Chakvetadze reaches semifinals

July 28, 2007 12:30 AM
STANFORD, CALIFORNIA (TICKER) -- Anna Chakvetadze continues to enjoy success on the hardcourt.

The top-seeded Russian rallied to defeat No. 7 Katarina Srebotnik of Slovenia, 4-6, 6-2, 6-2 on Friday to advance to the semifinals of the the $600,000 Bank of the West Classic.

Though it didn't come easy, Chakvetadze has won seven consecutive hardcourt matches and is in position to capture her second singles title in week.

"The first set I was really up and down," Chakvetadze said. "I felt like if I could hold my serve I could turn it around. I started playing more aggressively.

"Katarina was a little more aggressive than me in the first set. She made me run all over the court. In the second set I started serving well and returning better. I still think my game is up and down. It's tough. I don't know why, but sometimes I don't concentrate like I should."

Chakvetadze claimed her fifth career title and third this season on Sunday at the Western and Southern Financial Group Women's Open in Cincinnati, also a hardcourt event. Ranked eighth in the world, the 20-year-old also has claimed titles at Hobart and 's-Hertogenbosch this season.

"I always try to play one step better," Chakvetadze said. "Until you're No. 1 there are a lot of steps to go and a lot of improvements to make. You always have to concentrate on your game. I always want to improve my rankings and my tennis. If I improve my tennis, the rankings will come."

Chakvetadze's semifinal opponent will be No. 3 Daniela Hantuchova, who advanced on Friday with a 7-5, 6-3 victory against qualifier Olga Govortsova of Russia.

"(Govortsova) came out playing unbelievably well. I just had to be patient, just make her play every ball. I was very impressed by the way she played," Hantuchova said.

In search of her third career singles title, the Slovakian has split four career meetings with Chakvetadze. Hantuchova won their only hardcourt meeting, 6-4, 6-1 in 2005 at Luxembourg.

The upset of the quarterfinals was turned in by Sania Mirza of India, who ousted No. 4 Patty Schnyder of Switzerland, 7-6 (7-2), 6-1, in Friday's late match. It is the second consecutive upset for the 20-year-old, who bounced sixth-seeded Tatiana Golovin from the tournament in the second round Thursday.

The most successful women's tennis player from India, Mirza is the only player from her country to win a title on the Tour, doing so in 2005 at Hyderabad.

Mirza's semifinal opponent is eighth seed Sybille Bammer, who advanced on Friday with a 6-2, 6-1 win over wild card Lilia Osterloh of the United States.

The Austrian was challenged by the former Stanford standout, facing 12 break points during the 76-minute hardcourt match. However, the 27-year-old managed to save 11 of those points while breaking Osterloh six times.

"I was pretty exhausted after beating (No. 2 seed Marion Bartoli of France in the second round)," Osterloh said. "Now it's just a matter of my physical fitness in playing against the top players."

Making her first semifinals appearance since April, Bammer has never player Mirza.

First prize at this hardcourt event is $88,265.