Portoroz | Bodgan downs Haddad Maia at Slovenia Open

Before the rain arrived in Portoroz on Friday, Ana Bogdan pulled off a 3-set upset of 2nd-seeded Beatriz Haddad Maia, while Elena Rybakina advanced by virtue of a walkover given by Lesia Tsurenko but the last quarter-final match between Katerina Siniakova and Jasmine Paolini had to be held over until Saturday.

It’s huge to remember that, on any given day, anyone can win. There are not many matches where you can turn on the TV - especially in women’s tennis - and it’s a quick match. Harriet Dart

Bogdan was on fire ahead of the US Open, reaching a WTA 250 final in Warsaw and taking the title at a WTA 125K event in Iasi, and added the scalp of Brazil’s Haddad Maia, the Toronto runner-up, to her earlier upset in the week of Ajla Tomljanovic from Australia, a US Open quarter-finalist.

Her 6-1 1-6 7-5 win over Haddad Maia took Bogdan 2 hours and 37 minutes to claim, and she has now reached her second tour-level semi-final of 2022 at the WTA Zavarovalnica Sava Portoroz.

It is the Romanian’s 4th career Top 20 win, and her first since she defeated Kristina Mladenovic at the 2018 Australian Open.

29-year old Bogdan may meet her match in Rybakina, though, as the Wimbledon champion from Kazakstan is finding her footing again, having scored 4 wins and 3 losses in the lead-up to the US Open, but the defeats came to extremely worthy opposition, Daria Kasatkina, Cori Gauff and Madison Keys.

Only later did her form dipped slightly as, in New York, she went out to Clara Burel in the opening round, before struggling massively against Laura Siegemund in the opening round here, and then scored a comfortable straight sets win over Czech Tereza Martincova.

With the quarter-final between Siniakova and Paolini rained off, Friedsam is without an opponent as yet after the German, who upset top seed Emma Raducanu in the 2nd-round, prevailed over Diane Parry from France, 1-6 7-6(4) 6-3.

Freidsam needed 2 hours and 37 minutes to outlast the Frenchwoman.


Harriet Dart (R) and Emma Raducanu are good friends as well as teammates representing Great Britain

© Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Meanwhile, British No 2 Harriet Dart has been defending Raducanu following the 19-year old’s latest defeat in the round of 16 in a topsy-turvy contest against Friedsam, a former Top 50 player.

Dart was hoping to eclipse her compatriot in the rankings, but the 26-year-old suffered a frustrating 1st-round exit herself at the hands of Martincova.

“It’s huge to remember that, on any given day, anyone can win,” Dart told Express Sport. “There are not many matches where you can turn on the TV – especially in women’s tennis – and it’s a quick match.”

The supportive relationship between Dart and Raducanu highlights the tight-knit group representing Britain on the international stage these days.

“A lot of us are a similar age, and although some are a little bit younger, and a little bit older, we’ve all grown up playing together,” Dart added. “We all got a lot closer, and we all practice at the same venue, while we share same fitness coaches and physios.

“I think everyone just wants everyone to do well – and I feel if one person is doing well, it motivates someone else to do well, too.

“We have a really nice Fed Cup team, and hopefully we can be real contenders in the years to come.”


Timea Babos used Instragram to call out Alena Fomina for cheating in their doubles quarter-final match at Portoroz

© Graham Denholm/Getty Images

Elsewhere, there was controversy, with Timea Babos accusing Alena Fomina of cheating her way into the doubles semi-final.

Visibly frustrated following her doubles exit, Babos and her partner Tamara Zidansek lost to Fomina & Ingris Gamarra Martins, 6-4 2-6 [10-8], who advanced into the Last 4.

After the match, Babos took to Instagram, where she accused Fomina of cheating in the match tiebreak, claiming that when the ball went out, it had touched her racket, and the Russian had remained silent.

“Just sitting on the street in Portoroz right after the doubles match we lost,” Babos said. “We had a super tiebreak 8-7 and my partner hit a backhand that touched the player’s —Fomina’s racquet, and from there, it went long.

“The umpire didn’t see it and Fomina lied and cheated. Fair play doesn’t exist anymore, I guess. And also, what was the chair umpire watching? We kind of lost our job today and they just go on with no penalty. Soon, I will post the video too.

“Congrats Fomina-Klotz. I hope you enjoy the victory with cheating.”

Babos & Zidansek were twice down by a break in the first set, and recovered both as the two pairs were tied to 4 games apiece after the opening 8 games.

They continued to struggle on serve as Fomina & Gamarra Martins earned their 3rd break to open a 5-4 lead and then served out for the first set in the following game.

Babos & Zidansek broke their opponents twice in the second to force the affair into the deciding match tiebreak, where they held an 8-6 lead before Fomina & Gamarra Martins won the next 4 points to overturn the deficit and complete a three-set win.




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