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Breeze for Jelena Ostapenko as Tornado runs out of steam

Tornado Alicia Black during the Junior event
by Michael Beattie
Friday 4 July 2014

Tornado Alicia Black, the highest remaining seed in the girls’ singles, fell victim to the blustery conditions and an all-out assault from Jelena Ostapenko as she crashed out in the quarter-finals.

The American No.3 seed lost 6-3, 6-1 in 69 minutes, shortly before Chinese No.10 seed Shilin Xu suffered a similar fate against Elena Gabriela Ruse.

With a stiff breeze making conditions tricky on Court 10, Black was never allowed to get into her rhythm against junior world No.24 Ostapenko. The Latvian went for broke from the outset, hitting 18 winners and making 16 unforced errors in the first set as her opponent opted for containment. While the error count remained low, Black produced just a single winner in reply as Ostapenko claiemd four of the set’s six breaks.

Trailing for the first time in the tournament, Black’s serve deserted her in the second set – the only game she did claim came against the Latvian’s delivery as she gave up a further three breaks to hand Ostapenko the win. The Latvian, 17, will face Marketa Vondrousova for a place in Sunday’s final after the No.12 seed beat Spain’s Paula Badosa Gilbert 6-3, 6-2.

Vondrousova endured her own serving niggles on Court 8, throwing in eight double-faults to give up two breaks. But the Czech 15-year-old – the youngest entrant in the event – took Badosa Gilbert’s serve apart, allowing her opponent to claim just 11 points on serve in the first set.

Badosa Gilbert showed greater resolve early in the second set but Vondrousova was into her stride, winning all but one of the points behind her first serve and breaking twice to wrap things up in just 53 minutes.

Xu and Ruse battled for 45 minutes before the Romanian 16-year-old edged into a one-set lead. The Chinese junior world No.11 simply could not unsettle Ruse, who cut down the unforced errors in the second set and sealed a 6-4, 6-3 victory, finishing with 20 winners to her name.

Black’s exit leaves Slovakia’s Kristian Schmiedlova, sister of WTA world No.58 Anna, as the highest seed through to the semi-finals. The No.8 seed’s own serve was something of a disaster during the match – she hit five double-faults in each set – but found a way to see off American Michaela Gordon 6-3, 6-3 over 84 minutes. Schmiedlova will face Ruse in the second semi-final.

In the girls’ doubles, the last of the Britons bade farewell after an epic three-set battle out on Court 19. Katie Boulter and Serbian partner Ivana Jorovic fought back after losing the first set to Fanny Stollar of Hungary and American Usue Maitane Arconada, only to lose a marathon final set and exit 7-6(5), 5-7, 9-7.

Arconda and Stollar will face Chinese-Indian duo Tami Grende and Qui Yu Ye, who downed Ukraine’s Anhelina Kalinina and Iryna Shymanovich of Belarus 7-6(3), 7-5.

Black’s day got no better in her doubles match as she bowed out alongside Australia’s Naiktha Bains in three sets, beaten 6-1, 2-6, 6-3 by Marie Bouzkova of the Czech Republic and Hungary’s Dalma Galfi.

Having ousted the No.3 seeds, Bouzkova and Galfi will face No.2 seeds Priscilla Hon and Jil Belen Teichmann after the Australian-Dutch pair cruised past Canada’s Katherine Sebov and Brazilian Leticia Garcia Vidal 6-3, 6-1 in the semi-finals.

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