Vesnina stays perfect during 2016 run in Charleston

Vesnina advances to semifinals with win over Seigemund in the Volvo Car Open (60).JPG

Elena Vesnina has not lost a set since she started her campaign to claim the Volvo Car Open trophy this year, and is now one step away from equaling her best ever appearance in Charleston.

In a match that took a very late start thanks to a three-set marathon between Sloane Stephens and Daria Kasatkina, the expectation was that the night match wouldn't start until 8 p.m. or later.

Vesnina had other plans, though.

In quick straight sets she toppled Germany's Laura Seigemund, 7-5, 6-4, in a match that was marked by strong swirling winds at court level. It was an adjustment, Vesnina said.

"The whole match were were struggling with the serves a little bit because of the wind. And then in the second set I actually kind of caught the way it was blowing and I knew that I had to go for my big serves, you know, because otherwise it was a little bit like 50/50 in the points," she said.

Powerful serves and aggressive play off the line gave her an advantage, Vesnina said. But she gave credit to Seigemund, who challenged every point.

"Laura's a very tricky player. You don't see that much, players like her on the tour. She's very aggressive, she's coming to the net, she's doing a lot of drop shots. You know, she's very competitive," Vesnina said.

Vesnina advances to Saturday's semifinal to face either Sara Errani or Yulia Putintseva, who is having a great tournament after qualifying over the weekend and then taking down seeded players Sabine Lisicki and Venus Williams.

"I know Sara pretty good. She's a fighter. She's an ex-Top 10 player and finalist of the French Open. So obviously she really loves playing on clay; that's her favorite surface," Vensina said.

"And Yulia, she's a young, upcoming star, very competitive, great mover. And I never played against her, so it's always tricky when you play against someone you don't really know."