Mirza in semi-finals

Koklata, September 22:

Fifth-seeded Sania Mirza of India entered the semi-finals of the Sunfeast Open by defeating fourth-seeded French player Aravane Rezai 6-4, 7-5 on Friday.

Uzbekistan’s Iroda Tulyaganova advanced to the semi-finals by rallying from a first-set loss to overcome Alla Kudryavtseva of Russia 4-6, 6-2, 6-2. In another quarter-final contest, Russian Olga Poutchkova defeated Alberta Brianti of Italy 7-5, 6-3.

Mirza and Rezai began by trading service-breaks in the first two games before Mirza effected another break in the third game to surge ahead.

Rezai again broke Mirza in the eighth game, but she faltered on her own next service and then watched Mirza serve out the set in the 10th game. Rezai shot to a 4-1 lead in the second set before errors crept into her service, allowing Mirza to pull back. Mirza clinched the set by winning two straight games after drawing level on 5-5.

Tulyaganova, who made the draw through a qualifying event, squandered a 3-1 lead to lose the first set to Kudryavtseva.

Tulyaganova dropped her service in the opening game of the second set, but she found her rhythm and hit back with three service breaks in the second, fourth and eighth games.

In the third set, Tulyag-anova led throughout by breaking Kudryavtseva in the second and eighth games. Russian girl Poutc-hkova was erratic as she dropped her first two service points in the quarter-finals, but staged a smart rally as Brianti faded away.