Shahar Peer will spend her 23rd birthday on Saturday on the tennis court at the Porsche Grand Prix semifinals after beating Dinara Safina yet again, 6-3, 6-2.
The unseeded Israeli took 1 hour 16 minutes for the quarterfinal win against the second-seed Safina.
Safina was playing only her second match in a return from a three-month layoff due to a lower back injury.
Earlier, Samantha Stosur of Australia stormed into the semis, 6-3, 6-3 over China’s Li Na in 61 minutes to raise her perfect clay-court season record to 10-0.
On Saturday, Stosur meets either Russian qualifier Anna Lapushchenkova or Czech player Lucie Safarova. Peer will have a birthday date against the winner of ex-champions Justine Henin of Belgium and Jelena Jankovic of Serbia.
The former world number one Safina struggled to beat Hungary’s Agnes Szavay on Thursday night after a first round bye and had no chance against Peer less than 20 hours later.
Peer, who upset fifth-seeded Pole Agnieszka Radwanska in the previous round, broke Safina in the eighth game to decide the first set and then won the last five games from 2-1 down in the second, wrapping up matters with a forehand winner.
“Dinara is a good player but she was playing only her second match ... I was playing solid but also aggressive,” said Peer, who kept her unforced errors to 14 (and only three in the second set) to Safina’s 27.
But Stosur even had only seven in her dominant showing against Li, which was also highlighted by an 83 first serve points percentage and 72 on second serve. Stosur allowed no break point and broke Li three times en route to victory.
Stosur, 26, was a French Open semifinalist last year and has reproduced the strong form on the dirt now. She won the Charleston title less than two weeks ago, two Fed Cup rubbers last weekend and now has three wins in Stuttgart.
“It was a good match. I didn’t realise it was such few errors.
That’s a good result,” said Stosur. “Everything is falling into place. I feel comfortable on the clay.” Stosur will rise one place to a career-high number nine in the next world rankings with the place in the final four, and even higher if she makes the final of the 700,000-dollar indoor event.
Keywords: Porsche Grand Prix