- Associated Press - Friday, July 17, 2015

BASTAD, Sweden (AP) - Defending champion Mona Barthel of Germany struggled past local wild card Rebecca Peterson 6-1, 7-6 (3) to secure a spot in the Swedish Open semifinals on Friday.

Kazakhstan’s Yulia Putintseva reached her first career WTA semifinal when she beat Czech player Klara Koukalova 6-3, 6-4 on the outdoor clay.

Koukalova, the doubles champion in 2013, advanced to the quarterfinals by a walkover on Thursday when Serena Williams withdrew with a right elbow injury.

Lara Arruabarrena of Spain was into her second semi of the year by topping Jana Cepelova 6-3, 5-2 after the Slovak retired with a neck injury.

In the last quarterfinal, local hope and seventh seed Johanna Larsson beat third-seeded Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic 6-2, 6-3.

Larsson will meet Putintseva on Saturday, and Barthel faces Arruabarrena.

“I do not know her so much. So it will be an interesting match,” Larsson said of Putintseva. “Of course, I’m aiming for the final.”

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