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Indian Wells: Svetlana Kuznetsova Cruises Into Semi-finals

AFP

Updated: March 16, 2017, 10:36 AM IST
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Indian Wells: Svetlana Kuznetsova Cruises Into Semi-finals
Svetlana Kuznetsova. (Getty Images)

Eighth-seeded Svetlana Kuznetsova steamed into the semi-finals of the Indian Wells WTA tournament on Wednesday with a 6-3, 6-2 victory over fellow Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.

Kuznetsova needed just 63 minutes to power past her 19th-seeded countrywoman, who had come out on top in the pair's two meetings in the past three months.

Kuznetsova, 31, is a two-time Grand Slam champion who last year returned to the top 10 for the first time since 2010.

She reached back-to-back Indian Wells finals in 2007 and 2008, but has never lifted the trophy.

Kuznetsova next faces either seventh-seeded French Open champion Garbine Muguruza of Spain or third-seeded Czech Karolina Pliskova.

Pliskova and Muguruza met in the third round at Indian Wells two years ago -- before both planted themselves firmly among the world's top 10.

Muguruza went on to reach the Wimbledon final that year, before capturing her first Grand Slam title at Roland Garros last year, while Pliskova was runner-up at the US Open last year.

Pliskova is the highest-ranked player remaining in the field with the fourth-round exit of Germany's Angelique Kerber -- who is, nevertheless, poised to return to number one in the world.

The Czech has dominated Muguruza, winning the last five of their six prior encounters.

"I think it's one of the toughest matches I can have now," Muguruza said. "I think she's playing very good. She has been very consistent, and, yeah, I have been watching her."

The remaining women's semi-finalists will be decided on Thursday, when seven-time Grand Slam champion Venus Williams takes on Russian Elena Vesnina and 2011 Indian Wells champion Caroline Wozniacki faces France's Kristina Mladenovic.

Williams, who ended a 15-year boycott of the event last year but lost in the second round, is after a first Indian Wells title.

First Published: March 16, 2017, 10:36 AM IST
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