Katerina Siniakova has produced a major upset with a 7-6, 6-2 victory over top seed Serena Williams at the Emilia-Romagna Open on Tuesday. The Czech player needed one hour and 37 minutes to defeat the American star. After saving a set point in the opening set, Siniakova ran riot in the second set, causing the biggest upset of the tournament. She has now qualified for her second quarterfinal of 2021.
It was a closely fought start, with both players saving a break point in their opening service games. The neck-to-neck match continued for long periods in the first set. Finally, Williams carved out a set point in the ninth game. However, Siniakova saved it before the match entered tie-breaker. The Czech player took advantage of Serena’s errors to capture the set.
Serena started the second set brighter of the two and broke Siniakova’s serve early on. But it did not help her to come into the match as the Czech player fought back impressively to break back immediately. From 2-2, Siniakova won the remaining games to ease her way to capture the set and the match in some style on her third match point after Williams sent a forehand long.
Earlier, No.2 seed Petra Martic and No.3 seed Coco Gauff started the tournament on winning note, but in contrasting fashion. Martic continued her recent good run, easing past Varvara Gracheva 6-4, 6-2 in one hour and 21 minutes.
No.3 seed Gauff, who reached her maiden WTA 1000 semifinal in Rome, had to work hard for the victory. She needed a pair of tiebreaks to edge past Kaia Kanepi 7-6, 7-6. The roller-coaster match saw both players doing well at certain parts of the game.
Gauff, 17, impressively came from 3-5 down in the first set to take the match to a tiebreak. She saved one set point in the tiebreak before bagging it. With momentum on her side, the American teenager was at her maximum best in the second set. Not far away from victory, Gauff suffered a monumental collapse. From 5-1 up, she lost five games in a row. She also saved two more set points in tiebreak before winning it on her first match point.