Slovakian Magdalena Rybarikova was the first through to the semifinals of the Moorilla Hobart International after beating qualifier Melinda Czink of Hungary in a tiebreak, 6-0 1-6 7-6 (9-7) today.
The promising 20-year-old Rybarikova broke into the WTA Tour’s top 100 players last year and is currently ranked 57th in the world.
Rybarikova scored the greatest win of her career, over tournament top seed Flavia Pennetta of Italy on Tuesday, to advance to her quarterfinal against the 26 year old world No.100.
Rybarikova admitted to a mental lapse after her win over Pennetta.
“I was the favourite for this match and she is from qualifying, and she was a little bit tired I think, but she played very well,” Rybarikova told reporters.
Rybarikova made it to the third round of the US Open and played in the semifinal of a WTA tournament in Tashkent last year.
She said she will have to play at her best to progress to the final of the Australian Open lead-up event in Hobart.
Rybarikova will meet the winner of the next quarterfinal match on the Hobart centre court, between Czech Iveta Benesova and Argentine Gisela Dulko.
Disappointed after going so close, Czink said she was tired from qualifying in Hobart, and in the singles and doubles in Brisbane before that, but she did not offer that as an excuse for the loss.
“I’m upset about today’s match because I had it and because in third set I was going for it, taking risks all the way, even in the tiebreaker, and I just made some mistakes,” Czink said.
Czink will now travel to Melbourne where she has a main draw entry into the Australian Open.
The Hobart tournament’s eight seeds had all been eliminated after the second round.