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Another Marathon Triumph For Tamira

Tamira Paszek outlasted Stéphanie Dubois in the WTA's second-longest match of the year to reach the semifinals of the Citi Open.

Published July 29, 2011 11:13

Another Marathon Triumph For Tamira
Tamira Paszek

COLLEGE PARK, MD, USA - Tamira Paszek is no stranger to marathon matches, with her three-hour, 41-minute victory over Francesca Schiavone in the third round of Wimbledon the second-longest match of the year at the time. However, in her very next event just a few weeks later, Paszek went one minute longer, this time posting a 57 64 76(2) defeat of Stéphanie Dubois in the quarterfinals of the Citi Open on Friday.

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"I was always a fighter from the very beginning of my career," the third-seeded Paszek said. "That's an aspect that has benefited me a lot. It was a tough one. She played well, but I pulled it off."

The whole match was a battle, but the third set - over an hour and a half itself - was especially dramatic. Paszek failed to convert on a match point serving at 5-4 but then with the set knotted at 5-5, she broke Dubois at love. Dubois broke right back, though, at 15, to force a tie-break, which Paszek won comfortably.

Paszek talked about how she planned to recover in time for her semifinal match on Saturday against No.1 seed Shahar Peer.

"I'll use some ice packs and I'm going to have some treatment, a massage to cool down and relax and then have some dinner afterwards," Paszek said. "I'll try to calm down and have an early night, which is pretty tough already, but I'm used to that. Regardless, being in the semifinals here in Washington is an amazing feeling. I'm really happy and I'm really looking forward to it. I'll try to go out there, be aggressive, play my game and hope for a good day tomorrow."

As for Peer, her 61 62 quarterfinal win over eighth-seeded Alberta Brianti was hardly a marathon, lasting barely over an hour.

"I played very smart today," said Peer, who is into her first semifinal since Osaka last October. "With the heat, you need to really concentrate, although it doesn't bother me as much coming from Israel, so I'm used to it. I was just doing what I need to do, being patient and aggressive in the right moments."

The biggest surprise semifinalist is Irina Falconi, who had not even been to a quarterfinal in her career before this week, and is now into her first final four after beating Virginie Razzano, 64 63.

"It feels amazing. I can't describe it," said Falconi, currently ranked one spot below her career-high ranking of No.101. "It's only the semifinals, but I feel like all the hard work my coach, my trainer and I have put in is paying off."

Next up for Falconi is No.2 seed Nadia Petrova, a 76(4) 75 winner over No.5 seed Bojana Jovanovski. The Russian rallied from a 5-3 first set deficit and fought off a set point at 5-4 in the second in securing her first semifinal berth since last September at Seoul.

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