Tashkent , September: Top seeded Bojana Jovanovski of Serbia will take on local wildcard Nigina Abduraimova , while third seeded Karen Knapp of Italy will clash with giant killing qualifier Lesia Tsurenko of Ukraine in the semifinals of the 16th edition of the Tashkent Open WTA tennis Championships being played at the Olympic School Tennis complex here.
In the quarterfinals played today world ranked 36 and top seed Jovanovski struggled to get the better of former top 30 and currently ranked 205 player Urszula Radwanska of Poland 4-6, 6-4,6-3 in 2 hour 29 minute battle and will clash with Tall and lanky wildcard entrant Nigina Abduraimova who emerged her country's new pin up girl downing wildcard Akgul Amanmuradova 6-3,6-3 in battle of Uzbek players.
Italian third seed and world ranked 71 Karin Knapp didn't have to sweat much overcoming last year's finalist Olga Govortsova of Belarus 7-5,6-2 in just 1 hour and 18 minute , she will now take on giant killer qualifier Lesia Tsurenko of Ukraine who registered a 6-4,4-6,7-5 win over Ksenia Pervak of Russia in 2 hours and 10 minutes.
Bojana Jovanovski's living on the edge story continued for the third successive day as she had to gather all her experience to score a 4-6,6-4,6-3 win in 2 hour 29 minute tussle. Radwanska started from where she left off yesterday , showing fine form early breaking the Serbian in the 3rd game of the first set , she then held on to take the opening set 6-4. The second set started badly for the top seed as she lost her serve in the very first game , the Serbian Jovanovski made amends breaking Radwanska in the fourth game .
Radwanska's net cord shot on 4-3 ( 40-30) changed the momentum in favor of Jovanovski who came back from that point to break the Polish player twice in the 8th and 10th games and force the decider set.
Some solid hitting from both players provided the crowds something to cheer about , in the third set Jovanovski losing her serve in twice in the 3rd and the 5th games but broke Radwanska thrice in the 2nd,6th and 8th games and clinch the match and place in the last four.
" Urszula played very well in the beginning of the match , I found it going tough for me , but I got my rhythm late in the second set , I played very well and feel stronger after these three set wins" said Bojana.
Bojana will clash with tall and Lanky wild Card entrant Nigina Abduraimova who made it to her first ever WTA semifinal. In a clash of established and emerging star , Nigina catapulted as the country's new tennis star overcoming her teammate and idol Akgul Amanmuradova 6-3,6-3 in just 1 hour 8 minutes. Watched by a large crowd , Nigina kept her fairytale run in the event going , breaking the hard serving Amanmuradova in the 7th and 9th games in the first set and the 8th game in the second set and win the battle.
" We both didn't play at our level, but I made fewer mistakes , I never thought I will reach the semifinals , I feel I'm dreaming. I and Akgul are friends and practice with each other but never have played in match. I had no pressure and went for my strokes", said an emotional Nigina
For me I have been watching Akgul since I was young and always dreamt to play at high level, I have high respect for her and will continue to have the same and look up to her. About her opponent of the next match Bojana she said , I'm just thinking that I have to play like I have been without thinking about the results.
Third seeded Karin Knapp of Italy went about in a professional way disseminating her opponent and former finalist here Olga Govortsova of Belarus 7-5,6-2 in just 1 hour 18 minutes. Knapp played percentage tennis to keep her opponent at bay breaking Olga in the 12th game of the first set.
Knapp increased her pace in the second set after 2 games apiece to break Govortsova in the 6th and 8th games and clinch a place in the last four.
Lesia Tsurenko won her fifth match on the trot , coming in as a qualifier the 25 year old from Kiev in Ukraine lost the first set 4-6 to winner of the 2011 edition Ksenia Pervak. . But Tsurenko looked stronger with every passing game , came back to win the second set 6-4.
In the final set Tsurenko came back from being 2-4 down to level scores at 4-4 , and then break Pervak in the 11th game and then hold on to her 12th game and clinch a place in the last four.
" I'm happy with the way I'm stroking the ball , the courts are perfect for my game and the speed . I was bit tired yesterday but I'm feeling fitter and have enough energy to go into the next round of matches. Last year Bojana has thrown up a good example of how one can win a tournament being a qualifier I think my aim is to do the same , I believe one should be thinking if one doesn't want to win the tournament why play at all " , said Tsurenko
Following are the results :Quarter finals Singles
Bojana Jovanovski ( Srb)(1) bt Urszula Radwanska(Pol)
[WC] Nigina Abduraimova (UZB) bt (WC) Akgul Amanmuradova (Uzb)
Karin Knapp (ITA) (3) bt Olga Govortsova ( Blr)
Ksenia Pervak (Rus) bt (Q) Lesia Tsurenko (Ukr)
DOUBLES : Quarterfinals
Margarita Gasparyan / Alexandra Panova (Rus) bt Darija Jurak (Cro)/Megan Moulton-Levy (USA)  6-3,6-3
Irina -Camelia Begu(Rou)/Karin Knapp(ITA) bt Bojana Jovanovski (SRB) /Danka Kovinic (MNE) 7-5,4-6,10-7
Akgul Amanmuradova(Uzb)/Kateryna Bondarenko(Ukr) v/sEkaterina Dzehalevich (BLR) Aliaksandra Sasnovich (BLR) 6-1,6-2Aleksandra Krunic (Srb) /Katerina Siniakova (Cze) bt Lara Arruabarrena (Esp)/Mandy Minella (Lux) 7-6(5),3-6,10-2
Date of Birth: 17 Aug 1988
Birthplace: Boden, Sweden
Height: 5’ 9" (1.74 m)
WTA Singles Ranking – 55 (As of August 14, 2017)
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