Slovakia’s Dominika Cibulkova has overcome the most challenging playing conditions of her career to reach the semi-final of the Hobart International.
But her battles are not over as she next faces former world No.5 Eugenie Bouchard.
Against Dutch qualifier Kiki Bertens on Thursday, the world No.37 Cibulkova was victorious 7-5 6-3 in a rain-interrupted match that spanned more than seven hours including three lengthy suspensions.
“The conditions were really tough,” the 26-year-old said.
“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.”
After a two-hour rain suspension with the score at 5-5, the weather cleared long enough for one game and then players again left the court for two hours.
But the delays didn’t distract Cibulkova who needs match time ahead of her Australian Open campaign and says she’s pleased with her form.
“This is why I came here, to get some more matches under my belt and that’s what has happening so this is giving me a lot of confidence.”
In 2014, Cibulkova reached the final of the Melbourne grand slam and last year was knocked out of the quarter-finals by Serena Williams.
Bouchard confirmed her place among the final four with a 6-3 6-2 win over Italy’s Camila Giorgi in a match that started at just after 10pm (AEDT).
The Canadian who is making her comeback from injury has had a good run in the southern capital and out-powered tournament top-seed Giorgi in 68 minutes.
France’s Alize Cornet is the other semi-finalist who progressed when her opponent Mona Barthel withdrew due to a lower back injury.
The German world No.45 was forced to abandon the tournament where she was champion in 2012 and there is uncertainty over her fitness ahead of the Open.
Barthel, 25, had to resort to painkillers on Wednesday to complete her match against Japan’s Naomi Osaka, after feeling a pinch that she had not experienced before.
She had hoped intense treatment would mean she could contest her quarter-final scheduled for late Thursday, but withdrew several hours beforehand.
Cornet will play the winner of a match between defending champion Heather Watson and Sweden’s Johanna Larsson, which continued late into Thursday night.