Smooth Sailing for Semifinalist Dulko
Published February 20, 2009 12:00
BOGOTÁ, Colombia - Third-seeded Gisela Dulko is a step closer to her fourth Sony Ericsson WTA Tour singles title after routing No.6 seed Mathilde Johansson, 61 62, in the quarterfinals of the Copa Sony Ericsson Colsanitas on Friday. Dulko, ranked 46th in the world, broke Johansson five times and did not have her own serve broken.
Standing in Dulko's way in Saturday's semifinals will be Edina Gallovits, who beat Masa Zec Peskiric, 63 60, in a match-up of two unseeded quarterfinalists. Gallovits connected on a sensational 88 percent of her first serves and was not broken, as she needed less than an hour to dispatch the woman who upset top-seeded Flavia Pennetta in the first round. Gallovits knocked off No.5 seed Klara Zakopalova in the round of 16.
No.7 seed María José Martínez Sánchez survived a challenge from Betina Jozami, 63 67(6) 64, a day after Jozami knocked No.2 seed Carla Suárez Navarro out of the tournament. Next up for Martínez Sánchez is Patricia Mayr, who routed Ioana Raluca Olaru, 61 62. Mayr upset No. 4 seed Nuria Llagostera Vives in the second round.
Dulko is the only one of the four semifinalists with a Tour singles title to her credit. However, Martínez Sánchez does have five doubles titles. Gallovits and Mayr have yet to drop a set in the tournament. None of the semifinalists have previously reached the semis in Bogotá, though Dulko and Martínez Sánchez had made it to the quarters before. The winner of the title will take home $37,000.
Friday was an especially good day for Dulko, as she and Pennetta survived a 20-18 match tie-break to edge Gallovits and Barbora Zahlavova Strycova in the semis of the doubles. In the finals, the No.2 seeds will take on the top-seeded team of Martínez Sánchez and Llagostera Vives, who recorded a straight-set win over Lourdes Domínguez Lino and Arantxa Parra Santonja.