Larsson Keeps Winning
Published July 23, 2010 12:00
PORTOROZ, Slovenia - The No.2 seed was ousted in the first round, the No.1 seed fell in the second round. And in the quarterfinals it was No.3 seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova's turn to tumble out of the draw, falling quietly to Swedish rising star Johanna Larsson in straight sets, 63 62.
Pavlyuchenkova, at No.31 the highest-ranked teenager in the world and an easy winner in the first two rounds, never got into a rhythm as a spot in the semifinals was at stake, losing to the No.84-ranked Larsson in just 73 minutes.
"I started aggressively, she made a few errors and I was lucky to come through it," Larsson said. "I'm taking it one match at a time. I was happy to get through the first round and I'm very happy to be in the semifinals now."
Larsson reached her first Sony Ericsson WTA Tour quarterfinal one week ago in Prague and will now play her first career semifinal.
Another Russian seed was in action straight after and although it was a much closer fight, she was also picked off. No.6 seed Vera Dushevina had a 5-3 third set lead and two match points at 5-4, but Anna Chakvetadze kicked it into high gear once she saved that second match point, winning the last 11 points of the match to make it past her countrywoman, 26 63 75.
"After I won the game to get to 5-all, things went pretty quickly. I was just stronger at the end," Chakvetadze said. "The first set was pretty horrible. I really need to work on my strokes. I'll have to play at another level to win tomorrow."
Rounding out the final four later in the day were Ksenia Pervak, who won a see-saw with qualifier Anastasiya Yakimova, 62 26 61, and No.7 seed Polona Hercog of Slovenia, who defeated Stefanie Voegele, 75 75.
"I was a little tired after the first set. She plays with a lot of spin, so it's hard to play against her," Pervak said about her win over Yakimova, which sent her into her first career semifinal. "In the final set I gave it my all though. Johanna will be a tough opponent too - she has a tough serve and great forehand."
"Sometimes I need time to get to know my opponent. When I saw how she played, I was more aggressive," said Hercog, who was down 4-1 in the first set. "I was nervous when I served for it at 5-4, but I knew I had to attack again."
Pervak leads Larsson 1-0 in their head-to-head, winning at an ITF Circuit event last year. Hercog and Chakvetadze have never played.