Barthel and Flipkens to face each other in Hobart semis

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Mona Barthel of Germany, the 9th seed in the Moorilla Hobart International tournament being played this week in the capital of Tasmania, beat the unseeded Bulgarian Tsvetana Pironkova, to book her place in the semi final in the top half of the draw. These two players had not met before and, as they were both playing well, a good match was anticipated. In the end, it was Barthel who came out on top, winning in straight sets 6-3 6-3 in three minutes over the hour. In analysing this match, Barthel had the better stats in every area of the game, but she especially scored well on her break point conversions.

Kirsten Flipkens of Belgium, who showed that her game was improving rapidly at the end of the 2012 season to go up the rankings to number 51, took on the Romanian Monica Niculescu, who is ranked at 54, in the quarter finals to fight for a place in the semis. The first set went to Niculescu 6-2, but Flipkens came back in the second which was much more closely fought, to take it 6-4. This seems to break the back of the Romanian, as she capitulated and let the Belgian take it to love. She will take on Mona Barthel in the semis, a player she beat in the only previous meeting.

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