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Bouchard to play Cibulkova in Hobart semis

14 January 2016, 19:00

Hobart - Canadian star Eugenie Bouchard took just 68 minutes to storm into the semi-finals of the rain-interrupted Hobart International on Thursday.

The former world number five came on the court late in the evening after hours of rain delays to inflict a 6-3, 6-2 win over Italian second seed Camila Giorgi.

Bouchard set up a semi-final Friday with world number 37 and third seed Dominika Cibulkova of the Slovak Republic.

Also read: Azarenka strolls into final showdown with Kerber

"I'm happy I was able to have a lot of energy considering how long we waited today," Bouchard said.

She said staying mentally prepared for the match during the frustrating rain delays was one of the toughest challenges.

"I tried not to think too much about it (the match). I don't want to play the match five times over in my head before I actually step out onto the court.

"But it's the same for both players so I can't really complain, that is the way tennis is. You can't compete against mother nature."

Cibulkova overcame Dutch qualifier Kiki Bertens, 7-5, 6-3 in a match that spanned more than seven hours, including three lengthy rain interruptions.

"The conditions were really tough," the Slovak told reporters.

"I don't remember that I have such tough conditions and match and starting and stopping so many times and today was really a mental thing.

"I came back three times on the court and I won even stronger than I was before."

France's Alize Cornet strolled into the semis without playing a shot after her ninth seeded German opponent Mona Barthel withdrew before their match with a back injury.

Barthel sustained the injury during her previous match against Japan's Naomi Osaka.

Cornet will play Swede Johanna Larsson, who overcame exhausted defending champion Heather Watson in the early hours of Friday.

Watson won her held-over second round match 6-7 (3/7), 6-2, 7-6 (7/3) and saved three match points in the process against Romanian fourth seed Monica Niculescu.

Then she came out near midnight on a cold night but could not sustain her form after winning the opening set to bow out 3-6, 6-4, 6-4 to Larsson in two hours 12 minutes.



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