|By: Lauren Lynch
|Photo Credit: Natasha Peterson/ Corleve
(October 7, 2011) There are no more top 10 seeds left in the draws of Beijing for the semifinals with the exception of Andrea Petkovic after Caroline Wozniacki was upset by World No. 26 Flavia Pennetta.
This was the World No. 26’s first win over the top-ranked Dane in the six times the two have met. Soon after her singles match, the Italian teamed up with her partner Gisela Dulko to break Liezel Huber’s and Lisa Raymond’s winning streak.
"It's unbelievable to beat the No.1 in the world - I haven't done that so many times," Pennetta told the Associated Press that it was one of her best wins. "She's an unbelievable player and was really fighting hard until the last point, so I'm really proud of myself for closing it out today. But it's still just one match and I have to focus again because there's more to come."
The 29-year-old eddged her young opponent 3-6, 6-0, 7-6 (2) taking eight breaks of serve from Wozniacki and saving six of 12 attempts on both sides. The bagel second set was highlighted by the fact that the Italian won 10 of 11 games and despite the Dane being up in third set, she couldn’t play past Pennetta’s pace.
"I had 6-5, 30-0 and should have closed the match out," Wozniacki claimed and expressed later that she was playing at her best. "Flavia played some good points at that time, though, and I think I made a few wrong decisions. It's unlucky. I knew it was going to be tough out there beforehand."
Pennetta plays 11th-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska in the China Open semifinals with the Polish player ahead in their head-to-head series 2-1. Radwanka’s opponent Ana Ivanovic retired down 6-3, 3-2 at an hour and 14 minutes.
Ivanovic complained of back pain that she had been experiencing since last week.
She said, "I've been struggling with my back since the beginning of last week in Tokyo. I've had lots of treatment on it but it hasn't been getting much better. I went for an MRI here yesterday and the doctors are still looking at the results. I'm talking to physios and just making sure of the next steps. It's too early to say anything. I really hope I can still play tournaments in Luxembourg and Bali.”
The other semifinal will feature the qualifier Monica Niculescu of Romania , who ended Maria Kirilenko’s run 3-6, 6-3, 6-4, and ninth seed Andrea Petkovic, who ousted thirteenth-seeded Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-3, 7-6(2).
Niculescu achieved her best win of the week taking out top- ten Li Na and making it to her third-career semifinal. On Friday, she turned the match in her favor with two breaks in the second set and three in the third. She was able to keep her first serve in play more often, winning 46 of 56 total service points on her first serve.
Petkovic also was effective with her first serve and hit less double-faults at four to the Russian’s six. She broke her opponent in five of 10 attempts and let her serve go four times.
Suprisingly, Niculescu leads the German 2-0 in their head-to-head series.
"I'm so happy I can't find the words to describe my feelings now," Niculescu expressed after her win today. "Today's match was so tough, I really had to focus on every point. In the end it was like a dream come true. It's just unbelievable for me to be in the semifinals after coming through the qualifying - it's my best result and I believe it's good for me for next year because I'll be stronger and more confident.