It could turn out to be a special year for Carla Suárez Navarro…
The 26-year-old Spanish tennis player continued her impressive start to the season by defeating No.4 seed Petra Kvitova, 6-3, 6-2, in the quarterfinals of the Internazionali BNL d’Italia.
By outplaying Kvitova, Suárez Navarro became the first player to reach 30 wins in 2015.
“I think that I played really solid. But sometimes I was aggressive, which is important against Petra because she hits the ball so well,” Suárez Navarro said. “I was focused on my game and fighting for each point.”
The measured approach paid immediate dividends, as Kvitova coughed up a succession of early errors to surrender her serve in the opening game. Suárez Navarro held onto the advantage to take the first set before taking complete control with a run of four straight games to start the second.
Kvitova staged a late rally, reducing her arrears to 4-2. But there was to be no denying the Spaniard, who saved the best for last, wrapping up her victory with a deft stop volley and a trademark backhand pass down the line.
Suárez Navarro’s recent run has catapulted her into the Top 10, a success story she attributes to a change in mentality, rather than any technical tinkering.
“I’m playing much more aggressive now. I am also feeling much more confident and just enjoying every match I play,” she added.
In the semifinals she will face No.2 seed Simona Halep, a player she has not beaten in nearly two years.
“It will be tough because she’s playing amazingly,” Suárez Navarro said. “Always when we play we have long rallies, long matches. But you never know. I need to be 100% and it will be tough, for sure.”