Seventh-seeded Maria Sakkari of Greece fought
off four match points in the second set before rallying to stun
top-seeded Elina Svitolina of Ukraine 1-6, 7-6 (3), 6-3 on
Friday and reach the semifinals at the Mubadala Silicon Valley
Classic in San Jose, Calif.
Sakkari was broken in all four of her service games in the first
set and again early in the second set, which she trailed 4-1 and
5-2. Down 5-3 with Svitolina serving for the match, Sakkari
survived three match points before converting her fifth break
point of the game to stay alive.
The 24-year-old escaped another match point on her own serve,
held to make it 5-5, then broke Svitolina at love. Svitolina
promptly broke back at love to force a tiebreaker, but Sakkari
won the final four points of the tiebreaker to take the set.
In the third set, Sakkari again fell down a break early, but she
broke back immediately and did so again to lead 4-2 before
Sakkari, who won her first career title at the Morocco Open in
May, seeks her second straight final appearance in San Jose,
having lost to Romania's Mihaela Buzarnescu in 2018's title
match. She will face China's Saisai Zheng, who battled past
fourth-seeded American Amanda Anisimova 5-7, 7-5, 6-4 late
Friday night, in the semifinals.
Meanwhile, second-seeded Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus rallied to
top sixth-seeded Spaniard Carla Suarez Navarro 3-6, 6-2, 6-4.
Sabalenka overcame nine double faults in victory.
She heads to the semifinals to face fifth-seeded Donna Vekic of
Croatia, a 7-5, 6-0 winner over American Kristie Ahn.
American teenager Caty McNally upset the last seeded player
remaining in the tournament, taking down Taiwan's Su-Wei Hsieh
6-4, 6-3 to reach the semifinals.
McNally, 17, totaled seven double faults but broke Hsieh five
times in seven chances, including once to open each set.
In the semifinals, McNally will face Italian Camila Giorgi, who
dispatched Kazakhstan's Zarina Diyas 6-3, 6-2.
The other semifinal includes another American, Jessica Pegula,
who downed countrywoman Lauren Davis 6-2, 7-6 (2) while saving
eight of nine break points.
Pegula will face Russian Anna Kalinskaya, who survived France's
Kristina Mladenovic 6-4, 4-6, 6-2.
--Field Level Media
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