Pavlyuchenkova and Suarez-Navarro move into Portugal Open final

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The Portugal Open being played this week on the red clay of Lisbon has thrown up some very surprising results. In the top half of the draw, top seed Marion Bartoli lost to Shuai Peng. Also in this half of the draw is 53rd ranked Romina Oprandi of Switzerland, an extremely talented player who has always blown hot and cold during her career, but who plays glorious clay court tennis easily defeated Bertens and Peng to reach the quarters. There she faced Svetlana Kuznetsova, who beat Vavara Lepchenko and Galina Voskoboeva on her way to the quarters. Oprandi took all her chances and played superb tennis to beat the experienced Russian 6-2 6-2 in just over an hour, to book her place in the semis where she met 3rd seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova. The Russian took out Peer, Cabeza-Candela and 7th seed Elena Vesnina to reach the semis. The Swiss raced through the first set to love, serving brilliantly, in 31 minutes, but the Russian got an early break to take the second set 6-3. She then broke in the first game of the decider and ran up a 5-0 lead before taking the set 6-1.

Both 4th seeded Spaniard Carla Suarez Navarro and 40th ranked Kaia Kanepi of Estonia (who defeated 5th seed Sorana Cirstea) only lost a total of ten games each on their way to the semis. This match is a repetition of last year’s final at this tournament, which Kanepi won. The Estonian led 2-0 before Suarez Navarro won four in a row, went 5-4 up and served out the first set 6-4. The Spaniard raced away with the second set, losing just one game, to book her place in the final for the second year in a row.

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