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Zheng & Makarova Into SFs On Rainy Saturday

Zheng Jie and Ekaterina Makarova squeaked into the semis at the rain-ravaged AEGON Classic.

Published June 16, 2012 12:00

Zheng & Makarova Into SFs On Rainy Saturday
Zheng Jie

BIRMINGHAM, England - Rain continued to wreak havoc on the AEGON Classic on Saturday, setting up a grinder of a day Sunday, with some players potentially having to play three matches in one day to make it to the title.

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Two players did make it into the semifinals however, those being Zheng Jie and Ekaterina Makarova. Zheng, a qualifier here, completed a 63 57 64 victory over No.4 seed Roberta Vinci, their match having been stopped at 63 56 the night before; Zheng got the only break of the third set in the third game.

"It wasn't easy. The match was played over two days and we had the warm-up 10 times already!" Zheng said afterwards. "I'm just happy to win though. I was 63 53 up yesterday and after the rain came I was a little bit nervous. I really wanted to win because I had never been to the semifinals of Birmingham before, which is a little bit strange because I really like to play on grass courts.

"It was windy and very cold today so I want to thank everyone for coming to support me and thanks to everyone for staying and waiting for the match!"

The No.8-seeded Makarova had the opposite path to the semifinals, having to rally from a set down to win against No.13 seed Hsieh Su-Wei, 36 63 63, though she took command of both the second and third sets with early breaks.

Zheng and Makarova's semifinal opponents are not known yet. Zheng will play the winner of No.5 seed Jelena Jankovic's match with Misaki Doi, which Jankovic was leading 2-0 when the rain came; Makarova will play the winner of Irina Falconi's match with qualifier Melanie Oudin, which Oudin was leading 1-0 in the third set when play was stopped at the Edgbaston Priory Club.

Both quarterfinals will be played first thing on Sunday, with the semifinals right after, and the final later in the day. That's not all - the doubles draw was also slowed down, with one quarterfinal and both semifinals still to take the court, let alone the final, which will be later in the day too, after the singles final.

Sunday's forecast is partly cloudy early with showers possible later.


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