11/10/14 : Pliskova to beat Friedsam: WIN
11/10/14 : Stosur to beat Svitolina: WIN
10/10/14 : Diyas to beat Konjuh: WIN
9/10/14 : Hsieh to beat Zhang (Odds 2.45) : WINQ
8/10/14 : Tomljanovic to beat Duan (Odds 2.0): WIN
7/10/14 : Aoyama to beat Voracova: WIN
6/10/14 : Young to beat Jaziri: LOSS
5/10/14 : Golubev to beat Wang: WIN
4/10/14 : Rojer/Tecau to beat Fognini/Mayer: WIN
3/10/14 : Berdych to beat Isner: WIN
Match Reports 10th and 11th October
10th: Diyas v Konjuh 6-7 6-4 6-2. It would be very fair to say that this match did not begin the way I expected! Diyas didn’t serve as well as she had in her previous matches and was blown away by Konjuh in the first game of the set. Diyas played better in her next 2 service games but Konjuh broke her again to take a 5-2 lead in the set. However, this somehow got Diyas going and she consequently won the next 4 games and the set went to a tie break. Much to my annoyance, Diyas went on to lose the tie break which was disappointing after a great comeback. In fact, Diyas was up 4-1 in the tie break and lost the next 6 points in a row to lose the tie break. At this point, I just thought she’d never recover. I thought Konjuh would go on to win. But Diyas showed amazing mental strength to pick it up in the second set. She won the second set 6-4 and showed the serving she had promised from earlier matches. She was broken once in the set, but aide from that she only dropped 1 point in her next 4 service games. This had an obvious effect on Konjuh – an rejuvinated Diyas crushed her in the final set 6-2 without dropping a single point on her service games. A great performance by Diyas in the end.
11th: Stosur v Svitolina 7-6 6-2. This match was somewhat reminiscent of the Diyas/Konjuh match on the 10th in the first set. Svitolina raced into a 4-1 lead with two breaks of serve. Stosur was not returning well and her first serve percentages were way down on her average. However, like a typical day in WTA, Stosur broke back to make it 4-2 and when Svitolina was serving for the set at 5-4, Stosur broke her again and the set ended up in a tie break. Indeed, Svitolina had 2 set points in the tie break but was unable to take them. She was 6-4 up in the tie break and went on to lose the next 4 points to lose the set. Having had her chance to serve out the set, and having two set points in the tie break was hard for Svitolina to take. Stosur took control of the match and didn’t look at all under pressure in the second set. Stosur had to save one break point in the 6th game of the set but was otherwise comfortable. She took the set 6-2. Stosur is the top seed in Japan and will go on to meet Diyas, the 5th seed, in the final. Diyas beat Kumkhum in the other semi final. Stosur goes in a big favourite at odds of around 1.36.
11th: Pliskova v Friedsam 2-6 6-3 6-3. Later yesterday, I decided to send out an extra tip. I decided to put some money on Pliskova. Pliskova had beaten some decent players in Barthel and Flipkens in previous rounds without dropping a set. Friedsam had also beaten some good players in Voegele and Cepelova but dropped a couple of sets along the way. Pliskova, 30 in WTA rankings, also won their one previous meeting in Seoul last month. Friedsam, 94th in WTA rankings,was the underdog going in to the match. The match started as I thought with Pliskova putting immediate pressure on Friedsam serve. Pliskova had two break points in the opening game but she wasn’t able to take advantage. She paid the price later in the set when she was surprisingly broken twice to lose the set 6-2. However, she held her nerve and survived to take the following two sets 6-3 6-3. Pliskova subsequently went on to beat Giorgi in the final – in my opinion a deserving winner of the tournament in Linz, Austria.
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