The first known semifinalist of the Eastbourne International grass-court tournament was the defending champion Justine Henin, who crushed fifth-seeded Nicole Vaidisova 6-2 6-2.
I had expected much more from this match. Vaidisova serves well, so I thought the match would be much more undecided, but her serve had let her down, and she had no other weapons to use against the Belgian top seed. Within the first 20 minutes Vaidisova was 5-0 down, having held only one game point.
In the second quarterfinal match eight-seeded Marion Bartoli defeated fourth-seeded Elena Dementieva 6-1 6-0. This is Bartoli’s second consecutive win over the Russian, the previous one having been in this month’s Roland Garros. Furthermore, the Frenchwoman is now even with Dementieva on grass, 1-1.
FIRST SEMIFINAL: Henin vs. Bartoli >> So far, they’ve played only once, and that was four years ago. Henin defeated Bartoli on the hard-courts of Toronto. But in this case, the stats are not necessary; it’s clear who the favorite in this match is.
The third semifinalist is the third seed Nadia Petrova who had a tough job defeating Sybille Bammer, seeded-seventh. The match lasted 2h 59min and ended with a result 7-6(8) 5-7 4-6.
Petrova had to receive medical treatment for back strain and thigh cramps during the quarterfinal match.
Lastly, Amelie Mauresmo cruised into the semis with a 6-3 6-4 thrashing of sixth-seeded Shahar Peer.
SECOND SEMIFINAL: Petrova vs. Mauresmo >> In their meetings Mauresmo leads 5-3, but note that they have never played on grass.