The first edition of the Moscow River Cup will crown a first-time WTA title winner. 17-year-old lucky loser Olga Danilovic pulled off a stunning upset in the quarterfinals as she dismissed World No.10 Julia Goerges of Germany, 6-3 6-3 in her maiden clash against a Top 10 opponent.
She will face Aliaksandra Sasnovich, promoted to the semifinals as Anastasia Sevastova gave walk over due to injury. 17-year-old Russian wild card Anastasia Potapova engineered a hard-fought comeback win as she beat Valentyna Ivakhnenko 1-6 6-3 6-2 to advance to her first WTA semifinal.
She will meet fellow rising prospect Tamara Zidansek, who beat Laura Siegemund 6-3 6-4. "Every win here is important, especially since I played with one of the top players in the world right now," the left-handed Danilovic told the press, after her match.
"It’s an amazing feeling, an amazing win." The Serbian hit 14 winners and 11 unforced errors to complete the biggest win of her career. Her team, she said, said to play her game, to remain focused all the time and not to panic.
Keeping her serve, against the 2018 ace leader, became the key factor for the lucky loser who confessed to have discovered to be in the main draw while she were visiting Red Square with her mom. Danilovic immediately showed her raw power and drilled a scintillating return winner to move 4-2 ahead in the opeming set and held to 5-2.
Apparently with ease, she controlled the game, as the five unforced errors in the set testified, and clinched it as Goerges sent a backhand passing shot long. An error-prone Goerges lost her serve in the first game of the second set but drilled a forehand winner to convert her maiden break point and level at 2-2.
Danilovic continued to attack, broke to build a 4-3 lead and fended off two chanches before helding to 5-3. Goerges offered three match points with two double faults but missed the final backhand of the match. So young and in love, Danilovic turned the Moscow River Cup into her river of dreams, like the Russian Potapova, completely dominated by her compatriot Ikhvanenko in the first set as she was reduced to three winners and 12 unforced errors.
Ivakhnenko went twice up a break in the second, but she never managed to defend her lead while Potapova found the way to give a turnaround holding to 4-3. Suddenly, the match was level at one set apiece. In the third, she quickly moved 4-0 up and clinched the win as Ivakhnenko sent a backhand into the net on her second match point.