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Samsonova and Kasatkina: in the Abu Dhabi semi-finals! But Rybakina can disrupt the Russian final

Date: February 29, 2024 Time: 13:50:54

On Friday, February 9, the quarterfinal matches of the WTA-500 tournament were played in Abu Dhabi (UAE). The organizers set that the first start would be a match between Lyudmila Samsonova, eighth seed, and the 2021 Roland Garros champion, Barbora Krejcikova (4).

Samsonova, despite the disastrous start to the 2024 season (three losses in three matches, including the first round of the Australian Open), seems to have started to find her game in Abu Dhabi. In the first two rounds, Lyudmila successively defeated the Ukrainians Lesya Tsurenko and Angelina Kalinina, losing to them a total of only five games in four sets.

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Krejcikova entered the season with much more success than Samsonova. Suffice it to say that at the Australian Open, the Czech, former world number two, reached the quarterfinals, where she lost to Aryna Sabalenka, the future winner. And in Abu Dhabi, before meeting with Lyudmila, Barbora played, so to speak, only half a match. In the first round, Krejcikova said goodbye to her and in the second, after winning the first set, she defeated Sara Sorribes-Tormo (6-2, 1-0).

The score of the personal matches before the informative match was the same: 1-1. At the same time, Samsonova won on hard court and alone in Abu Dhabi – 7:5, 7:6 (8:6). It was exactly a year ago, on February 9, 2023. And Krejcikova a little later, in April, defeated her on clay in Stuttgart 6-2, 6-0.

Krejcikova started the match at 30:0 on serve, but Samsonova also quickly got involved and achieved a break in the first game. For most of the set, the opponents took their games in stride and only at the end was this trend broken. The Russian, with 5:4 in her favor, was unable to serve for the game, allowing the Czech to take advantage of the first break point of the match for 5:5. But this did not discourage Lyudmila. In the eleventh game she faced a triple break point and converted it on the third attempt, after which she served for the set: 7:5 in 50 minutes.

Lyudmila Samsonova at the Abu Dhabi tournament in 2024

Photo: Christopher Pike/Getty Images

In the second game, Krejcikova faced break points already in the second game, but did not take advantage of the double opportunity to take someone else’s serve, making mistakes in the rallies (1:1). Then Samsonova took the initiative, making two breaks, in the third and seventh games. The Czech resisted as best she could, but the Russian put pressure on her at all times, whether from the third break point or even from the fourth.

But at 5-2, Lyudmila could not serve for the match and took only one point. Barbora won the next game to zero and at 5:4 Samsonova had a second chance to finish the match. She succeeded, although not without problems. Lyudmila received 15:40 of service and also committed a double fault. But on the next play she got a little lucky: after her shot, the ball hit the wire and rolled to the other half. The last three rallies, no longer so dramatic, were also for Samsonova: 7:5, 6:4 in 1 hour and 45 minutes.

And the quarterfinals with the participation of Daria Kasatkina (7), on the contrary, were organized as the last throw. Her opponent was the world’s 26th racket player, Romanian Sorana Cirstea.

Kasatkina entered the season better than Kirsty. In Brisbane she reached the quarterfinals, where she lost to Aryna Sabalenko, and in Adelaide she reached the title match: Jelena Ostapenko turned out to be stronger. And only at the Australian Open, Daria has nothing special to boast about: she was eliminated in the second round. The Romanian lost the first three games of the season, but started winning in Abu Dhabi. In addition, Sorana eliminated Caroline García and María Sakkari (3) from the net, who are not the weakest tennis players, to put it mildly.

Sorana Cirstea at the Abu Dhabi tournament in 2024

Photo: Francois Nel/Getty Images

In personal matches, the tennis players were tied: 1-1. Kasatkina easily won on clay at Madrid 2018 (6-3, 6-1), and Kirstya won with no less confidence at Roland Garros 2021 on a similar surface (6-3, 6-2). Today the Russian won with a clear advantage.

We didn’t have to wait long for the first break point, until the fourth game. Kasatkina found herself in a difficult situation on serve, but after 30:40 she managed three exchanges and did not allow Kirste to take the lead at 2:2. From that moment on, the Russian took the initiative and won four games in a row. At the same time, a fight occurred in each of the games, but Daria took advantage of the break points at the first attempt. And after serving the set at 5:2, she took advantage of the second set point: 6:2 in 33 minutes.

Daria Kasatkina at the Abu Dhabi tournament in 2024

Photo: Christopher Pike/Getty Images

In the second game, Kasatkina didn’t even think about staying there. Russia’s first racket quickly made a break, then she confirmed it, and in the third game she again took her opponent’s serve, finishing it off from the fourth break point. In the prolonged fifth game, when the score was already 4:0 in favor of Daria, the Russian took advantage of her second break point, although Sorana had several game points before. And at 5:0 I prepared to serve for the match. In the sixth game, Kasatkina put pressure on her opponent with the fifth match point, also recovering a break point during the game: 6:2, 6:0 in 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Thus, Kasatkina not only turned the tables on her opponent, but also won 11 games in a row. The same thing would happen in the semifinals!

Other quarterfinals produced the following results: the 2022 Wimbledon champion, originally from Moscow, Elena Rybakina (Kazakhstan, 1) defeated Kristina Buksha (6-1, 6-4), and Beatrice Haddad-Maia (Brazil, 6) was stronger than Ons Jabeur (Tunisia, 2) – 6:3, 6:4.

According to the results of the quarterfinals, the following semi-final pairs were formed: Samsonova will play with Rybakina, and Kasatkina will play with Haddad-Maya. The semi-finals will be played on Saturday, February 10 and the final on Sunday, February 11. Follow all the events of the tournament in Abu Dhabi in the “Championship”.

* This website provides news content gathered from various internet sources. It is crucial to understand that we are not responsible for the accuracy, completeness, or reliability of the information presented Read More

Puck Henry
Puck Henry
Puck Henry is an editor for ePrimefeed covering all types of news.
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