HUA HIN, Thailand - For the second time in the span of four months, Ukrainian teenager Dayana Yastremska handled two-time Grand Slam champion Garbiñe Muguruza in a WTA event.
The 18-year-old No.8 seed earned a 7-6(5), 6-1 victory over the former World No.1 to reach the semifinals of the Toyota Thailand Open presented by E@ on Friday.
Yastremska earned her first career victory against Muguruza in the second round of the BGL Luxembourg Open last fall with the loss of just five games, but needed to rally from a break down twice in the first set before sprinting away with the match to reach her first semifinal of 2019.
"I think I forgot about the match last year. I watched the highlights so I could see the tactics," Yastremska said. "I had the confidence, but it was another day, another match, like I was playing against her for the first time.
"It's always great to win against the top players. I'm excited to be here, to be in the semifinals. Being here for the first time, so I really appreciate the opportunity."
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Hyper-aggressive tennis worked for Yastremska once more against the Spanish No.1, as the teenager hammered blitzed 27 winners to just five from Muguruza over one hour and 40 minutes.
In addition, the Spaniard racked up 29 unforced for the match and was unable to do consistent damage against Yastremska's serve, despite breaking her younger foe twice in the first set.
The World No.47 saved seven of the nine break points she faced in the match, and won 70 percent of the points played behind her first serve.
"Keeping my emotions under control and fighting was the most important," Yastremska added. "She's a fighter, and I had to do everything better than she did. I'm a bit tired, and it was a long match, and I'm going to do my best tomorrow."
The Ukrainian will face Poland's Magda Linette for a spot in her second career WTA final, after she defeated Wang Yafan, 6-2, 6-3 in other quarterfinal action.
"I think Dayana played very well, and I think she's playing very well this year. I lost the first set very close, and then she played better and better, but at least I gave her the hardest fight," Muguruza said.
"I think I did too many mistakes. I think I could serve better, and I didn't use my serve as much as I could, so I got broken too many times. I think it was a great experience to come to Thailand. I had three good matches, so I hope I can just come back and just keep playing."
The other semifinal will see Australian No.6 seed Ajla Tomljanovic face Tamara Zidansek of Slovenia, after the pair advanced in contrasting quarterfinal matches.
Tomljanovic surrendered just four games to defeat No.4 seed Zheng Saisai, 6-1, 6-3, while Zidansek rallied from a set down to see off Switzerland's Viktorija Golubic, 4-6, 6-1, 6-2.