Anna Karolina Schmiedlova reached her maiden WTA semifinal since losing to Sasnovitch at 2015 Seoul. The resurgent Slovakian moved to the last 4 as Colombian teenager Emiliana Arango retired due to a right thigh injury while trailing.
"I’m really happy that I made it to a semifinal because it was a very long time for me to even pass the first round of a WTA tournament," said Schmiedlova who hadn’t won a WTA-level main draw match since the 2016 BGL BNP Paribas Luxembourg Open.
Arango, the 17-year-old wildcard ranked No.510, a former Us Open junior semifinalist last season, had impressively defeated 7-6 6-1 the Italian Jasmine Paolini earlier in the morning.
In that match, Arango, who trained in Bradenton since five years complaining just because fruits aren’t as tasty as they are at home, saved two set points at 5-6 and dominated 7-0 the ensuing tiebreak with solid first serves.
"I’m really happy with the win, even [though Arango] didn’t finish it, but I really think I played well," said Schmiedlova, struggling to come back into the top 100 after she climbed into the top 30 in 2015.
"I did a few mistakes, especially with the serve, but it was a good set. She is really, really talented and she played great, but I felt confident today on court. I really like to play on clay, and I got used to playing here in this altitude, so I think that today, I was maybe better."
Schmiedlova will now face No.7 seed Ana Bogdan who after a long rain delay dismissed 6-1 6-1 Chilean qualifier Daniela Seguel.
“Be #fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire” she wrote on Instagram yesterday. And showed on-court that those aren’t just words. The Romanian, who reached the semifinals last week in Monterrey, completed her match delivering 23 winners and committing just 8 unforced errors in her second match of the day. Hours earlier, she had completed a comeback win over Anna Blinkova that went on for two days.