LUXEMBOURG - Elise Mertens, the last seed left standing, took down Heather Watson in straight sets to reach the semifinals at the BGL BNP Paribas Luxembourg Open.
No.5 seeded Mertens needed less than an hour and a half to come back from a break down and see off Watson 6-4, 6-4.
“I think we were both pretty solid in the rallies today,” Mertens said after the match. “It was a very close match, but I’m glad I could make it in two sets.”
Mertens kept her game tidy against the Brit’s all-out assault, hitting 18 winners and just eight unforced errors to Watson’s 22 and 22. Despite hitting seven double faults - including three in the same game - Mertens’ strong first serve percentage kept her in charge of the rallies.
She’ll face Monica Puig in the next round after the Puerto Rican defeated lucky loser Naomi Broady, 6-0, 5-7, 6-1 to knock out the last remaining Brit.
“[Puig] is a very good player,” Mertens assessed. “She plays very aggressive, comes into the court. I have to play aggressive too, and stay on my baseline, and just try to make it.”
Also through to the semifinals are qualifier Pauline Parmentier, who defeated Johanna Larsson 6-1, 6-2 and Carina WItthoeft, who took down the ailing No.2 seed Kiki Bertens 6-1, 6-2.
“I’m very happy with my performance today, I mean, she was the second seed!” Witthoeft said after the match. “I’m very happy with how I played. I just tried to focus on my serve, to play aggressive the whole time - this helped me a lot.
“This is only the second semifinal of my career so far, so I’m really happy for sure.”
But despite the tough losses in singles, Bertens and Larsson will still receive their consolation in doubles: the pair have secured the last doubles spot at the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global.