Sharapova, Kirilenko reach Indian Wells semis

2:18 AM, Mar 14, 2013   |    comments
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Indian Wells, CA (Sports Network) - Maria Sharapova advanced to another semifinal at the $5.186 million BNP Paribas Open with a victory over Sara Errani of Italy on Wednesday.

Sharapova, the 2006 champ and last year's runner-up, came in undefeated in five previous quarterfinal matches on the hardcourts at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden, and the second-seeded Russian continued that streak with a 7-6 (8-6), 6-2 win.

Errani was a titlist in Acapulco two weeks ago, but has never beaten a top-3 opponent, falling to 0-15 in her career. She lost to Sharapova in last year's French Open final.

Maria Kirilenko, one day after upending third-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska in three sets, went the distance again Wednesday. This time the 13th-seeded Russian ousted fifth-seeded Czech slugger Petra Kvitova, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3.

Kirilenko is 6-0 this year in three-set matches, including all four this tournament. She is 2-4 all-time against Sharapova, her semifinal opponent.

Two other quarterfinals will be staged on Thursday, when top-seeded Victoria Azarenka takes on eighth-seeded fellow former No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki and fourth-seeded German Angelique Kerber faces seventh-seeded former U.S. Open champ Sam Stosur. The former world No. 1 Wozniacki titled here in 2011 and was the runner-up in 2010.

Azarenka beat Sharapova in the 2012 finale.

This Premier Mandatory WTA event will pay its newest champion $1 million.

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