Ningbo Open: Ons Jabeur fights past Vera Zvonareva into semis; Petra Kvitova exits

Linda Fruhvirtova and Nadia Podoroska came through in one-sided last-eight clashes

by Abbey Johnson
Ningbo Open: Ons Jabeur fights past Vera Zvonareva into semis; Petra Kvitova exits
© Hector Vivas/ Getty Images

Ons Jabeur, the no. 1 seed at the Ningbo Open this week, was made to work hard in her second-round match on Thursday. The Tunisian who played Vera Zvonareva was pushed to three sets, eventually prevailing 7-5, 4-6, 6-1 after more than two hours and 30 minutes of play.

Jabeur hit six aces in the match while opponent was held back by the nine double faults she hit. The 29-year-old won 62% of her first-serve points to her older rival’s 53%. Both players couldn’t find their rhythm when it came to winning second-serve points.

Jabeur finished with barely better stats, winning 40% of her second-serve points to her rival’s 39%. Both players combined to create 29 break points. Of these, 16 came on the seeded player’s serve, and she saved 10 of them.

Zvonareva, meanwhile, could save only five of the 13 break points she faced. The world no. 7 will play Argentina’s Nadia Podoroska. Podoroska was comprehensive in her second-round match against Katerina Siniakova, winning 6-1, 6-1 after 92 minutes of play.

The former Roland Garros semi-finalist saved all five break points she faced and converted five of the 17 break points she generated on the Czech’s serve. She won 19 of 24 first-serve points and 19 of 37 points on return on her opponent’s first serve.

Podoroska also won 58% of her second-serve points and 52% points on return on Siniakova’s second serve. This is the second semi-final Podoroska’s reached in 2023. Earlier, she’d made it to the semi-finals of the Hungarian Grand Prix in July.

Ningbo Open: Diana Shnaider outplays Petra Kvitova

Two of Siniakova’s compatriots in the draw had contrasting results in their respective quarter-finals. Earlier, Linda Fruhvirtova took out eighth seed Lucia Bronzetti 6-0, 6-3 in their match.

The Czech teenager needed 73 minutes to get the win. The most-shocking stat for the Italian was the points she won on her second serve. Of the 12 points played, Bronzetti won just one point which came in the second set. The 18-year-old Fruhvirtova will play 19-year-old Diana Shnaider for a chance to reach the Ningbo Open final.

Shnaider ousted the second-seeded southpaw Petra Kvitova 6-1, 4-6, 6-3 after a little over two hours. In the deciding set, Shnaider won the last three games in a row to get the win. This is the teen’s first semi-final since she made it that far at the Hamburg European Open, a few months ago, in July.

Ons Jabeur Vera Zvonareva Petra Kvitova