Top women tennis players compete in semifinals in La Costa

S. Calif. Open held at La Costa Resort and Spa

CARLSBAD, Calif. - Top-seeded Victoria Azarenka of Belarus will face seventh-seeded Ana Ivanovic of Serbia in the afternoon semifinal of the $795,707 Southern California Open at La Costa Resort and Spa Saturday.

Australian Samantha Stosur, who is seeded fifth, will take on unseeded Virginie Razzano of France in the night semifinal.

Azarenka advanced to the semifinals by defeating Urszula Radwanska of Poland, 6-1, 6-2, in a quarterfinal Friday. Ivanovic upset fourth-seeded Roberta Vinci of Italy, 6-1, 6-7 (1), 6-2.

Azarenka holds a 3-2 advantage over Ivanovic, winning their last two meetings, most recently a round of 16 match at Wimbledon last year.

Razzano stunned third-seeded Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic, 6-7 (6), 7-5, 7-6 (8), Friday fighting off two match points in the third set tiebreaker in a match that lasted three hours, 35 minutes, the second longest this year on the Women's Tennis Association.

The 30-year-old Razzano was 16th on the WTA rankings in 2009 before being struck by a series of injuries. She upset Serena Williams in the first round of the 2012 French Open, but was sidelined most of the rest of the year because of a right hip injury. Her ranking fell into the 200s, keeping her out of WTA tournaments.

"I stayed home and just practiced," said Razzano, a wild card entrant into the Southern California Open. "There's no secret. I took my time, focused on my job, worked on my game and now I'm back on the court.  It's not easy to come back from all of this and the problems I've had before, but you can't give up. You really just have to keep going."

This is the first time Razzano has reached a semifinal since the 2009 Eastbourne International.

 Stosur upset second-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland, 7-5, 2-6, 6-3,in her quarterfinal Friday. Agnieszka Radwanska is the older sister of Urszula Radwanska.

Stosur has won all five of her matches against Razzano.

International Tennis Hall of Fame member Martina Hingis' first WTA tournament in six years ended Friday as she and Daniela Hantuchova of Slovakia lost to the third-seeded American duo of Raquel Kops-Jones and Abigail Spears, 4-6, 7-5, 10-3.

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