New Zealand tennis No 1 Marina Erakovic has bowed out at the semifinal stage of the US$220,000 Budapest Grand Prix in Hungary this morning.
In her first WTA semifinal on clay, Erakovic lost 6-2 6-4 to doubles partner Elena Vesnina of Russia. Vesnina, the world No 78, defeated the fifth-seeded Erakovic in a confident display of attacking clay court tennis.
"In our previous encounters, Marina played more aggressive," Vesnina told the WTA website. "Today she was trying to exploit my mistakes and move me around and play the spin. I didn't expect that but luckily I still found the key to win."
After going down easily in the first set, Erakovic dug deeper in the second but Vesnina secured a crucial break of serve in the final game of the set to close out the match.
"In the second set, we both played more rallies and longer games," Vesnina said. "There were some weird bounces, maybe by the breeze coming from the river, and I lost some concentration. But, then, I recovered and managed to win the match."
Despite missing out on making her second WTA final of 2012, Erakovic is set to receive a rankings boost next week. Sitting at a career-high No 45 in the world, the Kiwi is expected to enter the top 40.