Kaja Juvan and Angelique Kerber set up the final of the Strasbourg International after getting through their semi-final matches on Friday. Juvan upset the top-seeded Karolina Pliskova 6-2, 7-5 in an hour and 26 minutes. The Slovenian won 70% of her first-serve points to the Czech’s 59% and 57% of her second-serve points to the latter’s 39%.
She converted all four break points she had on Pliskova’s serve while saving four of the five break points she faced. After her win, talking about her performance, Juvan noted, “This whole year, I feel like I’ve been so close to beating these players.
I was like, ‘OK, let’s go for it, let’s be aggressive, I can do it, I’m always so close.’ We prepared well, and I think I stuck to being aggressive and trying to make the points, not just waiting for her, and that worked in the end.
I felt like I was really fast, and I felt really strong, so I wasn’t too worried if it’s going to go to the third set if it’s going to be a long match… I relaxed and tried to stick to my plan because I thought, in the end, it’s going to be worth it, no matter what happens”.
Strasbourg International: Milestones for Angelique Kerber, Kaja Juvan
Meanwhile, Juvan’s fellow finalist, the second-seeded Kerber led Oceane Dodin 7-6(2), 1-0 in their semi-final before the Frenchwoman decided to stop the match on account of illness.
Earlier, in the quarter-finals on Thursday, Dodin had ousted the ninth-seeded Viktorija Golubic, 6-3, 6-0 while Kerber had gotten the better of the eighth-seeded Magda Linette, 6-2, 4-6, 6-4. Pliskova had defeated Maryna Zanevska, 6-4, 7-6(6) while Juvan had upset the fourth-seeded Elise Mertens, 7-6(3), 6-3.
Going into the Strasbourg International final, while Kaja Juvan will be contesting a WTA final for the first time, for Angelique Kerber this is the first final she’s reached on clay in almost six years, since 2016.
In terms of head-to-head, Juvan leads the count after having won the only match they’ve played, at the 2020 French Open.