GUANGZHOU, China - Urszula Radwanska and Laura Robson continued their string of recent deep tournament runs with quarterfinal triumphs on Thursday at the GRC Bank Guangzhou International Women's Open.
Also a semifinalist just last week in Tashkent, No.4 seed Radwanska was a 61 75 victor over No.5 seed and defending champion Chanelle Scheepers in a rematch of their quarterfinal here last year won by Scheepers. Ranked outside the Top 100 to start the year, Radwanska came into this week ranked a career-high No.39 as she continues to prove that older sister and World No.3 Agnieszka isn't the only player in the family with star power.
In Friday's semifinals, Radwanska will square off with Hsieh Su-Wei. Up 5-3 in the first set, Hsieh won seven straight games in her 63 60 rout of Mathilde Johansson. Despite coming into this week on a four-match WTA losing streak, Hsieh has dropped just 14 games in four matches - fewest of the semifinalists. Hsieh's year has included her first career title in Kuala Lumpur, a semifinal showing in Pattaya City and at least a semifinal showing here.
As for the 18-year-old Robson, she came into this week ranked a career-high No.74 and is the WTA's youngest Top 100 player. The Brit let a 5-1 first set lead slip away before hanging on, lost the second set, then at 1-1 in the third reeled off four straight games in her 75 57 62 defeat of seventh-seeded Peng Shuai. The three-hour, three-minute clash was the longest of the event so far.
Robson has made a habit of upending China's best recently. At her last tournament, she upset Chinese No.1 Li Na in the third round of the US Open en route to a fourth round appearance - a career-best Grand Slam showing. Then in the second round here she knocked off Chinese No.2 Zheng Jie the day before sending home Chinese No.3 Peng.
Up next for Robson is third-seeded Sorana Cirstea. Cirstea eliminated eighth-seeded Alizé Cornet, 64 63, her third win in four meetings with the Frenchwoman. She is now into her fourth semifinal of the year after Pattaya City, Barcelona and Stanford, but is looking to make her first final since her lone title at Tashkent in 2008.
The doubles semis will see No.1 seeds Jarmila Gajdosova and Monica Niculescu take on Tetiana Luzhanska and Zheng Saisai and No.3 seeds Tamarine Tanasugarn and Zhang Shuai play Han Xinyun and Liu Wan-Ting.