World no. 32 Coco Vandeweghe defeats world no. 49 Yanina Wickmayer in straight sets 6-4, 6-2 to reach the semifinal round of the 2016 AEGON Classic Birmingham. With the victory, Coco Vandeweghe now holds a 3-0 record against the twelve-year Belgian pro. She also defeated Wickmayer in the same tournament two years ago in the round of 32. Vandeweghe is now two wins away from her second WTA title this year. No stranger to beating higher ranked opponents; Coco Vandeweghe was crowned 2016 Ricoh Open less than a week ago.
Coco Vandeweghe started the first set by taking the first two games against Wickmayer. Her opponent responds by winning two games of her straight games of her own to tie the set. Both players exchange wins until the eight game, tying the score for the third time in the opener at 4-4. Vandeweghe then takes the next to games to win the opening set after thirty-two minutes. The American was able to break Wickmayer three times in five attempts, while deflecting two of Wickmayer’s four.
In the second set, Coco Vandeweghe again takes the first two wins with a 40-0 score in both games. After Wickmayer puts herself on the board by taking the next game, Vandeweghe wins four of the next five games to seal off her rival after just twenty-eight minutes. Vandeweghe had 4 aces in the second frame. She broke her opponent twice in her five break point attempts as well as converting 12 of her 13 first serve points.
Vandeweghe’s semifinal opponent will be world no. 30 Barbora Strycova. Coco Vandeweghe and Barbora Strycova are an even 1-1 in their career head-to-heads. This will be their first match this season. Last year both players split wins with Vandeweghe winning at Wuhan and Strycova winning at Auckland.
World no. 15 Carla Suarez Navarro is also through to the semis after claiming an upset win over defending AEGON Classic Birmingham champion world no. 4 Angelique Kerber. Suarez Navarro outlasted Kerber with a 6-4, 1-6, 7-5 victory. The first set saw the Suarez Navarro win the first three games. Kerber finally wins the fourth game to stop the streaking Spaniard. She then proceeds to win two of the next three games to gain ground on Suarez Navarro, 4-3. Suarez Navarro then wins two of the next three games to take the opener after thirty-four minutes.
Angelique Kerber bounces back in the next set by winning the first four games. Suarez Navarro takes her only win of the second frame with a 40-0 score in the fifth game. Kerber wins the next two games to even the match, 1-1, with Suarez Navarro after a mere twenty-five minutes. Kerber broke Suarez Navarro three times in the second set. She also won 11 of her first serve points against just 4-for-11 by Suarez Navarro.
Both players tightened their play in the final set. They exchange wins until the tenth game to even the set at 5-5. Kerber failed to score match point in the ninth game, ultimately leading to her demise, as Suarez Navarro won three straight games to close out the defending champion after nearly two hours of play.
Carla Suarez Navarro will face world no. 16 Madison Keys in the semifinals. Madison Keys holds the lone win in their head-to-head match up. She defeated Carla Suarez Navarro in 2013 at Tokyo.