After a day of blowouts, the semifinals are set at the Rio Olympics and someone will walk away with their first gold medal. In fact, there will be three first-time medalists this year in the women’s singles competition with all four remaining reaching the medal round for a first time.
Petra Kvitova emerged from Serena Williams’s top spot in the draw after eliminating Elina Svitolina 6-2, 6-0.
Kvitova will face Monica Puig of Puerto Rico. Puig is having the event of her life reaching the semifinals without losing a set after streamrolling Laura Siegemund of Germany 6-1, 6-1. No Puerto Rican has ever won gold at the Olympics.
“I want to be playing for the gold medal, that’s the next goal,” said Puig. “I want to go little by little. This morning I woke up and thought ‘okay, I want to get to the medal round’ and now I’m in the medal round I have to set myself a bigger goal. I’m a go-getter, if I set a goal for myself I’m going to try my best to accomplish what I have set for myself. If it’s that close and within reach, I’m going to try my best to get it.”
In the bottom half, favorites Madison Keys will clash with No. 2 seed Angelique Kerber.
After consecutive 3-set wins, Keys crushed Daria Kasatkina 6-3, 6-1.
Kerber had the biggest result of the day destroying Brit Johanna Konta 6-1, 6-2 in a rematch of their Australian Open semifinal.
“I think it is a tough one against her and she is playing one of her best years as well,” said Kerber of her 4-1 lead over Keys.. “I know I have to play some of my best tennis and it will be a really close match. She is serving really well. Finally I am in the semis here and I will try to go out and play my best tennis, trying to beat her and enjoying the Olympics.”
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