Silver lining for defeated Bertens & Larsson, Vikhlyantseva delights Moscow
Russian youngster Natalia Vikhlyantseva raised a cheer for home fans at the Kremlin Cup, while Luxembourg Open second seed Kiki Bertens suffered a shock loss on Thursday.
Bertens may have had designs on the title in Luxembourg after an opening two rounds full of shocks, but she too fell by the wayside at the hands of Carina Witthoeft, who claimed a 6-1 6-2 win.
Qualifier Pauline Parmentier awaits the German after she beat Bertens' doubles partner Johanna Larsson by the same scoreline, but there was a silver lining for the pair as they qualified for the WTA Finals.
Elise Mertens is the last seed remaining in Luxembourg after overcoming Heather Watson.
Fifth seed Mertens takes on Monica Puig in the semi-finals, the Puerto Rican seeing off Naomi Broady in three sets.
Vikhlyantseva had enjoyed fleeting success since her run to the final in 's-Hertogenbosch but a semi-final run on home turf is a welcome boost.
She saw off Alize Cornet in a three-set epic, needing more than three hours to secure victory.
The 20-year-old will face seventh seed Julia Goerges in the last four after the German saw off Lesia Tsurenko 6-3 6-4.
Daria Kasatkina will also have fans in Moscow hoping for a home win as she takes on Irina-Camelia Begu in the final four.
Kasatkina beat Aliaksandra Sasnovich 6-4 6-3, while Begu needed three sets to dispatch qualifier Vera Lapko.