Victoria Azarenka reached the semi-final of the Bett1 Open on Friday. The Belarusian defeated Jessica Pegula 6-2, 5-7, 6-4 in an hour and 49 minutes in their quarter-final clash. This was the second time Azarenka and Pegula had faced each other this year after the 2021 Australian Open first round.
Back then, the American had bested Azarenka. Their Berlin match was also the only second career meeting between the two players. Speaking after her win, Azarenka told the press, “I'm really happy that I made it out in the third set.
I played really well in the beginning of the match, the first set and in the middle of the second set. Then she went for a couple of shots, and I felt like I slowed down and was doing too much of repeating the same mistakes.
But I'm glad that I was able to turn it around”. In the semi-final, Azarenka will take on Liudmila Samsonova. The qualifier from Russia, ranked 106th in the world, extended her successful run in the event by upsetting Madison Keys in the quarter-final.
Samsonova won 7-6(4), 2-6, 7-6(0) in two hours and 24 minutes. This is Samsonova’s first semi-final in a WTA 500 tournament.
Bett1 Open: Alize Cornet's Grass Milestone
In the bottom half of the draw, Alize Cornet and Belinda Bencic will take on each other for a place in the final.
The Frenchwoman saved a match point in her last-eight clash against the sixth-seeded Garbine Muguruza before upsetting her 4-6, 6-3, 7-6(5) in two hours and 40 minutes. This is the first time in her career that Cornet has reached the penultimate stage of an event on grass.
Post-match, Cornet noted, “It was a long match with a lot of emotion, especially in the tiebreak. I can't believe I made it at the end. She's a champion, she never gives up. I should have gone for a it a bit more, I was waiting for a mistake and I was a bit tight – it's normal.
But I was very resilient too, I was always behind in the score in the third set but I kept grinding, I kept fighting to the end and it's a really nice victory. I had a really tough clay season, I couldn't play well and I don't know why – but to play well on grass, it's unexpected but beautiful”.
The fifth-seeded Belinda Bencic’s path to the Bett1 Open semi-final came about after her win over Ekaterina Alexandrova. The Swiss won 6-4, 4-6, 7-6(4) in two hours and 31 minutes.