Jil Teichmann has quietly made her way to the Lexington final with another straight set win, this time over Shelby Rogers, 6-3, 6-2. The 23-year-old hasn’t lost a set all week by also posting dominant wins over Anna Kalinskaya, Yulia Putintseva and CiCi Bellis.
"I don’t have an answer for why I don't lose any sets," Teichmann said. "I just feel very good. I’m playing very consistent. I feel great on court. I guess that’s the main reason."
Teichmann is getting extra court time in Kentucky by also playing doubles. She and Marie Bouzkova are in the semifinals later on Saturday. While the physical toll might be a lot for some, players like Teichmann are so eager for matches that playing doubles was a no-brainer. She pointed out that doubles helps her volleys a lot, which she shows off often in her singles.
"I get into the rhythm, which is one of the reasons I played [doubles] this week," she said. "I get more matches, I can compete, I can return more, volley—everything that is in my singles game as well. It doesn't matter how many hours I practice, it's just different when you play a real match."
It marks a disappointing finish for Rogers after the biggest win of her career, over Serena Williams on Friday in a dramatic third-set tiebreaker. On Saturday, Teichmann was simply too strong from start to finish.
"I feel calm," she said. "I can see the shots. I'm moving well so I guess that helps me a lot."
The lefty from Switzerland has a very calm demeanor even in the diciest of moments.
“I try to play with the rhythm between pushing myself but not too much because then all the emotions and stress levels go up,” the world No. 63 said. “I honestly just try to focus on the next point and keep up with the positive energy.”
Fans have been fascinated by how seriously players, particularly Serena, have taken a tournament that has no fans or stadium. It’s certainly been unusual but people need to remember that these are players that are very used to playing hard in private. They grew up competing in junior, college and low-level pro tournaments all around the world often just in front of their mom, their opponent’s coach and maybe a curious bystander. Hard as it might be to believe, they have all played in tournaments that did not include a chair umpire, ball persons and maybe not even a club house, let alone electronic line calling.
“I’m used to practice without any spectator and everything,” Teichmann said. “I’m not Serena or anything that plays every time with a full crowd. On the other side, I really love to play with the public, with the spectators, because they give me a lot of energy. It’s what I practice for to play in front of a crowd that enjoys the game.”
Teichmann's game seems unaffected by the new normal. Asked to describe herself in one word, she said she is “unexpected”. She certainly has been this week as an unseeded dark horse and a relatively new face at the WTA tour level: last year marked her first Top-100 finish.
But Teichmann would pick up two titles last year, in Prague and Palermo, both on clay. The win in Prague in April was her first career final, and she’ll be looking to make it a perfect three for three on Sunday when she takes on the winner of Coco Gauff and Jennifer Brady.
"Obviously, yeah a good record in finals," Teichmann said. "I’ve played two won two, but that doesn't mean anything. For sure I am going into the finals confident and let's see how it goes."