Elena Baltacha through to semi-finals in Nottingham

Elena Baltacha
Elena Baltacha has looked in fine fettle in Nottingham

British number one Elena Baltacha continued her impressive form on grass with a straight-sets win against Lucie Hradecka to book her place in the Aegon Challenge semi-finals in Nottingham.

Baltacha, who went into the match having yet to drop a set in the tournament, had her Czech opponent on the back foot from the off.

The Scot impressed with her return, securing five breaks in total.

And despite double-faulting on a match point, she went on to win 6-1 6-3.

The 27-year-old will next face Stephanie Dubois in the last four following the Canadian's hard-fought 6-2 6-7 (3-7) 6-3 win over Russian Evgeniya Rodina.

"I'm unbelievably chuffed with that win," said Baltacha.  

"It was a lot tougher than the scoreline looks and she pushed me very hard in the second set. [But] I served really well and even though she has a really good serve on grass I picked it and hit some great returns.  

"This is really good preparation for Eastbourne and Wimbledon and it's a positive sign that I'm playing well against better players because I'm going to need to do that at those bigger tournaments."

Thailand's Tamarine Tanasugarn faces Petra Cetkovska of the Czech Republic in the other semi following their quarter-final wins over France's Mathilde Johansson and Romanian Monica Niculescu respectively.

In the Aegon Classic in Birmingham, Serbian second seed Ana Ivanovic beat Mirjana Lucic 6-3 6-4 and Slovakian fourth seed Daniela Hantuchova defeated Alison Riske 6-2 6-4 to set up a mouth-watering semi-final clash.

"I'm enjoying competing again, I feel good on the grass, it has good memories for me," said Ivanovic.

"[Hantuchova] will be a good test. She's played extremely well the last few months, so she's the favourite."

Hantuchova added: "It's great to be in another semi-final here. I enjoy playing on grass, I'm happy enough. I enjoy Birmingham, it's great preparation for Wimbledon."

Third seed Peng Shuai, conqueror of Britain's number two Heather Watson earlier in the week, will contest the other semi-final against Sabine Lisicki of Germany.

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