The indoor tennis continues in Austria on Saturday, with the semi finals of the International level Generali Ladies Linz the order of the day today.
A keenly contested clash between Tsvetana Pironkova and Karin Knapp didn’t go my way on Friday in what’s been a tough week in Linz, as the Bulgarian failed in the third set.
She should have won the first, serving at 4-3 up, but lost the next three games, and after winning the second set the Italian stepped up her serve and
Pironkova’s suspect forehand let her down a few too many times and fittingly it was shot that hit the net on Knapp’s sixth match point to hand the Italian a win she didn’t look like taking on her own serve.
There were a few highly dubious line calls in that match, but Knapp probably just about deserved it in the end.
We start on Saturday at around 12:30 UK time at the TipsArena with an all-Italian battle.
Camila Giorgi vs Karin Knapp
This will be the first career meeting between the two Italians and one thing is guaranteed and that’s that this will be a hard-hitting affair with plenty of winners a fair few unforced errors.
Giorgi fought her way past Marina Erakovic on Friday after coming from behind in set two to land a straight sets win that was gained in typical style by feasting on the second serve of her opponent.
Erakovic was only able to win 38 percent of her second serve points in that match and surely Giorgi will be taking on the fairly weak second serve of Knapp too.
Both of these Italians will look to land knockout blows with their powerful forehands and Knapp will be facing a much more effective shot on that wing than came at her from Pironkova.
If Giorgi is on her game she could easily win this one with a 3.5 game handicap.
Anna-Lena Friedsam vs Karolina Pliskova
It ended up being a pretty good decision not to go against Friedsam yesterday, as the German qualifier continued her excellent run here in Linz with a battling win over Stefanie Voegele.
Another three setter won’t be ideal in terms of fatigue though, as she’s now played 15 sets in Linz this week, compared to Pliskova’s six.
Pliskova eased through in two fairly competitive sets against Madison Brengle last night without really exerting herself, but this should be tougher if Friedsam isn’t too tired.
The German and the Czech met just three weeks ago in Seoul and it was a tight affair, with Pliskova not serving at her best that day with only 51 percent of first serves in and seven double faults.
It went to three in the end after Pliskova failed to serve it out for a 2-0 win and despite not posting great numbers on serve she was only broken three times in three sets.
Pliskova should have too much power for a potentially fatigued Friedsam and she should get it done in two this time, which is a 1.90 shot.
Back Giorgi –3.5 games to beat Knapp at 1.88
Back Pliskova to beat Friedsam 2-0 at 1.90