Balu upsets top seed Sung to enter semis

Aurangabad: Bangalore girl Sharmada Balu created a big upset by toppling top seeded Korean Sung Hee Han in straight sets to enter the semifinals of the USD 10,000 ITF women`s Futures event at the EMMTC courts.

Balu pipped the 396th-ranked rival 6-3 6-4 in one hour and 28 minutes as she produced best performance of her fledgling career.

A quarter-final appearance in an ITF event in Kolkata early this year was her best show on the circuit so far.

The 17-year-old Indian broke the Korean twice in the first set -- second and the eighth game -- while in the second set she broke Han in the fifth game to secure win.

"I`m thrilled with this win. I was getting tired but changed my game and played aggressively to finish the match,” Balu said after the match.

Balu, who has now shocked two seeded players in the event, will take on third seed Vlada Ekshibarova of Uzbekistan.

In the other quarterfinals, Vlada, a former top-300 player, showed great all round game to outplay seventh seeded Kanae Hisami of Japan 6-2, 6-4 in one hours and 20 mins.

In the second semifinal, second seed Nicole Clerico of Italy will clash with fourth seeded Varatchaya Wongteanchai of Thailand.

The 445th-ranked Clerico scored a 6-4, 6-4 win over Slovakian sixth seeded Anja Prislan while Wongteanchai scored the easiest win of the day with a 6-1, 6-0 scoreline over eighth seeded Ai Yamamoto of Japan.


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