Seventh-seeded Maria Sakkari of Greece fought off four match points in the second set before rallying to stun top-seeded Elina Svitolina of Ukraine 1-6, 7-6 (3), 6-3 on Friday and reach the semifinals at the Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic in San Jose, Calif.
Sakkari was broken in all four of her service games in the first set and again early in the second set, which she trailed 4-1 and 5-2. Down 5-3 with Svitolina serving for the match, Sakkari survived three match points before converting her fifth break point of the game to stay alive.
The 24-year-old escaped another match point on her own serve, held to make it 5-5, then broke Svitolina at love. Svitolina promptly broke back at love to force a tiebreaker, but Sakkari won the final four points of the tiebreaker to take the set.
In the third set, Sakkari again fell down a break early, but she broke back immediately and did so again to lead 4-2 before serving out.
Sakkari, who won her first career title at the Morocco Open in May, seeks her second straight final appearance in San Jose, having lost to Romania’s Mihaela Buzarnescu in 2018’s title match. She will face China’s Saisai Zheng, who battled past fourth-seeded American Amanda Anisimova 5-7, 7-5, 6-4 late Friday night, in the semifinals.
Meanwhile, second-seeded Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus rallied to top sixth-seeded Spaniard Carla Suarez Navarro 3-6, 6-2, 6-4. Sabalenka overcame nine double faults in victory.
She heads to the semifinals to face fifth-seeded Donna Vekic of Croatia, a 7-5, 6-0 winner over American Kristie Ahn.
American teenager Caty McNally upset the last seeded player remaining in the tournament, taking down Taiwan’s Su-Wei Hsieh 6-4, 6-3 to reach the semifinals.
McNally, 17, totaled seven double faults but broke Hsieh five times in seven chances, including once to open each set.
In the semifinals, McNally will face Italian Camila Giorgi, who dispatched Kazakhstan’s Zarina Diyas 6-3, 6-2.
The other semifinal includes another American, Jessica Pegula, who downed countrywoman Lauren Davis 6-2, 7-6 (2) while saving eight of nine break points.
Pegula will face Russian Anna Kalinskaya, who survived France’s Kristina Mladenovic 6-4, 4-6, 6-2.
—Field Level Media