second set began with a further exchange of breaks, but Kalinina now appeared more settled and seized the initiative on her serve rotations, while Andreeva continued to struggle with her first delivery, and although the score remained level at 2-2, it was the Ukrainian who garnered the edge.

Significantly, Kalinina improved her performance with her first serve, now winning 68% of those points, compared to Andreeva’s 50%.

She also held a clear advantage on her second delivery, with a conversion rate of 56%, compared to the Russian’s mere 43%.

In the latter part of the set, neither posed too many problems on the return, and Kalinina broke Andreeva’s serve in the 6th game, taking advantage of an erratic service game to lead 5-2.

Renowned for her fighting spirit, Andreeva won 12 of the next 15 points to level the score at 5-5, just when the outcome had seemed a foregone conclusion.

Despite this effort, Kalinina resisted and secured a break when a tiebreak had looked inevitable, closing out the match after surviving a tough 1 hour 36 minute challenge.


Sloane Stephens, the No 6 seed and 2017 US Open champion, stormed past Yuan Yue, the 4th seed, to make her first semi-final appearance in 11 months

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Magda Linette saved 2 set points in the first set tiebreak en route to defeating Arantxa Rus at the Open Capfinances Rouen Métropole, advancing to her first semi-final since Guangzhou last September.

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