SYDNEY, Australia - Former champion Agnieszka Radwanska eased past qualifier Duan Ying-Ying and into the semifinals of the Apia International Sydney on Wednesday evening.

At last week's Shenzhen Open, Radwanska saved three match points to defeat Duan in a tougher-than-expected season opener. This time around it was a far more straightforward outing, the No.2 seed completing a 6-3, 6-2 victory in an hour and 20 minutes.

"Sometimes you play people two or three weeks in a row, like Caroline and I had last year in Asia, but I'm definitely more happy with this performance than in Shenzhen," Radwanska said in her on-court interview. "It's another semifinal here, so I'm very happy with that.

"I was warming up at 4pm and it was still very hot, so I was a little bit lucky to play this evening. I was watching the first match here and it was unbelievably hot - the guys were playing amazingly."

Despite the more hospitable conditions, both players made heavy weather of holding onto their serve early on. But after a succession of breaks, Radwanska finally put some daylight between the two, opening up a 5-3 lead before calmly serving out the set.



Unlike in Shenzhen, there was to be no Duan comeback, Radwanska rattling off the first four games of the second set to ease her way into the last four.

Radwanska lifted the title in 2012, and standing between her and a return to the final is marathon woman Barbora Strycova. Earlier in the day, Strycova withstood the worst of the midday sun to win an epic encounter against Caroline Wozniacki. "Like I said, she was playing unbelievable tennis and she's really on fire. Last year she also played amazing tennis. I'm just expecting a good match and we'll see how it goes tomorrow."