So Far, So Good For Groth
Published September 17, 2010 12:00
GUANGZHOU, China - A Chinese champion remains a possibility at the Landsky Lighting Guangzhou International Women's Open, with 21-year-old world No. 101 Zhang Shuai winning through to her first Tour semifinal on Friday. But Australian top seed Jarmila Groth remains the title favorite after a dominating performance in her quarterfinal.
Groth, who saved five of six break points to blitz Maria Elena Camerin, is through to her second semifinal of the season. On Saturday she'll be gunning for her first final on the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour.
"It was a tough one - the conditions were very hot and humid, so it wasn't easy to play," she said after her 60 62 defeat of the Italian on Friday. "She started a little slower in the beginning and gave me a lot of chances to close the first set quickly but she had chances in the second set, which was a lot tougher, and I'm very glad to be through in these conditions."
So far, the 23-year-old is handling her top seed status - a career first - with aplomb. "I'm trying to prove that I'm number one seed, but every match is different so I just have to play my best and so far it's been working," she said. "I would love to reach the final, so I will definitely fight very hard and hopefully I can sustain my form and win two more matches!"
First hurdle for Groth is Romania's Edina Gallovits, who ended the run of Chinese wildcard Han Xinyun, 36 62 64. But local fans had plenty to cheer when Zhang Shuai edged Indian star Sania Mirza, 64 16 64.
"I'm so excited to reach the semifinals," said Zhang, who next plays Alla Kudryavtseva - a 63 61 winner over Ksenia Pervak. "I can't believe it. I'm very happy with the win, it was such a close match but I managed to stay focused and win the important points."
In an all-China doubles semifinal, Han Xinyun and Liu Wanting beat Lu Jing-Jing and Xu Yi-Fan to advance to their first Tour final of any kind. They await the winner of Saturday's semi between Gallovits and Mirza versus Olga Savchuk and Tamarine Tanasugarn.