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Back On Track in Barcelona

Francesca Schiavone, the lone seed left, won in straight sets Thursday to advance to her first semifinal since early January.

Published April 15, 2010 12:00

Back On Track in Barcelona
Francesca Schiavone

BARCELONA, Spain - The semifinals of the Barcelona Ladies Open on Friday will be contested by top seed Francesca Schiavone and three unseeded players.

Schiavone beat Carla Suárez Navarro, 64 64, on Thursday to reach the final four here for the second straight year. Last year on the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour, she won one title and had two runner-up finishes and two semifinal showings, but after a semifinal run to start 2010 in Auckland, the Italian had not been past the round of 16 of any event prior to Barcelona. She looks to be heating up, though, as she is the only player left yet to drop a set this week. Her next opponent will be Yaroslava Shvedova, who topped Iveta Benesova 64 64, to match her best result of 2010 - a semifinal showing in Pattaya City.

The semifinal on the bottom half of the draw will be contested by two women playing in their first final fours of 2010. Schiavone's conqueror in last year's semis here - Roberta Vinci - had an easy time with Timea Bacsinszky, 63 60. Vinci is now 8-0 at this event in her career, having won all five of her matches here last year en route to the title. Up next for her is Alexandra Dulgheru, who had the toughest match of the day against wildcard Arantxa Parra Santonja. Dulgheru came back from 3-1 down in the third set of her 57 62 64 victory.

Vinci will have to do double duty on Friday, as she is also in the doubles semifinals alongside Sara Errani against top seeds Nuria Llagostera Vives and María José Martínez Sánchez. Bacsinszky and Tathiana Garbin will take on Tatjana Malek and Andrea Petkovic in the other semi.

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