A well-deserved recovery day for Sarita yesterday: she had the chance to rest a bit and cure her right ankle, which she twisted in the beginning of the last-16 second set against the Israeli Shahar Peer. The n.1 player of Italy has proven to be perfectly fine and kept stomping the ground under her Nikes. Her victim today has been the Georgian – now officially American citizen – Anna Tatishvili (WTA n.134).
The previous match record between the two states Sara’s technical and tactical supremacy, who prevailed both in Portoroz 2010 (hardcourt) and Budapest 2012 (clay) – in straight sets.
Her third win opened up with a break, which Tatishvili tried to react to breaking back, altough the top seed of the tournament made it clear she wasn’t afraid to muscle her way through semifinals: a drop-shot on her second serve favored the rush for the first point of the match.
As directly advised by Pablo Lozano during her coach-on-court pause, Sarita quickens her groundstrokes in order to force the American to take risky solutions and achieving a considerable number of backhand cross court winners.
The QF continued and Sara dedicated her second set to aggressiveness and accuracy which granted her a 3rd and 6th game break; Tatishvili tried to stay close at 4-3 but once again Pablo made his way into the court to get her pupil going and to make sure she could not possibly get distracted for the final rush. Easy said, easy done: 2 more lethal drop-shots that definitively took the wind out Tatishvili’s sails and let the Italian celebrate her 3rd season semifinal at the Bucharest Open. Final score: 6-2, 6-3.
“I wasn’t feeling that good on court today. I felt a little bit nervous and slow, I’m glad Pablo came in to get my mind right. Truth is she helped me with some unforced errors but also, she played very well overall. She kept changing down-the-line everytime she could but I managed to pull it off anyway, gladly. I hope I will have better feeling on court tomorrow”.
Sara will battle for a spot into the finals tomorrow at 3pm (local) against the Romanian favorite Monica Niculescu – 3rd seed – who beat her compatriot Andreea Mitu in 3 sets (4-6, 6-0, 6-2). Again, the match record favors Sara (3-1) who won in Doha back in 2014 last time they met.