Tena Lukas of Kastela, the local hero of the second round, won her night match on center court at the Bluesun Tennis Center for a spot in the quarter-finals at the WTA Croatia Bol Open. She beat world no. 134 Canadian Zhao 6-0, 2-6, 7-5.
In the first set, Lukas played fantastic aggressive tennis, her game too strong for Zhao. Zhao’s momentum picked up in the second set, when Lukas started to miss her shots. After an hour of play the match was tied at one set all.
Public support for Lukas was strong at the start of the deciding set and just a few minutes in Lukas lead 3-0. Once again, Zhao made some adjustments as she found the recipe for Lukas’ big hitting and lead 4-3. Lukas then equalized at 4-4 but dropped her serve. Zhao broke for 5-4 and served for the match. The 23-year-old Croatian could not accept defeat. She returned with a break for 5-5, and help serve for a 6-5 lead. When Lukas finally broke Zhao, taking the last set 7-5, the crowd erupted with cheers and they jumped to their feet.
After her match, Lukas said “I left my heart on the court, I really did my best. The audience helped me so much, without them it would be a question of pulling out, but for them I had to find the last ounce of strength.”
When asked how she plans to prepare for tomorrow against Mariana Duque-Mariño Lukas said, “I do not think about it, I’ll play point-for-point, game-for-game, and I hope to celebrate again.”
There were plenty of other interesting matches at the WTA Croatia Bol Open on Thursday. In eight intriguing individual duels, we would highlight the match between Montenegrin Danka Kovinic and Pole Magda Linette. Kovinic has a devastating serve and very strikes the ball with a lot of force, but the Pole managed to neutralize the attacks for most of the match. Kovinic managed to take second set, but Linette was still more consistent and finally sealed the deal for a spot in the quarterfinals.
“Every time she needed it a break point ball hit the line,” Montenegrin complained, saying she ran out of options. Linette played well in the key moments, which made all the difference in the end.
The 2016 Bol Open champion, Mandy Minella of Luxembourg, had no response for attacks made by Colombian Mariana Duque-Mariño. Meanwhile Slovenian Tamara Zidanšek, after upsetting Ajla Tomljanovic in the first round, beat Romanian Alexandra Cadantu, who was a finalist in Bol last year.
Italian veteran Sara Errani experienced a three set thriller. She took the first set off Bulgarian Viktoriya Tomova with little resistance, lost a tight second set, and finally won the third as the match stretched past 9pm.
Day 3 Singles Results:
Linette (POL) d. D. Kovinic (MNE) 6-4 2-6 6-1
S. Errani (ITA) d. V. Tomova (BUL) 6-1 4-6 6-2
A. Schmiedlova (SVK) d. S. Soler-Espinosa (ESP) 6-2 6-1
V. Golubic (SUI) d. M. Honcova (SVK) 6-3 0-6 6-3
M. Duque-Mariño (COL) d. M. Minella (LUX) 6-3 6-1
T. Lukas (CRO) d. C. Zhao (CAN) 6-0 2-6 7-5
T. Zidansek (SLO) d. A. Cadantu (ROU) 6-7(2) 6-3 6-3
S. Sorribes Tormo (ESP) d. S. Zhuk (RUS) 6-4 6-0
Day 3 Doubles Results:
K. Christian (USA) / S. Santamaria (USA) d. A. Komardina (RUS) / M. Minella (LUX) 6-4 1-6 10-0
S. Soler-Espinosa (ESP) / B. Stefkova (CZE) d. M. Honcova (SVK) / T. Martincova (CZE) 6-2 6-1
Y. Bonaventure (BEL) / S. Sorribes Tormo (ESP) d. N. Bains (AUS) / R. Fujiwara (JPN) 6-3 6-2