Strasbourg Semifinals to be Seedless
Published May 21, 2009 12:00
STRASBOURG, France - The first three days of the Internationaux de Strasbourg were full of upsets, with only one seed, Peng Shuai, reaching the quarterfinals. On Thursday, she was sent home as well.
After winning just three games the only other time they played, in Bali last year, Japan's Ayumi Morita defeated the third-seeded Peng, 75 62, to advance to her first career Sony Ericsson WTA Tour singles semifinal. The 19-year-old's opponent in Friday's final four will be Lucie Hradecka, who will be seeking her second career Tour singles final appearance, after reaching the title match in Bad Gastein last year.
Hradecka got past Kristina Barrois, 63 76(2), on Thursday, to even their career record at 2-2. Germany's Barrois eliminated No.1 seed and defending champion Anabel Medina Garrigues in the previous round.
On the bottom half of the draw, Aravane Rezai, who knocked out No.2 seed Sybille Bammer in the first round, rebounded from a dismal first set to top qualifier Monica Niculescu, 06 61 62. The Frenchwoman is going for her third Tour singles final following runner-up finishes at Istanbul in 2007 and Auckland last year.
Standing in Rezai's way will be qualifier Viktoriya Kutuzova, who will be appearing in her first-ever Tour semifinal. Rezai has won both her matches with the Ukrainian, including in the last match Kutuzova played prior to this event, in Rome two weeks ago. However, Kutuzova will go into Friday's encounter quite match tough, having won two qualifying matches in Strasbourg and then three main draw ones, including Thursday's 75 61 victory over Stéphanie Cohen-Aloro.