NÜRNBERG, Germany - Qualifier Barbora Krejcikova battled through against Carina Witthoeft to secure her semifinal place at the Nurnburger Versicherungscup in a three-set epic, 3-6, 6-3, 7-6(2).
The Czech did brilliantly to stay in the decider, saving five match points to force a tiebreak in which she was tenacious in pursuit of the victory, and after almost two and a half hours, she scored one.
Krejickova has been the beneficiary of two retirements in her three matches in the main draw thus far, including No.4 seed Laura Siegemund in the second round, having also won two matches to qualify.
"I'm feeling very happy," said Krejcikova after the match. "I'm very happy I made it, and I'm happy that I got out of here the winner."
The Czech served for the match at 5-4 in the decider, only to see the local favorite hit back, before she saved five match points in her next service game to force the tiebreak. The serve proved to be the deciding factor between the two players in the match, with the Czech serving eight aces and saving eight of the 11 break points she faced.
The 21-year-old has been known for her doubles prowess on the WTA Tour so far in her career, having reached the French Open semifinals and Wimbledon quarterfinals alongside Katerina Siniakova last season. The World No.254 in singles, Krejcikova is in uncharted territory this week, having never been past the second round of a WTA event solo.
"When I got here on Saturday, I was coming from Rome; we finished doubles on Friday, I flew here Saturday and...I had to play my first round [qualifying match]. I had tough matches, and I'm really happy I can do this, mentally - and physically as well!"
Earlier, seventh seed Yaroslava Shvedova retired in her match against Misaki Doi of Japan, who had just won the first set 6-4.