The first two quarter-finals took place at the Italian Open on Tuesday featuring the bottom half of the women’s draw. Veronika Kudermetova and Anhelina Kalinina prevailed to make it to the penultimate stage of the tournament, with their results emerging to be somewhat similar.
In the first quarter-final, Kudermetova, the 11th seed came from down a set to defeat 22nd seed Qinwen Zheng. Kudermetova won 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 after two hours and 31 minutes of play. Both players finished the match with a couple of shared stats, winning 72% of their first-serve points and saving three break points each.
However, across each of the three sets, there was a definite swing in the momentum from Zheng’s end to Kudermetova’s. In the first set, Zheng won 85% of her first-serve points to Kudermetova’s 68%. In the second set, Zheng’s first-serve points won dropped to 50% while Kudermetova won 64% of her first-serve points.
In the decider, the eventual winner finished with 82% of first-serve points won to her opponent’s 68%. This is the second consecutive WTA 1000 semi-final the 26-year-old’s reached in her career. Prior to this result, Kudermetova had made it to the second-last round in Madrid before losing at the hands of eventual finalist, Iga Swiatek.
Italian Open: New career milestone for Anhelina Kalinina
In the second quarter-final, Kalinina, who’s seeded 30th, played the lengthiest match on the tour to get past 12th seed Beatriz Haddad Maia. The Ukrainian wrapped up a 6-7(2), 7-6(6), 6-3 win after three hours and 41 minutes of play.
Kalinina had the upper hand in the first two sets but let her lead slip. While her opponent from Brazil was able to capitalise and take the opening set for herself, Kalinina regrouped in the deciding stages of the second set to claim it and push the match into a third set.
In the third set, it was Haddad Maia who went up an early break. However, from 0-3 down, Kalinina won six games in a row to oust her higher-ranked rival. The Italian Open’s the first time Anhelina Kalinina will be playing in the semi-final of a WTA 1000 tournament.
She and Veronika Kudermetova have a 1-1 win-to-loss record against each other. However, Kalinina won their most recent match, played at the 2023 Dubai Open. Photo Credit: WTA Twitter