TASHKENT, Uzbekistan - Mona Barthel scored a huge win at the Tashkent Open, knocking out No.2 seed Vera Lapko to reach her second semifinal of the year.
Her win was the highlight on a day of upsets in Tashkent, which saw all three remaining seeds tumble out as No.6 Anna Karolina Schmiedlova and No.8 Dalila Jakupovic were also defeated.
Barthel came into the tournament seeking to build on a good run of form: she reached the final at the WTA 125K event in Chicago a few weeks ago, and she was struggling to string together good results after her semifinal appearance in Budapest in February.
“It feels great to have good results after a struggling for the past six months,” Barthel admitted in an interview with the Tashkent Open media team. Since the Prague event in 2017, I have struggled and I went out of the Top 100 this year.
“I have had a lots of ups and downs, but the last few weeks I have played some good matches and I’m feeling better now.”
That good feeling showed in her emphatic win against the No.2 seed Lapko, needing an hour and 34 minutes to defeat the Belarusian player 6-3, 7-5.
“It was a tough match today,” Barthel said. “My whole plan was to focus on my game and put pressure on her. She had some opportunities to break me in the second set, but I served well and played aggressively on break points, and that was the key to my win today.”
At World No.94, Barthel is the highest ranked player in the semifinals of Tashkent, but according to her, she’s by no means the favorite.
“All the girls in the draw are good players,” she said. “I'm not thinking about title but on my performance match by match. I know I just have to play my best tennis every day."
Barthel will face the resurgent Margarita Gasparyan in the semifinals. Into Tashkent with a protected ranking after a long injury layoff, Gasparyan came back from a set down to defeat Fanny Stollar 3-6, 6-2, 6-1 and claim her spot in the final four.
The other semifinal will see Kateryna Kozlova face off against Russian qualifier Anastasia Potapova. Both players had to knock out a seed to get there, with Kozlova edging past No.6 Schmiedlova 6-3, 6-2, and Potapova emerging victorious after a 7-5, 2-6, 6-1 rollercoaster against No.8 Jakupovic.