BOL, Croatia - Defending champion Mandy Minella cruised into the final four of the Bol Croatia Open on Friday, as she dropped just nine points on serve in a 6-2, 6-1 defeat of No.6 seed Kateryna Bondarenko.
In the first career meeting of two top 100 stalwarts and veterans, it was the No.2 seed who needed just 62 minutes to advance to the semifinals, as she won the last four and five games of each set, respectively.
In the semifinals, Minella will face Alexandra Cadantu, who ousted the other remaining seed in the bottom half of the draw, No.8 Maria Sakkari, in a comprehensive quarterfinal victory, 6-4, 6-0. The Romanian peaked at a career-high ranking of No.59 in 2014, but has been plagued by injuries in the seasons since then.
Currently ranked World No.235, Cadantu has won four of the five matches she's played against top 100 opposition this season, including a win over No.3 seed Natalia Vikhlyantseva in the first round in Bol.
The other semifinal will see rising Brazilian Beatriz Haddad Maia take on Serbia's Aleksandra Krunic, as both also scored a pair of straight set wins in the quarterfinals.
Krunic defeated compatriot Ivana Jorovic, 6-3, 6-1, in the first career meeting between the two, while Haddad Maia had little trouble in defeating No.5 seed and wildcard Sara Errani, 6-1, 6-4.
Minella is the only player of the four in the semifinals who has won a WTA 125 Series title in her career, and at World No.70, is the highest ranked player remaining in the field.