Voegele Swoops on First Semi
Published July 24, 2009 09:17
PORTOROZ, Slovenia - The semifinal line-up was set at the Banka Koper Slovenia Open on Friday, with two players breaking through to the last four for the first time on the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour. The other two contenders are rather more experienced at this stage of proceedings: top seed Dinara Safina and defending champion Sara Errani, the No.5 seed this week.
The first of the semifinal debutantes to win through was Alberta Brianti of Italy, whose previous best effort was a quarterfinal run at Kolkata in 2006. Pushing veteran status at the age of 29, Brianti has been in good form of late, winning her way through qualifying at Wimbledon. Today she put on an assured display to dispatch France's Camille Pin in straight sets, 63 62.
"I played well since the beginning, I tried to lead the match and it went well," said Brianti, who is currently ranked No.106. "I'm happy to have reached the semifinals - yet I'll focus on this tomorrow. Now I'm going to see the match between Safina and Camerin to see who am I going to play."
It's wouldn't have come as any great surprise for her to learn her opponent will be Safina, who was given something of a test in the early stages of the first set by 2006 runner-up Maria Elena Camerin. But in the second set the Russian got down to business, refusing the 100th-ranked Italian a single game. Camerin won just nine points as Safina closed it out, 63 60.
"I know she is a good player," Safina said of Brianti. "She has a lot of touch. For me, the key is going to be aggressive and not give her time."
The other semifinal pits Swiss 19-year-old Stefanie Voegele, who reached her first Tour quarterfinal at Birmingham in June and has gone one step better here, against Errani.
"I played a good match, concentrating on every point - I will have to do the same in the semifinal and we will see what happens," said 87th-ranked Voegele after her 49-minute, 61 61 defeat of Paraguyan 33-year-old Rossana de los Ríos, who had been gunning for her third Tour semifinal, but first since 2001.
Later, world No.38 Errani was equally efficient against Croatian wildcard Petra Martic, winning their match by the same scoreline.