Friday recap, look ahead to semifinal Saturday at the Western & Southern Open

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MASON, Ohio ‒ Quarterfinal Friday at the Western & Southern Open is like a door that either slams shut or swings open. Those fortunate to walk through it find themselves with a chance to play on semifinal Saturday, two wins away from the prestigious Rookwood Cup.

The less fortunate get to work on their weekend travel plans.

Daniil Medvedev thanks the fans after the quarterfinal match between Taylor Fritz (USA) and Daniil Medvedev at the Western & Southern Open at the Lindner Family Tennis Center in Mason, Ohio, on Friday, Aug. 19, 2022. Medvedev won the match 7-6, 6-3.
Daniil Medvedev thanks the fans after the quarterfinal match between Taylor Fritz (USA) and Daniil Medvedev at the Western & Southern Open at the Lindner Family Tennis Center in Mason, Ohio, on Friday, Aug. 19, 2022. Medvedev won the match 7-6, 6-3.

Women's semifinals: Keys vs. Kvitova, Sabalenka vs. Garcia

Friday started with American Madison Keys, the 2019 W&S Open champion, booking a spot in Saturday's semifinals with a 6-2, 6-4 win over Elena Rybakina.

It's been a productive week for Keys, who with Friday's win, has beaten three Grand Slam winners en route to the semifinals, where she'll meet her fourth straight Grand Slam winner on Saturday in Petra Kvitova.

Kvitova, a two-time Wimbledon champion, defeated qualifier Ajla Tomljanovic 6-2, 6-3, to secure her third W&S Open semifinal appearance.

"I have obviously had some battles against Petra," Keys said. "Won some; lost some. It's never easy to play her, especially later in a draw, meaning that she's playing some very good tennis."

Keys and Kvitova will open play tomorrow morning at 11 a.m. on Center Court.

No. 6 Aryna Sabalenka was the second woman to scan her ticket into Saturday's semifinals after defeating Shuai Zhang in two sets and a tiebreaker, 6-4, 7-6 (1). She gets to face the first French woman to make the Cincinnati quarterfinals since Marion Bartoli did it in 2010: Caroline Garcia.

Caroline Garcia reacts to winning a point against Elise Mertens during the second set of their match in the Western & Southern Open at the Lindner Family Tennis Center in Mason, Ohio, on Thursday, Aug. 18, 2022. Garcia defeated Mertens 6-4, 7-5.
Caroline Garcia reacts to winning a point against Elise Mertens during the second set of their match in the Western & Southern Open at the Lindner Family Tennis Center in Mason, Ohio, on Thursday, Aug. 18, 2022. Garcia defeated Mertens 6-4, 7-5.

Garcia managed to defeat No. 7 Jessica Pegula in straight sets, 6-1, 7-5. This is the second time this year the two have met and Garcia has come away with the victory. She was a qualifier coming into this tournament, and now she is the first to reach the semifinals on a qualifying run since Akgul Amanmuradova did it in 2007.

Sabalenka and Garcia will follow Keys-Kvitova tomorrow afternoon, not before 1 p.m., on Center Court.

Men's semifinals: Medvedev vs. Tsitsipas, Norrie vs. Coric

World No. 1 Daniil Medvedev looked like he was going to lose the first set on Friday against American Taylor Fritz when Medvedev, the 2019 W&S Open champion, saved a set point and then took the first set in a tiebreaker. From there, Medvedev cruised to a straight-set win, 7-6(1), 6-3.

Medvedev gets to face No. 4 Stefanos Tsitsipas on Saturday. Tsitsipas defeated John Isner in three sets, 7-6(5), 5-7, 6-3. The two top-five ranked individuals will play each other not before 3 p.m. to close out the day session on Center Court tomorrow.

Stefanos Tsitsipas celebrates a point in the first set of the quarterfinal match between John Isner (USA) and Stefanos Tsitsipas (GRE) at the Western & Southern Open at the Lindner Family Tennis Center in Mason, Ohio, on Friday, Aug. 19, 2022.
Stefanos Tsitsipas celebrates a point in the first set of the quarterfinal match between John Isner (USA) and Stefanos Tsitsipas (GRE) at the Western & Southern Open at the Lindner Family Tennis Center in Mason, Ohio, on Friday, Aug. 19, 2022.

"He's one of the best," Tsitsipas said of Medvedev. "For me, I'm going to have to play my game. I have been playing good so far. Of course, the obstacle like Daniil is never easy, but I'm going to try and be concentrated and try and approach my game in the most precise, best manner and let my tennis do the talking, and the rest will present itself if it's something that I deserve."

Borna Coric's week-long upset tour continued on Friday with a 6-4, 6-4 win over No. 7 Felix Auger-Aliassime. That marks three consecutive wins over seeded competitors for Coric, who has a chance to make it four in a row on Saturday night in the semifinals against No. 9 Cameron Norrie, not before 6 p.m. on Center Court in the night session.

Norrie battled No. 3 Carlos Alcaraz late into the night and held on for a 7-6(4), 6-7(4), 6-4 win to secure a place in the semifinals.

This article originally appeared on Cincinnati Enquirer: Friday recap, look ahead to semifinal Saturday at the W&S Open