Yulia Putintseva and Alison van Uytvanck, the top seeds at the Astana Open, reached the semi-finals on Thursday. Putintseva, the only Kazakh left in the draw in the Kazakh capital, Nur-Sultan, defeated Anastasia Gasanova in the quarter-final.
The world no. 49 needed two hours and 39 minutes to post a 6-3, 4-6, 6-0 win over the Russian. Putintseva won 61% of her first-serve points while Gasanova won 54%. However, Gasanova was able to win only 31% of her second-serve points to Putintseva’s 44%.
Likewise, Putintseva was also helped by Gasanova’s 13 double faults. The higher-ranked player converted eight break points while saving eight of the 12 break points, she faced. Putintseva went on to finish the match with 101 points to Gasanova’s 86.
For a place in the final, Putintseva will face sixth seed, Rebecca Peterson. The Swede came through a Russian, wildcard Anastasia Potapova, in her quarter-final. Peterson won 6-4, 6-7(7), 6-4 in two hours and 56 minutes. Potapova won more points off her first serves as compared to Peterson – 59% to 57%.
But Peterson won more of her second-serve points – 51% to Potapova’s 37% and this made the difference in the match, towards the end. Peterson was broken five times in the match but went on to break Potapova seven times.
The world no. 78 finished the match with 115 points to Potapova’s 106.
Astana Open: Alison van Uytvanck, Jaqueline Cristian impress
Meanwhile, in the bottom half of the draw, both quarter-finals were wrapped up in straight sets.
Jaqueline Cristian defeated Aleksandra Krunic 6-4, 6-3 in an hour and 20 minutes in their last-eight clash. Cristian broke Krunic thrice across the match and was broken just once. The Romanian won 10 more points as compared to the Serbian to complete the match – 65 to 55.
This’ the first time that Cristian’s reached the semi-finals of a WTA tournament. Cristian’s opponent in the semi-finals, second seed Alison van Uytvanck, notched a 6-4, 6-4 victory over seventh-seeded Russian, Varvara Gracheva in their quarter-final clash.
If Cristian were to upset Van Uytvanck and reach the final of the Astana Open, she will make her debut in the top-100 of the WTA rankings on Monday. Photo Credit: Astana Open Twitter