It wasn’t the greatest of days for the Australian husband and wife tennis duo of Sam and Jarmila Groth as they fell by the wayside in the semifinals of Configure Express Pro tournament in Wellington.
Sam Groth losing to top seed and fellow Aussie, Brydan Klein wasn’t so much of an upset, but Jarmila Groth, the world No42 being beaten by the sixth seed and 255th ranked Elitsa Kostova of Bulgaria…and in straight sets was not expected.
For Kostova, 20 it will be just her third final of a US$25,000 event and she will be aiming to make it her first win when she faces Japanese fifth seed Erika Sema. Sema defeated countrywoman and seventh seed Kumiko Iijima in easy straight sets in her semi.
Kostova showed plenty of intensity in her semifinal while Groth just appeared a little off her game. Every now and then there were glimpses of shots which have taken her to a WTA singles title and past the first round of Grand Slams. However Kostova said she was desperate to win.
“No matter who I play and what size tournament I want to win. I just want to play and win. Playing against someone with a high ranking is good and beating them is good for my game. I needed to beat someone ranked this high,” said Kostova.
She will need to hit plenty of winners against Sema who is consistent all over the court and has won two events of the same stature and been a finalist in another in three of her last tournaments
The men’s final of the US$15,000 Futures will see Klein ranked at 236 in the world against second seed, Sebastian Rieschick of Germany who has a ranking of 302. Rieschick defeated unseeded Australian, James Duckworth in straight sets without too much fuss.
Klein, aged 20 has always been a talent, winning the Australian Open junior event, but has been in hot water with Tennis Australia recently for disciplinary reasons, however his wristy game may be tested by the big-serving German who actually beat Klein in the final of a Futures tournament in Western Australia last week. In fact Klein has been a beaten finalist in his last three tournaments, something he’ll be keen to change at the Renouf Tennis Centre.
Configure Express Pro Results:
US$25,000 women’s tournament
Court 2 midday start
(6)Elitsa Kostova(BUL) bt (1)Jarmila Groth(AUS) 6-3 6-4, (5)Erika Sema(JPN) bt (7)Kumiko Iijima(JPN) 6-2 6-2
US$15,000 men’s tournament:
(2)Sebastian Rieschick(GER) bt James Duckworth(AUS) 6-2 6-3, (1)Brydan Klein(AUS) bt (4)Sam Groth(AUS) 6-1 7-5
Finals Sunday 21 Novmber:
Men’s singles final
Klein v Riecshick
Kostova v Sema