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By Chris Oddo

Maria Kirilenko in Thailand (February 1, 2013) -- Maria Kirilenko fought through a tough match against her fellow Russian Elena Vesnina to reach the PTT Pattaya Open semifinals today 7-6(6), 6-3.

The second seeded Kirilenko, fought off two set points in the first set tiebreaker before eventually reeling off five straight games in the second set to close her fourth career victory against Vesnina in two hours and ten minutes.

"The first set was tight, almost one and a half hours," said Kirilenko, who has never lost to Vesnina. "I'm just happy I was able to get through such a tough match."

Kirilenko will face Sorana Cirstea in the semifinals. The fourth-seeded Romanian breezed past qualifier Anastasija Sevastova, 6-3, 6-0 in fifty-six minutes. The 22-year-old converted five of eight break points and only surrendered one service break against the World No. 183 from Latvia.

In the top half of the draw, Sabine Lisicki continued her fine form to reach the semifinals. The fifth seed thumped nine aces and saved both break points she faced in third set to get by Marina Erakovic, 5-7, 6-3, 6-2.

The 23-year-old German, a former World No. 12, is currently out of the top 50. After dropping the first set, she survived a seven-deuce ordeal in the fourth game of the second set, and only lost three more games from that point.

Lisicki will face Nina Bratchikova in the semifinals on Saturday. Bratchikova defeated Ayumi Morita of Japan 6-1, 3-6, 6-1 to reach her first career semifinal.

(Photo Credit: UPI)


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