Nara continues home-town run at WTA's Japan Women's Open

Oct. 11, 2013 at 7:42 AM
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OSAKA, Japan, Oct. 11 (UPI) -- Local favorite Kurumi Nara notched a three-set win Friday that put her into the semifinals of the HP Japan Women's Open Tennis tournament in Osaka, Japan.

Nara, a wild-card entrant who was born in Osaka, got by Polona Hercog 7-6 (7-4), 2-6, 6-1. She dropped her serve four times but three of those were in the second set. She put the match away by going 3-for-3 in break chances in the third set.

Nara will be seeking her first WTA finals berth Saturday when she meets fifth-seeded Eugenie Bouchard, who defeated Barbora Zahlavova Strycova 2-6, 6-4, 6-1 in the quarterfinals. Bouchard didn't manage a break opportunity in the first set but piled up 12 -- converting five times -- in the final two sets.

No. 3-seeded Samantha Stosur had 12 aces during her 6-1, 3-6, 6-3 victory over Misaki Doi. Stosur won more than two-thirds of the points on serve.

Madison Keys, the No. 6 seed, defeated Zheng Jie 6-3, 6-1 by taking more than half (25-of-47) of the points off Zheng's serve and finishing with five breaks.

Saturday's semifinal pairing will be the first career meeting before Bouchard and Nara. Stosur beat Keys 6-3, 6-4 earlier this year in their only previous match.

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