Grace Min didn't drop a set on the way to her first WTA semifinal, in Bad Gastein, Austria.
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By McCarton Ackerman, USTA.com
Rising Americans Grace Min and Shelby Rogers are enjoying breakthrough weeks at the WTA event in Bad Gastein, Austria, with both players advancing past seeded opponents on Friday to reach the first WTA semifinal of their respective careers at the clay-court event.
Min, playing some of the best tennis of her career, showed off her versatile baseline game against No. 8 seed Karolina Pliskova of Czech Republic. Mixing up the pace of her shots and attacking when given the chance, she eased past her opponent, 6-2, 6-1.
Currently ranked No. 138, Min has been excelling on clay courts this year. In addition to qualifying for the French Open, she’s also won two USTA Pro Circuit events on green clay: the $50,000 USTA Pro Circuit event in April in Dothan, Ala., as well as the $25,000 tournament the previous month in Innisbrook, Fla. Min also came through qualifying and reached the second round of the WTA Premier event in Charleston, S.C.
She will play No. 4 seed Andrea Petkovic of Germany in the first semifinal on Saturday.
Rogers, who advanced through qualifying to reach the main draw, came out firing against No. 7 seed Camila Giorgi of Italy. She won eight of the first nine games and forced her opponent into errors by keeping her shots deep throughout the match. The 21-year-old let out a huge fist pump after converting on her first match point to advance, 6-1, 7-5.
Earlier in the week, Rogers recorded her first Top 20 victory by defeating Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain in the second round. The American enjoyed success on red clay last year by winning her first WTA main draw match last year in Strasbourg, France, then following that up by reaching the second round of the French Open.
The world No. 147 will play No. 2 seed Sara Errani of Italy in the final match of the day on Saturday.