Barbora Krejcikova, favourite for the Livesport Prague Open title, made short work of getting past her compatriot Czech and doubles partner Katerina Siniakova, 6-3 6-0, to reach the semi-finals on Friday.
It is true that now I am in a great moment of form, but I know that at some point the level could drop. I hope to be well prepared, especially from a mental point of view, and to be able to accept the situation. After winning in Paris, it is as if all my dreams have come true. Now I just want to have fun and do what I love most, which is to play tennis. Barbora Krejcikova
The No 2 seed took just 66 minutes in what was their first career meeting on the WTA tour.
Krejcikova won 65% of her first-serve points to Siniakova’s 68%, but she also took 72% of her second-serve points against her opponent’s 25%, which proved the critical factor of the match.
The reigning French Open champion also converted 5 of her 7 break points opportunities and was only broken once in the match, facing no break point in the second set.
The World No 13, who finished with 23 points more than Siniakova, takes on China’s Xinyu Wang, who was a 6-3 6-3 in her quarter-final against American Grace Min.
Krejcikova reached the round of 16 on the grass at Wimbledon and lost to World No 1 Ash Barty.
“I’m the same player as always,” she told a press conference in Prague. “I am really enjoying competing in all the tournaments and in front of my audience this week.
“They cheer for me all the time and, no doubt, that makes me very happy. It seems that the situation is improving day by day.”
By her own admission, Krejcikova admires Simona Halep.
“I have seen all her games and this has helped me to improve in quality, this season” she said. “Halep always inspires me.
“Now, unlike before, I have a lot more desire to play tennis and to play with the crowd. I too would like to become a source of inspiration like Simona.
“Great season? I don’t know what the secret is. I’m trying to work hard every day and put the rest aside.
“When I go to train or play, I just focus on that. Off the court, however, I try to have fun
“I think it’s nice to find a good balance between tennis and your private life. You can’t focus on just one of the two alternatives.
It is true that now I am in a great moment of form, but I know that at some point the level could drop.
“I hope to be well prepared, especially from a mental point of view, and to be able to accept the situation.
“After winning in Paris, it is as if all my dreams have come true. Now I just want to have fun and do what I love most, which is to play tennis.”
Her next opponent, Xinyu Wang, is a 19-year old talent who has made her way impressively through to the semi-finals.
Against Min, the Chinese won 74% points off her first serves and 54% points off her second, while the American won almost 64% points off her first serves but only 33% points off her second deliveries.
Wang broke the American’s serve 4 times and saved 7 of the 8 break points she faced.
At the top of the draw, Tereza Martincova and Greet Minnen have set up the other semi-final in the Czech capital.
Martincova, the No 8 seed defeated Viktoria Kuzmova from Slovakia, 6-2 6-2, in 68 minutes.
The Czech broke serve 6 times while she, too, lost her serve twice before Martincova wrapped up the match with 63 points to her opponent’s 41.
Meanwhile, in her Prague Open quarter-final against Australia’s Storm Sanders, the 9th-seeded Greet Minnen from Belgium posted a 6-1 6-2 victory after 66 minutes of play.
The Belgian converted 6 of the 7 break points she created, but saved just 1 of the 3 break points, she faced.winning 64 points for the match to the Australian’s 39.
Ladies Open Lausanne 2021
At the Ladies Open Lausanne 2021, where the weather caused havoc with the schedule, several players were on double duty on Friday to reach the semi-finals.
While top seed Tamara Zidansek and her quarter-final opponent Lucia Bronzetti, a qualifier from Italy, had just the one match to play, in which the Slovenian prevailed 6-4 4-6 6-3, others had to complete their second round matches first.
Zidansek next faces Maryna Zaneska from Belgium, who first defeated Switzerland’s Stefanie Voegele, 7-5 6-3 before taking out Russian Natalia Vikhlyantseva, 7-5 6-4, to reach the semis.
The No 5 seed, France’s Caroline Garcia is making a welcome return to her favoured clay but had a fight on her hands against another qualifier, Astra Sharma, 7-6(3) 3-6 6-3, before getting past Zarina Diyas, 7-5 6-2, after the Kazakh had earlier upset 4th-seeded Camila Giorgi from Italy, 6-4 6-4.
The 27-year old Garcia meets fellow Frenchwoman Clara Burel, who came from behind to defeat Russia’s Kamilla Rakhimova, 1-6 6-3 6-3, before upsetting her compatriot, Fiona Ferro, the 2nd seed, 7-5 6-2.
Hungarian Grand Prix
Meanwhile, things were less fraught at the Hungarian Grand Prix in Budapest, where top seed Yulia Putintseva from Kazakstan was well tested before advancing against Ukrainian Kateryna Kozlova, 6-7(4) 6-0 7-5, to reach the semi-finals where she will meet local wild-card Dalma Galfi.
The Hungarian delighted with an emphatic 6-4 6-2 win over Serbian qualifier Olga Danilovic in her quarter-final.
In the lower half of the draw, 2nd-seeded Danielle Collins from the USA defeated yet another qualifier in Paula Ormaechea from Argentina, 6-1 6-4, to set up a semi-final encounter with Russia’s Anna Kalinina, who stopped Hungarian wild-card Panna Udvardy’s fine run, 6-4 6-4.