Nadia Podoroska (right) will meet Linda Fruhvirtova (left) in the semi-finals.
Nadia Podoroska (right) will meet Linda Fruhvirtova (left) in the semi-finals.Justin George

Fruhvirtova stuns No.2 seed Gracheva to reach semi-finals

The decider saw Podoroska, a semifinalist at French Open in 2020, run away to a 3-0 lead.

CHENNAI: Argentina’s Nadia Podoroska on Friday outlasted crowd favourite Eugenie Bouchard 1-6, 6-4, 6-2 in the singles quarter-final of the WTA Chennai Open 250, overcoming a rain delay.

Later, second-seeded Varvara Gracheva crashed out, losing to Czech teenager Linda Fruhvirtova 4-6, 3-6. Bouchard got off to a quick start in the opening last-eight clash and raced away to win it 6-1 in 38 minutes.

The second set saw a reversal of fortunes as Podoroska broke in the third game to sneak ahead.

Yet another break in game five saw the Argentine go 4-1 up. Bouchard, a former Wimbledon runner-up and ranked as high as No.5 in 2014, mounted a fightback but Podoroska held serve in the 10th game after a nervy battle to level the match.

The decider saw Podoroska, a semifinalist at French Open in 2020, run away to a 3-0 lead. However, play was suspended due to lightning. Later, rain kept the players off the court for a little more while.

The 25-year old Argentine right-hander maintained her poise after the match resumed and saw off the experienced Canadian, who is on a comeback trail from injury. She won the decider 6-2 to book a spot in the last four.

“I was doing too many mistakes early in the match. Then, I tried to keep the ball in court, which helped,” Podoroska said after the win. Podoroska also thanked the crowd for playing a part in her tense victory. “Just like in the second-round match against Tatjana Maria, when the match went to three sets, the crowd support definitely helped me in key phases of the match,” acknowledged Podoroska.

The unseeded Fruhvirtova showed why she is rated so highly with a convincing demolition of Gracheva, ranked 72, posting a 6-4, 6-3 win.

She trailed early in the opening set before hitting back to pip the Russian. In the second too, the Czech player fell 0-3 behind. However, she roared back to win the next six games to advance to the semi-finals, where Podoroska awaits.

Later, Bouchard sustained an injury while partnering Yanina Wickmayer in doubles and pulled out midway through the second set.

RESULTS: Singles: Quarter-finals: N Podoroska bt E Bouchard 1-6, 6-4, 6-2; L Fruhvirtova bt V Gracheva (X2) 6-4, 6-3

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