The quarterfinals field in WTA 500 Adelaide 2 tournament foreshadowed an amazing day of tennis, with 4 matches between top 20 women players as a foretaste a few days before the start of first Grand Slam of a year.
The showdown started with a match between Petra Kvitova and Daria Kasatkina. First set was a little bit shaky, as Kasatkina was the first one to hold her serve only in 4th game of the match. Kvitova broke back, but Kasatkina managed to win the next three games and take the first set, where only three out of nine games were won by serving player. Second set brought much more serve quality. First break was gained by Kvitova in seventh game, but Kasatkina responsed quickly to level the set. She had two matchpoints on Kvitova's serve in 12th game, but it was not enough to settle the match. What did not happen then, was delayed into a tiebreak, where Kasatkina won 4 points in a row from the score 3-3 and presented herself as the first semifinalist.
Second match was another display of good form by Paula Badosa. The Spaniard defeated Beatriz Haddad Maia 7-6 7-5. Despite lower first serve percentage than previously in the week (59% today), Badosa faced just three breakpoints, being broken just once in the first set. She will face Kasatkina tomorrow in the SF.
The biggest emotions started in the evening session. The clash between Danielle Collins and Veronika Kudermetova had a shocking turn of events. First set was not a best show, as both players were rarely effective in the open game, no much rallies were in the contest there. The service performance was also not perfect, once none of them has exceeded 50% first serve accuracy in this set. Collins broke first in 5th game, but did not confirm her advantage in the next one. One of the higlights of this set was a discussion between the American and chair umpire after one of the points on Collins serve. The umpire mistakely called out and dictated replay of the point, while Collins hit the ball in the court without her opponent's response. This controversy ended up with requesting supervisor a few games later. That situation has not discouraged Danielle, who took a chance to break Kudermetova in 10th game and run away with first set.
The second one was pretty eventless till the decisive stages. Both players shared the breaks in games 9th and 10th. Collins held an edgy game for 6-5 and stayed in front of a chance to close out the match on Kudermetova's serve. "Danimal" had as much as 5 matchpoints, but did not have any proper chance to finish any of them, while the Russian found her good serves here and there. Collins had another chance to win in straight sets during the tiebreak. She started pretty well with double mini-break lead, but won just one point starting from the score 4-1 and big comeback of Kudermetova became a fact. The American had clearly dropped the ball in the third set, being nowhere near the intensity showed till the gutting moments when she had a chances to win a match. 6-1 for Kudermetova in the decider.
The last match, and the most interesting on paper was Carolina Garcia vs Belinda Bencic. The Swiss was a favorite with average odd 1.68 despite Garcia being top seed of the tournament. Bencic proved being ready to compete for the big goals, starting the match with a brilliant play in first set. 6-2 with no breakpoints to defend. Second set was a festive of confident service holds, but 6th game brought a moment of weakness for the Swiss, who lost the only breakpoint of a set. Deciding set brought three breakpoints and all of them resulted with losing the serve. First one gone for Bencic in 4th game, but Garcia responded in another one. Serving within a score 4-5 to stay in the match, she did not prevailed a tight game on deuces, losing the first matchpoint and letting Bencic through the semifinal.
This win means a lot for Belinda Bencic, who secured her comeback to the top 10 just before the start of Australian Open. She will play against Kudermetova in tommorow's semifinal.