Russians To Clash; Mauresmo To Face Dechy

August 15, 2008 08:30 AM

Russians Nadia Petrova and Maria Kirilenko will face off for a spot in the Western & Southern Financial Group Women’s Open final. The second-seeded Petrova eased past American wild card Lilia Osterloh, 6-2, 6-3, while No. 3 seed Kirilenko defeated German Sabine Lisicki 6-2, 1-6, 6-1 in quarterfinal action on Friday.

World No. 21 Petrova had no problems getting by the No. 201-ranked Osterloh as she won three of her five break point chances during the one hour match. It marked her seventh straight win against the American. Osterloh’s only victory against the Russian came in their first career meeting, in 1999 at Hilton Head.

Petrova advances to the semifinals for the second time this year. She was a runner-up last in June at the grass-court event at Eastbourne (l. to Radwanska).

Kirilenko turned in a strong opening set in her quarterfinal match, winning 80 percent of her service points and converting on both of her break point opportunities, but failed to continue her form in the second set as she won just seven points on serve. She recovered from the mid-match lapse as she broke her opponent’s serve four times in the decisive set.

Kirilenko, currently No. 25 in the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour Rankings, improves to a 26-14 season record. She is looking to reach her third final of the season, following title wins on clay at Estoril and Barcelona.

Petrova and Kirilenko are playing doubles together as the No. 2 seeds this week in Cincinnati, and booked their place in the final by defeating third seeds Jasmin Woehr and Barbora Zahlavova Strycova 2-6, 6-3, 10-4 on Friday evening.

The other semifinal will feature two 29-year-old Frenchwomen: No. 5 seed Amelie Mauresmo against unseeded Nathalie Dechy. Mauresmo leads the career series 5-2 with wins in their last three meetings, including earlier this year at Gold Coast.

Mauresmo ended American title hopes when she defeated Vania King, 6-2, 6-4 to reach her first semifinal since June 2007 at Eastborne. The former World No. 1 had fallen to a No. 35 ranking coming into Cincinnati, with her 2008 highlights including four quarterfinal finishes. She improves to a 23-11 season record.

Dechy posted a 7-6(4), 7-5 upset over Canadian sixth seed Aleksandra Wozniak. Earlier in the week, Dechy had also ousted No. 4 seed Katarina Srebotnik. She is through to her first WTA semifinal since 2007 at Forest Hills.