17-year-old American qualifier Amanda Anisimova reached the first WTA semifinal of her career at the Hana-cupid Japan Women's Open on Friday, overcoming a roughly three-hour rain interruption to dispatch Anna Karolina Schmiedlova of Slovakia, 6-3, 6-1.
Anisimova had dropped only four games total in her first two rounds of the main draw, and while Schmiedlova put up slightly sterner resistance, the quarterfinal encounter still firmly went the American's way after only 66 minutes of play.
Anisimova broke World No.83 Schmiedlova five times during the match, and fired 22 winners to 5 as she dominated the Slovak. Born in New Jersey from Russian-born parents, in Indian Wells she upset both Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and Petra Kvitova en route to the fourth round.
Prior to that tournament, she had played only two tour-level main draw matches (l. Townsend at 2017 Miami; l. Nara 2017 Roland Garros). However, she managed at 16 years 199 days to become the tied youngest player ever to reach the fourth round at the tournament, along with Iva Majoli (1994), and ended No.9 Kvitova’s 14-match win streak in 3r to become youngest player to secure a Top 10 win since Nicole Vaidisova defeated No.
9 Petrova in 2005. Projected to climb into the Top 100 for the first time by reaching the final, she will face Zhang for the first time, In a rain-interrupted day the Chinese completed her first victory over Diyas in three attempts.
Indeed, yesterday her leg was really painful in the doubles match, and this morning she was still deciding whether to play or not. She avenged last year's defeat to the same opponent in the tournament and clinched the second semifinals of the season after losing to Petra Kvitova in Prague.
No.4 seed Wang Qiang dismissed No.8 seed Magda Linette 6-2 6-2 as she progressed to the second semifinal of the season after her title-run in Nanchang. She lost the opening two games but take a firm control of the match to clinch her best result in seven appearances at the Hana-cupid Japan Women's Open.
The 26-year-old Chinese, who will face either Ajla Tomljanovic or Hsieh Su-Wei in the final four.