Two Czechs Into Final Four
Published July 16, 2010 12:00
PRAGUE, Czech Republic - An all-Czech final remains a distinct possibility at the ECM Prague Open by Glanzis after eighth-seeded Barbora Zahlavova Strycova and unseeded Lucie Hradecka won their quarterfinals on Friday. But an encore of last weekend's final in Budapest is also on the cards at the $220,000 international event.
Zahlavova Strycova, who made the last eight at Bastad last week, reached her first semifinal since Acapulco in February last year by outlasting Sweden's Johanna Larsson, 62 46 75. Next up for the 24-year-old is Swiss veteran Patty Schnyder, who admitted she was "a bit lucky" to survive a slow start against Anna Tatishvili of Georgia, 26 62 75.
"Tatishvili hit the ball very hard and the temperature was very high, so I'm happy to win today," said Schnyder. "I played in the same conditions last week in Budapest so I'm more used to it now. And I'm happy I played the first quarterfinal of the day, so now I have plenty of time to rest for tomorrow."
Schnyder went all the way to the final at Budapest, where she was beaten by Agnes Szavay, who kept her hopes of back-to-back titles alive with a brisk quarterfinal win over Slovenia's Polona Hercog. Although Hercog retrieved a break early in the second set, Hungarian No.7 seed Szavay stormed to victory in 70 minutes, 61 64.
Both singles semifinals will be first-time meetings. Zahlavova Strycova and Hradecka are both still gunning for their first Sony Ericsson WTA Tour singles titles; in fact, Zahlavova Strycova is hoping to reach her first final.
In a doubles semifinal, unseeded Timea Bacsinszky and Tathiana Garbin, who won the Budapest title last Sunday, ousted Polish No.4 seeds Klaudia Jans and Alicja Rosolska, 64 76(4). The second semi will be played on Saturday, with Szavay and Niculescu to face Ekaterina Dzehalevich and Tatiana Poutchek.