Petra Martic stunned top-seeded Maria Sakkari in their semi-final match at the Linz Open on Saturday. The Croatian, seeded sixth in the Austrian event, came from down a set to notch a 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 against the Greek after more than two-and-a-half-hours of play.
Martic had eight aces across the match and won 70% of her first-serve points to Sakkari’s 57%. She won 48% of her second-serve points to her 27-year-old opponent’s 64%. Martic also saved seven of the 10 break points she faced while converting four break points on Sakkari’s serve.
For the match, Martic won 97 points to Sakkari’s 96. This was the first time in three matches that Martic had bested Sakkari. Previously, the two times they’d played before, Sakkari had defeated Martic and, as a result, had a 2-0 record prior to this match.
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Speaking to the press after the result, Martic said, “A really good match today. Obviously, very physical, very long. Maria is a great player, she never gives you any free points, so you have to work really hard out there if you want to beat her.
I think I played good from the beginning to the end. I used my serve really good, I tried to be unpredictable out there, and I think it made a difference in the end”. Eighth seed Anastasia Potapova needed two hours and 13 minutes to get the better of Marketa Vondrousova in their semi-final match.
Potapova won 6-1, 6-7(4), 6-3. Potapova won 62% of her first-serve points to the Czech’s 55%. She also won 24 of the 41 points played on her second-serve and 15 of the 28 points played on return on Vondrousova’s second serve.
The 21-year-old had 37 winners for the match, 13 more than Vondrousova’s 24. The Linz Open final will be the third match played between Petra Martic and Anastasia Potapova. Both players have won one match apiece with the latter winning their most-recent match-up at the 2022 Istanbul Cup, en route to winning the first title of her career in the event, a few days later.
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