Mornington VIC, Australia, 24 March 2017 | David Packman

Top seed Lizette Cabrera has survived a couple of tough assignments to reach the semifinals of the Mornington Peninsula Tennis International #1.

In an event which has seen prolonged rain delays over multiple days, the Queenslander first overcame local qualifier Genevieve Lorbergs before being taken to three sets by Naiktha Bains and, on Friday, Tessah Andrianjafitrimo.

After taking the first set in a tiebreaker, Cabrera conceded the second before running away for a 7-6(4) 1-6 6-1 victory.

“She doesn’t really go away,” Cabrera, 19, said of the improving French teenager. “She’s a good competitor and she made me work today, but in the end it was a good win and I’m glad I got through.”

“There’s been a few tough matches but it’s feeling really good to be back on the clay,” she added. “I’ve been playing a lot of WTA-level tournaments, so the goal was to bring that level of intensity. It’s going well, hopefully I can keep it up.”

Cabrera next faces No.7 seed Barbora Krejcikova after the Czech defeated Thai Varatchaya Wongteanchai – who was responsible for ousting Arina Rodionova in the previous round – in three sets.

“She’s obviously a really experienced player,” Cabrera, the world No.184, said of her semifinal opponent. “She’s been playing well in Australia so it’s going to be another battle.”

Fourth seed Destanee Aiava is also keeping Australian hopes alive in Mornington after she defeated Isreali Julia Glushko 7-5 6-4.

Aiava will need to get past unseeded Brit Gabriella Taylor, who took out Dutch second seed Aranxta Rus in the first round. Taylor was involved a three-set battle with Queenslander Olivia Tjandramulia on Friday, eventually prevailing in a final set tiebreaker 2-6 6-4 7-6(4).

Despite the loss, Tjandramulia enjoyed a good week in Mornington, highlighted by a first round win over Hungarian sixth seed Fanny Stollar and a come-from-behind victory over Jaimee Fourlis.

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