Mladenovic Makes Final Four In Taipei

Kristina Mladenovic handled Kimiko Date-Krumm at the OEC Taipei WTA Ladies Open. Chang Kai-Chen was also victorious.

Published November 02, 2012 03:42

Mladenovic Makes Final Four In Taipei
Kristina Mladenovic

TAIPEI, Chinese Taipei - Nineteen-year-old Kristina Mladenovic routed 42-year-old Kimiko Date-Krumm on Friday to reach the semifinals at the OEC Taipei WTA Ladies Open, a WTA $125.

From 3-3 in the first set, the fourth-seeded Mladenovic won nine consecutive games - even taking 12 straight points during one sequence - en route to a 63 60 triumph that took just 57 minutes.

"I practiced with her at the beginning of the week and she hits the ball unbelievably on this surface," Mladenovic said. "I expected a very tough match. I'm happy it went faster than I expected."

Mladenovic made 77% of her first serves and won 25 of her 29 first serve points.

"The key was my serve," Mladenovic said. "I was serving very well and didn't miss many first serves. In the first set, I broke her serve once and that made the difference. Today everything worked pretty well for me."

Mladenovic had some kind words about Date-Krumm's career and comeback.

"Kimiko is such a nice person and such a good role model," Mladenovic said. "She has had such a great career and she's still playing good tennis. What she's doing at her age, I have so much respect for her. To beat her like this is great for me."

Mladenovic, who had a career-best semifinal showing at her last WTA event in Québec City in September, next takes on another Japanese - Kurumi Nara. Nara was a 63 64 winner over Zarina Diyas.

Local favorite and No.5 seed Chang Kai-Chen had a smooth path to Saturday's semis, 60 62, over No.2 seed Olga Govortsova. In a 22-minute first set, the Taiwanese dropped just six points and from 2-2 in the second set didn't surrender another game. She has now won seven of her past eight matches, having had four match points in her only defeat in the Osaka final last month against Heather Watson. A clash with Misaki Doi looms next.

"Today I really focused on my game," Chang said. "I tried to stay calm the whole match, and it worked out pretty well. I think it will be a tough match against Doi, but I will do my best."

Later Friday, Chang and Govortsova were on the same side of the net in topping Caroline Garcia and Irina Khromacheva to make the doubles semis. Mladenovic, partnering Hao-Ching Chan, is through to the final four as well.

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