BUCHAREST, Romania - Top seed Anastasija Sevastova rallied from a slow start against No.5 seed and home crowd favorite Sorana Cirstea to win, 3-6, 6-3, 6-2, and reach the final four at the BRD Bucharest Open.
"It was a tough match today, but I kept fighting and I managed to pull through," Sevastova told the media, following her victory. "I think I like to play in the night better than during the day. I’ve already played two matches here during the night and I like these conditions."
"It’s okay that [the fans] are supporting the Romanian players, we are in Romania, not in Latvia," Sevastova said with a smile. "They were pretty fair and I like the crowd here, I like that it's always full, people are coming to watch tennis. It’s nice to play when it’s a full stadium."
A marathon sixth game in the second set proved crucial for the 2016 finalist's hopes of reaching her fourth semifinal of 2018, one that ultimately helped her turn the tide and advance after one hour and 45 minutes on court.
Cirstea was aiming to join countrywoman Mihaela Buzarnescu in the semifinals, but fell behind a double break in both the second and deciding sets, and though she narrowed the gap in the former, Sevastova ran away with the latter, dropping just two points behind her first serve in the final set and breaking serve a grand total of six times to reach her first red clay semifinal of the season.
Interestingly, Sevastova has proven herself a factor on all surfaces in 2018, beginning the year with a run to the Brisbane International semifinals on hardcourts. She followed that up with another semifinal run at the Volvo Car Open on green clay, and finished runner-up at the Mallorca Open on grass.
Standing between Sevastova and a spot in the final is No.8 seed Polona Hercog, who defeated Ons Jabeur, 6-3, 6-1, in the quarterfinals. It was Jabeur's second singles match of the day, after ousting Vera Zvonareva in a rain-delayed second-round encounter early Friday morning.