By Jake Davies
- Barbora Strycova  defeats Jana Fett [Q] 2-6, 6-3, 6-3
LINZ, AUSTRIA – Barbora Strycova is still chasing down the elusive second WTA title and she is just three wins away after defeating Croatia’s Jana Fett in the Upper Austria Ladies Linz second round.
Barbora Strycova  defeats Jana Fett [Q] 2-6, 6-3, 6-3
Facing a qualifier can be a difficult task. The player often has three or four matches under their belt and they have already built that matchplay and the feeling of competitive tennis at the tournament. Fett came in as that qualifier looking to cause an upset against the No.2 seed Barbora Strycova and she very nearly pulled it off.
Fett showed some fantastic signs of play worthy of being in the Top 50. She was going for her shots to safe targets, while remaining aggressive and she was commanding the patterns of play when she went from forehand-to-forehand. Strycova was doing a lot of running and scrambling, which the Czech enjoys, but not when she misses that feeling of still having an element of control. Fett was not giving her that option in the first set.
Fett took the first set on her second set point, but Strycova was by no means out of it. Her biggest downfall was her break point conversion rate where she converted just the one of six in that set.
“The first set was very tough for me because I was playing very well and I did not know her that much. She surprised me with her play. She was really aggressive and I did not do anything particularly bad in the first set.”
Strycova talked about the importance of the fast start in the second set, where she raced out to a 4-0 lead:
“I was just trying to hang in there and in the second set I got a fast lead, 4-0 and I think that helped me win the second set.”
Fett struggled tremendously with the overhead and her placement around the net. The one area that stood out like a sore thumb was her reluctance to transition from the baseline to the forecourt. Her groundstrokes from the baseline are fantastic, but she does not capitalise on those great shots often enough and it hindered her. The Croatian qualifier did get one of the breaks back in the second set, but she could not maintain the required level off the forehand side in order to recover the deficit.
The third set was a battle. The ability to go to different tactics, surprising strategies, that not every player has the toolset to do, actually proved to be the difference in this matchup. Strycova opted with more serve and volleying, more rushes to the net, taking more risks in order to get the win and that is simply what settled a very good contest in Linz.
This is the eighth WTA quarter-final of the season for the talented Czech and they have come on four different surfaces: indoor hard, outdoor hard, grass and clay. It is safe to say that the World No.26 has the variation to adapt to any surface and she will need all of the different shots at her disposal in order to match what Tatjana Maria brings in the quarter-final on Friday.
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