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Kuznetsova cruises into semifinals

INDIAN WELLS, United States: Eighth-seeded Svetlana Kuznetsova steamed into the semifinals 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 third-seeded Czech Karolina Pliskova, who edged out seventh-seeded French Open champion Garbine Muguruza of Spain 7-6 (7/2), 7-6 (7/5).

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

The remaining women’s semifinalists 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. — AFP

Indian Wells ATP Masters

and WTA results

Men (fourth round)

Pablo Carreno-Busta (ESP x21) bt Dusan Lajovic (SRB) 6-4, 7-6 (7/5); Pablo Cuevas (URU x27) bt David Goffin (BEL x11) 6-3, 3-6, 6-3; Stan Wawrinka (SUI) bt Yoshihito Nishioka (JPN) 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7/4); Jack Sock (USA) bt Malek Jaziri (TUN) 4-6, 7-6 (7/1), 7-5; Kei Nishikori (JPN x4) bt Donald Young (USA) 6-2, 6-4; Roger Federer (SUI x9) bt Rafael Nadal (ESP x5) 6-2, 6-3; Nick Kyrgios (AUS x15) bt Novak Djokovic (SRB x2) 6-4, 7-6 (7/3)

Women (quarterfinals)

Karolína Pliskova (CZE x3) bt Garbine Muguruza (ESP x7) 7-6 (7/2), 7-6 (7/5); Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS x8) bt Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (RUS x19) 6-3, 6-2

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