WTA Istanbul: Eugenie Bouchard battles past Danka Kovinic. Paula Badosa wins



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WTA Istanbul: Eugenie Bouchard battles past Danka Kovinic. Paula Badosa wins

Two qualifiers and unseeded players will compete in the semi-final of the Istanbul International event. Eugenie Bouchard will return into the top-200 following a hard-fought 3-6, 6-4, 7-5 victory over Danka Kovinic in three hours and two minutes.

In the previous round, the Canadian ousted Svetlana Kuznetsova in a thriller, securing another marathon victory and moving into the last four for the first time since Luxembourg 2018. Bouchard claimed four points more overall, defending six out of nine break chances and earning four breaks from 15 opportunities, sealing the deal with a break in the final game of the clash.

Montenegro's player grabbed an early break, surviving tough service games at 2-0 and 3-1 and wrapping it with a hold in game nine. They traded breaks at the beginning of the second set, with Bouchard saving a break chance at 4-4 in one of the duel's pivotal moments.

She then broke Kovinic to take the set 6-4 and remain in contention. Like in set number two, the decider kicked off with back-to-back breaks, followed by two break points saved by Eugenie at 1-1, serving well in the rest of the clash to keep the pressure on the other side of the net.

Kovinic fought well until 5-6, suffering a late break to propel Bouchard into the semis. Paula Badosa prevailed against Polona Hercog 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 in two hours and 40 minutes, after no less than 30 break chances! The Spaniard played better on the second serve, getting broken six times and producing seven breaks from 18 opportunities to find herself over the top.

Interestingly, 28 of those break chances came in sets two and three, as they both served well in the opener. Hercog clinched an instant break and kept it until the end, saving a break point in game ten for a 6-4.

Eugenie Bouchard is through to the first WTA semi-final since Luxembourg 2018.

Fourteen break chances were reserved for sets two and three each and Badosa won two return games in the second for a 6-3, making no mistakes on serve in games seven and nine to force a decider.

There, we saw incredible nine breaks of serve in a row before Paula held at love in game ten to earn the necessary hold and remain on the title course. Tereza Martincova ousted Aliaksandra Sasnovich 6-2, 6-3 in an hour and 22 minutes, getting broken four times but stealing the opponent's serve on seven occasions.

The Czech was the player to beat in the opener after stealing Sasnovich's serve all four times, forging a 4-0 advantage in set number two and moving over the top with a hold in game nine. Patricia Maria Tig defeated the 2nd seed Rebecca Peterson 6-3, 6-1 with reliable performance on the return that saw her scoring six breaks to control the scoreboard.