Friday at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix was all about the exciting quarterfinal action, as Maria Sharapova continued her fairytale comeback with another straight-set victory and Laura Siegemund edged an upset to again make the final of her favorite clay.
The day started with Sharapova surviving a tough challenge posed by Anett Kontaveit, who has recently reached her first WTA final at the Ladies Open Biel Bienne, while this week the Estonian qualifier recorded her first Top 10 win by ousting reigning French Open champion Garbine Muguruza. The Russian won 6-3 6-4 and will next face Kristina Mladenovic of France, who defeated Spain’s Carla Suarez Navarro 6-3 6-2 in the second quarterfinal.
The most thrilling encounter was between last year’s runner-up Siegemund and second seed Karolina Pliskova. Throughout the first half of the opening set Siegemund managed to grab opportunities to break the big-serving Pliskova, but the German wildcard never converted and the Czech favorite built a 5-2 lead. Still, Siegemund refused to leave her home tournament and amazingly clawed back to 6-6, having saved set points at 5-3, and then pretty much dominated the tiebreak. The second long set went into Pliskova’s hands, but Siegemund roared back in the decider, racing to a 3-0 lead and holding on to that advantage all the way to the 7-6(3) 5-7 6-3 triumph.
Closing the day was Romania’s Simona Halep, who eased past Latvian Anastasija Sevastova 6-3 6-1. The fourth-seeded Halep is a bit fearful about her upcoming semifinal against Siegemund, as the German upset her in the first round at this tournament last year.
We have a lot of photos from Friday’s quarterfinal matches, so stay tuned!