One more to go at the Upper Austrian Ladies Linz – Petra Martic and Anastasia Potapova will go head-to-head on Sunday for the win at the 32nd edition of the long-standing tournament. The large crowd in the Design Center for Saturday’s semifinals was treated to a festival of top tennis with both singles matches going the distance. If today is anything to go by, the spectators tomorrow are in for a real treat.
In Saturday’s first semifinal, the up-and-coming Anastasia Potapova had her work cut out in defeating Marketa Vondrousova in three thrilling sets 6-1, 6-7, 6-3. The win has handed her a berth in the final of the WTA 250 tournament and the chance to win her second career title. Though “still shaking and speechless” when interviewed only a few moments after her win by the Tournament Ambassador Barbara Schett, Potapova said, “I stayed very focussed mentally and that was the key today. It gave me the opportunity to win and be in the final.” After dominating the first set against an out-of-sorts Vondrousova, the 21-year-old world No. 44 was pegged back by the battling Czech before closing out the match despite a little wobble in the deciding set. Now she is setting her mind for a tough fight again and “one last push” at the 32nd Upper Austria Ladies Linz.
The second semifinal also went to three sets before Croatia’s Petra Martic eventually prevailed 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 against the world No. 7 Maria Sakkari. After finding herself quickly one set behind, the world No. 34 then turned the tables to record her first ever win over the No. 1 seed. After in her own words “digging deep” against the top favourite from Greece, she eventually closed out the contest with her second match point after two hours 32 minutes. “I had to work so hard today,” she said at the post-match interview, “I’ve been coming to Linz for many years. I love it here. One more to go.” Should she come out on top tomorrow, it would be her third tournament success. Head-to-heads wise, the two finalists are all square (1-1). One of them will however inch ahead tomorrow and in doing so bag the 10,820-euro winner’s purse and the 280 world ranking points. More than that, it will be a massive confidence booster for the rest of the season.
Inclusion exhibition match The next highlight of the penultimate day at the 32nd staging of the long-standing event was the inclusion exhibition match when Austria’s top two wheelchair tennis players Christina Pesendorfer and Vanessa Jennewein took the court with the doubles finalists Viktoria Kuzmova and Natela Dzalamidze. The Viktoria Kuzmova/Pesendorfer pairing defeated Natela Dzalamidze/Jennewein 4-0. Porsche Day at the Upper Austria Ladies Linz Play on the Design Center’s showcourt has been eye-catching all week, as has the Porsche Taycan 4 Cross Turismo – presented by Porsche Center Upper Austria – sitting prominently behind the baseline. The exclusive sports cars are always special but this one really is unique as its livery has been designed by the artist John Petschinger. In keeping with the tournament’s official Green Event certification, the vehicle is also all-electric. Semifinals Saturday at the Upper Austria Ladies Linz is also Porsche Day, especially as the long-time supporter of women’s tennis is, like the WTA, also celebrating an important anniversary this year. Hence the No. 75 on the Taycan 4 Cross Turismo as it marks the birth of the legendary brand in 1948, 25 years before the WTA.