Robson reaches Palermo semis

  • Last Updated: July 13 2012, 22:06 BST

Laura Robson fought off intense heat and the challenge of world number 41 Carla Suarez Navarro to reach the first main tour semi-final of her career at the Italiacom Open in Palermo.

Laura Robson: Into the semi-finals in Palermo

The 18-year-old, who beat second seed Roberta Vinci on Thursday, followed it up by finishing off her Spanish opponent 6-4 2-6 6-3 in a match briefly delayed at the start of the final set due to temperatures in excess of 30 degrees.

Robson broke Suarez Navarro early in the first set and managed to retain her advantage to nudge ahead, but with the rising heat clearly a factor the Spaniard dominated the second set and looked in control.

But after a 10-minute delay Robson fought back in a final set that saw five consecutive breaks of serve before Robson somehow managed to serve out for the biggest win of her career in two hours and two minutes.

Robson, the British number four, reached the second round of consecutive grass-court tournaments at Birmingham and Eastbourne last month to briefly make her debut inside the world's top 100.

And despite going out in the first round of Wimbledon her performance against former French Open champion Francesca Schiavone suggested she was not far from making an impression on the tour.

Robson will take on eighth seed and world number 71 Barbora Zahlavova Strycova in the semi-finals on Saturday, after the Czech player upset third seed Julia Goerges 7-6 (7/4) 6-7 (4/7) 6-1.

Top seed and French Open finalist Sara Errani wasted no time in reaching the semi-finals with a 6-2 6-2, 67-minute win over Romania's Alexandra Cadantu.

Errani dominated the first set, breaking Cadantu twice without facing a break point on her own serve.

And despite being broken twice in the second, she broke the Romanian four times to wrap up an easy win.

Errani will face another Romanian in the semi-finals after Irina-Camelia Begu came through a gruelling two hours and 28 minutes marathon against Spain's Estrella Cabeza Candela to win 5-7 6-4 6-4.