Barbora Krejcikova stuns Ekaterina Alexandrova in Strasbourg

The No.5 seed Czech player downs the No.3 seed Russian in straight sets to enter the semifinals.

Barbora Krejcikova in action in Strasbourg; Credit: [email protected]_Strasbourg

Barbora Krejcikova beats No.3 seed Ekaterina Alexandrova to enter the semifinals of Internationaux de Strasbourg. No.5 seed Krejcikova is the highest-seeded player left standing after beating Alexandrova 7-6, 6-1 in the quarterfinals. Elsewhere, qualifier Jule Niemeier continued her stellar week, winning twice in one day. She has now set up a last-four date with Krejcikova in Strasbourg.

Alexandrova had beaten Krejcikova in their three previous meetings. But this time the Czech turned the tables on the Russian to win the match in an hour and 37 minutes. “I’ve played her many times, and I always started really bad in the first set, and then she was always improving really, really well,” Krejcikova said after her win.

“I felt like this time I had to start the first set really well, and I still lost serve and I was still down, but I was closer, and I felt the tiebreak was the deciding point of the match.”

Earlier, Krejcikova was broken at love as Alexandrova started on the front foot. The Russian then opened up a 4-2 lead. But Krejcikova leveled the set at 4-4 after getting her first break of the match. With nothing to separate them, the match went into a tiebreak, where an ace gave the Czech player a 4-1 lead. Soon it became 6-3 as she closed out the set in style.

With momentum on her side, Krejcikova was at her full best in the set. Alexandrova held at love to start the second set, but that would be the last game she will win in the match. The Czech then bagged six straight games to clinch the victory.

“I see that I’m improving every shot, my physical, my mental, everything,” Krejcikova said. “I’m just happy that I can actually show it on court and play this high level and play all the top players. It’s something that I really like to do, so I’m happy that I’m here.”

Krejcikova will next face German qualifier Jule Niemeier. The German finished off a 6-4, 7-6 second-round win over No.7 seed Shelby Rogers in the morning on Thursday. That match was interrupted midway by rain on Wednesday. At the end of the day on Thursday, Niemeier then won her quarterfinal, easing past 84th-ranked Arantxa Rus, 6-4, 6-1.

“I’m surprised, yes, but I’m obviously really happy that I won both matches today,” Niemeier told the media. “I’m just really happy with the way I’m playing right now. I know what I can play, and what I can do on court, so that I can cause trouble!”

Sportslumo Desk

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