Seoul: Sanchez Stuns Goerges To Make Semis
Sixth seed Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez provided by far the biggest surprise of the South Korean event after ousting third favorite Julia Goerges in two sets, 7-6, 6-1 to play Polona Hercog in the next phase.
The Spaniard struggled for nearly two hours to get rid of this year’s Stuttgart champion who pushed the opener into a tight tie break the German lost at the death. Six breaks were exchanged between the two players only in the first round and it was Sanchez to dominate the breaker which she won at six. Concerning the second term, it showed Julia losing more pace and conceding three more services to her opponent who clinched the last round very easily.
Sanchez finished the game with a 55 first serve percentage, a 53 return one, winning at the same time 56 percent of service points and six out of 12 break points. On the other side, Goerges had a 45 first serve percentage, a 44 return one and a 47 service percentage. She also hit a couple of aces and committed five double faults.
The head to head series between the two have now gone 2-0 to the Spaniard whose first win comes from the 2008 New Haven event. Previous to Goerges’s win, Martinez had ousted Irina Falconi and Kristyna Pliskova who must have given her a lot of confidence for the next terms.
“She was serving well. It was hard to break her but in the second set I really focused and gave myself a better chance to win. Normally I win three or four games with serve and volley, and that was working today. My style is different and I like taking risks when I’m playing,” said the Spanish player after the second term win.
Next up for Martinez is Klara Zakopalova who has also booked a semi final berth after defeating Vania King of Untied States in three sets, 6-2, 4-6, 6-1. The Czech needed one hour and 36 minutes to advance through the best four term. After strong start which saw the Czech go four games atop thanks to three breaks, Zakopalova lost a lot of the pace within the second one, permitting the American to steal a couple of services and level the situation after one hour of play.
Klara managed to break her, too, but could not find the strength to stay in touch with a straight set win. Finally, the decider belonged to the same Czech, though, who rallied past her opponent thanks to a four break run which brought her an easy but hard earned victory.
Zakopalova finished the game with a 58 first serve percentage, a 55 return one, winning at the same time 58 percent of service points. She also committed five double faults, compared to King’s four. Concerning American’s showing, it also included a 62 first serve percentage, a 42 return one as well as a 45 service percentage.
King only converted four out of four break points, while Klara eight out of nine. King still leads the direct confrontations with the world number 43 whom she has defeated three times so far. Her last win comes from the 2009 Monterrey event, having gone 3-1 against the Czech.
Concerning the first half of the draw, Polona Hercog has also provided a surprise after ousting fourth seed Dominika Cibulkova in two easy sets, 6-3, 6-1. The Slovenian player, who met the Slovak for the second time, broke Dominika four times and conceded a couple of services only in the first term to show more determination in the second one. Hercog saved two break points in the last term and converted other two, something which propelled her through a very easy win against the higher seeded.
Hercog needed one hour and 24 minutes to make the progress and level the head to head series 1-1. Cibulkova’s only win dates from this term’s Wimbledon event. The Slovenian won 61 percent of first serve points, 65 of return ones and 60 of service balls, compared to Cibulkova’s 50 first serve percentage, a 40 return one and two out of six break point conversions.
She also won 35 percent of return points, something which helped the Slovenian to convert six break point conversions in eight tries. Next up for Hercog is Galina Voskoboeva who nbeat Vera Dushevina in two sets, 6-2, 6-3.
The Kazak needed one hour and seven minutes to secure the semi final berth, breaking her opponent three times in the first term and once more in the last term. Voskoboeva finished the game with a 50 first serve percentage, a 72 service one, three double faults as well as a 49 receiving percentage.
Dushevina came up with a 53 first serve percentage but also a very poor 28 return one. She also won 51 percent of service points, converted one out of four break points and committed three double faults to pack from Seoul earlier than wanted.
The head to head series between the two have now gone 4-2 to world number 65 whose last win against Galina comes from last year’s Pattaya City event.
Seoul Prize Money and points:
Winner – $37,000 and 280 points WTA
Runner up – $19,000 and 200 points WTA
Semi finalist – $10,200 and 130 points WTA
Quarter finalist – $5,340 and 70 points WTA
Second round – $2,950 and 30 points WTA
First round – $1,725 and one point WTA11