Timea Bacsinszky of Switzerland upset second-seeded Alona Bondarenko of Ukraine 7-6 (6), 6-2 on Thursday to reach the semi-finals of the Strasbourg International.
Bacsinszky broke Bondarenko’s serve five times to stay on course for her first career title. The 18-year-old player reached the semis for the first time since losing to the recently retired Justine Henin at Antwerp, Belgium in February.
Bacsinszky will face defending champion Anabel Medina Garrigues, who had a walkover against No. 4 Flavia Pennetta of Italy. Pennetta had a muscle strain in her left thigh.
Chan Yung-jan (詹詠然) of Taiwan upset seventh-seeded Ai Sugiyama of Japan 6-4, 6-2.
Chan, who has never won a singles tournament, broke Sugiyama’s serve five times and saved nine break points on her own service game.
She next faces No. 5 Katarina Srebotnik of Slovenia, who beat Peng Shuai of China 6-4, 7-5.
The clay-court tournament is billed as a warmup to the French Open, which starts tomorrow.
■ HYPO GROUP
AP, POERTSCHACH, AUSTRIA
Nikolay Davydenko, Juan Monaco and Ivan Ljubicic reached the semi-finals of the Hypo Group International on Thursday along with Igor Kunitsyn of Russia.
The top-seeded Davydenko beat Andreas Seppi of Italy 6-3, 1-6, 6-3, and will next play Kunitsyn, who defeated Jurgen Melzer of Austria 6-4, 3-6, 6-3.
Monaco, the defending champion, defeated Robby Ginepri of the US 7-5, 7-6 (3) to set up a semi-final match against Ljubicic, who fought off five match points before beating Daniel Gimeno-Traver of Spain 6-3, 4-6, 7-6 (6).
Davydenko twice needed medical treatment for a left thigh injury in the second set, but looked healthy again in the decider against Seppi, who had beaten Dudi Sela of Israel 7-5, 6-1 earlier in the day.
Ljubicic was in control of his match until he dropped serve against Gimeno-Traver on the first break point at the end of the second set.
Monaco dropped serve three times, but broke Ginepri four times to clinch the opening set. Monaco converted his first match point in the tiebreaker.
Earlier on Thursday, Monaco beat Jiri Vanek of the Czech Republic 6-2, 6-2 and Ginepri rallied to defeat Olivier Rochus of Belgium 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 in the second round.
Davydenko defeated John Isner of the US 6-2, 6-7 (6), 6-3.
Also in the second round, Melzer beat eighth-seeded Robin Haase of the Netherlands 6-3, 4-6, 6-2, and Kunitsyn defeated qualifier Blaz Kavcic 6-1, 6-4.
AP, CASABLANCA, MOROCCO
Dogged Australian Open finalist Jo-Wilfried Tsonga beat Former champion Santiago Ventura of Spain 6-3, 6-3 on Thursday to reach the semi-finals of the Grand Prix Hassan II.
The top-seeded Frenchman is in the semi-finals for the first time since the Australian Open, where he lost to Novak Djokovic in the final.
Tsonga was in control of the first set, breaking Ventura twice and not facing any break points on his own serve. Although he saved two break points in the second set, the 23-year-old Tsonga hit four more of his seven aces.
He was to face qualifier Gilles Simon yesterday. Simon beat fourth-seeded Marc Gicquel 6-3, 6-2. Simon is the first qualifier to reach the Casablanca semi-finals since Ventura won the title four years ago.
Third-seeded Agustin Calleri of Argentina and fifth-seeded Julien Benneteau of France were to meet in yesterday’s other semi-final match.
Calleri had a walkover win over Younes El Aynaoui — the Moroccan player had a left calf injury — and Benneteau was leading 6-3, 5-2 when Oscar Hernandez of Spain pulled out with a right-foot injury.