The WTA event in Madrid is getting to the business end now with three former champions still in with a chance of the title. Maria Sharapova, Simona Halep and Petra Kvitova have 5 Madrid titles between them including the last four. Kvitova and Halep could face off in the semi finals but the Czech must first see off the threat off a dangerous Daria Kasatkina.
A heavy hitting clash with Garbine Muguruza looked on the cards but Kasatkina saw to that with a three set win to make it to the last 8 instead. After making a name for herself at Indian Wells, Kasatkina had faltered a bit with three opening round losses in her next four tournaments. She has found her form again though, with the win over the World No.3 the pick of the bunch.
Kvitova also had to tough it out in three sets, finally over coming Anett Kontaveit 6-7 6-3 6-3. She will have been disappointed to have blown the first set from 5-3 up but delivered on key points, saving 9 of 10 break points from then on. It’s now eight straight wins for her as she builds on her title success in Prague. Kvitova had remarked of her tiredness after previous matches and is now up to over 4 hours on court over the past few days.
“I was playing against No.3 in the world, and it’s always giving you confidence when you’re beating big players on the big stages, matches like this, when you’re fighting for every ball — of course after these matches, you’re feeling much better.” Kasatkina said after her win. With a tired opponent opposite, this provides the Russian the opportunity for another big win. She is already 6-2 against top 10 players this year and in good enough form to take another scalp.
Prediction – Daria Kasatkina in three sets