Just two months after making the Moscow final, 17-year-old Anastasia Potapova reached her second WTA semifinal in Tashkent, defeating Dalila Jakupovic 7-5 2-6 6-1. The Russian teenager, who completed five breaks from seven looks, needed some time to find any fluidity on serve, but she capitalised from a wayward opponent in the decider.
The Russian broke first as the ball rolled over the net on a forehand from the Slovene who broke back and saved a couple of set points before holding to 5-5. A handful of close line calls went against her in the next game as Potapova held to 6-5.
She called for her coach, Irina Doronina, and immediately sealed the set as Jakupovic completely lost her way when serving to stay in the set for the second time. Three huge unforced errors helped Potapova who converted the set point with a perfect backhand down the line winner.
In the second, her solid game cracked as Potapova double-faulted to give Jakupovic a double break lead. The match went to the distance and the Russian dominated the proceedings to claim the 20th victory in a 3-setter at all levels.
She will meet for the second Kateryna Kozlova, who made it through to the semi-finals after a 6-3 6-2 win over the No.6 seed Anna Karolina Schmiedlova. The World No.112 reached her 11th win in 23 WTA main draw matches this season to claim the second semifinal of the year after her runner-up showing in Taipei City where she claimed the opening break but suffered the massive comeback from eventual champion Timea Babos.
Potapova, who won eight of her last ten matches, beat Kozlova in Trnava, in the quarter-finals of an ITF tournament, in 2017 by the loss of three games. Vera Lapko lost from a break up in both the first and second set and wasted 14 of her 16 break point opportunities against Mona Barthel, who sealed a 6-3 7-5 victory.
The German clinched five of seven close games and completed four breaks to celebrate her 30th overall win of the season and the second semifinal of the year after she lost to Dominika Cibulkova in Budapest. Barthel will face Margarita Gasparyan who came back to beat Fanny Stollar 3-6 6-2 6-1.
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