Stephens beats fellow American Davis in Hobart QFs

by: AP January 10, 2013

HOBART, Australia -- Eighth-seeded Sloane Stephens advanced to the Hobart International semifinals Thursday with a 6-3, 4-6, 7-5 win over fellow American and qualifier Lauren Davis.

Defending champion Mona Barthel of Germany also reached the semifinals, beating Tsvetana Pironkova of Bulgaria 6-3, 6-3. Barthel will play Kirsten Flipkens of Belgium, who beat Monica Niculescu of Romania 2-6, 6-4, 6-0.

Stephens will play Elena Vesnina of Russia in Friday's other semifinal. Vesnina played better in windy conditions Thursday to beat wild-card Jarmila Gajdosova of Australia 6-3, 6-2.

"I had to be smart and in the wind you have to use it like a weapon," Vesnina said.

The 22-year-old Barthel said she's "improved a lot" as she begins her second season on the WTA Tour.

"I feel like I learned so much last year, playing all these tournaments and playing against the top players," Barthel said. "My serve has got better and I feel like my groundstrokes are better ... but maybe a little more confidence this year."

The final is scheduled for Saturday at the Domain Tennis Centre.

More Stories

Kerber beats Simona Halep, goes to 2-0 in Red Group at WTA Finals

Kerber is 4-4 against Halep, but has won four of their five meetings this season. 

Elina Svitolina complains of online abuse from Russians in Moscow

"It was a very tough tournament, and I don't think I will come back," she said. 

Andy Murray has realistic path to No. 1 ranking before season ends

The Scot will need to be at his best in Vienna and Paris.