Special Correspondent

MUMBAI: Unseeded Stefanie Voegele of Switzerland took a huge step towards the singles summit by smashing her way past Nina Bratchikova, the Russian fifth seed, in the women's quarterfinals of the $25,000 Mumbai University ITF women's tennis tournament here on Thursday.

She handled the heat, humidity, and her more accomplished rival well to record a 6-2, 6-3 win. The hard work put in by Stefanie over the week will be useful in tackling Natsumi Hamamura, another unseeded player to barge into the semifinals after a hard-fought 6-2, 2-6, 7-6(5) win over fellow Japanese Remi Tezuka in the quarterfinals.

The Swiss player then teamed up with Olga Panova and booked a final berth in doubles at the expense of Sunitha Rao and Shiho Hisamatsu in straight sets.

Yan-Chong Chen, the second seed from China and the highest ranked player left in the singles draw, outhit Olga Panova in another quarterfinal.

Fourth seed Akgul Amanmuradova of Uzbekistan is a tall order for the Chinese in Friday's semifinals. The Uzbek also advanced to the doubles final partnering Nina Bratchikova.

The results: Singles: Quarterfinals: Natsumi Hamamura (Jpn) bt Remi Tezuka (Jpn) 6-2, 2-6, 7-6(5); Stefanie Voegele (Sui) bt Nina Bratchikova (Rus) 6-2, 6-3; Akgul Amanmuradova (Uzb) bt Wan-Ting Liu (Chn) 6-3, 6-2; Yan-Chong Chen (Chn) bt Olga Panova (Rus) 6-1, 7-5.

Doubles: Semifinals: Stefanie Voegele/ Olga Panova bt Sunitha Rao/ Shiho Hisamatsu 7-6(2), 6-3; Nina Bratchikova/ Akgul Amanmuradova bt Nicole Clerico/ Ksenia Palkina 6-4, 7-6(5).

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