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04/03/2016


Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 04 March 2016 - Elina Svitolina reached her second WTA Tour semi-finals of the season showing great fightback to come from a set down to win 1-6, 6-1, 6-1 over Slovakia’s Kristina Kucova in the BMW Malaysian Open 2016 at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club in Bukit Kiara this afternoon.

The World No 19 plays qualifier China’s Zhu Lin, who defeated compatriot Wang Qiang 6-3, 6-4, in the semi-finals tomorrow (Saturday).

Zhu Lin has never reached this far in a tour event and the 190th-ranked player will be attempting to become the first qualifier after Taiwan’s Hsieh Su Wei in 2012 to make the final at the BMW Malaysian Open.

Elina, a winner of three career tour titles, said she got smoked in the first set.

"Kristina was playing great at the start and I had nothing to offer. After the first set, I told myself that I am a top 20 player and I needed to bring out something special into my game.

"I managed to play my game and everything worked so well in the second and third set. I just focused and it didn’t matter whether my game was perfect. What mattered was the end result.

"I have been working on my consistency since the start of the season. I was returning and serving well in the second and third set."

On tomorrow’s semi-final match, the 22-year-old Elina said she needs to be prepared as playing against lower-ranked players can be tough.

"Being a top 20 player is not easy. You know that everyone below you will be motivated to beat you. I just want to recover and return fully prepared for the semi-finals," said Elina.

Zhu Lin said she played an aggressive match to record her first ever win over 99th-ranked Wang Qiang in the quarter-finals.

"I am so happy to make the semi-finals. It is my first and it means a lot. I knew I had to be confident as Wang Qiang is a player who rarely makes mistakes," said the lanky Zhu Lin.

"I played aggressively. Unlike most players, I have played more matches here as I started the tournament in the qualifiers. I am taking things step-by-step."

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