No.12 seed Jessica Pegula of the United States and Jil Teichmann of Switzerland completed the semifinal lineup at the Mutua Madrid Open with straight-set victories on Wednesday evening.
Pegula eliminated the last Spanish hope in the singles draw, Sara Sorribes Tormo, 6-4, 6-2. Pegula notched her first win in three meetings with 47th-ranked Sorribes Tormo, as she moved into her second straight WTA 1000 semifinal, having also reached this round in Miami in March.
Teichmann took her semifinal slot with a 6-3, 6-4 win over Ukraine's Anhelina Kalinina. With her fourth straight-sets win in a row, Teichmann is the only player to make it into the semifinals without the loss of a set.
Pegula and Teichmann will have their first meeting in Thursday's semifinals.
Jabeur takes out Halep in Madrid, to meet Alexandrova in semis
🇨🇭 🤝 🇪🇸— WTA Insider (@WTA_insider) May 4, 2022
Teichmann: "I really like the conditions here in Madrid. It's perfect. It's a mix between the Spanish clay, which I practice a lot, and a little bit altitude like I'm used to from Switzerland. So it's actually great for me here.”#MMOPEN pic.twitter.com/F771DkX1qh
The earlier of the top-half quarterfinals was a battle between two players separated by very little in the rankings, with World No.35 Teichmann taking a 90-minute victory over 37th-ranked Kalinina.
The pair had played twice previously, both times on clay below tour-level, and they had split those two meetings. Coincidentally, both of those matches were won by identical 6-4, 6-1 score lines.
Teichmann modified the score line a bit this time to take the 2-1 lead in their rivalry. Teichmann finished the match with 17 winners to 15 unforced errors, taking command with aggressive play, particularly from the forehand side on key moments.
The Swiss player is still in the mix to win her third title. Her previous titles also came on clay, in Prague and Palermo in 2019.
Teichmann has now used her expertise on clay courts to post a career-best result at a WTA 1000 event on the surface, and she is a win away from reaching her second career WTA 1000 final. She was runner-up to then-No.1 Ashleigh Barty on the Cincinnati hard courts last year.
"Last year, the thing is I missed out almost all the clay season," Teichmann said. "I came to Madrid with no matches. ... Rome and Strasbourg, I got injured as well.
"I didn't really get many chances on clay last year, so that's why I would say, yeah, I had a better run on hard court, which I'm really happy as well. But I think I'm a player that can play on all surfaces, I'm showing it now, and just need to confirm it."
the shots in this rally 🔥@JLPegula | #MMOPEN pic.twitter.com/bY6SPFPL75— wta (@WTA) May 4, 2022
Pegula won the nightcap, continuing her run of great form at WTA 1000 events. Since the start of the 2021 season, Pegula has reached a tour-leading six quarterfinals at WTA 1000 tournaments, including two previous semifinals at 2021 Montreal and Miami this year.
Playing this week one spot below her career-high ranking of World No.13, Pegula has a chance to make her Top 10 debut if she goes on to win the title and other results break her way.
The 1-hour and 47-minute success over Sorribes Tormo broke Pegula's way, as she quelled comeback attempts in both sets by the last remaining Spaniard. Pegula's total of 31 winners was over double Sorribes Tormo's 15 in the match.
A forehand winner gave Pegula a commanding 5-1 lead in the opening frame, but she failed to convert a set point there, and Sorribes Tormo reeled off three straight games to reach 5-4. However, Pegula broke for the set with a backhand winner down the line on her second set point.
Pegula grabbed a 5-1 lead in the second set as well, but the speedy Spaniard once again clawed a break back. Pegula refused to cede any more games, breaking Sorribes Tormo at 5-2 to finish off the battle.
"[Sorribes Tormo is] just so tough, and she makes you play ... that's what I was expecting," Pegula said afterward. "I'm not going to out-rally or out-grind her from the back, so it's such a fine line of moving in and coming forward, but picking the right times to do that.
"So that's what I did, and I did it well enough. I drop-shotted a lot and it worked really well, that's also something I wanted to do. I executed my game plan, it's just so hard when you're out there."