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Alisa & Daniela Into SFs

Daniela Hantuchova and Alisa Kleybanova pulled off a pair of upsets to reach the semis.

Published November 05, 2010 12:00

Alisa & Daniela Into SFs
Daniela Hantuchova

BALI, Indonesia - Alisa Kleybanova and Daniela Hantuchova completed a sweep of seeds at the Commonwealth Bank Tournament of Champions on Friday evening, ousting the event's No.2 and No.4 seeds in straight sets.

Aravane Rezai, the second seed, was the first of the favorites to go, falling victim to Kleybanova in a quick one, 61 62. Rezai broke serve once but lost her own a whopping six times as Kleybanova jumped all over her returns.

"The score makes it look easy, but the match was very tough," Kleybanova said. "There were plenty of games with deuces and advantages so it was still a big fight, but I'm happy with the way I played. The important thing for me today was to hit big serves, step into the court and play well on the important points. That was working well. I think that's why I was able to win with this scoreline."

Kleybanova has now beaten Rezai four straight times, their only four hardcourt meetings (Rezai is 2-1 lifetime against her on other surfaces).

Rezai was the only player in the field who had won a Premier title this year, taking the prestigious Madrid title two weeks before Roland Garros (beating Justine Henin, Jelena Jankovic and Venus Williams en route).

Yanina Wickmayer, the fourth seed, was the next to go, falling to 0-5 lifetime against Daniela Hantuchova after a tight straight set loss, 64 76(5). Wickmayer fought back from a break down twice to push the second set to a tie-break, but eventually sealed her fate with a double fault on match point.

"I thought it was a very high level match. Yanina was playing very well, as she always does, and again I was proud to keep my winning record against her," Hantuchova said. "It was tough at times but I kept my calm and kept going for the right shots. It's important on this surface to be very tactically smart, and it helped to know I've beaten her in the past, but you still have to perform well on the day. In this tournament I have nothing to lose - every win is great for me."

It was Hantuchova's fourth straight set win in five meetings with Wickmayer.

Saturday's semifinals pit Ana Ivanovic against another wildcard, Kimiko Date Krumm, and Kleybanova against Hantuchova. Ivanovic and Date Krumm advanced on Thursday with wins over No.3 seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and No.1 seed Li Na, respectively; they will play each other for the first time.

Kleybanova and Hantuchova are tied in their head-to-head series, 1-1.

"Alisa is playing very well," Hantuchova said. "She beat the No.2 seed today pretty easily, and I think the court fits her aggressive game very well."

"Last time we played was San Diego, when I lost," Kleybanova said. "Everyone is playing well so I will just try to prepare as well as I can. I know from the way I feel on the court I am good enough to win, but you never know what will happen in the match, and of course Daniela is a great player."

Wickmayer lost her fourth straight WTA-level match. "I think Daniela served better than I did and that was the main difference. When I got my first serve in I almost always won the point, but it wasn't consistent enough so she was able to put a lot of pressure on my serve from the beginning. I didn't have a lot of chances on her serve. Once we got into the rallies I felt pretty good and won quite a few of them, but on these courts you need a big serve.

"I'm going to take two weeks off for now. I'm happy to take some time off after a long season, and I'll start thinking about next year after those two weeks."

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