Vekic, Hibino also make last four
By Tashkent Open 2015Media Team.
Tashkent , October 1 : Unseeded players Serbian Bojana Jovanovski , Evgeniya Rodina of Russia , Donna Vekic of Croatia and Nao Hibino of Japan entered the semifinals of the singles at the 17th edition of the Tashkent Open being played at the Olympic Tennis School complex here.
In the quarterfinals played today former winner here Jovanovski stunned top seed Annika Beck of Germany 2/6,7/5,6/3 in 2hr 08 minutes tussle after coming back from being down a set and 2-5 down , the 26 year old Russian Rodina missed an opportunity to end in the match in the second set , but came back strongly to knock out fourth seeded Johanna Larsson of Sweden 6-3,5-7,6-0 in a 2 hr 12 minute battle.
Unseeded player and finalist here Donna Vekic of Croatia saved three match points to overcome another German Anna-Lena Friedsam 3/6,6/3,7/5 in 2hr 17 min thriller. Unheralded Nao Hibino of Japan kept up her dream run reaching her first ever WTA semifinal accounting for qualifier Kateryna Kozlova (UKR) 6/3,6/3 in 1 hr 20 minutes to complete the quartet .
Former winner here Bojana Jovanovski continued her dream run at the Tashkent Open reaching her third straight semifinal in a row , in a match marked with hard hitting rallies , the Serbian came back from being a set and 2-5 (0-30) down in the second set to turn the tables on the world no 43 and winner of the tour title at Quebec. Beck looked strong in the openeing set racing a to a 6-2 win and look like sweeping away with the match racing to a 5-2 lead in the second.
Jovanovski known for her fighting capabilities showed her mettle and came back to level scores to 5-5 , she then hit two solid winners on her forehand to break the top seeded German in the 11th game and hold on to her serve in the 12th and win the second set.
In the third set both players held on to serves till Beck was broken in the 8th game after a Jovanovski forehand rolled over the net leaving Beck bewildered , In the next game Jovanovski served intelligently and held on after Beck saved three match points.
" I was very tired play three setters , so started the match badly , Beck didn't let me get into rhythm and I served badly too, but in the second set when I was down I found my rhythm and started playing longer points and started playing aggressive and started variations on my serve" Said Jovanovski who has lost only 3 matches in the last four years here. " I feel these courts are made for me , I find the speed and the bounce perfect ", she added
Jovanovski will now take on unheralded Japanese Nao Hibino of Japan who ended the run of Ukrainian qualifier Kateryna Kozlova 6/3,6/3 in 1 hour 20 minutes . It turned out to be drem run for the young Japanese who was supposed to play in the qualifying rounds of the event. I found myself in the main draw first , then Getting walk over from Sasnovich in the second round and a win today making it to my first semifinals making it look like a dream " said Hibino who was facing the media for the first time. The last four spot at the event guarantees Hibino a entry into the top 100 .
In the second upset day the oldest player of the event 26 year old Russian Evgeniya Rodina scored a 6-3,5-7,6-0 in a 2 hr 12 minute battle. Rodina used speed variation was in control of the match for majority of the time . In the second set Larsson played solidly and broke Rodina in the 12th game taking five points in a row and levelling scores. But in the third set the fourth seed looked out of sorts giving the Russian an advantage .
" I'm happy to have got through , I have a bad back pain , but I never give up , the win means a lot for me and am happy to make a Semifinals after nearly 3 years " said Rodina after the match. Rodina will take on Donna Vekic in the last four match.
In the best match of the day former finalist here Donna Vekic saved 3 match points in the 10th game down to come back from being 4-5( 0-40 )in the third set to register a 3/6,6/3,7/5 win over German Anna-Lena Friedsam in a 2 hr and 17 min battle
After both players took set a piece , In the decider Vekic raced to a 4-2 lead , but the gritty German reeled off three games in a row to go up 5-4 , In the dramatic 10th game Vekic was don 0-40 before she held on to her serve and level scores at 5-5 . Vekic then broke Friedsam in the 11th game after 7 deuces , the German served a double fault under pressure letting off the momentum to be down 5-6 .
At the break Friedsam took injury time out adding to the drama , but Vekic played calm and mature tennis to serve two aces and wrap up the set and the match , not before exchanging some words with her opponent at the end of the match.
" It was a tough start after three setter yesterday It was tough after being 4-2 up , I should have finished it then , but my opponent played some great points and took three games in a row and then move to three match points . I was a little perturbed when my opponent decided to take medical at the crucial juncture of the match she looked ok to me but I decided not to get disturbed and remain focused and play my game and it worked " said Vekic after the match
Bojana Jovanovski (SRB) b  Annika Beck (GER) 2/6,7/5,6/3
Nao Hibino (JPN) b [Q] Kateryna Kozlova (UKR) 6/3,6/3
Donna Vekic (CRO) b Anna-Lena Friedsam (GER) 3/6,6/3,7/5
Evgeniya Rodina (RUS) vs  Johanna Larsson (SWE) 6-3,5-7,6-0 .
 Margarita Gasparyan (RUS) / Alexandra Panova (RUS) bt Anna-Lena Friedsam (GER) / Katarzyna Piter (POL) 6-4,2-1 (Retd)
[WC] Ekaterina Bychkova (RUS) / Stefanie Voegele (SUI) bt Vlada Ekshibarova (UZB) / Angelina Gabueva (RUS) 4/6,6/1,10/7
Vera Dushevina (RUS) / Katerina Siniakova (CZE) b [WC] Nigina Abduraimova (UZB) / Akgul Amanmuradova (UZB) 3/6,6/1,10/4
Date of Birth: 26 Aug 1990
Birthplace: Bucharest, Romania
Height: 5’ 11" (1.81 m)
WTA Singles Ranking – 58 (As of August 14, 2017)
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