The quarterfinals of the Ricoh Open took place on Friday in s-Hertogenbosch, with all four matches being decided in straight sets. Despite the shortness of all the matches, that did not mean the day was devoid of tension. The semifinals are now set, so here’s what happened on day five at the Ricoh Open.
Belinda Bencic had to battle through an all-Swiss quarterfinal with Viktorija Golubic, with the top seed narrowly edging her countrywoman in a pair of tiebreaks. The first set was wild, with both women struggling mightily on their second serves, combining to win 11 out of 37 second serve points, throwing in nine double faults (five for Bencic, four for Golubic), and breaking three times each before the higher-ranked Swiss won a nail-biter of a first set tiebreak 8-6. The second set was a little more straightforward, with each woman breaking once before Bencic sealed her spot in the semifinals with another tiebreak win.
Third seed Kristina Mladenovic finally put an end to the impressive run of world number 171 Elise Mertens, as the Frenchwoman scored a 7-5, 6-3 victory to advance to the semifinals. Mladenovic was generally strong on serve throughout the opening set but failed to save the lone break point she faced. She made up for it by breaking twice, including when Mertens was serving to stay in the set at 5-6. Again, the Frenchwoman would give up a break in the second, but scored two of her own to advance in an hour and 22-minutes.
Sixth seed Coco Vandeweghe had the easiest victory on Friday, needing under an hour to beat 120th ranked Evgeniya Rodina 6-2, 6-2 in their quarterfinal meeting. Vandeweghe was dominant on serve, only dropping nine points on serve (four in the first set, five in the second) and did not face a break point in the entire match. She was strong on return, as well, claiming a pair of breaks in each set to reach the semifinals.
In the semifinals, Vandeweghe will meet her countryman Madison Brengle in the semifinals after Brengle defeated Kateryna Kozlova in the quarterfinals. The American faced pressure on her serve from the young Ukrainian in the opening set, being forced to save four break points in the opening set while she only managed two break points of her own. Lucky for the American, she converted one of those break points late to seal the first set. Kozlova finally broke through in the second set, converting her only break point of the frame. However, Brengle converted both of her chances in the second, going to claim a 7-5, 6-4 victory.
The semifinals are now set, with a seeded battle between Bencic and Mladenovic deciding one finalist spot, with an all-American clash between Vandeweghe and Brengle deciding the other.