Gisela Survives Scare To Reach SFs
Published February 24, 2011 11:55
ACAPULCO, México - Gisela Dulko is the highest seed left in the Abierto Mexicano TELCEL after No.3 seed Greta Arn followed Julia Goerges and Polona Hercog to the exit doors on Thursday. The Argentine fourth seed meets Anabel Medina Garrigues in Friday's semis, while in the other side of the draw, No.6 seed Arantxa Parra Santonja faces Johanna Larsson.
Former Spanish No.1 Medina Garrigues, enjoying by far her best tournament of the past sixth months - and indeed her first foray past the first round in 2011 - led her country's current No.1, Carla Suárez Navarro, 6-2 2-2 when the No.7 seed retired with a right elbow injury.
While Medina Garrigues will be playing her first semi since Strasbourg last May, Dulko had to work much harder for her first final-four berth since she went all the way to the final at Bastad in the summer. The 26-year-old doubles world No.1 dropped the first set to Spain's Laura Pous-Tio, but after narrowly avoiding disaster in a tight second set stormed home, 36 75 60.
"I feel great, because the match was so difficult for me in the beginning," said Dulko, who at her low point trailed Pous-Tio 4-2, 15-40 in the second set. "But I started to play more aggressively and the match just clicked to my side. Then I did a good job till the end."
Medina Garrigues and Dulko have met four times previously, for two wins apiece. Dulko won their only match on clay, in the final at Fès in 2008, but three of the pair's four showdowns have gone to three sets, and the other entailed two tie-breaks.
For her part, Larsson overcame a mid-match momentum shift in an otherwise imposing performance against Arn, punctuating her win with two aces in the final game, 61 46 62. Earlier, Parra Santonja ended the seven-match winning streak of Bogotá champion Lourdes Domínguez Lino, 26 63 62 - even though Domínguez Lino clawed back 13 of 19 break points.
Meeting for the first time, both Larsson and Parra Santonja are looking for a second WTA singles final, after respective runner-up finishes at Portoroz and Estoril last year. Parra Santonja is also through to the doubles semis, partnered by Domínguez Lino; they face Irina-Camelia Begu and Alexandra Panova on Friday.
The other doubles semi sees Mariya Koryttseva and Ioana Raluca Olaru take on Czech duo Petra Cetkovska and Renata Voracova.