Stuttgart. Laura Siegemund’s journey at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix is not over yet. After a brilliant performance watched by an ecstatic capacity 4,500 crowd in the Porsche Arena, the local hero has reached the semifinal of a WTA tournament for the first time. And Angelique Kerber, the Australian Open winner and title-holder, advanced comfortably to the penultimate round. The semi-finals on Saturday will be something quite special: First on court will be Angelique Kerber against Petra Kvitova and then Laura Siegemund will take on Agnieszka Radwanska.
Seemingly without a care in the world, Laura Siegemund is storming from win to win – and is astounding herself a little. “It’s incredible that everything is going so well,” said the qualifier, “but it’s the result of hard work.” It only took one hour 16 minutes for the Stuttgart-resident to beat Roberta Vinci, the world No. 8 and 2015 US Open runner-up, 6-1, 6-4 in the quarterfinals. Playing powerful and aggressive tennis, she raced through the first set but the psychology graduate then soon found herself 4-1 down in the second. However, she had no intention of changing her game plan and went on the all-out attack. Roberta Vinci had no recipe to stop the speedy German who is world-ranked No. 71. Laura Siegemund won game after game and, accompanied by the crowd’s tumultuous applause, celebrated her ticket to the semi-finals as if she had won a Grand Slam. Her opponent on Saturday is the top-seeded Pole Agnieszka Radwanska who advanced at the expense of Karolinia Pliskova from the Czech Republic (6-2, 7-6).
Angelique Kerber is on right track to reach the final. Against the Spaniard Carla Suarez Navarro, the Australian Open winner left people in no doubt that she has set her sights on a successful title defence at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix. Highly concentrated, she played aggressively from the word go. After one hour 12 minutes the score was 6-2, 6-4 and the first quarterfinal of the day was over. A few minutes previously with the score at 5-3 in the second set, the Spaniard, who until recently was ranked in the Top 10, broke back. Now one game behind, she had a glimmer of hope that could beat Angelique Kerber in the Porsche Arena for a second time after 2014. The hope did not last long as the German, the world No. 3, was simply too strong on the day. After losing her serve, she regained her rhythm and promptly broke her occasional practice partner to close out the match.
“It was very important otherwise it could’ve got tight again against Carla,” said the Porsche Brand Ambassador after the match. The German is delighted to be having a, until now, perfect week at the long-standing Stuttgart tournament: “Everything’s going to plan. I’m enjoying every rally I play at my home tournament.” If she has her way, there will be lots more by the end of Sunday: “No question, I’d love to defend my title.”
Her opponent in the first semi-final on Saturday will be Petra Kvitova. The two-time Wimbledon champion defeated the world No. 4 Garbine Muguruza 6-1, 3-6, 6-0. It was the end of the road for the Spanish shooting star, who many saw as being one of the favourites for the tournament win. Of the seven matches the Czech has played to date against Angelique Kerber, she has won four. “Angie is in great form. I know full well how dangerous she can be,” said the multiple Fed Cup winner. “Perhaps it’s an advantage for me that I’ve already played three matches here and Angie only two after her first round bye.” The first ever meeting between the two left-handers came in the Porsche Arena in 2012 when Petra Kvitova won the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix quarterfinal 6-4, 6-4.
Two Porsche Team Germany players will be contesting the doubles semi-finals: Sabine Lisicki and Anna-Lena Grönefeld. Sabine Lisicki will partner Lucie Safarova (Czech Republic) against the world’s best doubles team: Martina Hingis (Switzerland) and Sania Mirza (India). The second semi-final will be between the all-French pairing of Caroline Garcia and Kristina Mladenovic and Anna-Lena Grönefeld and the Czech Kveta Peschke.
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