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Keothavong makes historic leap into semi-finals

PUBLISHED: 17:37 21 May 2009 | UPDATED: 16:13 07 September 2010

MADRID, SPAIN - MAY 12:  Anne Keothavong of Great Britain plays a  backhand against Lucie Safarova of the Czech Republic in their second round match during the Madrid Open tennis tournament at the Caja Magica on May 12, 2009 in Madrid, Spain.  (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

MADRID, SPAIN - MAY 12: Anne Keothavong of Great Britain plays a backhand against Lucie Safarova of the Czech Republic in their second round match during the Madrid Open tennis tournament at the Caja Magica on May 12, 2009 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

2009 Getty Images

CUMBERLAND'S Anne Keothavong became the first British woman since Jo Durie in 1983 to reach the semi-finals of a WTA Tour clay-court event by winning in Warsaw, writes PATRICK MOONEY. Keothavong, the British No.1, crushed Ioana Raluca Olaru 6-0, 6-1 and

CUMBERLAND'S Anne Keothavong became the first British woman since Jo Durie in 1983 to reach the semi-finals of a WTA Tour clay-court event by winning in Warsaw, writes PATRICK MOONEY.

Keothavong, the British No.1, crushed Ioana Raluca Olaru 6-0, 6-1 and will meet Maria Sharapova's conqueror, Alona Bondarenko, for a place in the final tomorrow (Friday).

"I think I can be really proud that I've reached the semis on clay, which is my least favourite surface," said Keothavong. "I'm finding my form and I'm getting used to competing at this level."

In a match lasting just 70 minutes, Keothavong converted five of the eight break points she was presented with by a Olaru, who had beaten Jelena Dokic in the first round.

Keothavong's win will almost certainly put her back into the top 50 and, having made two previous WTA semi-finals this year.

"It would mean an awful lot to get to a first final after getting to the semis a few times, and it would mean even more because it's on clay," she added.

Keothavong, who battled back from a set down to see off American Jill Craybas 3-6, 6-3, 6-1 in the second round, has qualified for the main draw of next week's French Open at Roland Garros for the first time.


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