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Morita advances after 3-hour WTA quarterfinal in Nanjing

Morita advances after 3-hour WTA quarterfinal in Nanjing
Ayumi Morita, shown in a 2012 file photo, played for the more than 3 hours Friday before finishing off a quarterfinal win at the WTA's 125K-level Nanjing Ladies Open in China. UPI Photo/Monika Graff | License Photo

NANJING, China, Nov. 1 (UPI) -- Ayumi Morita survived a 3-hour marathon match Friday in earning a spot in the semifinals of the WTA's 125K-level Nanjing Ladies Open.

Morita, seeded fourth, edged past No. 8-seeded Anna Schmiedlova 6-7 (8-10), 7-6 (7-0), 7-5 in 3 hours, 10 minutes. Morita won just three more points -- 131-128 -- over the match but had three third-set breaks to advance from the quarterfinals.

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Both players had three breaks in the first set and two in the second, leaving the sets to be decided in tiebreakers. Schmiedlova managed two more breaks in the final set but Morita was able to convert three of her 10 break opportunities -- she was 8-of-23 in the match -- for the win.

Second-seeded Yanina Wickmayer posted her third straight-set win of the tournament in taking out Anna-Lena Friedsam 6-3, 6-4 behind six breaks. No. 3-seeded Zhang Shuai easily handled Zheng Saisai 6-1, 6-2 by winning about three-quarters of the points on serve and cashing in five of six break chances.

Qualifier Jarmila Gajdosova gained her semifinal berth with a 6-3, 2-6, 6-1 win over Wang Qiang, winning two-thirds of the points in the third set.

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Saturday will mark the first career meeting between Zhang and Wickmayer, who play in the first semifinal. Morita goes against Gajdosova in the second. They have split their six previous meetings 3-3.

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