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Petrova storms into Qatar Open semi-finals

Written by: Staff
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DOHA, Mar 2 (Reuters) Second seed Nadia Petrova quelled a spirited challenge from Na Li of China to post a 6-4 6-4 victory en route to the Qatar Open semi-finals today.

Petrova will meet Ai Sugiyama in tomorrow's first semi-final after the Japanese veteran defeated Julia Schruff of Germany 6-3 6-2.

Later today, top seed and world number two Amelie Mauresmo of France takes on Roberta Vinci of Italy while former world number one Martina Hingis of Switzerland plays sixth seed Svetlana Kuznestova of Russia.

Petrova started off on an aggressive note, breaking Li in game one, and she broke again in the seventh game.

The Russian had a similar start to the second set although this time the Chinese showed her fighting qualities to break back immediately.

Petrova raised her game to take a 2-1 lead and, with games going with serve, Petrova served out for the match.

Sugiyama, who had upset two times Qatar Open champion and former French Open champion Anastasia Myskina yesterday, was never troubled in her 66-minute win over Schruff.

''I was a bit drained after my long match against Myskina yesterday. But I think I did well to recover as was evident today against Schruff,'' she said.

REEUTERS SI PM2311

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