Clara Tauson will play seventh seed Paula Badosa for a place in her first WTA final at the Lyon Open. The Spaniard outlasted French fourth seed Kristina Mladenovic 7-5, 6-7(5), 6-2 in two hours and 36 minutes. Meanwhile, in the first match of the day, the 18-year-old Dane ousted Camila Giorgi 6-3, 6-1 in the quarter-final on Friday to reach her maiden WTA semi-final in the French event.
Speaking about her win, Tauson – who is yet to drop a set this week – said, “I've been playing better, serving better especially. The more matches I play, the better I get, and the better players I play, the better I play.
By now I've played more and more matches against [Top 100] players, so I feel more comfortable. I don't go scared on court like I used to. I was all the time happy to play against them, now I want to win against them. My mentality has changed a lot this past year – thinking I can beat these players on a regular basis”.
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The key to the teen’s success against the Italian was her serve. Tauson put in about 65% of her first serves in and won 22/27 of her first-serve points. In comparison, Giorgi only put in 51% of her first serves in play, of which she won 64% points.
In her post-match presser, Tauson added that this was a technical area she has been focusing on improvement. “It's my main goal in every match to get my first serve percentage up, and the winning percentage behind it.
Following the first serve up with good shots after it is my focus as well,” she said. Second seed Fiona Ferro and Viktorija Golubic set up the other semi-final at the Lyon Open. Ferro overcame fellow countrywoman Clara Burel 2-6, 6-1, 6-3, and is the last Frenchwoman left in the draw. Golubic ended the run of Greet Minnen 6-3, 7-6(0) in their last-eight match.