Ana advances to semis

Ana advances to semis

Ana's encouraging run in Carlsbad continued as she defeated fourth seed Roberta Vinci 6-1, 6-7(1), 6-2 to reach the last four of the Southern California Open.

The result was a marked contrast to the last meeting between the pair, almost a year ago, when world No.11 Vinci triumphed 6-0. 6-0.

With vengeance perhaps in mind, Ana raced into a 5-0 lead in the blink of an eye. She wrapped up the opening set in just 25 minutes.

Such was Ana's dominance off the ground, she prospered despite producing a first serve percentage of only 42. She did not face a single break point in the opening set, dropping just five points on serve.

Things quickly changed in the second set, with Vinci holding and scoring an immediate break, due largely to Ana serving three double faults. The Italian had a break point for a 4-0 lead that Ana saved. The 25-year-old then hauled herself back into the set, breaking back and eventually losing it on a tiebreak, 7-1.

The match followed a similar pattern to Ana's encounter with another Italian, world No.6 Sara Errani, in Miami earlier this year. On that occasion Ana comfortably won the first set, only to narrowly lose the second (Ana led 6-1, 4-4 in both matches). Whereas in Florida Ana faltered in the third set, today she showed her improved fitness levels by more than matching Vinci.

Ana missed a break point in the fourth game but could not be denied two games later: she broke to lead 4-2 and added another break as the 30-year-old served to stay in the match.

Ana's reward is a semi-final meeting on Saturday with world No.3 Victoria Azarenka. The two-time Australian Open winner beat world No.39 Ursula Radwanska 6-1. 6-2 in the quarter-finals.

The match is scheduled to take place at 2pm local time on Saturday (11pm Central European Time; 5pm Eastern Time). Click here for live point-by-point scoring from La Costa Resort & Spa.