Sat, Oct 19, 2013 - Page 20 News List

Stosur to face Kuznetsova in Moscow semis

AP, MOSCOW

Ana Ivanovic hits a return during her Kremlin Cup match against Samantha Stosur yesterday in Moscow.

Photo: AFP

Samantha Stosur will face doubles partner Svetlana Kuznetsova in the semi-finals of the Kremlin Cup after both players won in straight sets yesterday.

Stosur extended her unbeaten run to eight matches by defeating Ana Ivanovic 7-5, 6-4, while Kuznetsova beat second-seeded Roberta Vinci 6-2, 6-3.

Also, defending men’s champion Andreas Seppi of Italy made it into his fifth semi-final of the season after Frenchman Edouard Roger-Vasselin retired with a neck strain while trailing 5-2.

In a rematch of last year’s three-set semi-final match between former Grand Slam champions, Ivanovic took a 3-0 lead, but Stosur broke back twice to win the opener.

An early break in the second set was enough for the Australian to defeat the former top-ranked Ivanovic for the second straight year.

“Probably having a match won here last year, I certainly had a few things in my head that I wanted to try to do today against her,” Stosur said. “And right from the start it was kind of working and from that my confidence kind of built, and I was able to keep going and play well till the end.”

Last Sunday, Stosur won the fifth title of her career in Osaka, Japan, while Ivanovic lost in the Linz final.

Kuznetsova, a two-time Grand Slam champion, broke twice in the first set. However, Vinci offered more resistance in the second, trading breaks twice before the Russian took a 4-2 lead.

The Russian will be playing in her first semi-final of the season and her first at a home event since she lost to Serena Williams in 2007.

In another quarter-final clash yesterday No. 5 seed Simona Halep of Romania beat Alisa Kleybanova of Russia 6-1, 6-1.

In yesterday’s last women’s quarter-final Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova of Russia was due to take on Slovakian veteran Daniela Hantuchova.

In the men’s tournament, Roger-Vasselin strained his neck during the warm-up and had it treated after the first game.

“From his first service game and down in the match he couldn’t serve normally,” Seppi said. “I would never like to win like this but sometimes it happens.”

Seppi will next play Mikhail Kukushkin, who beat Andrey Golubev 6-4, 7-6 (7/4).

In another quarter-final Ivo Karlovic of Croatia brought local boy Karen Khachanov down to earth with a straightforward 6-4, 6-0 victory.

The 808th-ranked 17-year-old from Moscow had beaten Spaniard Albert Ramos and No. 3 seed Janko Tipsarevic en route to the quarter-finals in only his second ATP World Tour tournament and the third senior-level event of his career.

In yesterday’s remaining men’s last eight clash top-seed Richard Gasquet of France was to face Russian wild-card Teymuraz Gabashvili.

Additional reporting by staff writer

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