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Mayr-Achleitner In SFs, Martínez Sánchez Too

Two matches beat the rain while two were rained out on Quarterfinal Friday in Bad Gastein.

Published July 15, 2011 12:00

Mayr-Achleitner In SFs, Martínez Sánchez Too
Patricia Mayr-Achleitner

BAD GASTEIN, Austria - Patricia Mayr-Achleitner and María José Martínez Sánchez beat the rain and moved into the semifinals of the NÜRNBERGER Gastein Ladies on Friday, with the other two quarterfinals on hold.

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Mayr-Achleitner needed just 63 minutes to end the run of Bulgarian qualifier Dia Evtimova, 62 62. It will be the 24-year-old Austrian's second career semifinal on the WTA, having gone this far in Bogotá, Colombia two years ago.

"I'm in good shape now. My forehand is really strong at the moment," Mayr-Achleitner said. "The conditions were far heavier than yesterday today, because the clay was very wet - but I always felt like I was the better player today. I feel quite comfortable here, and I think I'll have my chances in the next round."

Martínez Sánchez battled two hours and 47 minutes to prevail in a dead-even quarterfinal match-up with Austrian Yvonne Meusburger, 76(5) 46 63. Martínez Sánchez won just two more points during the match, 110 to 108.

"Yvonne was fighting the whole match. I had to work for all the points and it was tough to beat her," Martínez Sánchez said. "It was a little bit crazy - we went on court at 4:45 and it was raining again... at least we finished today though, because playing two matches in one day tomorrow would have been difficult."

Martínez Sánchez, a former Top 20 player trying to work her way back up the rankings after missing most of last summer with a knee injury, has been feeling better throughout the week with the altitude. "It was difficult at first to put my backhand in the court, but I've been practicing and am confident now. This is a great tournament - you're disconnected from the world because it's so quiet."

The other two quarterfinals were stopped due to rain. No.8 seed Ksenia Pervak was leading Laura Pous-Tio, 3-0, and Kateryna Bondarenko was up on Carla Suárez Navarro, 5-2. Both matches will be completed Saturday morning, with the semifinals scheduled for Saturday afternoon.

Martínez Sánchez commented on her potential semifinal opponents. "Both are great players. Carla plays really well; maybe Kateryna has had her best results on hardcourt, but you never know what's going to happen."

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