Sun, Apr 08, 2018 - Page 11 News List

Goerges and Keys advance to semis at Volvo Car Open

AP, CHARLESTON, South Carolina

Germany’s Julia Goerges continued her strong season on Friday by defeating defending champion Daria Kasatkina to reach the semi-finals of the Volvo Car Open.

Goerges, the fifth seed who is ranked No. 13 in the world, overpowered third-seeded Kasatkina of Russia 6-4, 6-3 with nine aces — she won 84 percent of her points on her first serve — to advance to the final four at the WTA’s opening clay-court tournament.

Goerges, who won earlier this year at the WTA’s New Zealand event, is to face No. 8 seed Anastasija Sevastova of Latvia, who ended the surprise run of Kristyna Pliskova with a 6-4, 6-0 victory.

American Madison Keys, last year’s US Open runner-up, also advanced, prevailing in an all-US match with Bernarda Pera 6-2, 6-7 (5/7), 7-5.

She is to take on Dutch 12th seed Kim Bertens, who defeated 14th seed Alize Cornet of France 6-2, 7-5.

Goerges said getting her serve going early was crucial to beating Kasatkina.

“I served pretty big today, which was also [a] good key, of course,” Goerges said. “If you have good service games, you can put more pressure on the return games, and I think that was a good combination.”

Kasatkina, 20, had won her past eight matches in Charleston and got emotional when that run ended in her first defense of a WTA crown.

“I was not able to hold my tears after the match,” Kasatkina said. “It’s tough, but I’m happy that I have this experience now, and I went through this and I’m pretty sure next time is going to be much easier.”

Little came easy for Keys in the final two sets against Pera, the 23-year-old ranked No. 101 in the world who won three matches to make the quarter-finals.

Keys had match point in the second set, then was down a break to Pera in the third.

Keys said her coach, Lindsay Davenport told her: “’I don’t care what happens, just show me that you want it.’”

“And that was really all that I had to focus on, and I think that brought my level up,” Keys added.

Sevastova, ranked 16th, outlasted Pliskova in the opening set before winning the second one going away.

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