Former French Open semi-finalist Nadia Podoroska and Czech teenager Linda Fruhvirtova set up an exciting semifinal clash at the WTA Chennai Open with contrasting wins on Friday evening.
Podoroska, trying to find her way back to the elite level after being off the tour for 10 months following the 2021 US Open, played her second consecutive three-set match, coming from a set down to beat 2014 Wimbledon finalist Eugenie Bouchard in two hours and 35 minutes.
After winning the first set 6-1, Bouchard appeared to struggle in the humid conditions and called for the trainer. While she returned and fought hard, Podoroska held out to win the second set 6-4. Down 3-0 in the final set, the Canadian appeared to have gotten a breather as play was suspended due to heavy lighting and rain. But Podoroska was too strong when they returned, finishing the match 1-6, 6-4, 6-2 in two hours and 54 minutes.
Bouchard, partnering Yanina Wickamyer, was later forced to retire from her doubles semi-final against Anna Blinkova and Natela Dzalamidze who were leading 6-3, 1-1 and advanced to Sunday’s final.
In the second quarter-final of the day, Czech teen Fruhvirtova came from 2-4 down in the first set and 0-3 in the second to upset second seed Varvara Gracheva 6-4, 6-3 in one hour and 34 minutes. The win takes Fruhvirtova, a former junior world No 2, into her first semi-final on the WTA Tour.
After the match, the Czech teen was felicitated in an on-court ceremony and awarded the Margaret Amritraj trophy for most promising young player of the tournament.
Third seed Magda Linette eased into the semifinal with a 7-6 (10), 6-3 win over seventh seed Rebecca Marino. In the final quarterfinal match of the night which began past midnight, Great Britain’s Katie Swan triumphed over Japanese qualifier Nao Hibino in three sets. Swan beat Hibino, 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 in a match which ended close to 3 am.
Chennai Open results on Friday
Women’s singles quarterfinal
Nadia Podoroska beat Eugenie Bouchard 1-6, 6-4, 6-2
Linda Fruhvirtova beat (2) Varvara Gracheva 6-4, 6-3
Magda Linette (3) beat Rebecca Marino (7) 7-6 (10), 6-3
Katie Swan beat Nao Hibino 6-3, 3-6, 6-3
Women’s doubles quarterfinal
Anna Blinkova and Natela Dzalamidze beat Eugenie Bouchard/ Yanina Wickmayer 6-3, 1-1 (retired)