SEOUL, South Korea – No.4 seed Magda Linette moved through to the semifinals of the Korea Open with a convincing 6-2, 6-3 victory over Kirsten Flipkens.
The Bronx champion was playing in her third quarterfinal in four tournaments, and after falling to Rebecca Peterson in Nanchang last week after twice serving for the match, she turned in an accomplished performance against an opponent seeking to reach her first semifinal in Seoul.
Linette showed no signs of fatigue after Tuesday's battle with Anastasia Potapova, which lasted well over two hours, playing some inspired tennis to take the match in 81 minutes.
The pair shared the opening four games on serve before the Pole really clicked into her top gear, bringing up three break points with some relentless hitting from the back of the court. She successfully completed the break, setting her up to win four games in succession.
Flipkens altered her tactics in a bid to upset the rhythm of her opponent, but Linette had an answer to all of the questions she posed, illustrated perfectly as she sent a towering lob over the Belgian’s head to secure an insurance break that she did not need.
Although Flipkens was on the board first in the second, Linette streaked past her once more by winning eight points on the spin to move an early break clear.
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Her dominance continued as a cutting volley following a smartly constructed point saw her push 4-1 up but was arrested somewhat as Flipkens produced her best tennis of the match to establish a 0-40 advantage then earn her first break after being pegged back to deuce.
The deficit might have been cut, but it would never be bridged with Flipkens struggling on serve. Indeed, the match was secured as Linette won four successive points on her opponent’s delivery, the last coming as the Belgian was pushed beyond the tramlines and failed to find the court.
In the final four, Linette will face another player she has never previously met in the form of No.2 seed Ekaterina Alexandrova.
She battled through in a three-set encounter with the in-form Kristie Ahn, coming back from a break down in the decider to overcome the American.
The pair shared a break each in the opening set, which Ahn claimed with a whitewash in the tiebreak, while the second was equally tight, though pinched by the WTA World No.39, who served 22 aces in all.
Ahn held a 2-0 lead in the decider but then lost four successive games and was unable to claw back the deficit as Alexandrova won, 6-7(0), 6-4, 6-4.
In the top half of the draw, No.3 seed Karolina Muchova beat Priscilla Hon, 6-3, 6-3 in 83 minutes, while No.8 seed Yafan Wang avoided any upset by overcoming Paula Badosa, 6-1, 6-3.