Safarova easily routs Hercog to vault into Family Circle Cup semifinals vs. Serena

  • Posted: Saturday, April 7, 2012 6:33 p.m., Updated: Sunday, April 8, 2012 12:09 a.m.
Lucie Safarova defeated Polona Hercog, 6-0, 6-0, during a semifinal match of the Family Circle Cup on Saturday. Buy this photo

Lucie Safarova is from Brno, the second largest city in the Czech Republic, and on Saturday was the second Family Circle Cup semifinalist to reach today’s final in a rout. For good green clay measure, she also reached the doubles final.

Safarova proved in her most prestigious match of the year that she is more than a crafty lefty. The 25-year-old overwhelmed Polona Hercog, winning 6-0, 6-0, to reach the singles final against Serena Williams.

“Amazing,” No. 26-ranked Safarova said. “It’s been a fantastic week so far, and to be able to play singles and doubles finals, it’s just a dream for a player.”

Safarova is 0-4 against Serena with all the matches coming on hardcourts.

“Of course, to play Serena it’s always a great challenge,” she said. “She’s a great player. I was watching her match today against Sam (Stosur); she was playing very solid, very good.”

Williams will have odds and the crowd on her side, but the No. 9 seed with the steady two-handed backhand looked good against Vera Zvonareva on Friday (6-3, 6-3) and better against Hercog.

The match lasted 64 minutes.
“C’mon, Polona,” a supporter shouted.

But nothing worked. Safarova saved two break points.

Later Saturday, Safarova and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova upset the No. 1 seeded team of Americans Liezel Huber and Lisa Raymond, 6-4, 7-6 in a doubles semifinal. They will face Anabel Medina Garrigues and Yaroslava Shvedova in the final.

It helped that Safarova didn’t waste much time with singles.

Hercog, the No. 14 seed, looked much better Thursday and Friday. The 21-year-old Slovenian had back-to-back wins, defeating No. 3 seed Marion Bartoli and ousting No. 13 seed Nadia Petrova, 6-1, 6-2.

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