BOGOTÁ, Colombia - What a difference twelve months makes in tennis. This time last year, Paula Ormaechea and Teliana Pereira were battling it out in qualifying at the Copa Claro Colsanitas. On Saturday, the two will renew hostilities, this time with a maiden WTA final on the line.
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Last year's encounter went the way of Ormaechea, who proceeded to reach the quarterfinals before falling to eventual champion Lara Arruabarrena-Vecino.
And on Friday, the Argentine ensured she would not be falling at the same hurdle for a second year in succession, bouncing back from her second round marathon with Francesca Schiavone to defeat María-Teresa Torró-Flor, 61 75.
Pereira was even more impressive, taking just over an hour to swat aside Mandy Minella, 61 62. This quick-fire win saw Pereira become the first Brazilian to reach the last four of a WTA tournament since Luciana Corsato at Sao Paolo in 1990.
"This is the best week of my career," Pereira said. "I had two surgeries on my knee and stopped playing for a bit, but since coming back I've been working hard and just tried to enjoy my tennis."
One player a little more familiar with the latter stages of WTA events is Jelena Jankovic. And the Serbian, who is top seed this week, ensured there would be at least one old hand making it to the weekend when she defeated Alexandra Cadantu, 62 61.
Her semifinal opponent will be Karin Knapp, after she put an end to the title defense of Arruabarrena-Vecino. Knapp, who was once as high as No.35 in the world before two bouts of surgery saw her career stall, had already beaten No.3 seed Lourdes Domínguez Lino, and was one step ahead of Arruabarrena-Vecino throughout, eventually wrapping up a a 63 63 victory.