Dubai: Top seed Viktorija Golubic lived up to her billing with a swift 6-3, 6-4 win over eighth-seeded Cagla Buyukakcay of Turkey to book her place in the semi-finals of the inaugural Fujairah International Women Tournament on Thursday.
The 28-year-old Swiss girl, who had peaked at world No.51 in 2017, took just over an hour to set aside her Turkish opponent in the early match at the Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Tennis Centre at the Fujairah Tennis and Country Club (FTCC).
Her opponent in the last four will be former girls Wimbledon champion Daria Snigur after the Ukrainian teenager eased her way past sixth-seeded Cristina Bucsa 6-1, 6-2. The lower end of the draw will also witness an engrossing semi-final after the second and fifth-seeded players made their way through in contrasting styles.
No.2 Clara Tauson was an easy 7-6 (3), 6-3 winner against qualifier Maja Chawlinska while No.5 Kurumi Nara from Japan had to dig in deep for a marathon 6-7 (5), 7-6 (4), 6-2 win against Spanish qualifier Eva Guerrero Alvarez.
Golubic was pleased with the steady improvement in her game against a tricky Buyukakcay, who in fact, is her doubles partner during this tournament. “I think I did well to hang in there at the beginning and get a measure of what her ploy was,” Golubic said.
“We are good friends and that made things even more tough as both of us know each other’s game very well. The good thing was that the rallies were long and we could come up with some exciting tennis in the end,” the top seed related.
“Tomorrow [Friday] will be a completely different match and I will be ready to give it my best against Daria [Snigur],” she added.
Golubic will set things rolling in the singles semi-final schedule on Friday when she meets Snigur at 11 am, while Tauson will take on Nara in the second semi-final not before 1 pm. This will be followed by the doubles semi-finals between the fourth-seeded pair of Cagla Buyukakcay and Viktorija Golubic and the No.3 Indo-British pairing of Rutuja Bhosale and Naiktha Bains.
The winning pair will earn the right to play En-shuo Liang and Xiaodi You in Saturday’s final, to be held at 11 am, followed by the singles final. Golubic has won one singles title on the WTA Tour, as well as eight singles and 14 doubles titles on the ITF Women’s Circuit so far. In April 2017, she reached her best singles ranking of world No. 51 and in mid-January 2018, she peaked at No. 63 in the doubles rankings.
(Singles Quarter-finals) Daria Snigur bt Cristina Bucsa  6-1, 6-3; Viktorija Golubic  bt Cagla Buyukakcay  6-3, 6-4;  Kurumi Nara x Eva Guerrero Alvarez [Q] 6-7 (3), 7-6 (4), 6-2;  Clara Tauson bt Maja Chawlinska [Q] 7-6 (3), 6-3.
(Doubles semi-finals) En-shuo Liang/Xiaodi You bt Anastasia Gasanova/Soyfa Lansere 6-1, 6-2.
Order of Play (Friday) 11 am: Viktorija Golubic x Daria Snigur; 1 pm: Kurumi Nara x Clara Tauson; 2 pm: Cagla Buyukakcay/Viktorija Golubic x Naiktha Bains/Rutuja Bhosale.