Michaella Krajicek To Meet Shelby Rogers at Red Rock Pro Open

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Copyright © 2015. No duplication is permitted without permission from Bob Larson Tennis.

For the second consecutive week, Michaella Krajicek will wake up on a Sunday morning and prepare to play in a USTA Pro Circuit singles final.

The 26-year-old Krajicek from the Netherlands won her 12th straight match on Saturday, beating American Nicole Gibbs, 6-1, 7-6 (6) in the semifinals of the Red Rock Pro Open, a USTA women’s $50,000 USTA Pro Circuit event taking place at the Red Rock Country Club.

Krajicek won eight matches, including three in qualifying, last week to capture the Albuquerque Challenger and has won four more main-draw matches this week in Las Vegas. She will face American Shelby Rogers in Sunday’s final. Rogers, 22 and from South Carolina and training now full-time in Los Angeles, also got it done in straight sets on Saturday as the No. 7 seed beat the No. 3 seeded Romina Oprandi of Switzerland, 6-4, 6-4.

Krajicek needed just 24 minutes to roll to the first-set win over the former two-time NCAA singles champion from Stanford University Gibbs. “In the middle of the second set I started to feel a little bit tired,” Krajicek said. “I was pressing and started to make some mistakes, and I lost my serve at 4-3. Then it was a little tight for each game after that.”

Gibbs did her best to stay in the match and force a third set. In the tiebreaker, she held two set points leading 6-4, but Krajicek kept the pressure on and closed it out with four straight clutch points. On match point, she hit a powerful serve that Gibbs could only lunge at to complete the match.

Krajicek has had four knee surgeries during her career, with the last coming in 2012. “That last one was the worse, and I wasn’t even back on the court until like eight months after the surgery,” said Krajicek, who is being coached this week by her new husband former German doubles player Martin Emmrich. “It just took me so long to recover and I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to come back. So now after three years I feel like this is the first year I’ve been able to be healthy and compete.”

Krajicek had some success in doubles to start the year as she made the semifinals at the Australian Open and the quarterfinals at the French Open. “I think playing the doubles at the start of the year really helped me, because most of the top girls are also playing doubles,” she said.

Krajicek, who achieved her highest ranking of No. 30 back in 2008 as a teenager, said that last week in New Mexico the courts were playing, “real fast and the ball were flying everywhere. Here it’s way slower so I’m not able to get as many free points.”

After Sunday, Krajicek will return to her home in Bradenton, Fla., where she trains at the IMG Academy for two weeks of practice, and will prepare for two more $50,000-level Challenger events in Canada.

“I’m just going to focus on singles until the end of the year, with no doubles,” she said. “We had the goal to get into the top 200 at the end of the year and we’re already at 204 now with these past two weeks. So I think we need to set some new goals.”


On Sunday, Rogers will try to become the fourth straight American to win the Red Rock Pro Open as Madison Brengle (2014), Melanie Oudin (2013) and Lauren Davis (2012) captured the last three.


Rogers said after her match that the 2011 Las Vegas champion Oprandi can be a tricky player to face. “She has some shots that most players don’t have and it can be tricky and frustrating,” said Rogers, who has never faced Krajicek during her career. “She kind of makes you play defensive because she hits the ball slow and changes pace well. So I just did what was high percentage and tried to structure the points the best I could.”


Saturday’s Semifinal Singles Results
Shelby Rogers, U.S., [7] def. Romina Oprandi, Switzerland [3], 6-4, 6-4
Michaella Krajicek, Netherlands, def. Nicole Gibbs, U.S. [6], 6-1, 7-6 (6)


Sunday’s Schedule
Stadium Court, Starting at 11 a.m.
Doubles Final
Julia Boserup, U.S. / Nicole Gibbs, U.S., [wc] vs. Paula Cristina Goncalves, Brazil / Sanaz Marad, U.S., [1]

Followed by the singles final:
Shelby Rogers, U.S., [7] vs. Michaella Krajicek, Netherlands

Copyright © 2015. No duplication is permitted without permission from Bob Larson Tennis.