Tennis

London | WTA Roundup: Kasatkina advances in Granby, while Cornet is a fan favourite in Cleveland

Granby – WTA 250 Championnats Banque Nationale de Granby

Top seed Daria Kasatkina advanced to the semi-finals in Quebec with a 6-3 6-2 win over Spain’s Nuria Parrizas Diaz on Thursday, while Australia’s Daria Saville, the 9th seed, made her first WTA final since 2017 after beating Wang Xiyu from China, 6-3 6-0, and then receiving a walk-over from her Last 4 opponent, 10th-seeded Marta Kostyuk from Ukraine, into Saturday’s championship match.

I’ve had a pretty good season since coming back [from injury], so I’m pretty happy and pretty proud of myself. And I just want to keep going. Daria Saville

The quarter-final matches at the hard court tournament in suburban Montreal saw Kostyuk prevail over home favourite Rebecca Marino, 6-2 4-6 6-2, and France’s Diane Parry eke past Tatiana Maria from Germany, 6-4 6-7(8) 7-6(4) after a 2 hour 54 minute battle.

Kasatkina, the US Open 10th seed, learned on Thursday that she will start in New York against Britain’s 98th-ranked Harriet Dart, and could meet Parrizas Diaz again in the 2nd-round but, before that, the Russian has a Friday semi-final in Granby against Parry.

After Kostyuk’s defeat of Canadian Marino in an hour and 33 minutes, the Ukrainian pulled out of the tournament with a shoulder injury, allowing Saville to advance to her 5th career WTA final, and her first since Hong Kong in October 2017.

Saville won her only WTA title in August 2017 in another tune-up event the week before the US Open, taking the Connecticut Open crown.

The 28-year-old Australian continues her impressive form, overcoming Wang, the World No 75 in only 74 minutes to record her 3rd consecutive straight-sets win this week.

A solid serving display helped Saville dominate, conceding just 17 points across her 8 service games.

“I played very solid today,” said Saville, who is ranked 73. “I took care of the things I could control. I knew she was a big hitter.

“I felt like I served really well, so that helped as well.”

Saville is also through to the doubles semi-finals this week, teaming with Japan’s Ena Shibahara to eliminate 2nd-seeded Romanians Monica Niculescu & Raluca Olaru, 2-6 6-3 [10-8] on Thursday.

“I’ve had a pretty good season since coming back [from injury], so I’m pretty happy and pretty proud of myself,” Saville added. “And I just want to keep going.”

Bernarda Pera dropped a set but prevailed over Sofia Kenin to reach the semi-finals in Cleveland

© Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Cleveland – WTA 250 Tennis in the Land presented by motorola edge

American Bernarda Pera continued her fine run in Cleveland, winning her 13th consecutive WTA Tour match in beating her compatriot, former Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin, 6-2 5-7 6-3, on Thursday night in the Tennis in The Land quarter-finals.

Pera, ranked 51 in the world, who has not lost in a main draw since Wimbledon 2 months ago, took out top-seeded Czech Barbora Krejcikova in straight sets on Wednesday.

The American No 8 will face Liudmila Samsonova in a battle of unseeded semi-finalists at the US Open tune-up event, after the Russian, ranked 45, stopped Poland’s beat Magda Linette, 6-4 6-3.

Fellow American Kenin, who has been plagued by injuries since winning the 2020 title in Melbourne, ended Pera’s 25-set winning streak, though, before dropping the 2-hour, 2-minute match on the stadium court at Jacobs Pavilion.

Meanwhile, 8th-seeded Alizé Cornet of France, defending champion Emma Raducanu’s 1st-round opponent next week at the US Open, eliminated Zhang Shuai of China, 6-4 6-2, for her 3rd straight-set victory in 3 matches in Cleveland, where she has become a fan favourite.

Ranked 37, Cornet seized the momentum late in the first set by fighting off 5 break points in winning a 26-point, 17-minute game to extend her lead to 5-3, and she never looked back.

In the Last 4 Cornet will meet 7th-seeded Aliaksandra Sasnovich from Belarus, ranked 36, who took out another American, Madison Brengle, 6-4 6-1, in the lone morning quarter-final, and is seeking her first WTA title.

Alizé Cornet, who plays Emma Raducanu at the US Open, was a straight sets winner over Zhang Shuai on Thursday in Cleveland

© Justin Setterfield/Getty Images

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