KARLSRUHE, Germany - No.2 seed Alison Van Uytvanck lived up to her billing as the sole seeded quarterfinalist at the Liqui Moly Open, dispatching Tereza Mrdeza 6-1, 6-3 in one hour and nine minutes to make the last four.
The Belgian showed off her full repertoire over the course of a dominant win, setting the tone by reeling off the first five games without facing a game point in a flurry of dropshots and heavy forehands. A lapse in concentration squandered a 5-0, 40-0 opportunity for the bagel, but Van Uytvanck righted the ship to break Mrdeza for the set with one of several firm smashes of the day.
Similarly, the Budapest champion was pegged back from a 3-1 lead in the second set as Mrdeza valiantly got the scoreline back on serve, but was able to produce some magic immediately - a dropshot and lob volley combination followed by a blazing forehand winner on the line - to regain her advantage. From there, Van Uytvanck - who had defeated girlfriend Greet Minnen in the first round - rode out the win with comfort, leaping into a stylish backhand to seal victory.
The 25-year-old will meet Paula Badosa in the semifinals after the Spaniard ended local favorite Tamara Korpatsch's seven-match winning streak 6-2, 6-4. World No.101 Badosa, fresh off her maiden WTA semifinal in Palermo, made it back-to-back last-four runs by overpowering last week's Prague ITF W60 champion Korpatsch, overturning a 1-3 deficit in the second set. The 2015 Roland Garros junior champion is now assured of breaking the Top 100 for the first time next week.
In the top half of the draw, Bucharest finalist Patricia Maria Tig's brilliant comeback continued with an irresistible 7-5, 6-0 performance against Ekaterine Gorgodze. The Romanian found herself trailing 2-5 in the first set, but promptly rattled off 11 straight games in a display of power and creativity - including an underarm serve to wrap up the first set. Tig has now won 22 of her past 25 matches - and, having based herself in Cancun for three months to begin her return to the sport with a series of ITF W15 events, has made a remarkably smooth transition to success at WTA level.
In the semifinals, Tig will meet another player carrying over stellar form from the post-Wimbledon clay swing: Palermo quarterfinalist Jasmine Paolini turned in another battling performance, coming from an immediate double break down in the first set and one break down in the second set to defeat qualifier Stephanie Wagner 7-5, 6-4.