The semifinals draw took form today at Engie Open de Limoges. The $125,000 WTA Tournament has already seen five of the eight top seeds fall in first and second rounds, with top seed Elina Svitolina's loss in the first round and second seed Lesia Tsurenko’s retirement before the tournament. Third seed and wild card Caroline Garcia remains the only seeded player that got past quarter finals.
Chirico battles past Kozlova, Siniakova upsets Friedsam
After a struggling start, down a double break in the first three games - despite being able to save five break points - nineteen year old Louisa Chirico managed to take a first break back from Ukraine’s Kateryna Kozlova, and finally to level to 5-5 on the tenth game, saving one set point on her previous service game. She then took complete control of the match, breaking the Ukrainan’s serve again to take the first set 7-5, and taking the second set for 6-2, without facing a single break point. In Limoges, the young American will reach the first WTA level semifinal of her career.
First seed of the day to fall was Germany’s Anna-Lena Friedsam, eight seed of the tournament, who missed a comeback to nineteen year old Czech Katerina Siniakova. Two times Siniakova took the lead of the match with a break, but the German never failed to take the break right back. The Czech teen finally consolidated the advantage in the twelfth and last game of the set, which she took 7-5 despite facing seven break points - and saving five.
On the second set, Friedsam took advantage of Siniakova’s double fault on the fourth game’s break point to take the lead of the set, and eventually sealing it 6-2 with another break on the last game, giving Siniakova only one chance to break back.
Third set started with no single chance to break in the first six games. It’s the young Czech who eventually took the lead, helped by a double fault from the German. In the last game, Friedsam saved two match points but it hasn’t been enough, with Siniakova taking the match on the third one to join fellow teen Chirico in the semifinals.
Schiavone advances after Gasparyan’s retire, Garcia served her way past Vekic
It ended in an hour the clash between veteran Francesca Schiavone from Italy and Russian rising star Margarita Gasparyan, who won her maiden WTA singles title this year at Baku Cup. The clash of two of the few one-handed backhand players in the circuit ended after the first set, since Gasparyan retired due to physical problems.
The Russian managed to break her opponent’s serve twice in the opening set - the first time thanks to the first of three double faults from the Italian - but Schiavone always broke her right back, saving two break points and failing to convert other two in Gasparyan’s last service game. The match ended in a tiebreak, taken by Schiavone at the first set point, after wasting an advantage of 4-0 up. The Italian French Open champion will face Louisa Chirico in the semifinals.
In the last match of the day, French Caroline Garcia earned her semifinals spot after a comeback to Croatian Donna Vekic, rallying from a 3-6 down with a double 6-1, and giving the nineteen year old no chance to break in the last two sets. Impressive first serve stats from Garcia - 100% in the third set -, while double faults had been fatal for Vekic: of the six overall, three had been on break points, the first of them on Garcia’s set point. The French WTA rising star will take on Katerina Siniakova for a spot in the final.