WTA Tour

Stosur, Kuznetsova to face off

2013-10-18 16:00
Samantha Stosur (AFP)

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

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.

In the men's quarter-finals, top-seeded Richard Gasquet ousted Russian wild-card entry Teimuraz Gabashvili 6-3, 6-2, while defending champion Andreas Seppi of Italy made it into his fifth semi-final of the season after 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.

But Vinci offered more resistance in the second, trading breaks twice before the Russian took a 4-2 lead.

"Today I played really well in the first set with some slight mistakes in the second, which I managed to overcome," Kuznetsova said.

"I hope I'll be able to boost my performance in the next matches as well."

The Russian will be playing in her first semifinal this season and her first at a home event since she lost to Serena Williams in 2007.

In the second semi-final Saturday, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova will face fifth-seeded Simona Halep.

Pavlyuchenkova eliminated Klara Zakopalova 6-0, 6-4, while Halep routed Alisa Kleybanova 6-1, 6-1.

In the men's tournament, Gasquet broke early in the first set and took a 4-0 lead in the second to eliminate the last Russian left in the draw.

"I made an early break and it was very important as I was in control after that," Gasquet said.

"In general I played well and a little bit more aggressive than yesterday, I served well and didn't miss so much."

The Frenchman is looking for the eighth spot at the ATP finals in London next month.

But he suffered an early exit at Shanghai last week and dropped to 10th in the rankings, hampering his chances of qualifying.

Gasquet will next play Croatian veteran Ivo Karlovic, who advanced to his second semi-final of the season by winning eight consecutive games and landing 11 aces to rout Russian teenager Karen Khachanov 6-4, 6-0.

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 (4).

Results on day five of the ATP and WTA Kremlin Cup on Friday (x denotes seeding):



Richard Gasquet (FRA x1) bt Teimuraz Gabashvili (RUS) 6-3, 6-2
Ivo Karlovic (CRO) bt Karen Khachanov (RUS) 6-4, 6-0
Mikhail Kukushkin (KAZ) bt Andrey Golubev (KAZ) 6-4, 7-6 (7/4)
Andreas Seppi (ITA x2) bt Edouard Roger-Vasselin (FRA) 5-2 - retired


Quarter finals:

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) bt Daniela Hantuchova (SVK) 6-0, 6-4
Simona Halep (ROM x5) bt Alisa Kleybanova (RUS) 6-1, 6-1
Samantha Stosur (AUS x7) bt Ana Ivanovic (SRB x4) 7-5, 6-4
Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS x8) bt Roberta Vinci (ITA x2) 6-2, 6-3


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