Elise Mertens (WTA 17) has qualified for the final on the clay tournament in Istanbul on Saturday. In the semifinals, Mertens was too strong for the Russian Veronika Kudermetova (WTA 29) in two sets. The set positions were 6-1 and 6-4. Later that day, Mertens also qualified for the final of the doubles with the same Kudermetova.
Especially in the first set Mertens waltzed about Kudermetova. She immediately went through the Russian’s serve and ended up 3-1. After that, Mertens managed to win Kudermetova’s serve-up game twice in a row, while she remained flawless on her own serve-up games. The first set was therefore quickly in: 6-1.
The second set was a bit more difficult for Mertens. She lost two serve games in a row, but luckily was always able to break right back. So it went right up to 4-4. In the end, Mertens shifted up a gear again. First she came on her own service at 5-4, after which she went through the service of Kudermetova and also took the second set, and the match.
“I fought for it”
Mertens therefore looked back with satisfaction on her semi-final. “I’m very content. It was a long day in difficult conditions, with rain and heavy balls and gravel. It was not easy to hit winners. But in the end I am happy that I could win the two matches in two sets. I think I reached a good level against Kudermetova. The first set went very well, the second was exciting. But I fought for it and I played strong at the important moments. ”
In the final, our compatriot will face Romanian Sorana Cirstea (WTA 67) on Sunday, who beat Ukrainian Marta Kostyuk (WTA 85) twice 6-4. In the two previous mutual duels, Mertens lost each time to Cirstea. “Cirstea is also a player who hits hard. She does not hesitate ”, Mertens analyzed her coming opponent. “So I have to take her blows and try to make her walk. Because when the ball gets into her racket, she is very strong. The heavy gravel can be an advantage, because it makes it more difficult for her to make easy points. But for me it is getting more difficult to get her to move. ”
Later in the day, Elise Mertens also qualified for the doubles final. With Kudermetova, the same Russian who she eliminated in the ankle a few hours earlier, she was too strong for the duo Pavlyuchenkova – Potapova in two sets. Kudermetova – Mertens won the first set 6-3, in the second set it became 6-1. In the final, the two meet the Japanese duo Hibino – Ninomiya.