UPDATE 5pm: Eight of the world’s top 10 women arrived in Brisbane this week, but Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova has ensured there will be at least one unseeded finalist after knocking out the last remaining seed in the bottom half of the draw.
Pavlyuchenkova, a Brisbane semifinalist two years ago, stunned fourth-seeded German Angelique Kerber in two tiebreak sets 7-6(3), 7-6(3) to set up a last-four clash with Ukrainian lucky loser Lesia Tsurenko.
For Tsurenko, ranked 116th, the dream run continues, having been called into the main draw as Maria Sharapova’s replacement. After beating Australian wildcard Jarmila Gajdosova yesterday Tsurenko today upset last year’s Brisbane finalist, Slovak Daniela Hantuchova.
Tsurenko downed the world No.32 in straight sets, 6-3, 6-4 to reach her first Premier level semifinal and ensure she will re-enter the world’s top 100.
“For the first time in my life, I am a lucky loser and it’s really surprising for me to take the spot of Maria Sharapova,” Tsurenko said.
“I’m just enjoying now. That’s my chance. I’m just taking it.”