Last participants of the singles quarter-finals at EMPIRE Slovak Open 2017 were revealed on Thursday. Russian Alexandrova, Ukrainian Kozlova, Japanese Nara joined already known second round winners from Wednesday - Wickmayer, Vondroušová, Watson, Royg and Potapova at the biggest women’s event in Slovakia.
While Ons Jabeur from EMPIRE Tennis Academy lost her match to Ekaterina Alexandrova 2:6, 6:4, 5:7, Kateryna Kozlova also from EMPIRE Tennis Academy defeated British Naomi Broady 6:2, 2:6 and 7:6(5) and reached quarterfinals.
"I am very happy to win today. Victory in the final set tie-break is always demanding. I am still going through the emotions, match has just finished. She was up for a while, then I was up, but finally I'm the lucky one who went through and won,“ smiled Ukrainian who was 1:3 down in their head to head.
"In comparison with hard court, it’s a big advantage on clay, I have more time for the stroke, especially for my return. Her first two shots are not that fast as on the hard court. So for me it was better but in general she is very tough opponent because her first serve is unbelievable, when she hits the first serve in, it’s fast and very close to the line so it’s not easy even on the clay,“ continues Kozlova.
And how does Kozlova feel as a member of the home EMPIRE Tennis Academy?
"To be in Trnava is for me something special, I like to play and practice here. I came here when I was without a coach and was doing a pre-season preparation. Head coach Vladimír Pláteník helped me to find a coach - Jaroslav Levinský. Fitness coach Maroš Molnár is also perfect coach and nice guy. I hope to repeat last years winter preparation as in November 2016 and go back to the mountains," added Kozlova with a grin.
Friday’s quarterfinal matches feature: Veronica Cepede Royg against Japanese Kurumi Nara, number 1 seed from Belgium Yanina Wickmayer against Czech Markéta Vondroušová and Ekaterina Alexandrova against Heather Watson on center court and Kateryna Kozlova against Anastasia Potapova on court 1.