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Pennetta, Kuznetsova in Carlsbad semis

Pennetta, Kuznetsova in Carlsbad semis

Pennetta, the No. 5 seed from Italy, will meet Russia's Svetlana Kuznetsova in the semifinals.

Carlsbad, California: Flavia Pennetta of Italy moved into the semifinals of the Mercury Insurance Open with a 6-4, 6-3 win over second-seeded Samantha Stosur on Friday.

Pennetta's win over Stosur means all three of the top seeds have been eliminated.

Pennetta took control with her consistent and accurate ground strokes, along with a more effective serve. Pennetta had 19 winners compared to 12 for her Australian opponent in her third straight win over Stosur.

"It's a good feeling because she's one of the best players," Pennetta said. "She has had an unbelievable year. It's never easy to beat this kind of player. For me, it's much better to play against her."

Pennetta, the No. 5 seed from Italy, will meet Russia's Svetlana Kuznetsova in the semifinals. Kuznetsova ended the run of local teenager CoCo Vandeweghe 7-5, 6-2.

"I think I won by experience," said Kuznetsova, who reached her first semifinal this season. "I wasn't playing my best game. I think she was so confident. It took me time to break her up."

In a match of unseeded players, Slovakia's Daniela Hantuchova eliminated Alisa Kleybanova of Russia 2-6, 6-4, 6-3 to reach the semifinals. Hantuchova will play No. 4 seed Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland who won the last nine games to rout seventh-seeded Shahar Peer of Israel 6-2, 6-0 in a night match.

Stosur, the French Open runner-up this year, did not record an ace and had five double faults. Stosur is considered to be the second-best server behind No. 1 ranked Serena Williams. Pennetta had eight aces and just one double fault.

"I can return her kick serve. There are a few shots that I have that can make her nervous all the time," Pennetta said. "She's one of the best servers. I am really comfortable with her ball. I can handle the speed."

Stosur said, "She makes a lot of balls and runs everything down. She really makes you work for every point you win. Sometimes that can be a little bit frustrating."

Vandeweghe, 18, seemed to carry the momentum she had from Thursday's three-set upset win over Wimbledon finalist Vera Zvonareva.

Vandeweghe, who had to win three matches in the qualifying tournament to get into the main draw, took a 5-2 lead in the first set against the struggling Kuznetsova.

"I thought early on, I was kind of beating her with my pace and the heaviness of the ball," she said.

But the two-time Grand Slam champion turned it around when she saved one set point in the eighth game. She then rebounded to win five consecutive games and take the set.

At 1-1 in the second set, Kuznetsova rolled through four straight games to go ahead 5-1. The Russian finally put away the 205th-ranked Vandeweghe on her third match point in the eighth game.

"I came in a little bit tired from last night, a little heavy-legged," said Vandeweghe, who has received a wild-card entry to play next week at Cincinnati. "I had a great first set. She's a two-time Grand Slam champion for a reason."

Vandeweghe is the niece of former NBA star Kiki Vandeweghe who also served as the New Jersey Nets' general manager and coach. Her grandfather, Ernie, played for the New York Knicks in the 1950s.