Buzarnescu advances in Birmingham after upset win over…

Buzarnescu advances in Birmingham after upset win over second seed Svitolina

Mihaela Buzarnescu continued her remarkable season by upsetting second seed Elina Svitolina in the quarter-finals of the Nature Valley Classic in Birmingham.

The 30-year-old Romanian swept to a 6-3 6-2 victory for a repeat of her upset at the French Open three weeks ago and a place in her first WTA Premier semi-final.

Buzarnescu thought her tennis career was all but over because of a succession of injuries but found herself fully fit last summer and has not looked back, climbing from outside the top 300 in the rankings to inside the top 30.

She said: “I just want to enjoy every moment as much as possible because I’m not 20 years old, I’m 30. I don’t know how many years I can still play tennis. But I’m fit and that’s what is really making me happy, that I can almost play every week and enjoy it because I had so many years that I didn’t play. That’s really good for me.”

Buzarnescu next faces defending champion Petra Kvitova, who has been in imperious form again in Birmingham and romped to a 6-1 6-4 victory over fifth seed Julia Goerges.

The other semi-final will pit two unseeded grass lovers against one another, with Magdalena Rybarikova taking on Barbora Strycova.

Rybarikova, a shock semi-finalist at Wimbledon last summer, defeated qualifier Dalila Jakupovic 6-2 6-4 while Strycova, who reached the final in Birmingham in 2014 and 2016, was leading Lesia Tsurenko 7-5 3-0 when the Ukrainian retired.

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