Pavlyuchenkova beats Krunic to reach semifinals in Linz
LINZ, Austria -- Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova defeated Serbian qualifier Aleksandra Krunic 6-3, 6-3 at the Generali Ladies on Friday to advance to her third semifinal of the season.
The seventh-seeded Russian will take on Kirsten Flipkens of Belgium for a place in Sunday's final. Johanna Larsson of Sweden and Anna-Lena Friedsam will contest Saturday's other semifinal.
The last seeded player left in the event, Pavlyuchenkova dropped serve once, at 5-2 in the second set, but broke back immediately to wrap up the win.
The 110th-ranked Flipkens beat Denisa Allertova of Czech Republic 6-3, 6-4.
Having recovered from a wrist injury that had sidelined her since the U.S. Open, Flipkens needed seven chances while serving at 5-3 to close out the opening set. She quickly built a 4-1 lead in the second before converting her first match point at 5-4.
Earlier, Larsson defeated Madison Brengle 7-5, 7-6 (6). The 59th-ranked Swede rallied from 5-2 down to take the opening set against her American opponent and saved a set point at 5-4 in the second.
It will be Larsson's third semifinal of the season and the first since winning her maiden WTA title in Bastad, Sweden, in July.
Friedsam beat Margarita Gasparyan of Russia 6-3, 6-4 to advance to her first semifinal in 11 months.
The German, who also reached the semifinals here last year, lost serve at 5-2 in the second set on the only break point she faced. She closed out the win in her next service game.
Friedsam has slipped to 118th in the rankings after spraining her ankle at the Gastein Ladies in July. She was out for six weeks and failed to win another match until reaching the quarterfinals in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, two weeks ago.