The American swing of the TWA tour on hard courts in the build up to the US Open at the end of the month is well and truly underway. At the Citi Open being played in Washington this week, there were shocks and surprises galore. 7th seed and 43rd ranked Magdalena Rybarikova of Slovakia got to the semis after three hard fought three setters, the third of which was when she defeated top seed Angelique Kerber. Her opponent at this stage was 3rd seed and 27th ranked Russian Ekaterina Makarova who lost just six games to the quarter final, where her opponent retired after just one game. In Saturday afternoon’s semi Rybarikova took the first set 6-2 and the second set to love in an hour and a quarter of one sided tennis to book her place in the final.
The second semi was between 4th seeded Frenchwoman Alize Cornet, ranked at 31, and the unseeded German, Andrea Petkovic, ranked at 64. Cornet won her first three matches in straights, including a quarter final against the 5th seed, Sorana Cirstea. Petkovic won her first match in straights, took out Mona Barthel, the 6th seed in the second round also in straights and then dropped her first set in the quarters against Paula Ormachea before taking the next two sets easily. In contrast to the first semi, it was hard work all the way in the first set for both players who fought for every point. Petkovic got to 6-5 and then, after a very long game, managed to break Cornet to take the hour long set 7-5. There were breaks on both sides of the net at the start of the second set before Petkovic ran up a 4-1 lead. Cornet served to stay in the match trailing 2-5 and held, forcing the German to serve out for the match. Petkovic held her nerve and took the set 6-3 to progress to the final.