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Kirilenko & Petrova Pushed, Make Semis

Maria Kirilenko and Nadia Petrova will take on fellow Russians Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina in the China Open doubles semifinals.

Published October 04, 2012 07:39

Kirilenko & Petrova Pushed, Make Semis
Maria Kirilenko, Nadia Petrova

BEIJING, China - Maria Kirilenko and Nadia Petrova were pushed for the second straight day, but came through once again in doubles quarterfinal action on Thursday at the China Open.

A day after saving 11 of 13 break points against them and losing more points than they won against Jelena Jankovic and Andrea Petkovic, Kirilenko and Petrova saved 12 of 15 break points and once again lost more points than they won versus Anna-Lena Groenefeld and Kveta Peschke. Their 76(5) 67(4) 106 victory featured a first set in which they rallied from 4-1 down and had two set points against them at 6-5 down.

No.2 seeds Kirilenko and Petrova next take on fellow Russians and No.3 seeds Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina for the first time. Makarova and Vesnina have yet to net a title, but they have posted some impressive results this year, including runner-up showings in Madrid and Rome.

On Thursday, Makarova and Vesnina reeled off nine straights points from 1-1 in the match tie-break for a 64 36 101 triumph over No.8 seeds Raquel Kops-Jones and Abigail Spears. That not only snapped the Americans' 10-match win streak, but gave Kirilenko and Petrova a leg up in their battle with Kops-Jones and Spears for the fourth and final spot remaining in the draw at the TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships - Istanbul 2012.

Friday's other semifinal will see fifth-seeded Nuria Llagostera Vives and Sania Mirza square off with sixth-seeded Katarina Srebotnik and Zheng Jie.

Llagostera Vives and Mirza recorded the most dramatic scoreline of the day, 46 64 1614, over Julia Goerges and Barbora Zahlavova Strycova. Playing just their second event together, having lost their opener in Tokyo last week, Llagostera Vives and Mirza jumped out to a 6-1 lead in the match tie-break but needed five match points to advance, while surviving two against them. Llagostera Vives, victorious here in 2005 alongside Maria Vento-Kabchi, is the only former Beijing champion left in the field.

As for Srebotnik and Zheng, they were down a break in both sets but ended up 63 63 winners over Vera Dushevina and Alicja Rosolska. They are the only final four duo yet to drop a set.

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