Impressive Kuznetsova races into Kremlin Cup last four

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MOSCOW, Oct 12 (Reuters) Top seed Svetlana Kuznetsova reached her first Kremlin Cup semi-final in convincing fashion by crushing fellow Russian Vera Dushevina 6-2 6-2 today.

The world number two, making her fifth successive appearance in Moscow, broke Dushevina twice in the first set and twice more in the second before putting away her 46th-ranked opponent with an overhead smash after 71 minutes.

The Russian will now take on either former world number one Serena Williams, seeded fourth, or eighth-seeded Czech Nicole Vaidisova, who were playing later today.

The second semi-final will be an all-Russian affair between two unseeded players, Elena Dementieva and Dinara Safina.

Dementieva, who reached the final here in 2001 and in 2004, beat talented Belarussian teenager Victoria Azarenka, who stunned second seed Maria Sharapova in the second round, 7-6 6-2.

Safina, the younger sister of former world number one Marat Safin who knocked out third seed and last year's winner Anna Chakvetadze in round two, continued her good run of form to see off compatriot Vera Zvonareva 6-2 3-6 6-3.

In the men's draw, unseeded Serb Janko Tipsarevic became the first player to reach the semi-finals after prevailing over Czech Radek Stepanek 6-4 3-6 6-3.

He was soon joined in the last four by fourth seed Paul-Henri Mathieu. The 27-year-old Frenchman, who won his first career title here in 2002, advanced at the expense of countryman Florent Serra 6-3 6-3.

Top seed and defending champion Nikolay Davydenko faces his Russian Davis Cup team mate Igor Andreev while German eighth seed Philipp Kohlschreiber plays compatriot Michael Berrer in the other quarter-finals.

Reuters SSC GC1935

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