By Alberto Amalfi | Friday, February 3, 2017
Dominika Cibulkova swept Elena Vesnina and Kristina Mladenovic toppled defending champion Roberta Vinci to reach the St. Petersburg semifinals.
Photo credit: St. Petersburg Ladies Trophy/@Formula TX
Seeds were scattered on quarterfinal day of quarterfinal retribution in St. Petersburg.
Continuing her quest for her first career WTA title, Kristina Mladenovic toppled defending champion Roberta Vinci, 6-1, 6-4, to advance to the St. Petersburg Ladies Trophy semifinals.
More: Halep Withdraws With Knee Injury
The 51st-ranked Frenchwoman broke serve four times in an 87-minute triumph, avenging her three-set loss to Vinci in the 2015 US Open quarterfinals.
Mladenovic snapped the sixth-seeded Italian’s six-match winning streak in St. Petersburg.
No. 2 seeded Dominika Cibulkova powered past Olympic doubles gold medal champion Elena Vesnina, 6-3, 6-3, to advance to the semifinals.
Cibulkova avenged a Wimbledon quarterfinal last summer, leveling her record with Vesnina at four wins apiece.
The fifth-seeded Vesnina, one of three Russians contesting quarterfinals, committed 16 more unforced errors than WTA Finals champion Cibulkova.
The fifth-ranked Slovak will play Yulia Putintseva for a spot in Sunday’s final.
Putintseva battled past third-seeded Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova, 6-3, 6-7 (4), 7-5.
Cibulkova scored her 398th career win today and could attain her 400th career win should she raise the title trophy.
Mladenovic, who thrashed Australian Open finalist Venus Williams, 6-3, 6-1, in the round of 16, will face Russian wild card Natalia Vikhlyantseva for a spot in the final.
The 19-year-old Russian reached her first WTA semifinal when top-seeded Simona Halep withdrew before today’s quarterfinal with a recurring left knee injury.
By reaching the final four, Vikhlyantseva is projected to crack the Top 100 when the new WTA rankings are released on Monday. Mladenovic won their lone prior meeting last season.
“I already met with Vikhlyantseva on court last year,” Mladenovic said. “She is a young promising player and it’s not fortuitous that she reached the semis here. She is a Russian, so the crowd will be behind her, but I do hope my tiny group of supporters will cheer for me as well.”