Marketa Vondrousova celebrated her tenth main draw win of the season, the 20th in her career, to reach her best result since her shocking title run at Biel, or Bienne, last year in her second main draw appearance. The Czech teenager moved into the quarterfinals at the Ladies Championship Gstaad with a 6-4, 6-4 victory over Elitsa Kostova.
After the one-sided first-round win over Lara Arruabarrena, her first WTA main draw win since a right thigh injury forced her to retire in the third set against Elina Svitolina in Stuttgart in May, today she lost ten points behind her first serve and effortlessly dictated the game using her heavy lefty forehand.
The renewed self-assurance made her return more proactively against the Bulgarian who claimed the second round for the seventh time since 2014. In her first WTA meeting against a lefty opponent, Kostova conceded just a single break point chance in the first set, enough to address the outcome of the opening set as Vondrousova built the point with his dtronger groundstroke and sealed it to the net.
Kostova, forced largely under pressure throughout the second set, faced and saved five break points in her first three service games. At 2-2, Kostova offered glimpses of her best tennis while Vondrousova stubbornly insisted in using predictable drop volley to change the pace of the rallies.
Nonetheless, she increased drive and power to obtain the expected break in the seventh game. Conceded the immediate break back, Vondrousova regrouped and broke at love taking eight of the last nine points of the match. In the quarterfinals, the former junior World No.1 will face either Evgeniya Rodina, who moved into the last 8 for the first time at WTA level since 2017 Guangzhou, after the semifinal run in Manchester and further four quarterfinals showings at ITF level this season.
Rodina beat for the first time in three meetings Mona Barthel, bidding to reach her fourth WTA quarterfinal of the year following Budapest, where she reached the semifinals, Lugano and Nottingham. The German won more points but still lost 64 26 75 as the Russian extended to 61-85 her main draw record and clinched the ninth WTA win on clay to equal her best result in the tournament.
In her first WTA match since Roland Garros, Mandy Minella, who gave birth to daughter Emma last October, won her first tour match as a mother. After picking three ITF $25,000 titles and compiling an impressive 31-13 record overall, she beat Tereza Martincova 6-3 7-6(3) to extend to three matches her unbeaten run against the Czech, whom she defeated in the qualifying rounds of Hobart and Indian Wells last season.
Tamara Korpatsch upset 6-2 6-0 No.7 seed Stefanie Voegele, who won their first two career meetings in the Lugano quarterfinals in April and a month later in the first round of the ITF $100,000 event in Trnava. She will face for the first Sara Sorribes Tormo, who won both the previous meetings on clay in straight sets.
Her good vibrations increased after her 7-6(5) 6-1 victory over the Russian Valentyna Ivakhenko. The different level of experience at these levels helped the Spaniard to seal most of the big points and complete six breaks from seven looks.
Won the seven tiebreak of the ten played this season, she intensified her dominance in a one-sided second set against the world No.176, reduced to no more than 39% of first serve points. No.2 seed Johanna Larsson opened her campaign with a 6-4 6-1 win over Wimbledon girls' runner-up Leonie Kung who made her WTA debut today.
The 17-year-old currently ranked No.413, who won two ITF $15,000 titles so far, described herself as highly superstitious and confessed she eat always salmon, with or without glace, at every meal at Wimbledon. But in Gstaad she had to change her diet, maintaining the same habit would have become too expensive.
Kung made the ball bounce three times before every service and asked for a new ball after every point lost. His omni-present father, Martin, followed every path of her daugher. As a vet, he learned how to become a tennis coach, with the same perfectionism that drove Leonie.
"She would always want to hit the perfect stroke" his mother told the tournament's official website, "and she easily got upset when she made mistakes". This time she couldn't get any kind of satisfaction.