American Shelby Rogers prepares to return service against Amanda Anisimova in her quarterfinals match at the San Jose State Tennis Center on Friday AUG 5, 2022. (MSVC)
by Marko Ukalovic
SAN JOSE — Shelby Rogers has caught fire at the right time.
Rogers upended fellow American Amanda Anisimova in straight sets 6-4 6-4 in her quarterfinals match on Friday evening at the Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic at the San Jose State Tennis Center.
Rogers stamped her passport to the semifinals with an impressive serve that carried her past Anisimova with five aces and an 88.9% first service points won.
“She (Anisimova) probably has one of the best returns in the world on tour. It’s definitely a lot of pressure on your serve to serve well, to have a high return percentage. I did a good job of mixing my spots tonight and spins and speeds and just not letting her get a rhythm,” Rogers said.
Second seed Paula Badosa was able to take down the tournament favorite Coco Gauff in straight sets 7-6 6-2 to advance to the final four.
Gauff was up 5-4 in the first set with serving for the set, but she wasn’t not able to close out the set against the Spainard who fought her way back to even the match at 5-5 before winning the tiebreaker.
“I feel like I should’ve shown my frustration more,” said Gauff. “You can’t block your feelings. Yes having the body language and all that is great, also I think letting out is even better. I think maybe there should have been a moment where I should have shouted something instead of just letting it build. I think I just should’ve let it out.”
Badosa took advantage of Gauff’s frustration in the second set as Gauff committed many unforced errors that was her downfall in the match. Badosa cruised the rest of the way to clinch her spot in the semifinals despite being cautious to not lose her focus.
“You can see when a player is struggling a little bit. In the second set I saw it. I tried to go there to her shot where she wasn’t comfortable and to stay calm. Sometimes you get a little bit nervous because you see the finish line is near. So, I tried to stay as calm as I could,” Badosa said.
Veronika Kudermetova was the first Russian to make the semifinals with her straight sets victory over number three seed Ons Jabeur 7-6 6-2.
Both players went back and forth in the first set that saw Kudermetova win the tiebreaker 7-5. The first set proved to be too much for Jabeur who ran out of gas in the second set. Kudermetova overpowered Jabeur with her serve as she finished the match with six aces and 30 winners.
Kudermetova, who is playing in her first Mubadala Classic, said she like that she was able to stick to her gameplan and not let Jabeur back in the match.
“It had gave me lot of confidence in the second set. I tried to believe more in my plan, I tired to be more aggressive, and it worked out well for me,” said Kudermotova.
Jabeur, who had a big Tunisian fan base cheering her during the tournament, said she appreciated her time during her week in San Jose.
“Overall, I am pretty happy with this experience. Honestly, not waiting for the result to show right now but in the future I will look back and say this tournament helped me a lot,” said Jabeur.
Daria Kasatkina advanced to her second consecutive Mubadala semifinal when she defeated Aryna Sabalenka in three-sets 4-6 7-5 6-0.
Sabalenka started the match strong winning the first set and looked to be firing on all cylinders. The turning point in the match was in the second set with Kasatkina breaking serve to even the match at 5-5. The 25-yeard old Russian player went on to win the next two games sending the match to a decisive third set.
Down 3-0 in the third, Sabalenka needed a medical time out as she was dealing with a lower body injury. She toughed it out the final three games but it was obviously she was not able to play her game and Kasatkina rolled her way to the semis.
“It was a roller coaster of a match,” Kasatkina said after the match. “We went back and forth throughout the match. I really pushed through at the end of the second set.”
In doubles action, Gabriela Dabrowski and Giuliana Olmos defeated the American duo of Ashlyn Krueger and Elizabeth Mandlik in three sets 2-6 6-1 10-5 to reach the semifinals. The Chinese duo of Yifan Xu and Zhaoxuan Yang automatically advanced to the semifinals when the team of Latisha Chan and Beatriz Haddad Maia had to retire from the match due to injury.
UP NEXT: The semifinals matchup on Saturday 8/6 at the San Jose State Tennis Complex.
3:00pm Shelby Rogers vs Veronika Kudermetova
6:00pm Daria Kasatkina vs Paula Badosa