SWEDE ONE: [CR37] Barbora Strycova (CZE) vs. [CR72] Johanna Larsson (SWE)
The Swede had home court advantage, to many that would be a plus; however, some players find the expectations/pressure too overwhelming. Larsson did not; she took advantage and got off to a quick start against Strycova. She had lost twice to Strycova and knew she had to be sharp from the first game. In fact, so dominant was her performance, she served for the match at 5-0. Yet, we cannot forget that other opponent on court, nerves. Every player at some point in their career has had to battle their nerves as well as the opponent across the net. Larsson was not exempt and was broken twice. Finally, she was able to break Strycova one more time to win the match 6-2, 6-3 to get to the semifinals. Larsson is hoping that this year she will finally win her first WTA singles title and it will be at the Swedish Open. She has come close twice, making the final in 2013 and 2011. Will this be the year that she makes breaks through?
Peterson has been delighting the Swedish crowd all week and was expected to do so again today. She had won their only previous encounter. Barthel’s game has been inconsistent and the pressure of being the defending champion had to be weighing heavily on her mind. Barthel got off to a blazing start and won the first set 6-1. She even had an early break in the second before Peterson found her range and broke back to even the set. It was a question of who would control their nerves to win this match. Peterson had opportunities to force a third set; however, Barthel summoned what little reserves of will she had left to win the tiebreak and match, 6-1, 7-6(3). She denied the home crowd the pleasure of having two Swedish players in the semifinals. Can Barthel make it to the final to defend her title?