Zvonareva reaches Carlsbad semis

Vera Zvonareva faces resurgent Ana Ivanovic for a place in the Mercury Insurance Open final after cruising past Germany’s Sabine Lisicki in the quarter-finals.

The top-seeded Russian, who won her 12th career title in Azerbaijan last month, beat the Wimbledon semi-finalist 6-3 3-6 6-4 in her eighth successive on Friday.

She will play former world number one Ana Ivanovic in the semi-finals of the $721,000 tournament in Carlsbad.

The 23-year-old Serb – the 2008 Roland Garros champion who is trying to improve on her current 18th ranking – recovered from 1-4 down in the opening set to defeat China’s fourth seed Shuai Peng 6-4 6-2.

German Andrea Petkovic cruised to an easy win over U.S. teenager Sloane Stephens, 6-2 6-1, to face Poland’s third seed Agnieszka Radwanska in the semis.

The Pole beat eighth-seeded Slovakian Daniela Hantuchova 0-6, 6-4, 6-4.

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