Western & Southern Open: Meet the four semi-finalists
The Western & Southern Open (Cincinnati Masters) has reached its business end and we have the four semi-finalists in women's singles. The in-form Caroline Garcia will face number six seed Aryna Sabalenka in a crunch encounter. The other contest will see Petra Kvitova take on Madison Keys. Both matches will be held tonight as a mouth-watering finale is on the cards. Here's more.
Sabalenka ousted Zhang Shuai in the quarters, claiming a 6-4, 7-6 win. The world number seven prevailed over Shuai, despite clocking 12 double faults. However, Sabalenka served seven aces and converted six break points. Sabalenka has raced to a 4-1 lead over Shuai in their career head-to-head meetings. Prior to this win, Sabalenka beat Shuai in Rome this year.
Garcia beat seventh seed Jessica Pegula 6-1, 7-5 in straight sets. The Frenchwoman served four aces and had an 81% win on the first serve. She also converted three out of four break points. As per WTA, Garcia is the first qualifier to make the semis of the event since Akgul Amanmuradova in 2007. In terms of H2H, it's 2-2 between Garcia and Pegula.
Petra Kvitova tamed Ajla Tomljanovic 6-2, 6-3 in what was a rather one-sided battle. The match saw Kvitova fire 12 aces compared to her opponent's one. Tomljanovic also clocked six double faults. Kvitova had a 74% win on the first serve. She converted five out of six break points. This was the first meeting between the pair.
Keys enjoyed a 6-2, 6-4 win over Elena Rybakina, who committed four double faults. Keys had a 67% win on the first serve and converted five out of 13 break points. This was the second successive win for Keys over Rybakina. She had earlier beaten Rybakina at the 2022 Roland Garros. That match was a three-setter.
In terms of H2H, Sabalenka leads Garcia 2-1. Notably, Garcia has a 32-15 win-loss record in 2022. As per WTA, no one has won more matches since the start of June on the WTA Tour than Garcia (25). She has won two titles this year. On the other hand, Sabalenka has a 24-16 win-loss record this year. She is yet to win a title.
Keys and Kvitova share a 4-4 record in their career meetings to date. Their last meeting was at the 2021 Cincinnati Masters. Kvitova had defeated Keys in a 7-5, 6-4 contest. Keys has a 24-13 win-loss record in 2022, having one one title. Meanwhile, Kvitova has a 21-15 win-loss record this year. She has won one title this year and 29th overall.