Monterrey (Mexico), March 5 (IANS) Britain’s Heather Watson upset second-seeded Dane Caroline Wozniacki 7-5, 6-4 to reach the semi-finals of the-the Abierto Monterrey Afirme tennis tournament here.
The 84th-ranked Watson dictated play during most of Friday’s hard-fought contest against Wozniacki, who seemed uncomfortable on the court at times and consistently struggled to hold her own serve, reports Efe.
Watson broke the 22nd-ranked Dane’s serve in the 11th game thanks to strong returning and then wrapped up the first set with a service hold.
Wozniacki applied pressure at the start of the second set, but her failure to convert a couple of break-point chances in the opening game proved costly, especially when she dropped serve to go down 2-0.
“I’m very happy with how I played today. I thought I played very well – I needed to against Caroline because she’s a great player,” Watson was quoted as saying on the WTA Tour’s Web site.
In other quarter-final action Friday at the Abierto Monterrey Afirme, Frenchwoman Caroline Garcia, last year’s runner-up, rallied from an early 1-4 deficit to defeat countrywoman Pauline Parmentier 7-5, 6-2 and will play Watson in Saturday’s second semi-final.
On the other half of the draw, 20-year-old Estonian Anett Kontaveit, the revelation of this year’s event, continued to impress the Mexican crowd with a 6-1, 6-4 victory over American Nicole Gibbs in just 54 minutes.
Boasting a powerful forehand, effective backhand and engaging personality, Kontaveit showed why she is regarded as one of the top up-and-comers on the WTA Tour.
Her opponent in Saturday’s first semi-final will be Belgian world No. 73 Kirsten Flipkens, who upset British No. 4 seed Johanna Konta 6-3, 6-7 (2-7), 6-1.
The Abierto Monterrey Afirme will pay out $250,000 in total prize money this year, including $43,000 to the winner of Sunday’s final.