Prague Semis Postponed
Published July 18, 2009 06:55
PRAGUE, Czech Republic - The weather conspired against the ECM Prague Open on Saturday, with rain forcing Sybille Bammer and Iveta Benesova to leave the court just 13 minutes into their semifinal. At the time second-seeded Bammer led No.3 seed Benesova 3-0, and as downpours prevented them from returning to finish the match, that is how the scoreline remains heading into Sunday.
The abandonment of play means whoever wins the $220,000 International series event on Sunday will have earned it the hard way. Bammer and Benesova are set to resume their match on Centre Court at 10am, while the other semi between top seed Francesca Schiavone and qualifier Timea Bacsinszky will start simultaneously on the ECM Court. The singles final will be played later in the afternoon, not before 3pm.
The timing of the doubles final remains up in the air, pending the outcome of Benesova's singles semifinal. She is also through to the title match in the team event, partnering Barbora Zahlavova Strycova; the top-seeded Czech duo is set to play No.2 seeds Alona and Kateryna Bondarenko.
Bammer and Benesova are facing each other for the fourth time, but first in over three years, with the Austrian holding a 2-1 advantage. The match represents the fourth semifinal of Benesova's season (she went on to finish runner-up at Hobart) while Bammer hasn't contested a semi since Stanford almost two years ago.
Schiavone is through to her third semifinal of the year, having also reached the last four on clay at Barcelona and grass at 's-Hertogenbosch. She is gunning for her first final since she went all the way to her sole Tour singles title at Bad Gastein in 2007. Twenty-year-old Bacsinszky, a former world No.48 currently languishing just outside the Top 100 after a season marred by left knee troubles and other injuries, will be playing the third semifinal of her career, after Antwerp and Strasbourg in 2008.