Sydney Tennis Classic: Daria Kasatkina sets SF showdown against Paula Badosa

Garbine Muguruza was the only seed to crash out in the quarter-final stage of the Sydney Tennis Classic on Thursday. Daria Kasatkina ousted the second seed in straight sets 6-4, 6-4 in an hour and 26 minutes.

Kasatkina dominated the Spaniard throughout the match and while she lost her serve twice – both of which came in the second set – she wasn’t troubled at all across the duration of the match. Kasatkina won 77% of her first-serve points to Muguruza’s 61% points and 45% of her second-serve points to the latter’s 36%.

Sydney Tennis Classic: A tame end to the Anett Kontaveit-Ons Jabeur encounter

This is the Russian’s second consecutive semi-final Down Under. Last week, she reached the semi-final of the Melbourne Summer Set 2, losing to eventual champion, Amanda Anisimova. Speaking with the media after her quarter-final triumph, Kasatkina said, “I think this is the best start of my career ever. I think I never start the season that well. To win always feels amazing. Doesn’t matter if you are winning the matches right before a slam and you maybe feel you’re tired – it doesn’t matter, because better you win the matches than you lose first round, and then you go and you have one week to practice, but for what? You have been practicing the whole preseason. So, the most important is the confidence, and you get it by winning matches. This is the most important, because at the end, OK, tiredness can affect of course, but the most important is to feel confidence while you’re playing.”

Looking for a spot in the final, Kasatkina will take on another Spaniard, in the fifth seed Paula Badosa. Badosa needed three sets to vanquish Belinda Bencic, 7-6(6), 3-6, 6-3. Earlier, Bencic came through her second-round match against Oceane Dodin that had to be pushed to Thursday after play was stopped on Wednesday evening.

Meanwhile, at the top of the draw at the Sydney Tennis Classic, third seed Barbora Krejcikova will play fourth seed Anett Kontaveit for a berth in the final. The Czech defeated Caroline Garcia 6-0, 6-2 in 70 minutes while Kontaveit advanced after her opponent, the seventh-seeded Ons Jabeur retired in their match. The Estonian was leading 6-4 at the time.