Who are the unlikely final four at the WTA Charleston Open?
The Charleston Open features an unlikely cast of semi-finalists after all top 10 seeds were eliminated in the first clay tournament of the WTA calendar.
Nine of the 10 top seeds, including Sofia Kenin and Petra Kvitova, departed before Friday’s quarterfinals, with Ash Barty becoming the next seed to be eliminated after losing to No 71-ranked Paula Badosa in straight sets.
Tennishead looks at the four unlikely semi-finalists, who are all in search of their first WTA title:
Before the Charleston Open, the 23-year-old Spaniard had never beaten a Top 20-ranked player. Now the clay specialist has two big wins, against Belinda Bencic in the second round and Barty, who was on an eight-match win streak off the back of her Miami Open victory.
The 26-year-old from Montenegro is ranked No 91 in the world and finds herself in a WTA 500 semi final for the first time in her career. Kovinic is also attempting to reach her first final in almost five years.
Jabeur is the most recognisable face in the final four and unsurprisingly, is the highest seed left at No 12. Surprisingly, Jabeur is into her first ever tour semi-final on the clay surface.
The 26-year-old Tunisian is well-known for her unorthodox style and frequent use of the drop shot, making her an exciting, unpredictable player to watch.
Coming in to her quarter-final against Sloane Stephens, the 23-year-old Russian would have been hoping history didn’t repeat itself after losing all four of her clay court quarter finals.
Fortunately for Kudermetova, she dispatched Stephens comprehensively in straight sets, and is now into her second WTA 500 semi final of the year following a finals appearance in Abu Dhabi.
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