WTA Prague 125K: Kristina Kucova and Elisabetta Cocciaretto set title clash

Tennis - The Slovak and the Italian have passed massive draw to find themselves in the final

by Jovica Ilic
WTA Prague 125K: Kristina Kucova and Elisabetta Cocciaretto set title clash

This week's Prague Open is anything but an ordinary WTA 125K event! Staged simultaneously with the second Major of the season in New York, the Prague organizers had decided to go with a massive 128 players draw, offering a chance for many lower-ranked players to fight for the title and notable points before the start of the European WTA swing.

Kristina Kucova, Ivana Jorovic, Nadia Podoroska and Elisabetta Cocciaretto had won the quarter-final encounters on Friday, setting the semi-final clashes and battling for the place in the final of this unique event thanks to the coronavirus outbreak.

Kristina Kucova and Elisabetta Cocciaretto scored straight-sets victories in the semi-final duels to set the final clash on Sunday. The 18th seed Kucova defeated the young Serb Ivana Jorovic 6-3, 6-1 in 64 minutes. Jorovic won their previous match in Bol 2017 and wasn't even close to repeating that today, giving away 55% of the points behind the initial shot and suffering five breaks from six chances offered to the Slovak.

Kristina was almost perfect behind both the first and second serve, giving away only eight points in eight service games and getting broken once from the Serb's two chances. Jorovic held at 15 in the first game and grabbed that break in game two for an early lead.

Wasting three game points in the third game, Ivana suffered a break and lost momentum, dropping the last four games of the set to hand it to Kucova. The Slovak took 16 of the final 19 points to secure the set 6-3 and gain a massive boost ahead of set number two.

Jorovic was powerless on the return in the second part of the encounter, giving serve away in games four and six and allowing Kristina to seal the deal with a hold at love at 5-1 and move into the final. The 2nd seed Elisabetta Cocciaretto toppled the 12th seed Nadia Podoroska from Argentina 6-4, 6-3 in an hour and 21 minutes.

Kristina Kucova and Elisabetta Cocciaretto will play for the title in Prague.

Podoroska won their previous two encounters and that wasn't the case today, with the Italian taking ten points more to find herself over the top.

Serving at 77%, Cocciaretto fended off five out of eight break chances, taking half of the return points to secure five breaks and remain on the title course. The opening game saw five deuces and a break for the Argentine, who secured another one to produce a 3-0 lead.

Elisabetta found her strokes after that, pulling both breaks back to level the score at 3-3, only to fall 4-3 down after another loose service games. Nadia couldn't take advantage of that, suffering breaks in games eight and ten to hand the set to a better-ranked rival.

Rattling off six of the opener's final seven games, Cocciaretto had momentum on her side, opening a 3-0 advantage in set number two and moving over the top with a reliable serving in the remaining games.

Kristina Kucova Elisabetta Cocciaretto