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Mikaelian flies Swiss flag at Basel WTA tournament

Mikaelian cools off on court at the PreCon WTA tournament in Basel

(Keystone)

The young Swiss tennis star, Marie-Gaïané Mikaelian (WTA 167) has won through to the semi-finals of a WTA event for only the second time in her career.

At the $140,000 PreCon WTA tournament currently underway in the Swiss city of Basel, Mikaelian put in a sensational performance to defeat Daniela Hantuchova in straight sets, 7-6 (7-5), 7-6 (7-4).

Hantuchova, who is ranked over 100 places above the 17-year-old Swiss of Armenian extraction, failed to find the form in her quarter-final match against Mikaelian that had kept her hopes alive of taking the tournament title.

Mikaelian needed exactly two hours to overcome her opponent in what became a battle of nerves as much as a match of skill.

As Hantuchova walked off the court to consider what had gone wrong, Mikaelian seemed simply astonished that she had pulled off another victory.

"It's just unbelievable," she said. "My level of play was really excellent, and I managed to weaken my opponent by playing a series of long shots."

"Above all," she added, "I won more of the points that mattered than her."

Mikaelian, who now lives in Lausanne, is likely to rise around 40 places in the WTA rankings by the time the updated list is published next Monday.

Mikaelian will now go on to play Israel's Anna Smashnova (WTA 122) in Saturday's semi-final tie.

The remaining place in the final will be filled by the winner of the weekend's other semi-final encounter between Spain's Cristina Torrens-Valero and the Czech Republic's Adriana Gersi.

swissinfo with agencies


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