Mariya keeps date with Keothavong in Sunfeast semis

Kolkata, Sep 21 (UNI) Mariya Koryttseva of Ukraine and Anne keothavong of Britain set up the first semi-final clash of Sunfeast Open today with facile straight set victories.

In the first match today, Koryttseva beat Tatiana Poutchek 6-4, 6-2 while Anne Keothavong put aside Israel's Tzipora Obziler 6-1, 6-3 in the match that followed.

In the first quarter-final, Poutchek never got to start of the blocks except breaking the Ukranian in the very first game. In game number four, the girl from Harkov, Ukraine, unleashed her punishing forehand.

The fact that she has big serve is quite well known on the circuit, but today she started producing winners almost out of nowhere. The world number 164 never looked back. She made it sure that Poutchek stays on the baseline and capitalised on her lack of movement to spring one forehand after the other. The talented Koryttseva, who packed off Bartoli-slayer Vania King yesterday, got breaks in the fourth, eighth and tenth games to clinch the first set 6-4.

Laer, Poutchek admitted that she was not fully fit. ''I have a medical problem. I found it difficult to serve under the lights and I was not moving well,'' she said during the post match press conference.

Whatever resistance she had in the first set evaporated in the second as Koryttseva steamrolled her to achieve breaks in the second, fourth, sixth and eighth games to win in one hour and 33 minutes.

Keothavong, who had beaten Obziler in their last meeting, had her gameplan chalked out. She knew the Israeli is a good mover and hence finished off the points by coming to the net despite being a baseliner.

She broke the 34-year-old in the third and sixth games to clinch the first set 6-1.

In the second, the Israeli ex-armywoman tried to come back.

Trouble is, Keothavong has a solid service game. She won 80 per cent of the points on first serves and Obziler failed to get the crucial break.

Keothavong broke the veteran in the all-important second game and held her nerves under pressure to reach the last four.


Story first published: Friday, September 21, 2007, 19:37 [IST]
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