LYON, France - It took a third Belgian to stop Caroline Garcia at the Open 6 ème Sens – Métropole de Lyon.
No.5 seed Alison van Uytvanck turned in a dominant performance in Thursday's final quarterfinal to beat the No.3 seed, 6-2, 6-2, in just 71 minutes to advance to her first semifinal of the season.
Saving all eight break points she faced in the match, van Uytvanck scored her first-ever win over the former World No.4, handing off a measure of revenge to the Frenchwoman on her home turf after Garcia beat her in a thrilling three-setter last February in Liège.
It might've well been a Fed Cup week for Garcia over the course of her stay in her home city, as she defeated Greet Minnen, van Uytvanck's girlfriend, in the first round, and Ysaline Bonaventure in the second round, and took on the highest-ranked of those Belgians, and second-best to World No.23 Elise Mertens, in her third match.
Read more: Garcia battles past Minnen in Lyon thriller
"I think I played well. It's a good win for me. She beat two Belgian players here, so I was like, 'No way!'" van Uytvanck said after the match. "Beating my girlfriend in the first round, that was a [tough] match - 7-6 in the third.
"I'm just happy with the way I played today and to be in the semifinals."
However, the World No.62 struck first to set the tone and earned a 3-1 lead on her third break point, never trailing in the match overall. Van Uytvanck saved the lone break point she faced in the first set in the seventh game, holding to lead 5-2, and later sealed a one-set lead on her third opportunity after building a 0-40 lead on the No.3 seed's serve.
A five-game run from 4-2 in the first set was the hallmark of dominance for the Belgian, who raced out of the set break and won eight of the first nine points, and eventually built a 6-2, 3-0 lead. Things got more complicated in her service games from there, but the Belgian produced her best when it mattered most.
"I think my serve was good in important moments," she continued. "When I was break point down, I served well. I think that was a big difference.
"Maybe I could read her serve sometimes, and put some pressure on it. I was pleased with how I served today."
Van Uytvanck saved three break points to extend her lead to 4-1, and four more to lead 5-2, before eventually advancing to a semifinal meeting against top seed and Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin with a fourth break of Garcia's serve.
"I played her when I played ITF $60,000 in Las Vegas, and now she wins the Australian Open," the Belgian said. "She's playing well. She's Top 10, a solid player.
"It's going to be a different match than today. I look forward to it. Hopefully, I can keep my level like today, and we'll see."