Fifth seed Sabine Lisicki came back from a set and a break of serve down to eventually triumph over New Zealand’s Marina Erakovic 5-7, 6-3, 6-2 in a nervy quarter-final encounter at the PTT Pattaya Women’s Open tennis tournament on Friday.
Lisicki struggled to find her range on first serve in the opening set and was taken to deuce on all but one of her service games, eventually being broken to love in the eleventh game with her opponent going on to serve out the set 7-5.
Lisicki’s problems on serve continued at the start of the second set as she lost her opening service game, however, the hard hitting German broke back immediately as Erakovic started to rack up double faults of her own with worrying regularity. With three more service breaks in the bag, Lisicki wrapped up the set 6-2 and her improved form continued in the third as Erakovic’s confidence ebbed and more errors began to creep into her game.
Sabine Lisicki serves to Marina Erakovic during her quarter-final match, Friday, Feb. 1.
When Erakovic double faulted to go 5-2 down in the deciding set, the writing was on the wall for the New Zealander and Lisicki served up an ace on match point to close out the contest in 2 hours and 20 minutes.
“I think I didn’t play well, especially the first set,” said Lisicki afterwards. “I wasn’t going for my shots, I was tentative and then she broke me. But the most important thing is that I got back on top of it in the second set and found my rhythm in the shots and never looked back after that.”
Romanian fourth seed Sorana Cirstea had little trouble in disposing of Latvian qualifier Anastasija Sevastova 6-3 6-0, in a one-sided encounter to reach the semi-finals for the second consecutive year where she will face last year’s beaten finalist Maria Kirilenko. The Russian was a 7-6 (6) 6-3 winner over her compatriot and seventh seed Elena Vesnina in Friday’s evening match.
Sorana Cirstea hits a forehand return to Anastasija Sevastova.
The semi-finals line-up was completed when Russia’s Nina Bratchikova beat Japan’s Ayumi Morita, conqueror of Ana Ivanovic, 6-1 3-6 6-1.
In Saturday’s semi-finals, Bratchikova will face Sabine Lisicki at 4 p.m. with the Kirilenko v Cirstea clash following.
In the women’s doubles, Thai sister-act Varatchaya and Varunya Wongteanchai put on a sparkling performance to demolish Irina Buryachok and Valeria Solovyeva 6-1, 6-1 to reach Saturday’s semi-finals where they will face Akgul Amanmuradova and Alexandra Panova.
Tickets for both Saturday and Sunday’s play are still available and can be purchased at the box office outside the tennis center at the Dusit Thani Resort in Pattaya.
Varunya Wongteanchai serves during the quarter-final doubles match against Irina Buryachok and Valeria Solovyeva.