Unseeded Basak, Karen storm into semis

Pune: Turkey`s Basak Eraydin and Israel`s Karen Shlomo, both unseeded, continued their dream run and made it to the last four of the NECC ITF women`s $25,000 tennis tournament at the Deccan Gymkhana here Thursday.

On a day when every match barring one went the distance, Eraydin stunned Chinese fourth seed Sheng Nan Sun 6-2, 2-6, 7-5.

In a match that lasted for 126 minutes, Eraydin, who had upset fifth seed Perrin in first round, ran away with the first set before losing the second with identical margin.

In the decider, both players broke each other thrice as the score reached 5-5. Eraydin made a solid hold to go up 6-5, and broke Sun in the 12th to win her third consecutive three-set match in as many days.

Eraydin`s reward would be a semi-final clash against top seed Nina Bratchikova, who survived a fierce three-setter against sixth seed Thai Noppawan Lertcheewakaran.

Bratchikova won the first set 7-5, and was serving at 5-3 in the second, where she wasted two match-points.

The Russian top seed had another match-point in the next game, but Lertcheewakaran came up with an unreachable backhand down-the-line, before eventually winning the set in the tie-breaker.

Bratchikova, however, had too much firepower for the Thai lass in the decider, as she raced through to a 4-1 lead. Lertcheewakaran won two games in a rwo to reduce the deficit but the Russian won the next two games to seal her place in the semis.

Shlomo, who had shocked second seed Krunic in Round 1, fought hard all the way against seventh seed Belarussian Ilona Kremen, winning 1-6, 6-4, 6-4.

After being completely outplayed in the first set, Shlomo chased down every ball, and forced Kremen to go for the lines, resulting in the Belarussian making more and more errors. Shlomo won the encounter in an hour and 45 minutes.

Shlomo`s semi-final opponent would be third seed Slovenina Tadeja Majeric. The error-prone Slovenian overcame the challenge from China`s eighth seed Jia Jing Lu 3-6, 6-4, 6-0. After two evenly contested sets, Lu had no self-belief and strength in the decider, failing to win a single game.

Lu with her sister Jia-Xiang, would have another go at Majeric Friday in the doubles final, where the Slovenian is partnered by Swiss Conny Perrin.

Singles, QF: 3-Tadeja Majeric (Slo) bt 8-Jia Jing Lu (Chn) 3-6, 6-4, 6-0; Basak Eraydin (Tur) bt 4-Sheng-Nan Sun (Chn) 6-2, 2-6, 7-5; Keren Shlomo (Isr) bt 7-Ilona Kremen (Blr) 1-6, 6-4, 6-4; 1-Nina Bratchikova (Rus) bt6-Noppawan Lertcheewakaran (Tha) 7-5, 6-7(7-3), 6-3

Doubles, SF: 4-Jia Xiang Lu/Jia Jing Lu (Chn) bt Nidhi Chilumula/ Sheng Nan Sun 2-3 retired; (Sun - stomach injury); 1-Tadeja Majeric/ Conny Perrin bt Basak Eraydin/ Melis Sezer (Tur) 6-1, 3-6, (11-9)