NURNBERG, Germany - Sweden's Johanna Larsson withstood 10 aces and over two hours of comeptitive play to osut Kristyna Pliskova and reach the semifinals at the Nürnberger Versicherungscup on Thursday, 5-7, 7-5, 6-4.
Though the World No.97 created 20 break point chances on the lefty's swinging serve over the course of the match, she was forced to battle for two hours and 16 minutes to reach her
Larsson let a 4-2 lead slip in the first set, as she was the first player to break but lost five of the last six games of the opener, but broke the Czech twice in each of the second and third sets to move through
"She is a tough opponent and I'm happy I made it through in three sets after losing the first set. I'm happy that I could recharge energy mentally and stay strong for the second and third," Larsson said after the match.
The unseeded Swede knocked off No.5 seed Irina-Camelia Begu in the first round via a retirement, and will have to see off a second in No.8 seed Katerina Siniakova should she want to make her first final of the season.
The Czech scored two wins on Thursday, finishing off a 7-5, 6-4 win over Veronica Cepede Royg after the match was suspended due to rain on Wednesday, and later defeated teenage qualifier Fanny Stollar, 7-5, 6-4 to reach the last four.
The Swede has been one of the few players to remain on schedule in a week that has featured several delays due to wet weather, but did not drop a set in her first two matches before Thursday's win.
"It's kind of crazy, but I think everyone is used to it," Larsson said of the delays. "This is our job and it happens quite often during the year. It's frustrating but you kind of just have to laugh it off."
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Siniakova needed to dig deep to ensure her match would finish in fading light on Thursday, as she saved six set points and came back from a 5-2 deficit to steal the first set against her 19-year-old Hungarian foe.
Serving seven aces overall, the No.8 seed held off a similar-looking comeback from Stollar in the second set. The 22-year-old broke twice to lead 5-2 but Stollar broke, held and found herself with a 15-30 lead in the 10th game before Siniakova held on for the win.
"It's always nice to finish first and have a little advantage there," Larsson added of her semifinal match. "It's nice that my schedule hasn't been that bad since it's been raining, and I'm ready for the next one."