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Buyukakcay Keeps Istanbul Dream Alive

On Friday afternoon, Cagla Buyukakcay created a little piece of history when she swatted aside No.6 seed Nao Hibino in the quarterfinals of the TEB BNP Paribas Istanbul Cup.

Published April 22, 2016 12:12

Buyukakcay Keeps Istanbul Dream Alive
Cagla Buyukakcay

ISTANBUL, Turkey - On Friday afternoon, Cagla Buyukakcay created a little piece of history when she swatted aside No.6 seed Nao Hibino in the quarterfinals of the TEB BNP Paribas Istanbul Cup.

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In a display of poise and passion, Buyukakcay delighted a bumper crowd with a 6-1, 6-2 victory that sees her become the first Turkish player to reach the semifinals of a WTA tournament.

After her first-round match, Hibino admitted to being a relative novice on the clay and it was a chastening experience against a visibly motivated opponent. Slipping and sliding to all corners of the court, the Japanese player was powerless to stop Buyukakcay romping through the opening set.

A pin-point backhand brought an early break in the second and from there Buyukakcay rode a wave of emotion all the way to the winning post.

"I'm so happy to be in the semifinals at home. Before I was feeling pressure at home and this year I'm enjoying the atmosphere," Buyukakcay said. "For my career, obviously it's important to compete at a high level and have good wins. It was one of my best performances and I'm happy it was at home - I'm even more hungry for the next match."

There she will face another unseeded player, Stefanie Voegele, who defeated Kristina Kucova, 7-5, 6-2, in the following match on court.

"I don't have anything to lose out there," Buyukakcay added. "Of course I will do my best and I hope to reach the final. She has beaten some great players, so for sure it will be tough."

Also through to the last four is No.5 seed Danka Kovinic, who overcame a disastrous start to see off qualifier Maria Sakkari, 1-6, 6-1, 6-2. "Since last year I think I was in seven quarterfinals and finally I am in a semifinal," Kovinic said. "I didn't start very well - a lot of unforced errors and she didn't miss - but after I tried to make more pressure on her, my balls were deeper on the baseline and I think that was the key.

"The third set was a battle, a lot of pressure but maybe I was a bit lucky. But I stayed positive and did not make a lot of mistakes at the end of the match."

Meeting Kovinic for a place in the final will be Kateryna Kozlova after she defeated Anastasija Sevastova, 6-2, 6-3, in the evening session.

Kateryna Kozlova

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