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By Erik Gudris | @ATNTennis | Friday, August 5, 2022


Daria Saville and Kaia Kanepi endured heat and rain to reach the Citi Open semifinals in Washington, DC.

Photo credit: Citi Open Facebook

Washington D.C. is known for unpredictable summer weather. Yet muggy heat followed by a rain delay didn’t stop completion of the Citi Open’s WTA quarterfinals.

Several players were forced to either resume matches or play two matches in a row due to last night’s matches being canceled due to persistent rain storms.

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Australia’s Daria Saville raced out to 6-1 3-0 lead before lightning and rain halted her afternoon quarterfinal with Canadian qualifier Rebecca Marino.

When the rain delay ended, Marino found better range on her big serve and pulled back in the set. Marino later held four break points for a 6-5 lead.

Yet Saville, who recently married fellow Australian pro Luke Saville, hung on to her serve in that game and eventually closed out the 6-1, 7-5 win to reach her first WTA semifinal since Acapulco in 2018.

The 2022 season is proving to be a breakthrough year for the former Daria Gavrilova who was ranked out the top 600 six months ago but is now back to a current No. 88 ranking.

“Well obviously I didn’t want to go off the court having this lead, but I was pretty nervous about getting hit by lightning," Saville said. "Yeah it’s always tricky to come back and I thought she played very well. She was making a lot more first serves, in one game she hit three aces in a row that was tough.

"But I am really happy to close it out in two sets. I really didn’t want it to go three sets.” 

Next up for Saville will be a first time meeting against No.6 seed Kaia Kanepi.

The Estonian Kanepi earlier defeated Anna Kalinskaya 7-6(4), 6-4, 6-3.

This is the best result for the former World No. 15 Kanepi since reaching the Australian Open quarters earlier this year.
Victoria Azarenka was forced to do double duty after her third round match was rained out last night.

The fourth-seeded Azarenka came out today and beat World No. 73 Tereza Martincova 7- 6(7), 6-2.

Yet the former two-time Australian Open champion Azarenka had little left physically for her quarterfinal later in the evening.

Tennis Express

China’s Xiyu Wang easily beat Azarenka, who struggled with a right thigh issue, 6-1, 6-3 to reach her first career WTA main draw semifinal.

Wang awaits the winner of the final quarterfinal between No. 2 seed Emma Raducanu and World No. 60 Liudmila Samsonova.


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