Viktoria Kuzmova has progressed to the last four of the ASB Classic, after a narrow three set win over American teenager Amanda Anisimova on Friday.
In the toughest conditions of the week so far – with Wellington style wind on offer for most of the match – Kuzmova prevailed 6-3, 2-6, 6-4 in two hours to reach the semifinals here for the first time.
Both players struggled with the elements, on a blustery afternoon in Auckland.
In particular Anisimova, who had to repeat her ball toss on multiple occasions.
The lunchtime sun, shining directly into the face of the server at the Robinson stand end, was also a challenge.
It became a mental contest more than a physical one, and at times both players had to resort to pushing the ball over the net on serve, with some serves barely exceeding 100km/h and the ball being blown almost sideways.
The 20-year-old Kuzmova, who wasn't in the top 200 two years ago but is now on the cusp of the top 50, managed the conditions better in the first set.
She took advantage of a number of unforced errors by Aninsimova, who, to her credit, didn't lose her cool.
The Slovakian wrapped up the first set in 50 minutes, after securing her third service break of the set.
Anisimova, who was born in the United States to Russian parents, had to respond, and she forced a service break in the first game of the second set.
She maintained the initiative from there, helped by landing 69 per cent of first serves, to level the match.
The 17-year-old had the momentum with an early break in third set, but Kuzmova wouldn't buckle and finished the stronger, with Anisimova hurling her racquet in disgust when she conceded match point.