If Petra Kvitova and CiCi Bellis were to have met in the final of the Bank of the West Classic in Stanford, it would have made for a lovely fairy tale ending that someone having to go home after the quarter-final does not lend itself to. Bellis and Kvitova brought two of the most compelling stories into the tournament this year.
Just last year, Bellis had to decide between joining the Stanford University tennis team and joining the WTA tour. She chose to play professionally, but succeeding at a tour event on the courts she would otherwise have signed to has filled the stadium with local fans who are coming out to support her. Meeting in the quarter-final, however, meant that for Bellis’s success at Stanford to continue Kvitova’s run at the tournament had to stop after just one match. Bellis won 6-2,6-0, a result she is proud of, but not without acknowledging her opponent’s condition.
“I don’t think she played her best tennis, but I definitely played an unbelievable match by my standards.”
Kvitova was only able to break Bellis in her first two service games and could not find her way into the match again after that. The match lasted just over an hour and of the 95 points played Kvitova won only 35. While Bellis was moved effortlessly and quickly to cover the whole court, Kvitova’s movements felt laboured throughout the entire match, moving just a bit too slow and always having to work harder for the power that she delivered with a smile earlier in the week.
Garbiñe Muguruza def. Ana Konjuh 6-1, 6-3
Garbiñe Muguruza has used the first rounds of the premier event to systematically put to rest any allegations that she does not take lower tier tournaments seriously. On court for the quarter-final round Friday, she defeated Ana Konjuh 6-1, 6-3 in just over one hour. She played aggressively, hitting four aces and playing with a 68% first serve percentage.
Speaking with press after her match, Muguruza emphasized her drive to go deep in any tournament she enters, regardless of her recent Wimbledon win.
“I’m feeling good in the matches. It’s not easy. I’m happy to be in semi-finals. It’s one of my goals in every tournament I play, to go forward and I’m doing it… I know it’s a little bit fast to go compete again, but I felt it was a good idea. I wanted to just keep playing, not to give a lot of time to think but follow my gut and that’s what I did.”
Madison Keys defeated Lesia Tsurenko 6-4, 6-3 for her spot in the semi-final. Keys did experience some pain in her forearm, which she attributed to an overzealous schedule that included doubles. This strain, she made clear, is distinctly different from serious wrist troubles she has had in the past and would have no serious impact on her singles schedule.
Coco Vandeweghe defeated Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-2, 6-3. Vandeweghe has been working with a mental coach since Wimbledon who she says has helped her focus.
Vandeweghe v Bellis is scheduled on Stadium Court at 2pm (10pm BST) and Muguruza v Keys is scheduled not before 7pm (3am BST, Sunday).
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