The young Canadian Billie-Jean-King Cup sensation Marina Stakušić lost on Saturday in Seville in 2 sets 2-6 and 1-6 to the Czech Barbora Krejčikova in the first match of the semi-finals.
Two days after shining against Poland, Canada, led by Stakusic and Leylah Annie Fernandez, began their semi-final clash against the Czech Republic, a tough matchup against opponents led by two of the world’s top 10 players, including reigning Wimbledon champion Marketa Vondrousova.
Marina Stakušić, 258th WTA player, surprised Magdalena Frech, the 63rd player in the world, in three sets on Thursday. On Saturday, against No. 10 in the WTA rankings, Barbora Krejcikova of the Czech Republic, the challenge promised to be significant for the young 18-year-old Ontarian, the revelation of the tournament.
Photo: AFP / RADEK MICA
From the first game of the match, Krejčikova took away Stakušić’s serve, taking advantage of the latter’s direct error for a lead that she did not relinquish in the first set. There was no doubt about the supremacy of the Czech Republic in the first act, as well as this volley at the net with finesse to win the 4th game and lead 3-1.
The same scenario would be repeated in the 7th game – Stakušić sent an unforced error straight into the net and offered a break to Krejčikova, who took the first set with a score of 6-2.
Déjà vu also followed the second round, which started like the first. Stakušić faced the tough Krejčikova on serve, who took advantage of a direct error by the player from Mississauga and won a break serve.
In the next game, the Ontarian went long to pull off the same trick on her opponent, landing several game-winning shots, including a great pass and a powerful cross-serve return. Persistence paid off: her first break of serve of the match allowed her to level the score at 1-1, won by a straight error from Krejcikova, who sent the ball out of bounds after 18 rallies in the game.
But the Czech continued her break in the next game, with a shot, before continuing to serve authoritatively to take a 3-1 lead. The same song rang out in Seville, only the pace accelerated as Krejčikova once again broke Stakušić and took a 4-1 lead.
In the end, after suffering her only break of serve of the match, the world number 10 won 5 straight games to win the second set 6-1 and decide the match in two sets on her second match point, converted from a cross volley to to the network.
Later on Saturday, Laval’s Leylah Annie Fernandez takes on Marketa Vondrousova in the second match of this best-of-three series between Canada and the Czech Republic.
More details will follow.