Swiss wildcard Teichmann, top seed Barty in Cincinnati semifinals

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Cincinnati, Aug 21 (IANS) Wildcard Jil Teichmann of Switzerland upset her higher-ranked countrywoman, Tokyo Olympic Games champion Belinda Bencic, to earn a semifinal spot at the Western & Southern Open and set up a clash with No. 5 seed Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic, who advanced after Paula Badosa of Sapin retired due to a right shoulder injury.

In an all-Swiss quarterfinal on Friday night, world No. 76 Teichmann ousted the 10th-seeded Bencic, 6-3, 6-2, needed just 71 minutes to end countrywoman Bencic’s nine-match winning streak.

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The victory continues a stellar week for Teichmann, who earned her career-best win by ranking when she eliminated world No.2 Naomi Osaka in the Round of 16 of the tournament.

Teichmann, twice a WTA singles champion on clay courts in 2019 (Prague and Palermo), has now replicated the hardcourt success she had earlier in 2021 before her season was derailed by left leg injuries.

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Against Bencic, Teichmann was down 0-40 in her very first service game, but completely turned it around from there, winning 84 per cent of her first-service points. Teichmann saved all five of the break points she faced in the affair. Teichmann is bidding to become the fourth straight unseeded finalist at the event.

“I felt good since the beginning,” Teichmann told after her win. “I served well…the short balls, I went in. I was defending well. I was moving good. I think everything kind of worked out for me today.”

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Next up for Teichmann will be a semifinal clash with No.5 seed Karolina Pliskova. It will be the first meeting between the two. Pliskova, this year’s Wimbledon runner-up, moved into the semifinals after Paula Badosa of Spain retired due to a right shoulder injury while Pliskova was leading 7-5, 2-0.

Top seed Ashleigh Barty of Australia reached her sixth semifinal of the year, and second at the Western & Southern Open, with a straight-sets defeat of ninth seed Barbora Krejcikova of the Czech Republic. She will face Angelique Kerber of Germany, who progressed after Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic was forced to retire.

Barty defeated No.9 seed Krejcikova 6-2, 6-4 in one hour and 11 minutes to reach her second straight Western & Southern Open semifinal. Barty will meet the unseeded Kerber. The German moved through after No.11 seed Kvitova was forced to retire trailing 6-3, 3-3.

Wimbledon champion Barty extended her season record to 38-7 with her victory, in which she recovered from 2-4 down in the second set. It was Barty’s second win in as many meetings with French Open champion Krejcikova, having also defeated the Czech 7-5, 6-3 in the fourth round of Wimbledon.

Barty also made the last four in Cincinnati in 2019 with victories over Maria Sharapova and Maria Sakkari before being stopped by Svetlana Kuznetsova. She missed the 2020 edition of the tournament due to the Covid-19 pandemic.



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