WTA Luxembourg: Julia Goerges, Jelena Ostapenko, Elena Rybakina advance

Tennis - Anna Blinkova joined them in the semis when Margarita Gasparyan retired

by Jovica Ilic
WTA Luxembourg: Julia Goerges, Jelena Ostapenko, Elena Rybakina advance

Former Roland Garros winner Jelena Ostapenko has had many ups and downs so far in 2019 but she has been playing well in the last couple of weeks, advancing into the semi-final in Luxembourg with a 6-1, 6-1 triumph over Antonia Lottner.

Jelena did lose serve twice but that was hardly noticeable after a dominant performance on the return, taking all seven Lottner's games despite the fact the German landed 78% of the first serve in. The Latvian was in a great rhythm, controlling the pace and rattling off seven straight games to march over the top and advance into the semi-final.

The 8th seed Anna Blinkova had to stay on the court for only 53 minutes, taking the opening set 6-3 and seven of the first eight points in set number two before Margarita Gasparyan had to retire, propelling the 21-year-old into the second semi-final of the season.

The 3rd seed Elena Rybakina ousted Laura Siegemund 6-0, 6-4 in 68 minutes for the fourth semi-final in 2019, dropping 13 points in eight service games and fending off the only break chance to mount the pressure on the other side of the net.

The young Kazakh grabbed half of the return points, earning four breaks from five chances and serving a bagel in the opener before Siegemund found her shots in set number two to stay in touch until 4-4. Then, Elena held at 15 and broke in the next game to make a crucial move and advance into the last four.

The 2nd seed and the defending champion Julia Goerges defeated Monica Puig 1-6, 6-2, 6-3 in an hour and 49 minutes, overcoming a slow start and dominating in the rest of the encounter to find herself in the semis. Puig did everything right in the opening set, sailing through her service games and stealing Julia's serve in games two and six for a 6-1 in just over 25 minutes.

With no room for errors, Goerges raised her level from set number two, dropping ten points overall behind the initial shot by the end of the clash and earning breaks in games two and eight to take set number two and force a decider.

There, Puig was once again powerless on the return, getting broken in game four to send Goerges 3-1 up and experiencing more troubles in her games at 1-4 and 2-5, passing those obstacles to remain within one break deficit before the German sealed the deal with a hold at love in game nine that carried her through.

Julia Goerges Jelena Ostapenko Elena Rybakina