Fourth-seeded Victoria Azarenka of Belarus rolled to a 6-4, 6-1 victory over seventh-seeded Elise Mertens on Friday to reach the semifinals of the JT Banka Ostrava Open in the Czech Republic.
Azarenka won eight of the final nine games while following up last month's U.S. Open quarterfinal win over Mertens of Belgium. Azarenka will face Maria Sakkari in the semis after the Greek rallied for a 3-6, 6-3, 6-1 victory over Ons Jabeur of Tunisia.
"I feel she adjusted her game a bit from New York, so it took me a bit of time to adapt to that," Azarenka said of Mertens. "Today I didn't expect the same result, but I did feel like I was really in control after I adjusted my game. I felt I made it very difficult for her to earn points."
American Jennifer Brady also reached the semifinals as she rallied for a 6-7 (5), 6-3, 6-1 triumph over Russian qualifier Veronika Kudermetova. Brady recorded 14 aces among her 27 winners while Kudermetova had 31 winners but also committed 38 unforced errors.
Brady will face third-seeded Aryna Sabalenka, who posted a 0-6, 6-4, 6-0 victory over Spanish qualifier Sara Sorribes Tormo. Sabalenka, from Belarus, lost the first 10 games of the match before turning it around and winning the final 12 games.
--Field Level Media