LINZ, Austria – Top seed Kiki Bertens had to come back from a set down against the tricky Alison Van Uytvanck to reach the quarterfinals at the Upper Austria Ladies Linz – where 15-year-old wunderkind Coco Gauff awaits.
After a quick turnaround from Beijing, where Bertens had reached the semifinals at the China Open, the Dutchwoman arrived in Linz feeling understandably ‘dead’ in her opening round. Bertens fought past Misaki Doi in straight sets, 6-4, 7-5 to advance.
Up against an inspired Van Uytvanck, Bertens struggled through a slow start. Van Uytvanck rushed to the first set, but Bertens fought her way back to claim it in three, 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 in an hour and 57 minutes.
Bertens strong serving was the key to the victory, with the Dutch player serving at 65% of first serves and a staggering 93% of second serves. Bertens won 46 of 55 points behind her first delivery, and as a result she fought her way out of trouble on break points – saving five of six she faced during the match.
As a reward for reaching the quarterfinals in Linz, Bertens will get an up-close look at the future of women’s tennis when she takes on 15-year-old American lucky loser Gauff in her next match.