Top seed Timea Bacsinszky blasted past Johanna Larsson for a spot in the semifinals at the GP SAR La Princesse Lalla Meryem as No.8 Yulia Putintseva falls to Kiki Bertens.
WTA Staff

RABAT, Morocco - No.1 seed Timea Bacsinszky blasted past Johanna Larsson 6-4, 6-1 for a spot in the semifinals at the GP SAR La Princesse Lalla Meryem.

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Bacsinszky and Larsson had faced each other twice before - both times Bacsinszky emerged victorious in straight sets - but it was the first time they would play on clay.

The two squared off in a tight, closely contested first set. Both players brought up a combined seven break opportunities that went unclaimed, and stayed on serve after a rollercoaster eight game for 4-4 that went to deuce five times. But Bacsinszky wouldn't be denied a fifth time, and broke Larsson for the first time to take the first set.

In the final set Bacsinszky was more ruthless, winning five straight games to go up to a 5-0 lead. Larsson battled admirably to keep herself alive and get a game back, but her efforts only delayed the seemingly inevitable. Bacsinszky brought up three match points on her serve and sealed the match with a vicious backhand down the line winner.

Bacsinszky sets up a semifinal with No.5 seed Timea Babos. The Hungarian grabbed the last semifinal spot with a win over Pauline Parmentier, 6-3, 6-3.

Earlier in the day, Kiki Bertens made her way to the semifinal with a hard-fought win over No.8 seed Yulia Putintseva, 6-3, 6-7(4), 6-3. Putintseva found herself three points away from a straight sets defeat while Bertens was serving at 6-5 in the second set, but she roared back to force a tiebreak and send the match into a decider. But in the final set, she was broken three times to send Bertens through after two hours and forty-two minutes.

Bertens is set to meet Marina Erakovic in the semifinal, who came through in a battle of qualifiers as she moved past Aleksandra Krunic 6-4, 6-4.

More to come...