Hyderabad: Second-seeded Thai Tamarine Tanasugarn used a superior baseline game to see off Italy’s Flavia Pennetta 7-5, 6-4 and reach the final of the WTA Indian Open Friday.
The 25-year-old will be gunning for her maiden WTA Tour crown but will have her hands full against fifth seed Iroda Tulyaganova of Uzbekistan, who came from behind to beat Japan’s Akiko Morigami 2-6, 6-3, 6-2.
“It was a tough match, but I changed my strategy in the second set,” Tulyaganova said. “The longer I stayed on court, the more confident I grew.”
Tulyaganova, 21, has already won three singles titles, and almost ousted former world No. 1 American Lindsay Davenport in a tough three-setter at the Australian Open last month.
“Playing against Davenport in the Australian Open gave me a lot of confidence that I can play even against the top-10 players,” she said. “I have a good chance tomorrow.”
Akiko started off the semi-final promisingly, bagging the first set comfortably after squandering two set-points. The chubby-faced Tulyaganova was not one to cave in. She used her experience and guile to prolong the rallies and wear down the young Japanese. Akiko fell into the trap and started making mistakes.
“I have come here to win the championship and will go all out to achieve that goal,” Tulyaganova said. “Though crosscourt shots are my strength, I played more down-the-line today as Akiko was countering my crosscourt well.”
In a doubles semi-final match, top seeds Iroda and Elena Likhovtseva of Russia overcame fourth seeds Jelena Kostanic of Croatia and Katalin Marosi of Hungary 6-4 4-6 7-6 (7-2). (Reuters)