The two semi final matches in the 2013 Baku Cup tournament being played in Azerbaijan this week were completed on Saturday.
In the first match 4th seeded and 77th ranked Alexandra Cadantu of Roumania took on 7th seeded and 71st ranked Elina Svitolina of Ukraine in the bottom half of the draw. Svitolina had a difficult three setter in the first round, followed by two wins in straight sets – in the third round she took out the 2nd seed – while her opponent battled through three setters in each of her first three rounds. Svitolina got a break early on in the first set and allowed Cadantu just one game before wrapping up the set in half an hour 6-1. Games went with serve in the second set until Cadantu broke to lead 3-2 but Svitolina broke straight back and then led 4-3. Games again went with serve to 5-4 in the Ukrainian’s favour before she got a final break to take the set 6-4 and book her place in the final.
The semi in the top half of the draw was between two unseeded players – Israel’s Shahar Peer, who is ranked at 149; and 226th ranked qualifier Magda Linette of Poland. Linette lost just five games in her first match, won a seesaw three setter in the second round and was lucky to get through to the semis when her third round opponent had to retire when the Pole was trailing 3-6 1-4. Peer dropped the first set in both her first two rounds – in the second round she defeated the 3rd seed – and then got to the semis with a straight set win. Peer began, broke to go 3-1 ahead and closed out the set at 6-1 in just over half an hour. The Israeli took the first two games the second set before the Pole got on the scoreboard. Peer then reeled off the next four games to take the set and match in an hour and eight minutes to progress to the final.