Women’s Semifinal Preview

Oracle Challenger Series
Jan 31, 2020

(6) Stefanie Voegele (SUI) vs. (2) Taylor Townsend (USA)

Head-to-Head: Townsend Leads 1-0

The first semifinal will see No.6 seed Stefanie Voegele take on No.2 seed Taylor Townsend in a massive clash of styles. The pair has faced off once before, at an ITF event in Tyler, Texas in 2017. There, the American Townsend came away with the win 6-4, 6-3.

Voegele is known for her consistency and making her opponents play their best tennis to beat her. That was evident in her quarterfinal against American Christina McHale, where she emerged with a hard-fought 6-1, 1-6, 6-4 victory.

“It was really only about a few points, and I was lucky to make those,” said Voegele. “I was up in the third set and couldn’t convert for 3-0 and 4-1, so it was close. I’m happy I got through today.”

Facing Townsend will be an entirely different challenge for the Swiss. The American started slow, but kicked it into gear against CoCo Vandeweghe to advance 1-6, 6-1, 6-1.

“I played her once, she’s a tricky player,” recounted Voegele about her past match with Townsend. “She’s a leftie with a pretty good serve. So it will be a little bit different from today, much shorter rallies. I’m looking forward to it.”

(5) Madison Brengle (USA) vs. Nadia Podoroska (ARG)

Head-to-Head: Podoroska Leads 1-0

The other semifinal pits the No.5 seed against a player who is on a 14-match winning streak.

American Madison Brengle overcame a slow start and saved a match point in the second set to defeat top seed Jessica Pegula 1-6, 7-6(7), 6-2.

“It was back and forth, she had a match point,” said Brengle. “She missed the backhand down the line by not a lot. I feel like I just tried to fight for every point – she’s a very good player. She’s extremely solid and doesn’t give much away.”

Brengle now takes on a player who is on perhaps the hottest streak on tour. Nadia Podoroska won the Oracle Pro Series – Malibu and the ITF event in Guadaloupe before winning three matches and upsetting No.4 seed Tatjana Maria in Thursday’s quarterfinal 2-6, 6-1, 6-1. She, like Brengle, started off slowly, but managed to keep composed and turn the match around.

“I think I just calmed down,” se said. “I was a little hurried in the first set. She played with a lot of slice off of both sides and I made a lot of mistakes. But at the beginning of the second set, I was more relaxed and just played my game and put some more balls on the court. Then I started getting more confidence.”

She hopes to add win number 15 to her impressive streak, but will have to play well from the outset against Brengle, who she beat in a back-and-forth match in Monterrey in 2017.

“I played her in 2017,” recollected Podoroska. “It was a very weird match. I won the first set, then lost the second set 6-0, and then I won in the third. It was a tough match and she is a great player. She is a very good fighter.”