Semifinalists set for Orange Bowl.


16-year-old wild card Sachia Vickery survived losing the first set to unseeded Varvara Flink of Russia, before closing out a tight match 26 62 76, to book her place in the semifinals. It was a tense and nervous quarterfinal encounter in which the young American player wasted two opportunities to serve for the match at 5-4 and 6-5 in the decisive set. “It was a very important match for me, so I felt a bit nervous on the ground” said Vickery. “From the beginning of the second set I decided to changed my strategy and I was able to come back from a set down, just as I did on Thursday against Maciejewska” added the determined teenager. Vickery – who trains at the Mouratoglou Academy and was mentored by Richard Williams, father of Venus and Serena – is aiming to follow in the footsteps of her compatriot Lauren Davis, the 2010 Orange Bowl champion. Vickery will face second seed Yulia Putintseva of Russia in the semifinal. Putintseva also had to fight back from a set down in order to defeat American Samantha Crawford, eventually winning 75 46 63. Putintseva has had a successful 2011 campaign, which has included reaching the semifinals of a Grade A championship on no less than three occasions. However, a first Grade A title has eluded her thus far. The pair’s last encounter, at the Grade 1 Canadian Open in August, saw Vickery win in straight-sets.

In the top half of the draw, top seed Eugenie Bouchard of Canada eased past Croatian seventh seed Donna Vekic, 63 62. Bouchard remains on course to claim a second Grade A title on clay, nine months after her first triumph at the Gerdau Cup. Bouchard is clearly in good form, following on from recording her best WTA result to date at the $50.000 Toronto tournament in October, where she defeated American Alexa Glatch, ranked 152 in the WTA rankings. Bouchard’s next opponent will be fifth seed Anett Kontaveit (EST) who recorded a three set win over third seed Indy De Vroome of the Netherlands, 76 26 63.

In the boys’ event, the upset of Day 5 was Filip Peliwo’s 61 64 victory over sixth seed Julien Cagnina (BEL). The 17-year-old unseeded Canadian started brightly, winning the first set, but had to come back from 1-4 down in the second to claim his first semifinal spot in a Grade A tournament. Peliwo now faces second seed Patrick Ofner (AUT), who dominated Latvian Janis Podzus, posting a 62 60 win in their quarterfinal match. Meanwhile, Ofner’s compatriot and top seed, Dominic Thiem, was simply too strong for tenth seed Kimmer Coppejans (BEL), dropping just two games in his 61 61 win. Thiem is in sparkling form and aiming for a third consecutive title on the ITF Junior Circuit, having won the Eddie Herr and Yucatan Cup tournaments in recent weeks. His semifinal opponent is twelfth seed Yoshihito Nishioka of Japan, who ended the hopes of Janis Podzus twin brother, Martins, by defeating him, 61 75.




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