Unseeded Players Reach SFs

Arantxa Parra Santonja and Anastasija Sevastova continued their runs Thursday and are each looking for their first semifinal victory on Tour.

Published May 06, 2010 12:00

Unseeded Players Reach SFs
Anastasija Sevastova

ESTORIL, Portugal - Arantxa Parra Santonja and Anastasija Sevastova are both one win away from their first career Sony Ericsson WTA Tour finals after victories Thursday at the Estoril Open

Parra Santonja was involved in the most dramatic of the quarterfinals, rallying from 5-2 down in the second set and losing a 4-1 lead in the third before outlasting lucky loser Jarmila Groth, 67(6) 75 75. The Spaniard is 0-3 in her three career Tour semifinals, with the most recent one earlier this year in Bogotá. Friday's will not be easy, as she will take on No.2 seed Sorana Cirstea, who put an end to the run of qualifier Arantxa Rus, 64 61.

Check out off-court and action photos from Estoril in the gallery!

"I feel like my form has been getting better and better this week," said Cirstea, who had lost 16 of her last 21 matches prior to this week. "Of course I'm very happy to be in the semifinals, but there are more steps to go and I'm hoping for an even better result here."

Cirstea is the only player left with a title to her name, having won Tashkent two years ago.

"In some ways, it does help that I've won a title before, because I know how to handle the nerves in these types of situations," Cirstea said. "But my title came in 2008, so it was a couple of years ago. It's really nice to be in this situation again, reaching the semifinals."

As for Sevastova, a 76(6) 62 winner over Anastasia Rodionova, she has only been in one semifinal on Tour, losing it earlier this year in Monterrey. She also has a tough task ahead, as waiting for her is seventh-seeded Peng Shuai. Peng's year is starting to pick up steam, having reached her first quarterfinal of 2010 in her last event in Charleston and now, after defeating fourth-seeded Anabel Medina Garrigues on Thursday, is into her first semifinal of 2010. Her 46 64 63 victory was her third over the Spaniard in three career meetings.

Peng is blogging from Estoril this week - read the blog here!

Both semifinal matches will feature players competing against each other for the first time.

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