Wild card Jil Teichmann continued her streak of upsets at the Western & Southern Open while 2016 Cincinnati champion Karolina Pliskova and the top four men’s seeds climbed their way into semifinals Saturday after quarterfinal victories Friday.
Teichmann, who upset World No. 2 Naomi Osaka in the round of 16, carried that momentum in the elite eight. It took the 24-year-old only an hour and 11 minutes to knock off Tokyo Olympic gold medalist Belinda Bencic 6-3, 6-2 in the all-Swiss quarterfinal and advance to her second WTA 1000 semifinal of the season. She is the lowest ranked player since Sloane Stephens (151) in 2017 to advance to the semifinals and the second wild card in the last three years to make the final four.
“People are surprised, but I'm not,” Teichmann said with a smile. “You adapt everywhere. You move well, you serve well, you're good at the volley, you're good in the back. You're a very complete player. My adjustments have just been working on every shot and getting better at that. Not only in the shots, as well as mentally, physically working, just everything. There is no secret, honestly. I was just trying to put the positives together, and now it's actually working out finally.”
After Pliskova claimed the first tightly contested set, the No. 5 seed advanced in the semifinal when Paula Badosa retired due to a right shoulder injury. Pliskova’s advancement puts three former/current World No. 1 players in the semifinals, the most since 2014.
Upsetting No. 2 seed and Tokyo Olympic doubles gold medalists Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova, Gabriela Dabrowski and Luisa Steffani made their way to Saturday’s women's doubles final. Samantha Stosur and Shuai Zhang rallied to win both matches of their doubleheader Friday to earn their finalist spot on Center Court.
With wins from No. 1 seed Daniil Medvedev and No. 4 seed Andrey Rublev Friday afternoon, the second-seeded Stefanos Tsitsipas and third-seeded Alexander Zverev joined the Russians in the men’s singles semifinals. This marks the first time since 2009 and the 13th time in Western & Southern Open history that the top four seeds are represented in the final four.
Facing No. 12 seed Felix Auger-Aliassime for the third time in an ATP quarterfinal match, Tsitsipas once again came out on top. The top-ranked Greek of all time made his way to his second consecutive semifinal appearance in Cincinnati thanks to a three-set win over Auger-Aliassime.
“I thought he served well,” Auger-Aliassime said of Tsitsipas. “He always does. He covered the court well. He was solid. For some reason, I couldn't find a way to put that extra ball in and just finish the points well.”
Eighth-seeded Casper Ruud won 16 of his last 17 matches heading into Friday, but Zverev cooled off the red-hot Ruud. The Tokyo Olympic gold medalist earned his way to the semifinals in straight sets, becoming the first German since 2003 to reach the Western & Southern Open final four.
Semifinal play begins Saturday at 11 a.m. and the women’s doubles final will take place on Center Court following the Zverev-Tsitsipas semifinal in the night session.
Recap presented by The Recovery Room