Sat, Apr 15, 2017 - Page 16 News List

Hsieh, Niculescu cruise into Biel Ladies semi-finals

By Dave Carroll  /  Staff reporter, with AP, BIEL, Switzerland

Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and Monica Niculescu of Romania advanced to the semi-finals of the doubles at the Biel Ladies Open in Switzerland on Thursday, while top seed Barbora Strycova won through to the singles quarter-finals.

Second seeds Hsieh and Niculescu took just 58 minutes to see off Lenka Kuncikova of the Czech Republic and Cornelia Lister of Sweden 6-2, 6-2 in their doubles quarter-final.

The duo saved one of the two break points they faced and converted five of 10, winning 59 of the 85 points contested to advance to a semi-final against either third seeds Raluca Olaru and Olga Savchuk or Viktorija Golubic and Kristyna Pliskova.

On the other side of the draw, local favorites Timea Bacsinszky and Martina Hingis took just 54 minutes to down Lina Gjorcheska of Macedonia and Anastasiya Komardina of Russia 6-4, 6-0 to set up a semi-final against top seeds Xenia Knoll and Demi Schuurs.

In the second round of the singles, top seed Strycova had to save two set points before beating Carina Witthoeft of Germany 6-2, 7-6 (8/6).

The Czech world No. 18 let a 5-3 lead slip in the second set, then twice faced set point against the world No. 69 before forcing the tiebreaker.

“I was playing a good match, I have to say,” Strycova told the WTA Web site. “I felt great on the court, serving for the match at 5-4. I didn’t make it there, but Carina was playing amazing tennis and it was a tough game for me with all the long rallies. I’m happy I made it through because the tiebreak was on and off. My serve was also working well in the end.”

In the quarter-finals, Strycova was due to play seventh seed Julia Goerges, the only two seeds remaining in the singles draw.

“We always have tough matches against each other and she’s a tough opponent to play, especially on this surface. I think she likes to play on these kinds of courts, so I’m looking forward to it,” Strycova said of the quarter-final. “I’m very happy I won these two matches and it’ll be a big battle tomorrow [Friday]. I’ll try to enjoy myself and do my best.”

Her 17-year-old compatriot, Marketa Vondrousova, also advanced to a first career quarter-final at the tournament debuting on the WTA Tour.

Vondrousova, a left-hander ranked No. 233, eased past world No. 60 Annika Beck of Germany 6-1, 6-3.

Second seed Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain crashed out, losing to Camila Giorgi of Italy 6-2, 6-7 (5/7), 6-2, while Belarussian qualifier Aliaksandra Sasnovich ousted Golubic 6-1, 6-4 in 75 minutes.

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