Stosur upset in Eastbourne semifinals
EASTBOURNE, England (AP) -- Samantha Stosur was upset by qualifier Ekaterina Makarova 7-6 (5), 7-5 Friday in the semifinals of the Eastbourne International grass-court event.
In the final, the Russian will play Victoria Azarenka, who knocked out eighth-seeded Marion Bartoli of France 6-3, 7-5.
Makarova made a poor start against the third-seeded Stosur, claiming just four of the first 19 points of their semifinal as she fell behind 3-0, 0-40.
But she settled and benefited from an inconsistent performance from the French Open finalist, who broke to lead 5-3 but then conceded her own serve at love.
Stosur survived two set points at 6-5 before Makarova took the tiebreaker with a winning forehand down the line.
The left-hander pressured a subdued Stosur in the second set, breaking to win the match on her third match point.
"Maybe I was a little bit nervous, and I didn't play on the center court here before," Makarova said of her slow start. "I was just fighting every point. I really liked my serve today, and my second serve was sometimes much better than my first."
Despite the defeat, Stosur will climb to a career-high No. 6 when the new rankings are announced Monday.
Bartoli, who was overwhelmed by Azarenka's power, has failed to advance beyond the semifinals for the fourth straight year.
Azarenka earned a break for 2-1 and forced a backhand error to break again for the set.
Bartoli took a 2-1 lead in the second, but Azarenka broke back and hit a smash to break again for the match.
In the men's final, fifth-seeded Guillermo Garcia-Lopez of Spain will play eighth-seeded Michael Llodra of France after both came through their semifinals.
Garcia-Lopez saved 17 of 20 break points to outlast the unseeded Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan 3-6, 6-3, 6-4.
Llodra eased past Ukraine's Alexandr Dolgopolov 6-3, 7-5 with the help of three consecutive aces to close out the match.