Winner in St Petersburg, Russia(how unfortunate with current events) Anett Kontaveit taking on winner in Dubai last week Jelena Ostapenko in the semis. Anett came through against Ons Jabeur of Tunisia in the last eight and Ostapenko won in straight sets too against Krejcikova. Both players have a similar type of groundstroke game the only difference is on the serving accuracy. Anett tends to serve solid at the start of a set lose her way in the middle, then finishing off strongly. Jelena’s goes with the wind in terms of whether she believes in herself on the day or not. You get the feeling with her that one double fault is all it takes to have her confidence shattered. Watch 2-1 first set 15-0 Ostapenko. Doesn’t mean you have to go all Reilly Opelka on every single serve. The slower kicker doing it here for Jelena, opening up the court nicely for the forehand. Jelena almost overcooks the forehand but as long as it lands in its good. But the kick serve only works if you have a strong counter to the return by your opponent. Watch when Anett broke at 2-1 on deuce, the bounce on the Estonian’s return made it difficult for Jelena to get the backhand low and hard. Once ahead, Kontaveit didn’t have her usual mid set crisis. In fact she went double break up. She not only went after the second serve of the Latvian, also her first serve. Watch 4-1(15-40). I don’t know if a forehand slice down the line here was a wise choice of shot. In the end it was neither a drop shot or a full blown shot, a player caught in two minds. Anett wrapping up the set 6-1 easy.

If Jelena was to come back and make this match a three setter, she had to tidy up her unforced errors. Remember when I said you don’t have to go for a faster serve every time. Similarly you don’t have to go for the kicker a lot as well. Watch first game 0-40 in favor of Anett. Anett got used to Jelena going to her backhand on the kick serve on the ad side, knew she only had to get that return deep to the Ostapenko backhand to force a mistake. With that lackluster service game under her belt, Ostapenko finally showed up for the semi. Watch the angles forehand cross court at 1-0(40-30). That is her best shot in her game in my opinion, strikes the ball well getting the angle impressively without much wrist action. Just when I thought here we go then boom, Miss Hyde appeared. More unforced errors at 2-0 Kontaveit , the one at 15-40 must be infuriating for the Ostapenko camp. Nice serve(no kick serve ) down the line followed up by a wayward backhand and before you know it a double break to Anett. She needed a strong fourth game did Ostapenko. She delivered with her only break of the match to make it 3-1. The point of the match was at break point 30-40 which she converted. Both players ,managed to hold serve in the set leaving Anett a finalist yet again this time her second WTA1000 final. If she wins against Swiatek on Saturday in the final just like in Russia, she wins her first 1000. A sure positive step in the direction of a Grand Slam title in the future.