Kirilenko, Hantuchova in semis
Maria Kirilenko of Russia sailed into the semi-finals of the WTA Sunfeast Open with a 6-3, 6-1 win against Italy's Pennetta.Updated: Sep 22, 2007, 16:08 IST
Fourth seed Maria Kirilenko of Russia sailed into the semi-finals of the 175,000-dollar WTA Sunfeast Open in Kolkata on Friday with a 6-3, 6-1 win against Italy's Flavia Pennetta.
The only Russian to advance to the last four, Kirilenko nullified the baseline game of the Italian seventh seed by charging to the net.
Pennetta appeared to cave in to the pressure, double faulting in the seventh game of the second set and failing to hold her serve.
Kirilenko's semi-final opponent will be the formidable Slovak second seed Daniela Hantuchova, who overcame the challenge of Chan Yung-jan of Taiwan 6-4, 6-1 in a late-night match.
Chan give her more fancied opponent a scare through some spirited play, but Hantuchova kept her cool and it paid off.
Mariya Koryttseva of Ukraine and Britain's Anne Keothavong also won their quarter-final matches to advance in this Tier III event.
Koryttseva beat Tatiana Poutchek of Belarus 6-4, 6-2, while Keothavong defeated Israel's Tzipora Obziler 6-1, 6-3.
Poutchek played an unusually subdued game in contrast to the fast pace that marked her game in the first two rounds.
The Belarussian got the first break in the first game but Koryttseva broke back in the fourth and eighth to go 5-3 up.
Poutchek fought back to break in the ninth, but Koryttseva won the 10th to wrap up the set 6-4.
Koryttseva won five games in a row in the second set after Poutchek broke her in the first game. Poutchek broke again in the seventh, but Koryttseva struck back in the 10th to win the set 6-2.
"I had a medical problem. I found it difficult to serve under the lights and I was not moving well," Poutchek said at the post-match press conference.
For British player Keothavong, it turned out to be a memorable outing as she advanced to her first-ever semi-final on the WTA tour.