Tennis: Linette battles into semis at WTA Malaysian Open

Magda Linette of Poland in action against Ying-Ying Duan of China.
Magda Linette of Poland in action against Ying-Ying Duan of China.PHOTO: EPA

KUALA LUMPUR (AFP) - Magda Linette served up the biggest upset of the WTA Malaysian Open in Kuala Lumpur on Friday (March 3), after the Pole saw off fifth seed Duan Ying-Ying 7-6 (7/3), 4-6, 6-1 and move into the semifinals.

The world number 93 needed two hours 15 minutes to dispose of the Chinese under stop start conditions at the TPC Kuala Lumpur due to torrential rain, but was glad her perseverance paid off in the end.

"It was difficult to stay focused throughout the match. You could see that I was nervous as well, but I am glad I calmed down and played my best tennis in the end," said Linette.

Standing in her way to the final is Japan's Nao Hibino, who saved five break points en route to a 7-6 (7/4), 6-3 success over Holland's Lesley Kerkhove.

Australia's Ashleigh Barty was another standout performer, the qualifier once again displaying another fine performance to oust China's Zhang Kai-Lin 6-0, 7-6 (7/2).

The world number 158 will contest her semifinal against China's Han Xinyun, who upset her sixth seed compatriot Wang Qiang 6-7 (7/4), 6-2, 6-4.