LIMOGES, France – No.1 seed Ekaterina Alexandrova moved serenely into the semifinals of the Open BLS de Limoges with a 6-4, 6-2 triumph over Ana Bogdan.
The WTA World No.42 took 72 minutes to dispatch her Romanian opponent, having led from the beginning of the match.
Throughout the first set there was a flurry of break points, but it was the Russian’s efficiency in such situations that set her apart from the WTA World No.105.
Alexandrova won two of four opportunities to seal breaks, including one in the opening game of the match to assert her dominance.
Bogdan had a chance to hit back immediately as she moved 0-40 up on the top seed’s serve, yet all of these opportunities were missed and so were three more following deuce.
Although Alexandrova was ultimately broken in the fourth game, she hit back immediately and thereafter closed out the set by dropping only one further point on her delivery.
The second followed a similar pattern, with Alexandrova breaking straight away only to be pegged back.
This time, however, she was able to seal four successive games for the loss of only five points to carry her to the semifinals.
In the final four, she will meet qualifier Nicole Gibbs, who came from behind to benefit from a retirement from Sorana Cirstea.
The Romanian took the opening set 6-3 but was forced to pull out after losing the second by a similar margin.
Greetje Minnen, the WTA World No.118, is the only player left in the draw yet to drop a set.
The Belgian had too much for Liudmila Samsonova in their quarterfinal, persevering to win 7-5, 6-2 in one hour 21 minutes.
Minnen seemed set to complete a straightforward first set but was broken as she sought to seal it, but from that moment produced a decisive run of six straight games to power towards the finishing line.
Belarus’ WTA World No.67 Aliaksandra Sasnovich will provide the opposition for her in the final four after she defeated Jil Teichmann, 6-3, 7-5.