Top-seeded Australian Samantha Stosur eased into the Kremlin Cup semi-finals on Friday with a comfortable 6-1, 6-3 win over Czech Klara Zakopalova to set up a clash with former world No. 1 Ana Ivanovic.
Stosur, currently ninth in the WTA rankings, was in command from the start, breaking Zakopalova’s serve three times for a one-set lead in 27 minutes.
In the second set, Stosur was trailing 3-1 after Zakopalova broke in the third game. However the reigning US Open champion then broke back twice to win the set and the match.
Stosur will now face Ivanovic, the 2008 French Open champion and fourth seed, who also advanced into the semi-finals, beating unheralded compatriot Vesna Dolonc 6-4, 6-1 in an all-Serbian quarter-final.
“It’s going to be a tough match as we didn’t play each other for a long time,” Stosur said about her forthcoming match against Ivanovic. “I’m going to be ready for anything. I shall concentrate on my own game, be ready to work hard and be also ready for long rallies.”
Third seed Caroline Wozniacki defeated defending champion Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia to also advance.
Wozniacki won 6-2, 6-7 (1/7), 6-1 to record her ninth win over Cibulkova, who is 14th in the rankings, in their 12th head-to-head meeting.
“It was a very good match as both of us played very well,” Wozniacki said. “The difference at the end was that I could just keep my highest level up and I managed to win the most important points, especially at the beginning of the third set.”
The 22-year-old Dane, who is currently 11th in the world but could still break into the top 10 by season’s end, broke twice in winning the opening set.
Cibulkova pulled the scores level at one set all after winning the second set tiebreak, but early in the deciding set the 23-year-old Slovak needed treatment on her bandaged right leg.
She never fully recovered, unable to resist the power and precision of Wozniacki, who broke twice to take the set and the match on her first match point.
Next up for Wozniacki is Sofia Arvidsson of Sweden.
Arvidsson, 46 in the world, saw off seventh seed Maria Kirilenko, the last Russian player in the draw, 6-3, 6-3.
In the men’s section of the event, Malek Jaziri beat Czech Lukas Rosol 7-6 (7/5), 6-3 to become the first Tunisian player to reach an ATP semi-final.
“I’m really happy to reach the semi-finals,” Jaziri said. “And if I’m lucky enough, why not make my first ATP final?”
Jaziri will face second-seeded Andreas Seppi of Italy who eased past Japan’s eighth seed Tatsuma Ito, 6-2, 6-1.
Croatian giant Ivo Karlovic also breezed into the semis, beating Frenchman Edouard Roger-Vasselin 7-6 (7/4), 6-3.
He will face fourth seeded Brazilian Thomaz Belluci, who beat Pole Jerzy Janowicz 6-4, 7-6 (7/3), for a place in the final.
Top-seeded Juan Martin del Potro and Janko Tipsarevic won in straight sets on Friday to reach the semi-finals of the Austrian Open.
Del Potro defeated Marinko Matosevic of Australia 6-2, 6-2 to line up a match against Gilles Muller of Luxembourg, while second-seeded Tipsarevic was leading 6-2, 4-2 when Aljaz Bedene of Slovenia retired with a left thigh injury. He will now play Grega Zemlja of Slovenia, who scored 14 straight points to close out a 6-4, 4-6, 6-2 win over Tommy Haas.
It was del Potro’s second match since returning from a right wrist injury that sidelined him for more than a month.