Brisbane, QLD, 4 October 2019 | Asher Packman

Wildcard Ivana Popovic capitalised on a solid fortnight to reach her second consecutive Australian Pro Tour semifinal at the Brisbane QTC international on Friday.

After a stunning straight-sets defeat of No.2 seed Destanee Aiava, the 19-year-old from NSW had too much firepower for Abbie Myers, turning the tables on their encounter in Darwin last week.

“I have had good results before but not back-to-back like this,” she said. “I’m very grateful.”

“I think I always had this level inside me,” Popovic continued. “Mentally though, things have changed. The way I approach the sport is different. I had a lot of training in the past five months in Europe, I’ve seen tennis from a different perspective, I have more confidence, and my love for it has grown bigger. That’s what’s influenced my tennis from within.

“You never know when the results will come but you have to be persistent. My belief is really high at the moment and that’s all I can ask for.”

Popovic now sets up a battle with No.3 seed Maddison Inglis for a place in the final, after the West Australian – who survived a match point in the previous round – moved past Japan’s Chihiro Muramatsu.

Asia Muhammad (No.6) continued her outstanding recent run on the Australian Pro Tour, bundling out top-seeded Queenslander Priscilla Hon in straight sets, 6-2 6-4. The American goes on to face Korean qualifier Sohyun Park.

After the departure of No.1 seed Aleksandar Vukic on Thursday, Queenslander Maverick Banes (No.4) was the highest left in the draw, but he too came undone, losing 7-6(4) 6-2 to Bradley Mousley.

The South Australian will next face Dayne Kelly – Vukic’s vanquisher – after the Victorian repeated last week’s victory over qualifier Tristan Schoolkate, this time requiring a third set to advance to the semifinal.

Saturday’s remaining match will see fellow South Aussie Luke Saville (No.7) take on unseeded Queenslander Thomas Fancutt for a berth in the final.

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