Mercurial wildcard Jarmila Gajdosova has again paid for her inconsistency by crashing out of the Hobart International quarter-finals on Thursday.
The 2011 Hobart champion struggled in the blustery conditions as Russian Elena Vesnina handled Gajdosova's power game with aplomb to prevail 6-3, 6-2.
After cruising through to the final eight with two straight sets wins, Gajdosova never seriously threatened the world number 68's serve and was punished for serving at just 40 per cent herself.
The Victorian suffered early breaks in both sets and struggled to find her rhythm, or hold her nerve, in the pressure rallies.
"She was more solid than me in the tough conditions," the 25-year-old admitted.
Vesnina revealed she used the wind to her advantage in the baseline battle to progress to a semi-final against Sloane Stephens who outlasted fellow American Lauren Davis 6-3, 4-6, 7-5.
"Of course I had to be smart and in the wind you have to use it like a weapon," she said.
Despite the loss, Gajdosova, whose ranking slipped to 183 after a horror 2012, felt her confidence was growing again as she aims to break her duck at the Australian Open.
She has never progressed past the first round at Melbourne Park but has taken heart by her 3-2 record this year, including a first-round upset of Italian world number 16 Roberta Vinci in Brisbane.
"I thought it's been a pretty positive step forward," said Gajdosova, who will also play as a wildcard in Melbourne.
"I won two matches against two good players (in Hobart) so it was a good start."
Defending champion Mona Barthel also won through to the semi-finals with a 6-3, 6-3 victory over Bulgarian Tsvetana Pironkova 6-3, 6-3.
Barthel will play Kirsten Flipkens next after the Belgian beat Monica Niculescu of Romania 2-6, 6-4, 6-0.
"I feel like I learned so much last year, playing all these tournaments and against the top players," Barthel said.
"My serve has got better and I feel like my groundstrokes are better ... but maybe a little more confidence this year."
AAPTags: tennis, sport, hobart-7000, tas, australia First posted January 10, 2013 13:09:15