LOCATION: CZECH REPUBLIC
PRIZE MONEY: $226,750.00
Elina Svitolina took home a tour-leading third title of 2017, ousting No.6 seed Elise Mertens, 6-2, 6-4 to win the TEB BNP Paribas Istanbul Cup.
“This was something very different," she said in her post-match press conference. "Last time I played on clay, I got injured in the early part of the season, so it was difficult for me to come back on this surface and trust my body and my legs. This year, I prepared better, took more time off, and I was very happy that physically, I could make it through this week.
“Clay is very tough, and it can kill your body if you’re not prepared.”
German wildcard Laura Siegemund thrilled her home crowd by winning the second and biggest title of her career at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix, outlasting French youngster Kristina Mladenovic, 6-1, 2-6, 7-6(5).
Siegemund first made the Stuttgart final 12 months ago as a qualifier, and was among the last into the main draw this year, earning a wildcard. Once there, the German veteran continued her habit of eliminating Top 10 opposition in Stuttgart, knocking out another three this week in Svetlana Kuznetsova, Karolina Pliskova, and Simona Halep en route to her second straight final.
STUTTGART, Germany - Kristina Mladenovic turned around a set and a break deficit to end Maria Sharapova’s run in Stuttgart and reach her third final of the year at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix, 3-6, 7-5, 6-4.
Sharapova started off the match in the same imperious form she’s showed all tournament long, reaching the semifinals without dropping a set. Her return game was firing, piling on the pressure and bringing up a handful of break chances early on.
Mladenovic had no answer for the Russian’s powerful serve – Sharapova lost just four points on serve in the first set and didn’t face a break point– and couldn’t keep pace with her at the baseline. Sharapova grabbed a decisive break at 3-1 to take the opening set, then started off the second with a 2-0 lead.
But Mladenovic refused to fade away and hit back right away, finally breaking through the rock-solid Sharapova serve to level the match at 2-2.
Laura Siegemund is back into the final at her home tournament for the second year in a row after edging past No.4 seed Simona Halep at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix.
Since the tour has turned to clay, siegemund has notched has notched win's over the likes of Karolina Pliskova, Svetlana Kuznetsova, and Venus Williams. After kicking things off with a semifinal run at the Volvo Car Open in Charleston, she's back into another final in Stuttgart after a 6-4, 7-5 victory over Halep.
The German didn’t put a foot out of place for the first four games, giving Halep no rhythm and breaking twice to go up 4-0. She peppered her game with her go-to dropshots to keep Halep guessing.
Simona Halep surged into the semifinals of the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix, rushing past Anastasija Sevastova, 6-3, 6-1, in under an hour.
“I feel good. I feel happy," she said in her post-match press conderence. "I’m positive on and off the court. These are my best feelings so far this year and I want to stay like this."
Halep last played Sevastova in the finals of her home tournament in Bucharest - winning without losing a game back in July - and was similarly decisive, if less emphatic, on Friday, hitting 14 winners to 13 unforced errors and showing off some stellar defense throughout.
STUTTGART, Germany - Laura Siegemund was the last wildcard announced at the 2017 Porsche Tennis Grand Prix, and last year's runner-up is one win away from repeating the feat after outlasting No.2 seed Karolina Pliskova, 7-6(3), 5-7, 6-3.
Siegemund has been all but unstoppable on clay in the last 12 months, winning her maiden title in Bastad a mere months after her 2016 Stuttgart breakthrough, and kicked off the latest clay court season with a run to the semifinals of the Volvo Car Open.
Pliskova, by contrast, has never been a force on the terre battue, but had looked solid in an opening round rin over CoCo Vandeweghe, and was on course for a one-set lead on Friday after reaching 5-2 and holding set points.