Strasbourg, France | WTA 250 Internationaux de Strasbourg – Wild-card Elina Svitolina, the 2020 Internationaux de Strasbourg champion, defeated No 6 seed Varvara Gracheva from Russia to reach her first tour-level semi-final since returning from maternity leave in April.
The result is also Svitolina’s first Top 50 win of her come-back, and she will face Frenchwoman Clara Burel for a place in the final, who upset American Bernarda Pera, the No 4 seed, 6-2 3-6 6-4, in her quarter-final.
Svitolina, a former World No 3, plans to start her grass season in ‘s-Hertogenbosch after accepting a main draw wild-card, the tournament organisers announced this week, but the 28-year old will compete at Roland Garros first, where she is drawn to play Italy’s Martina Trevisan.
Burel, a home hope, fired 5 aces and saved 11 of 16 break points to advance to her second career tour-level semi-final, following her run to the 2021 Lausanne final.
The other semi-final will see Anna Blinkova play American Lauren Davis after the Russian defeated Emma Navarro from the USA, 6-4 6-4, to reach her second semi-final of 2023 and the first of her career on clay.
Davis, the 7th seed, got past Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, another Russian, 1-6 7-6(2) 6-0, in 2 hours, 34 minutes.
Rabat, Morocco | WTA 250 Grand Prix Son Altesse Royale La Princesse Lalla Meryem – No 2 seed Sloane Stephens won a marathon 3-setter, outlasting fellow American Peyton Stearns, 6-7(4) 6-3 7-6(6) after 2 hours and 46 minutes to reach the semi-finals in Rabat.
Stephens saved triple match point in the deciding tiebreak to beat Stearns in the all-American quarter-final, overcoming 5 double-faults and saved 7 of 13 break points, while she converted just 28 percent of her second serves against Stearns.
Advancing to her first tour-level semi-final since Guadalajara in February 2022, Stephens’ semi-final opponent is Italian Lucia Bronzetti, who defeated Alycia Parks, the 4th-seeded American, 6-2 6-0.
Top seed Martina Trevisan was forced to quit with an injury on Thursday in her quarter-final when the Italian was down a set to Austrian Julia Grabher, who advances to the semi-finals, 6-3, Retired.
Grabher takes on 20-year old Argentine Julia Riera in the Last 4, who rallied to upset 6th-seeded Yulia Putintseva of Kazakhstan, 5-7 6-4 6-2.