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By Alberto Amalfi | Friday, March 6, 2020

Daria Kasatkina

Wild card Daria Kasatkina beat Camila Giorgi 6-2, 4-6, 6-2 charging into the Lyon semifinal—her first final four appearance since she won the 2018 Moscow title.

Photo credit: Mark Peterson/Corleve

Playing the waiting game can be a dangerous proposition against Camilia Giorgi's wrecking ball baseline attack.

Daria Kasatkina combated the danger with calm consistency charging into the Lyon final four.

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The 22-year-old Kasatkina ground down Giorgi 6-2, 4-6, 6-2 reaching her first WTA semifinal since she won the Moscow title in October of 2018.

Arriving in Lyon with just one main-draw win to her credit this season, Kasatkina has been finding her rhythm and range this week. Kasatkina converted five of 10 break points in a one hour, 57-minute triumph to improve to 4-5 on the season.

"It was a very tough match and I think we were playing quite a high level of tennis and I hope every enjoyed," said Kasatkina, who continues her quest for a trip to her sixth career final.

The Russian wild card will face Anna-Lena Friedsam for a spot in the final.

Friedsam fought off eighth-seeded Viktoria Kuzmova 3-6, 7-6(4), 6-2 in today's second quarterfinal.

The 136th-ranked German drained 50 errors from Kuzmova advancing to her first Tour-level semifinal since the Shenzhen Open in January 2016.

"It was so much work today," said Friedsam, who upset second-seeded Kristina Mladenovic in the round of 16. "I tried every point to give my best. It was not easy she played very well and so aggressive. But I fought for every point."

The first meeting between shotmakers pitted Giorgi's volatile power vs. Kasatkina's clever creativity.

Giorgi belted 23 winners—four more than her opponent—but also littered the stat sheet with 51 unforced nearly doubling Kasatkina's count.

"I didn’t change much compared to the first set," Kasatkina said. "I was just playing from first point to the last point trying to be consistent. It worked."

Down 4-5 in the second set, Kasatkina double faulted then scattered a forehand wide as Giorgi broke to take the 47-minute second set and force a decider.

Tennis Express

Leveling the match seemed to leave the lithe Italian drained. Kasatkina stormed out to a 4-0 lead in the final set before Giorgi finally held.

Zapping an ace for triple match point, Kasatkina cracked a forehand winner down the line capping the longest rally of the match to seal it in style. 


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