Castaño Continues Surprise Run In Cali

Wildcard Catalina Castaño delighted the home fans by defeating Sesil Karatantcheva, 57 63 63, to reach the semifinals in Cali.

Published February 15, 2013 11:59

Castaño Continues Surprise Run In Cali
Catalina Castano

CALI, Colombia - At 33, Catalina Castaño may be more than a decade older than most of fellow competitors at this week's Copa Bionaire, but on Friday she produced a performance that belied her age, and ranking, to defeat Sesil Karatantcheva and advance to the semifinals.

Since reaching a career-high ranking of No.35 back in 2006, Castaño has slowly slided down the tennis ladder. Last year, the Colombian reached just two WTA main draws, and, with a current position of No.228, her presence this week is thanks only to a wildcard from the organizers at the Club Campestre de Cali.

It is a decision the powers that be have not been made to regret; after disposing of Inés Ferrer Suárez in the opening round, Castaño has followed up with surprise wins over No.7 seed Nina Bratchikova and then Karatantcheva.

The quarterfinal win over Karatantcheva was particularly impressive as she bounced back from the disappointment of failing to serve out the opening set to triumph, 57 63 63.

Next up Castaño will face Elina Svitolina, who denied the spectators an all-Colombian match-up in the last four by defeating Mariana Duque-Mariño, 63 75.

On the other side of the draw No.2 seed Lara Arruabarrena-Vecino continued her love affair with the Colombian clay with a 63 64 win over 2007 champion Teliana Pereira.

Twelve months ago, Arruabarrena-Vecino won her maiden WTA title at the International event 500 kilometers up the road in Bogotá. Her quarterfinal victim that week was Paula Ormaechea, and the two will renew acquaintences in Saturday's semifinal.

Coming into the tournament, Ormaechea had won just one match all season, but the fiery Argentine has played her way into form with a succession of hard-fought victories. The latest came against No.4 seed Alexandra Panova, who was eventually defeated 76(2) 36 62 in a see-saw encounter.

In the doubles, Castaño and Duque-Mariño teamed up to upset top seeds Eva Birnerova and Tatjana Malek, 64 64, to reach the final where they will face Florencia Molinero and Pereira.

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