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Erakovic & McHale Sneak Into Semifinals

Marina Erakovic and Christina McHale were both in survival mode on Quarterfinal Friday at the Bell Challenge, and will now square off for a spot in the final of the International-level event.

Published September 13, 2013 12:02

Erakovic & McHale Sneak Into Semifinals
Marina Erakovic

QUÉBEC CITY, Canada - Playing with house money, Marina Erakovic moved through to the semifinals of her first post-US Open event on Friday, edging Ajla Tomljanovic in the Bell Challenge quarterfinals.

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The No.6-seeded Erakovic became the first player through to the semifinals of the International-level tournament, rallying from 4-1 down in the third set to edge Tomljanovic in a nail-biter, 26 61 75.

Erakovic has no points at all to defend this fall - she pulled out of all post-US Open events last year with a right hip injury. The perfect time for the World No.68 to get back into the world's Top 40?

"This is a tough time of year for me - I've been on the road for quite some time at this point, and it's a grind now," Erakovic said on Friday. "But last year I had to skip the whole end of the year because I was injured, so this year I'm really motivated. It's just a few more to go, so this is when you just go and work hard, fight hard, and just do your job basically - I'm just trying to play good tennis out there."

Québec City has been a successful venue for Erakovic in the past, too, as she made her first WTA final here in 2011. "Obviously you can't really compare past events and you just try to do the best you can each time, but this is a place I enjoy playing at," she said. "They have a brand new stadium this year, so things are a little bit different, but hopefully the good memories will help me this year as well."

Awaiting Erakovic in the semifinals is another player who has done very well here before - Christina McHale was a game away from losing at 61 65 but battled back to beat Polona Hercog, 16 76(4) 63.

"I thought it was an extremely tough match," McHale said. "Polona started off playing really, really well, and it took me a while to get used to her game, but I just kept fighting and taking it point by point, and I was serving well today as well, which helped a lot, and I'm really excited to be into the semifinals now."

McHale is now through to her second WTA semifinal, and her first actually came at this event too - she was a semifinalist here in 2010, falling to Tamira Paszek (who would go on to capture the title).

"It's been awesome here - I really like it here," McHale said. "I've made two semifinals in my career so far and they've both been here, so this tournament's good for me. I really enjoy playing here."

McHale beat Erakovic in their only previous meeting, though it was anything but straightforward.

"I played her I think two years ago and it was a really tough match, a three set match, so it's going to be another tough match," McHale said. "I'm going to have to really play some of my best tennis."

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