New York - Top seeds Agnieszka Radwanska and Dominika
Cibulkova booked their semi-final berths Thursday at the WTA hard-court
tournament in New Haven, the final tuneup for the US Open.
Poland's Radwanska, the defending champion, defeated
eighth-seeded Peng Shuai of China 7-5, 6-3 to advance to the final four.
Second-seeded Cibulkova, of Slovakia, beat sixth-seeded
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova of Russia 7-5, 6-4.
Peng and Radwanska had split six prior encounters, with Peng
taking their most recent meeting at Indian Wells in March.
But Radwanska, still seeking her first title of the year,
emerged with a victory in just under two hours to set up a semi-final meeting
with Australian Daria Gavrilova.
Gavrilova defeated Belgian qualifier Kirsten Flipkens 6-2,
It was the third meeting of the year between Cibulkova and
Pavlyuchenkova, who had split two prior contests in 2017.
Having narrowly won the opening set, Cibulkova powered to a
5-0 lead in the second, then turned back a furious rally from the Russian to
win in just over two hours.
"She made it extremely tough for me in the end,"
Cibulkova said. "I was playing very well in the whole second set, but then
she started playing even better.
"I had four match points, and she hit an ace every time
so I couldn't do much about it. But I just kept fighting and I said to myself,
'OK, this one's going to be yours.'"
Cibulkova next faces Belgian qualifier Elise Mertens, who
reached the semi-finals on a walkover when China's Zhang Shuai withdrew with a
right arm injury.
Results from WTA tournament at New Haven, Connecticut, on Thursday:
Agnieszka Radwanska (POL x1) bt Peng Shuai (CHN x8) 7-5, 6-3
Daria Gavrilova (AUS) bt Kirsten Flipkens (BEL) 6-2, 6-4
Elise Mertens (BEL) bt Zhang Shuai (CHN) walkover
Dominika Cibulkova (SVK x2) bt Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (RUS x6) 7-5, 6-4