Women’s Semifinal:  Kristina Mladenovic (FRA) vs.  Natalia Vikhlyantseva (RUS)
They met once before and it went three sets on grass last year. Vikhlyantseva has matured since their last encounter and relished the opportunity of facing Mladenovic again. She started well, got up the early break but promptly lost her serve in the next game. It’s not that she lacks confidence; rather her opponent had more variety to her game and seemed the physically fitter of the two. Mladenovic lost the first set due to nerves but once she figured out that she had the more well-rounded game, she relaxed and played much better in the last two sets. She crushed the Russian teenager in the last two sets to win 4-6, 6-2, 6-2 and advanced to her first WTA Premier final.
Women’s Semifinal:  Dominika Cibulkova (SVK) vs.  Yulia Putintseva (KAZ)
It was the first meeting between these two and it was a brutal awakening for the Kazakh. While she was the more mobile player in her match against Svetlana Kuznetsova, today she appeared to be standing still against the very agile Cibulkova. Right away you could see how the tension affected Putintseva’s game, she was less committed to her strokes and as a result her shots were ineffective and she made a lot more errors, which resulted in her losing the first set 3-6. Yet, she did not give up and fought back to derail the determined attack from Cibulkova. If you watch enough matches, you will be able to tell who will win 95% of the time. It’s in their attitude; you see the belief in their eyes and body language. You also sense their will to not lose and these traits were all evident in Putintseva’s demeanor and that is why she won 3-6, 6-4, 6-4.
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