by Alain Chivilò
GNP Seguros, WTA Finals, Cancun, Mexico, 2023.
Decisive day to assign the last places dotted with sun, clouds and alternating rain especially in the evening and night. Very difficult management for the athletes and the organization, while patience and fun on the part of the spectators in Cancun, less so for the European ones 😉
The semi-finals in singles are:
American Jessica Pegula vs American Coco Gauff
Aryna Sabalenka vs Iga Swiatek
The semi-finals in doubles are:
G. Dabrowski – E. Routliffe vs N. Melichar-Martinez / E. Perez
S. Hunter – E, Mertens vs ?? – ??
Aryna Sabalenka 6/2, 3/6, 6/3 vs Elena Rybakina in 2.27 H.
In the second day of the match, Elena took the lead going to the deciding set. Aryna led immediately the final set. Very alternating game where Sabalenka was the protagonist between breaks and errors for the Rybakina’s breaks back. The Belarusian was more aggressive with effective shots. The Kazakh immediately tried to come back by taking advantage of the drops in their opponent’s play. In the end neither of the two players wanted to leave the court: Rybakina didn’t get the break points to bring the match probably to tie, Sabalenka didn’t want to win the match waiting her final serve.
Iga Swiatek 6/1, 6/2 vs Ons Jabeur in 1.07 H.
As per the score, Iga’s terminator mood continued in the last match of the group. Ons had no technical and physical means to counter Swiatek’s constant pressure.
First Semifinal: Aryna Sabalenka vs Iga Swiatek. The Polish is the favorite against the Belarusian for the continuity and pressure shown so far, in an attacking game both from the baseline but also at the net after working on the flanks. Swiatek is the boxer from Cancun who punches hard constantly. Sabalenka will have to eliminate unforced errors but, she will have to try not to suffer Iga’s play, in turn setting a constant rhythm. Game worth seeing.
Coco Gauff 5/7, 7/6 (4), 6/3 vs Marketa Vondrousova in 2.28 H.
Very up-and-down and inconstant match, not due to the intermittent rain (right to suspend immediately) but above all, due to the play. Gauff was looking for victory to walk on semifinal, Vondrousova was looking to close the tournament with a victory. Down one set, the American resisted in the second set winning at tie break. In the deciding set, the Czech lost without ever having a break point. Overall in the match: the break points were 8/11 for Coco, 7/13 for Marketa, considering that from the two, in the first set there were seven breaks made, in the second six, in the third two by Cori. Balanced match with several moments favorable to one over the other and vice versa.
Second Semifinal: all Americans. Jessica Pegula vs Coco Gauff. The favorite appears to be Pegula who is very determined and on point. Gauff was not constant during her play. Between two doubles partners, who can still reach the Semifinal, everything could happen. Balanced match worth seeing.
Melichar-Martinez/Perez walked to Semifinals winning 6/2, 7/5 vs Krawczyk-Schuurs in 1.23 H.
Dabrowski-Routliffe walked to Semifinals winning 6/4, 7/5 vs Krejcikova-Siniakova in 1.34 H.
To be continued, today as last match scheduled, Gauff-Pegula vs Siegemund-Zvonareva 6/3, 1/1 for the Semifinals.
©AC, NDSL, AM, Alain Chivilo