Dokic Breaks Semifinal Drought
Published March 04, 2011 12:46
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia - Former world No.4 Jelena Dokic reached her first WTA semifinal in seven years when she beat eighth seed Bojana Jovanovski at the BMW Malaysian Open on Friday. Michaella Krajicek will be Dokic's opponent in the last four, with her fellow adopted Aussie, Jarmila Groth, set to take on Lucie Safarova.
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Dokic was first to advance with an assured 76(4) 62 win over fast-rising Jovanovski, who served for the first set at 5-4 and 6-5, but never recovered the momentum once Dokic had pocketed the tie-break.
"I played a couple of good games at the end of the first set, and she made a couple of errors," observed Dokic, who delivered seven aces on her way to victory. "The tie-break I think was crucial… I played a really good tie-break, and that was the key to the whole match.
"I've been getting better and better here with each match and I just want to carry my form into tomorrow," she added. "I seem to improve really quickly the more matches that I win - I gain confidence fast and that helps my game. "
While world No.91 Dokic will be playing her first semi since the Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo in February 2004 - and gunning for her first final since Zürich in 2003 - 150th-ranked Krajicek also made an overdue breakthrough of her own against veteran qualifier Anne Kremer.
The former top-ranked junior and world No.30, who has three WTA singles titles to her name, advanced to her first semi in six years when she beat Kremer for the first time in three meetings, 62 63.
"I wasn't serving as well as yesterday, which was a bit of a pity because I think it could have made the match a little easier," said Krajicek, who dispatched defending champion Alisa Kleybanova in the second round. "On the other hand I wasn't going for too much in the rallies, but staying solid and being aggressive enough. But the scoreline sounds easier than it actually was."
Of Dokic, whom Krajicek will be tackling for the first time, the 22-year-old Dutchwoman added: "She's a former Top 5 player, so I think she knows how to play! It's gonna be a very tough match. I know she hits hard and can really take the game to you, so that's why I'll definitely have to serve better tomorrow."
On the other side of the draw, Slovak-born Groth and Safarova will be meeting for the fourth time, with Groth holding a 2-1 head-to-head advantage.
On Friday, fourth-seeded Groth battled for 132 minutes - saving 15 of 20 break points faced - to get past No.6 seed Ayumi Morita, 75 36 75. Safarova, seeded No.5, had an easier time of things against second seed Marion Bartoli, who sent down eight double faults while also struggling to deal with the Czech lefty's serve. Although Safarova let a 5-1 second set lead close in to 5-4, she eventually served it out, 61 64.
Meantime, Safarova's second round victim here, Dinara Safina, advanced to the doubles final when she and wildcard partner Galina Voskoboeva beat Shuko Aoyama and Chan Chin-Wei, 75 64.