Semi Finals at the CT Open
Sabalenka vs. Goerges
With Julia Goerges being the only seeded player left in the tournament, Aryna Sabalenka made a statement by beating her in straight sets. The 20 year old phenom from Belarus has been taking the Connecticut Open by storm this year and she has the track record to prove it. Battling through Bencic, Stosur, and defending champion Gavrilova, she has now made her second WTA Premier event final (her first being in Eastbourne this year).
Early in the first set it became a match of who can break their opponents serve first. At 5-4, Sabalenka took her opportunity and broke Goerges to take the first set 6-4. In the second, the battle became even stronger with both players starting to get more and more frustrated about not breaking their opponent. Sabalenka even sent one flying into the stands which actually hit the moon. Goerges kept changing her racquet in order to find the right rhythm with her strokes. Let me tell you, it wasn't the racquets fault.
Goerges eventually caught a break and took the lead at 6-5 in the second and looked to close out the second set in order to force a deciding third. At set point, she fell short and was broken by Sabalenka and both of them went into the tie break at 6-6. Goerges took an early lead, going up 3-0 early in the tie break. It wasn't enough though. Sabalenka won seven straight points to take the match. Goerges hopelessly challenged the last ball and it was clearly in.
During the press conference, a fan had a chance to ask a question and it was pretty funny. "Where are you going to eat after this?" Her response, "Well, I think I will eat something after tomorrow final. If I do well there, probably I will take something really bad, probably McDonald's or something else. But if I lose it, I don't know, probably I will eat McDonald's too. I'll have some ice cream or something there"
Suarez Navarro vs. Puig
What can I say about this match. Suarez Navarro has another retirement win against Monica Puig who pulled out due to an abdominal injury (according to the WTA), which has made it two retirements in a match and walkover for her road to the finals of the Connecticut Open. I personally thought it was a stomach virus after she left the court holding her stomach. When Puig eventually returned to the court, she looked teary eyed and pale. Even though she gave it her best effort to continue the match, she stopped played after she points and called it a night. Bursting into tears, Monica left the Connecticut Open fans with a smile and a brave face to remind them that she will be back for more next year.
Here is what Monica had to say after her press conference:
"It was a bit of an abdominal strain that I started feeling in my second service game. I just gradually got worse from there. Obviously with the US Open so close, it's better not to make it worse, miss a tournament. I mean, I already know the consequences of getting injured and missing a Grand Slam. That's not ideal"
"As disappointing as this is, I have to turn the page and just focus on what's coming up, working on feel better, getting back out onto the court whenever I feel 100% to practice and all that, which hopefully won't be too long. Definitely going to take a day off tomorrow and just rest because I've had a long week. "It's part of the game. I know what getting injured means. It's a bit of a bummer because this is the second time this year that something like this happens. I just have to be optimistic that New York will be good and I'll be healthy to play" (from my question, How do you mentally distract yourself from something like this moving forward?
During the Suarez Navarro press conference, I tried to ask her question that wasn't related to the match since no one really had questions for a player who barely played a match the entire week. Since she is has one of the most powerful and successful one handed backhands on the women's tour, I wanted to know where she got her inspiration from. This is what she had to say, "Well, when I start to play, I play like this. When I'm growing up, Justine Henin was playing the WTA Tour, so I watch her. But just practice. It's really natural, but I was practicing a lot and watching her".
John McEnroe Has Still Got It
Invesco QQQ hosts former tennis legends to play matches at tournaments like the New Haven Open to show former champions and how they still have it. Today, John McEnroe, a.k.a Johnny Mac, took a few minutes out of his day to talk to the media along side Tennis Hall of Fame CEO, Todd Martin. Mac hasn't missed a beat after her retired. 15 years on tour I think was too short of a career for him. He still believes he can still compete with these young kids on tour. When talking about his career and current topics, he spoke with the same confidence that he had on tour. He still uses the same slang, mannerism and "swag" that made him a great player. He even
wore white, low cut converse that he has had for the past 20 years.
Poking fun at Martin, he knows and clearly believes that he can run anyone he plays off the court. His "trash talk" still lingers over those who he plays. At 58, he still has the same fire for the game of tennis that he had when started playing. When I had the chance to ask a question, I asked, "If you were to sum up your career into one word, what would it be and why?" If you want to hear the answer, check out our Day 6 Vlog from the Connecticut Open down below!