Vera Zvonareva came from 5-3 down in the deciding set to beat Daniela Hantuchova of Slovakia 7-5, 6-7 (5), 7-5 in a thrilling quarterfinal of the Qatar Ladies Open on Thursday.
Zvonareva awaited the winner of the late match between Jelena Jankovic and Klara Zakopalova of the Czech Republic. Top-ranked Caroline Wozniacki won 12 straight games to beat Flavia Pennetta of Italy 6-2, 6-0 and set up a semifinal against Marion Bartoli of France.
Hantuchova had beaten Zvonareva in the Pattaya Open semifinals this month and looked set for an encore. But the Russian rallied to break back in the 10th and 12th games to end the 3-hour, 10-minute match.
Zvonareva hit 48 winners to 29, while Hantuchova committed 57 unforced errors in her third consecutive three-setter. "It was a tough match. Daniela is a great player and very aggressive," Zvonareva said. "I'm happy to come through and be in the semifinal."
Wozniacki, who won the Dubai title last week, extended her winning streak to eight matches after losing the first two games of the match.
She wore a Liverpool football shirt with Steven Gerrard's name on the back during the warmup.
"I'm a big fan of Liverpool," Wozniacki said. "Since Liverpool is playing tonight (against Sparta Prague), I thought it would be nice and even the fans liked it."
Wozniacki made just seven unforced errors against Pennetta, who appeared to lose heart after dropping serve in a 12-minute fourth game. The top-seeded Wozniacki finally won it with one of her trademark backhand returns to draw level at 2-2.
"I was playing really good tennis," Wozniacki said. "I stayed calm and had to go for my shots."
Pennetta, who has never won against Wozniacki in their four previous meetings, could fair no better in the second set, committing 21 unforced errors.
Bartoli ended Peng Shuai's challenge in just 71 minutes with a 6-2, 6-2 victory. Peng lost her serve in the first game and could not recover from the initial blow.
"I thought I played well," Bartoli said. "I could have finished earlier. I mean, it could have been 6-1 in the second instead of 6-2, even 6-0, but overall it was a great performance."