Strasbourg International: Barbora Krejcikova, Jule Niemeier to play for final spot

Barbora Krejcikova upset the third-seeded Ekaterina Alexandrova in the quarter-final of the Strasbourg International on Thursday. Krejcikova won 7-6(4), 6-1 in an hour and 37 minutes. Following Alexandrova’s ouster, the Czech is also the highest seed remaining in the draw of the French event.

Entering into this match – their fourth career meeting – it was the Russian who held a comprehensive 3-0 win-to-loss record against the world no. 38. And at the start of the match, it seemed as though the trend would continue as Alexandrova built a quick lead thanks to a break of serve in the opening set. However, Krejcikova effectuated a successful turnaround that ended up with her winning the contest in straight sets.

Speaking with the press post-match, Krejcikova said, “I’ve played her many times, and I always started really bad in the first set, and then she was always improving really, really well. I felt like this time I had to start the first set really well, and I still lost serve and I was still down, but I was closer, and I felt the tiebreak was the deciding point of the match.”

Germany’s Jule Niemeier will be Krejcikova’s opponent in the semi-final. The 21-year-old qualifier posted two victories after rain forced the suspension of her round-of-16 match against seventh seed Shelby Rogers midway.

Strasbourg International: Magda Linette sends Yulia Putintseva packing

Niemeier defeated Rogers in straight sets 6-4, 7-6(6). Later, she came back to beat Arantxa Rus 6-4, 6-1 in their quarter-final.

After her win, Niemeier shared about facing Krejcikova, “I have the level, that I can keep up with all the players. I’ve beaten two players who are in the Top 100 now, Shelby is in the Top 50. I have the game, and I can beat them. I was injured for such a long time in the past, so it was not easy for me. I’m just enjoying being on court and playing against really good players. I don’t feel the pressure because I’m ranked [over] 200 at the moment, so I have nothing to lose.”

Meanwhile, in the top half of Strasbourg International, Sorana Cirstea and Magda Linette will take on each other for a place in the final. While Cirstea advanced directly to the semi-final, the eighth-seeded Linette upset the fourth seed Yulia Putintseva 6-3, 6-3 in their last-eight clash.

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