WTA Bucharest: Rybakina, Tig, Di Giuseppe and Siegemund reach semis


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WTA Bucharest: Rybakina, Tig, Di Giuseppe and Siegemund reach semis

An unranked Romanian Patricia Maria Tig has made a perfect return in front of the home fans after an injury and giving birth to a daughter, qualifying for the main draw and reaching the first semi-final in three years. Tig needed an hour and 49 minutes to defeat the 8th seed Kristyna Pliskova 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, scoring four points more than the Czech and prevailing in the pivotal moments for the place in the semis.

The Romanian defended eight out of ten break points to limit the damage in her games, delivering three breaks to cross the finish line first, hoping to reach the second final in a career after Baku 2015. Patricia Maria saved all seven break points in the opening set, breaking Pliskova in game eight for a 6-3 and the momentum ahead of the rest of the clash.

The second set was more fluid, with eight great holds on both sides and a break of serve for the Czech at 3-2, enough for a 6-3 and a boost before the final set where the Romanian retook charge, racing towards a 5-0 lead and moving over the top with a hold in game nine.

Laura Siegemund is the only remaining seed left in the draw, defeating Irina-Camelia Begu 7-5, 6-2 in just under two hours. The German is through to the sixth WTA semi-final and the second in Budapest, performing a great comeback in the opening set and never looking back in set number two.

Laura made the difference with the first serve, losing serve twice and stealing almost half of the return points to seal the deal in straight sets. It didn't look that will be the case, though, trailing 5-2 in the first set and having to save three set points in games eight and nine.

Begu wasted her chances and had to pay the price, getting broken in games nine and 11 and allowing Siegemund to conquer five straight games for a 7-5. From 2-0 down in set number two, the German claimed the remaining six games to sail into the semi-final, happy with the way she played in the most important moments.

World no. 211 Martina Di Giuseppe has been playing on a very high level this week, advancing into the first WTA semi-final following a 6-4, 6-4 victory over Barbora Krejcikova, another lower-ranked player who has reached the last eight.

Both players had their chances and it was Di Giuseppe who used them more efficiently, getting broken three times and stealing 52% of the return points for five breaks from ten opportunities. The ninth game of both sets proved to be crucial, with Martin scoring breaks in those to forge the late advantage and close sets with a hold in the next game for the most significant result in a career.

The 20-year-old Elena Rybakina is in the semi-final as well, ousting the 2nd seed Viktoria Kuzmova 7-6, 6-3 in an hour and 28 minutes, trailing 5-3 in the first set and saving two set points in game ten, closing it in the tie break and overpowering her rival in set number two for the second semi-final result in the previous five weeks.