In a remarkable display of skill and determination, 19-year-old Dallas resident Ashlyn Krueger, ranked 123rd in the world, achieved her maiden WTA semifinal berth on Friday at the prestigious Japan Open in Osaka. Krueger's journey to this pivotal moment was marked by unwavering resilience and a superb performance as she overcame Russia's Anna Kalinskaya in a stunning 6-3, 6-1 victory.
Krueger's dominant display on the court was characterized by her powerful serves, including an impressive tally of 11 aces, compared to Kalinskaya's two. Equally impressive was her ability to save all three break points she encountered, showcasing her mental fortitude under pressure.
Furthermore, Krueger's first-service accuracy was a staggering 82.9 percent, with 29 out of 35 points won in this crucial category.
Krueger's Remarkable Unbroken Streak
What sets Krueger's journey apart is her consistency throughout the tournament, as she has yet to drop a single set.
Her exceptional run commenced with a significant upset in the first round, where she triumphed over the eighth seed, Kateryna Baindl of Ukraine. Krueger's semifinal challenge will be against Japan's own Mai Hontama, who displayed her resilience in a thrilling comeback victory against Dutch opponent Arianne Hartono, with a scoreline of 6-7 (2), 6-4, 6-1.
The second semifinal will showcase a face-off between Chinese talents Lin Zhu and Xinyu Wang, who hold the top two seeds. Zhu secured her spot with a convincing victory over American Elizabeth Mandlik, concluding with a score of 6-3, 6-2.
Wang, on the other hand, battled for nearly three hours to edge past the sixth-seeded Yulia Putintseva of Kazakhstan, ultimately prevailing with a scoreline of 7-6 (4), 6-7 (1), 6-3. In a separate thrilling encounter at the San Diego Open, fourth-seeded Barbora Krejcikova displayed her resilience by staging a remarkable comeback against the United States' Danielle Collins.
After dropping the first set, Krejcikova managed to claw her way back into the match, winning the second set 7-5 and ultimately dominating the third set 6-2. This triumph marked her steady pursuit of a seventh WTA Tour title, with her most recent victory occurring at the Dubai Championships in March.
Her formidable opponent in the final will be Sofia Kenin, who showcased her tenacity in an all-American semifinal clash against Emma Navarro. Kenin emerged victorious with a scoreline of 6-2, 5-7, 6-4, setting the stage for an electrifying showdown between two highly skilled competitors in the San Diego Open final.