Match reports

Vondrousova upsets Svitolina, secures semi versus Pliskova

This content was published 4 years ago. It may refer to a past edition of the Internazionali d’Italia.

Marketa Vondrousova was in imperious form in her quarter-final clash against Elina Svitolina, dropping just three games as she eased to a straight sets victory at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia and secured a semi-final spot against defending champion Karolina Pliskova.

The Czech player had seemed flat and nervous in her third round encounter against Polona Hercog on Friday evening but was a different player less than 24 hours later as she thrashed the two-time Italian Open champion 6-3 6-0 to advance to the semi-finals where she will meet either defending champion Karolina Pliskova or No.11 seed Elise Mertens.

Vondrousova was up against it in her opening two service games as the No.4 seed piled on the pressure and earned six break points, she couldn’t take her opportunities however and it was the 2019 Roland Garros champion who drew first blood, breaking in the fourth game to seize the advantage. Both players had further break points as the set progressed but neither could capitalise and Vondrousova found herself 6-3 up after 51 minutes.

The lefthander carried her momentum into the second set, winning the last seven games of the match as she recreated the kind of form that took her to the final at Roland Garros last year, using both her forehand and the drop shot to great effect, to upset Svitolina in 82 minutes.

Vondrousova’s semi-final opponent will be compatriot Karolina Pliskova who remained on course to defend her Internazionali BNL d’Italia title by overcoming No.11 seed Elise Mertens 3-6 6-3 6-0 in her quarter-final.

The world No.2 played almost flawless tennis in the first and third sets but struggled in the second set when the Belgian fought her way back into the match, raising her level and getting Pliskova on the run. Mertens was able to take her break point opportunities and established a double break to level proceedings and force a decider.

The Czech player was soon back in control, winning the final six games of the match to triumph in two hours 11 minutes for her eighth straight victory at the Foro Italico.

“I think I played great match. Even the second set I think there was some good moments. Of course I was a break up, so I could definitely went the second set as well. But just started way too strong in the third, and I think definitely was maybe one of the best matches of course of this season, but it’s not so difficult because there was not many matches,” said Pliskova. “I felt great. Especially the first set I think was maybe one of my best sets what I have played on clay ever.”

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